News Briefs

October 28, 2016

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) recently released the Virtuous User Environment (VirtUE) broad agency announcement. The goal of the VirtUE program is to create and demonstrate a more secure interactive user computing environment by leveraging the federal government’s impending migration to commercial cloud-based information technology infrastructures and the current explosion of new virtualization and operating system concepts.

Proposals are due December 12.

October 25, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

Millennials might pose as grave a cybersecurity risk to enterprise networks as cyber criminals, according to one recent study. With more of them entering the federal workplace, they bring along technology preferences and bad behavior that threaten security of federal IT systems, according to cybersecurity developer Forcepoint.

October 21, 2016

Major websites such as Twitter, Spotify, Amazon—and AFCEA International and SIGNAL Media—fell victim to successive massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on Friday. The Internet traffic firm Dyn informed people of the cyber attack after the sites were shut down.

"We have begun monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed (Domain Name System) infrastructure,” the company said in a statement. “Our engineers are continuing to work on mitigating this issue.” Service was restored late Friday morning. Some customers experienced increased DNS query latency and delayed zone propagation. 

Ooctober 21, 2016
By Julianne Simpson

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh C. Johnson gave a report on the department’s progress in cyber hiring, announcing more than 120 new employees.

The announcement comes during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. “Cybersecurity has been one of our department’s most important missions, and hiring top cyber talent is crucial to our success in that mission,” he said in the statement.

October 20, 2016
By Julianne Simpson
Thales has been selected to provide a number of advanced systems for the French navy's future frigates.

Thales is working alongside DCNS to provide a number of advanced systems for the French navy’s FTI (Frégate de Taille Intermédiaire), a medium-size frigate program recently announced by the French Defense Ministry. The FTI is intended as a replacement for the fleet’s Lafayette-class frigates beginning in 2023.

October 18, 2016

NATO Allied Command Transformation and the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency launched yesterday an independent project to research options for streamlining NATO’s cyber capability development and acquisition processes. The final report from RAND Corporation is due in January.

October 17, 2016
By Julianne Simpson
Sandia National Laboratories research engineers Ryan Coe and Giorgio Bacelli are collecting new information to optimize wave energy converter testing. (Photo courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories)

Engineers from Sandia National Laboratories are conducting the largest model-scale wave energy testing of its kind to harness power from one of the biggest untapped clean energy sources on Earth—and one of the hardest to capture.

The project objective is to improve the performance of wave-energy converters (WECs), which could power millions of homes across the United States if researchers are successful. Engineers Ryan Coe and Giorgio Bacelli are collecting data at the U.S. Navy’s maneuvering and seakeeping facility at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Bethesda, Maryland—one of the largest wave tanks in the world.

October 14, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

Lt. Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, USA, assumed leadership of U.S. Army Cyber Command and 2nd Army during a ceremony Friday at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He took over responsibilities from outgoing commander Lt. Gen. Edward C. Cardon, USA, who led Army Cyber for more than three years.

October 5, 2016

Aqua Comms Ltd., a provider of scalable, subsea capacity-based network solutions, announced the successful completion of a trial of Cinea’s WaveLogic 3 Extreme transmission technology on American Europe Connect, its high-capacity, transatlantic subsea cable network that connects New York to London.

The test confirms that Ciena’s 150 Gb/s per wavelength 8QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) technology will expand the capacity of Aqua Comms' submarine network by 50 percent and provide greater spectral efficiency and reach over vast transoceanic distances.

October 4, 2016
The National Science Foundation's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics reports that in 2013 five states dominated the country's business research and development.

Five states accounted for just over half of the $255 billion of research and development (R&D) companies paid for and performed in the United States in 2013, according to a new report from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.

Business R&D is geographically concentrated in the United States to a greater degree than either gross domestic product (GDP) or population. The five states with the highest levels of business R&D performance—California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas and Washington—accounted for $133 billion, or 52 percent, of the total.

August 11, 2016
By George I. Seffers

The United States Navy has tested and deployed the RQ-20B Puma small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) aboard a Flight I Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG Class), according to an AeroVironment Inc. announcement. Some of these exercises included the use of the company’s fully autonomous system to recover the aircraft aboard a ship.  

September 29, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Chinese Aeronautical Establishment (CAE) and NASA have signed a formal memorandum of understanding to cooperate on advanced air traffic automation. The five-year agreement calls for both groups to share research into realizing more efficient and timely air traffic.

According to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who met with CAE officials on a trip to China in August, China faces a “substantial increase” in air travel in the near future. The joint research will acquire and analyze data from Chinese airports as they deal with increasing traffic. This will help identify potential improved air traffic management practices that would allow air carriers to plan departures better to increase efficiencies.

September 28, 2016
By Julianne Simpson
The Coast Guard's national security cutters are 418 feet long and have a top speed of 28 knots.

The U.S. Coast Guard announced the service’s sixth national security cutter, Munro, will be commissioned April 1, 2017, at the Smith Cove Terminal in Seattle.

The cutter will be home ported in Alameda, California, and is named after Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro, the Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor recipient.

September 27, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

DARPA is hearing voices. And now, so can you. The Defense Department’s renowned research arm has launched a new podcast series, Voices from DARPA.

The series will offer revealing and informative insight into the works of program managers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA. In each episode, a program manager from one of the agency’s six technical offices—Biological Technologies, Defense Sciences, Information Innovation, Microsystems Technology, Strategic Technology and Tactical Technology—will discuss in informal and personal terms why they work at DARPA and what they are up to, according to an agency statement.

September 22, 2016

The not-for-profit defense and aerospace research and development firm SRC Inc. delivered to the U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) its first Agile Condor pod system, a scalable, low cost, size, weight and power (low-CSWaP) hardware architecture for on-board processing of a great deal of sensor data through high-performance embedded computing. The AFRL envisions using the system to enable real-time processing for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.  

September 22, 2016
By Julianne Simpson

Scientists with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory discovered what officials have touted as a startling new finding for jet engine technology in their search for nanomaterials.

The researchers stabilized a copper alloy microstructure and found it to be strong at very high temperatures, a key discovery because the Defense Department depends on jet turbine engines that can operate at high temperatures and maintain structural strength. The potential materials applications could be huge, including inside turbine engines, where temperatures can rise to more than 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

September 21, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

Adaptive space robotics, 3-D printing and autonomous communication systems are among the topics of 21 innovative research and development proposals selected by NASA to enable future solar system missions. The agency’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program chose proposals from 41 firms that can negotiate for possible contract awards worth a combined total of about $15.8 million.

September 20, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

What happens if the Global Positioning System (GPS) that controls precision time signals goes down? The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO), which operate U.S. civilian and military time standards, respectively, have worked with two companies—CenturyLink and Microsemi—to identify commercial fiber optic telecommunications networks as a practical backup possibility.

August 12, 2016
The U.S. Army has released a draft request for proposals for the Small Airborne Networking Radio.

The U.S. Army initiated full and open competition for the Small Airborne Networking Radio (SANR) by releasing a draft request for proposals (RFP) yesterday.

The SANR will replace the ARC-201D radios in the Army’s aviation platforms and provide soldiers with increased data, video, situational awareness, friendly force tracking and voice clarity.

August 8, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) is investing in cutting-edge DNA testing capabilities to bolster its arsenal to solve missing persons forensic cases, among other tasks. The bureau is working with Battelle, an independent nonprofit research and development organization, and the organization’s technology that provides investigators with new tools for more in-depth DNA profiling.

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