Air Force Technologies

July 1, 2013
By Max Cacas

Rear Adm. Robert Day Jr., USCG, assistant U.S. Coast Guard commandant for command, control, communications and information technology, sees the Joint Information Environment as an opportunity to resolve some of the most pressing information technology problems in the years to come as he faces a future with more challenges and fewer resources. He says a military-wide common operating environment will establish “enterprisewide mandates that programs cannot ignore.”

June 1, 2013
By George I. Seffers
A U.S. Marine Corps F-35 aircraft is escorted by two Marine F/A-18 Hornets as it flies toward Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Later this year, the Defense Department will establish a program of record to ensure communications between different generations of fighter aircraft, and that program will feed into the Joint Aerial Layer Network vision.

The concept connects disparate networks to provide greater information to warfighters.

U.S. military officials envision one day being able to network together virtually all airborne assets, providing data to warfighters in the air, on the ground and at sea, even under the most harsh conditions. Major milestones in the coming months and years will bring that concept closer to a fielded capability.

June 1, 2013
By Max Cacas

The Air Force encounters turbulence of the digital kind when it underestimates the complexity of moving the service to a single network.

The U.S. Air Force’s migration to a new enterprise network known as AFNET will be at least two years late in completion because the project turned out to be more complicated than planners anticipated.

June 1, 2013
By Rita Boland

Integrating air land, and sea forces on a monthly basis saves money and creates continuity of operations.

Technology experts at the U.S. Air Force’s 4th Fighter Wing based at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, are networking joint units up and down the East Coast to provide unique training opportunities for the modern military. Through their efforts, advancements are being made to further the Air-Sea Battle Concept, simultaneously improving coalition interoperability. The events allow for interservice and international training without strain on organizations’ budgets.

June 1, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman
U.S. Air Force officers monitor moving target indicators during a training exercise for the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS).

Costs, security and operations requirements share top billing on priority list.

The U.S. Air Force is looking to overhaul its networking capabilities to meet new taskings in the post-Southwest-Asia era. Limited resources are changing the way the Air Force moves information throughout the battlespace, so the service must confront its challenges through innovative approaches and cooperative efforts.

June 1, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman
U.S. Air Force personnel conduct cyber operations in an exercise at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. The Air Force is looking to restructure both its cyber organization and its cyber operations to account for changes in the virtual domain.

Roles are changing as the service reshapes its digital future.

The U.S. Air Force is subjecting itself to a cyber reality check with an eye toward restructuring the discipline both operationally and organizationally. A working group is parsing the service’s activities in this domain, and this effort involves interaction with the other services as well as the commercial sector.

March 26, 2013
By Max Cacas

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has begun internal discussions regarding a multiaward contract for cloud computing services.

Anthony Montemarano, DISA’s director of strategic planning and information, told a briefing of industry leaders Monday that he and his agency are firm believers in cloud computing. “When you look at some of the functions that we perform in government, a lot of it can be provided in the commercial cloud. We have to come to grips with the value proposition,” he explains. He believes that the Defense Department’s cloud computing strategy must include DISA cloud resources, commercial cloud services and privately owned cloud services where appropriate.

January 1, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

The shift of U.S. power to the Asia-Pacific will not be successful without an infusion of new technology and a dedicated effort to defeat a wide range of adversaries. The new strategic emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region poses a new set of challenges, mandating solutions that run the gamut from technological capabilities to cultural outreach and diplomacy.

On the military side, direct challenges range from dealing with cyberspace attacks to providing missile defense in a large-scale conflict. On the geopolitical side, centuries of conflict and confrontation among neighbors must be overcome if a region-wide security environment enabling economic growth is to be implemented.

November 30, 2012
By Max Cacas

U.S. Air Force Cyber Summit raises leadership awareness on service’s roles and responsibilities.

December 1, 2012
By George I. Seffers
Three 100-foot towers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, provide the Air Force Research Laboratory Sensors Directorate with new capabilities to perform radar research. The actual radars atop each tower were relocated from Rome, N.Y., as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure.

U.S. Air Force researchers use 3-D printers and
 other cutting-edge concepts 
to create
 the next 
innovations.

There is no Moore’s Law for antennas because size reduction and performance improvement will always be subject to the limitations imposed by electromagnetic physics and material properties. But steady advances in computer technologies, such as electromagnetic modeling and simulation and 3-D printing, enable antenna technology researchers to push the limits of possibility on behalf of the warfighters.

September 20, 2012

U.S. Air Force organizations soon could begin awarding task orders to 12 small businesses under the potential $960 million Network Centrics-2 (NETCENTS-2) contract—a vehicle designed to make it faster and easier for warfighters to obtain innovative information technology services and capabilities. The NETCENTS-2 team already awarded its Application Services Small Business Companion contracts, which were the first of two application services contracts that will be available to Air Force personnel. The second services contract is a full and open competition that is still in source selection.

June 2012
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

Whether above, on land or in cyberspace, mission assurance is the goal behind advancements in power sources.

June 2012
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Magazine

 

The Reaper remotely piloted aircraft carries Gorgon Stare, a first wide-area motion imagery that can videotape a 4-kilometer radius of the surveillance area from 12 angles.

The U.S. Air Force crafts plans to harvest knowledge from increased information flow.

June 2012
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

 

The single spiral image is an off-angle scanning electron microscope image of a fabricated circular polarizer. A circular polarizing camera could help warfighters filter out unwanted light.

Technology may shed new light on situational awareness.

June 2012
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

 

Soldiers from the 4th Sustainment Brigade use the largest ground vehicles in the U.S. Army’s Transportation Corps to haul an M1A2 Abrams Tank. The unit experienced severe network disruptions during the drawdown in Iraq.

Signal officers offer advice gleaned from a chaotic drawdown in Iraq.

September 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

September 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

 

A U.S. Air Force F-16 banks over Afghanistan during a recent operation. The Air Force is shifting focus to take a broad servicewide approach to networking and information operations.

Joint operations define U.S. Air Force networking.

September 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

 

A variety of objects ranging from active satellites to space debris increasingly crowd near-earth space.

The U.S.Air Force aims to replace its obsolete space debris detector.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman

 

A U.S. Air Force Minotaur rocket launches TacSat-3 and two other research satellites into orbit from Wallops Island, Virginia. Future Air Force satellites may be smaller and more numerous to provide greater flexibility of operation.

Even with long-term vision, scientists plan for the unexpected technology edge.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010
By Rita Boland

 

Airmen from the 1st Combat Communications Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, set up satellite equipment during a training exercise at Aviano Air Base, Italy. The training was preparation for the largest Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) transformation in the history of Air Force communications.

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