News Briefs

August 4, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

U.S. Defense Department officials are turning to science and engineering to reduce drastically the time it takes to develop military platforms—from ships to aircraft and ground vehicles.

July 31, 2014
By George I. Seffers

A recently announced study by Juniper Networks found that 51 percent of government information technology decision makers plan to adopt software-defined networking (SDN) within the next two years. Twenty-five percent of government respondents to the Software-Defined Networking Progress Report said improved performance and more efficient networks will be the primary benefit, while 18 percent cited simplified network operations.

July 23, 2014
By Cyndy Hogan
A Wave Glider SV2 moments before deployment.

The Wave Glider ocean drone collected and transmitted weather data during one of Asia’s biggest typhoons this month. This information will allow scientists to better predict intensities of typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes with the goal of saving lives and minimizing property damage. The drone, from Liquid Robotics, was piloted remotely through the path of category 5 Typhoon Rammasun, navigating sustained winds of 145 mph and gusts up to 175 mph with waves more than 45 feet. It gathered real-time wave, temperature, conductivity and current data from the surface of the ocean, even as seaports and transportation systems in multiple countries were closed due to the storm.

July 21, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Office of Information and Technology awarded its fourth and final contract for its Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (T4) contract to help veterans navigate technical access to health care services.

July 16, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Information and Technology awarded a contract for technical management support services for its Health Products Support (HPS), an effort to provide seamless benefits and services to U.S. veterans.

Under the contract, Creative Computing Solutions Incorporated (CCSi) will provide the VA with two teams of subject matter experts to improve processes and manage the system workload and increased operational tempo.

The contract is part of the VA’s Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (T4) contract vehicle. CCSi won the contract with a one-year base period of performance and the option of extending for two more years.

July 17, 2014
By George I. Seffers

U.S. representatives from both parties have introduced the Department of Energy (DOE) Laboratory Modernization and Technology Transfer Act of 2014, a companion bill to the Senate’s America INNOVATES Act (S. 1973). The bills would bring the U.S. national lab system into the 21st century and promote the easy transfer of federal research into the hands of the private sector, improving the public-private partnerships considered essential to bringing innovative ideas to the marketplace.

July 14, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) primary external advisory board today announced a report calling for the agency to increase its staff of cryptography experts and to implement more explicit processes for ensuring openness and transparency to strengthen its cryptography efforts. In making its recommendations, the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT) specifically addressed NIST’s interactions with the National Security Agency (NSA).

July 14, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Bechtel BNI are joining forces to a new class of cyberdefense professionals to protect the nation’s critical digital infrastructure. The Bechtel-Lawrence Livermore-Los Alamos Cyber Career Development Program is designed to allow the national labs to recruit and rapidly develop cybersecurity specialists who can guide research at their respective institutions and create solutions that meet the cyberdefense needs of private industry, which owns about 80 percent of the nation’s critical digital infrastructure and assets.

July 14, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Army’s Project Manager of Robotic Systems Joint Project Office, Warren, Michigan, is conducting market research to see what companies can provide a lightweight common robotic system (CRS) for dismounted soldiers.

July 14, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The National Security Agency (NSA) has selected five more schools for the National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Operations Program, which is designed to cultivate more U.S. cyber professionals. These schools are now designated as Cyber Operations CAEs for the 2014-2019 academic years:

July 10, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor

Research on the state of cybersecurity of the U.S. critical infrastructure companies reveals that 67 percent have experienced at least one security compromise that led to the loss of confidential information or disruption to operations during the past year. In addition, 24 percent of a survey’s respondents said the compromises involved insider attacks or negligent privileged information technology users. Only 6 percent provide cybersecurity training for all employees.

July 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The inertial navigation system (INS) market size is estimated to be $2.75 billion in 2014 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.98 percent to reach $4.63 billion by 2019, according to Research and Markets, a Dublin-based market analysis firm. Though North America and Europe have the largest market for INS in terms of commercial and defense aviation, military and naval applications, a lot of INS development programs have been launched in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

June 26, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Four companies have been tapped to design the next generation of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). They are Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, The Boeing Company, Karem Aircraft Incorporated and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.

Current designs of VTOL aircraft have not been able to increase top speeds without sacrificing range, according to the agency. The VTOL Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane) “seeks to overcome these challenges through innovative cross-pollination between the fixed-wing and the rotary-wing worlds, to enable radical improvements in vertical and cruise flight capabilities,” the agency states.

June 26, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. Army now has a modified radar system that can detect roadside bombs, day or night and in any weather, from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

New Mexico-based Sandia National Laboratories developed a modified miniature synthetic aperture radar (MiniSAR) system mounted on UAVs. While they have been demonstrating the technology, also called the Copperhead system, for troops deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq since 2009, it was not until recently that Sandia Labs transferred it to the Army, according to a company news release.

June 12, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The White House is going green. Well, more like slate gray. And only on the roof.

The White House’s recently installed rooftop solar panels generate renewable energy from the sun and help in lowering the residence’s energy costs. Over the past eight years, use of solar electricity in the United States has increased 10-fold, and added 23,682 jobs last year, mostly in the installation field, according to a survey by the nonprofit Solar Foundation.

June 10, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has authorized the first commercial drone to fly over land, giving the OK to energy giant BP Exploration (Alaska) Incorporated, which can use it to provide mapping, geographic information system (GIS) and other commercial information services at its Prudhoe Bay oil field, the largest oil field in the United States.

June 9, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

In a new twist, middle and high school participants of the fourth annual SeaPerch National Challenge were able to monitor their underwater robots as they navigated obstacle courses thanks to technology sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Foundation, according to press releases.

June 4, 2014
By Jim Sweeney

An employee at the Department of Veterans Affairs' Veterans Health Administration (VHA) received the 2013 Federal Library Technician of the Year award from the Federal Library and Information Network (FEDLINK). Brandan Carroll, a library technician with the VHA’s Veterans Integrated Service Network 1 (VISN1), Bedford, Massachusetts, was recognized for "exceptional technical competency and commitment to service excellence." He has used new technology to improve VISN1 library services, created new offerings for patrons and aided his colleagues in improving work processes.

June 5, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) has teamed with the U.S. Navy to use naval technology to better forecast ocean currents and possible dangers that now can be employed for commercial and public use, according to a press release.

June 2, 2014
By Sandra Jontz
Robert Cardillo has been named the next director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. He takes over as leader in October 2014.

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