January 2002

January 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

Navy entry token replaces former identification techniques.

In the near future, access to U.S. naval vessels and facilities will be accomplished with the swipe of a card. The service is issuing smart cards for entry control and record-keeping purposes to all of its personnel. The rollout is part of a larger program to provide the devices for all U.S. Defense Department employees.

January 2002
By Sharon Berry

Quantum properties may improve precision of object locators while adding security.

Laser-based position location systems are entering a new era that is based on quantum mechanics. The research could lead to the dawn of technologies such as entangled lasers that surpass a fundamental limit on the accuracy of classical systems and add a built-in cryptographic capability.

January 2002
By John Lillington

Real-time processing enables rapid detection of fleeting signals.

A new digital signal processing technology originally developed for the commercial world now is being incorporated in military systems where it offers significant improvements over current techniques. Known as pipelined frequency transform, the architecture is a licensable intellectual property of cores, or engines, that can be included in programmable logic devices such as semiconductors or system-on-chip designs. Major defense application areas include advanced radar, signals intelligence, secure wireless communications and electronic warfare.

January 2002
By the SIGNAL Staff

Hardy threat analyses protect mission-essential foreign affairs networks.

The U.S. State Department is conducting “junkyard dog” network penetration tests and vulnerability assessments at U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide. Simultaneously, a network intrusion detection program will provide rapid warning of unauthorized access to the department’s far-flung sensitive information systems.

January 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

Access control program manages user authorization, authentication on multiple platforms.

A software-based access control system offers administrators and planners a secure option for wireless and online communications. Capable of working with legacy technologies, the scalable program forms a layered defense against unauthorized entry or use of network components.

January 2002
By Robert K. Ackerman

Searching for weapons of mass destruction spawns spin-offs that can serve homeland security.

While analysts now are keeping a sharper eye on possible weapons proliferation, some of the technologies they employ may play an increasingly important role in maintaining homeland security. In the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States, experts charged with detecting overseas programs to develop weapons of mass destruction are refocusing their efforts on a new list of nations that pose more immediate threats.

January 2002
By Col. Alan D. Campen, USAF (Ret.)

The tragic events of September 11 provide ghastly substance to the metaphor of asymmetric warfare. And, they add credence to prescient but nebulous warnings of threats to homeland security and concomitant vulnerabilities of critical infrastructures.

While public switched networks (PSNs), cellular telephones, wireless networks and the Internet—the backbone and heart of the U.S. information infrastructure—were not prime targets, the cascading consequence of collateral damage to information systems was laid bare. The information infrastructure was found wanting in support to intelligence collection, law enforcement, disaster mitigation and recovery efforts.

January 2002
By Robert K. Ackerman

The new look to the service is complemented by a new security mission.

U.S. Army planners are building a new intelligence architecture that ties closely with military, civil government and law enforcement activities both for rapid overseas engagement and for homeland defense. A new plan outlines an Army that meshes with the intelligence community as a whole to fill future requirements in its multimission agenda.

January 2002
By Maryann Lawlor

Companies seek best ways to support employee members of the National Guard and Reserve.

Despite a shaky economy, businesses are contributing to homeland security and the war against terrorism by backing their workers who are guardsmen or reservists. Although it is still too early to determine how an extensive call-up may affect human resources, many firms are researching their legal requirements in terms of pay, benefits and re-employment. Several are then going beyond the mandatory to the extraordinary to ensure that their employees can serve their country without worrying about their families or civilian jobs.

January 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

New acquisition system increases over sight, speeds project delivery.

The British government is employing streamlined procurement procedures that change the way military projects are bid, selected and deployed. Moving away from traditional single-platform and service-based methods, the process utilizes a flexible approach that meets changing national defense requirements.

January 2002
By Vice Adm. Herbert A. Browne, USN (Ret.)

Good organizations do not exist in a vacuum, and AFCEA International is no exception. This association, like other dynamic organizations, is a work in progress. AFCEA’s leadership constantly strives to improve its service to its members, and part of that mission is to ensure that its members and guests fully benefit from their affiliation.

This association serves a multifaceted role. Rather than focusing exclusively on one aspect of a single discipline, AFCEA’s reach is broad without being shallow, and its activities span a range of different functions.

January 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

Public and private sectors ponder new ways to do business.

U.S. government and business organizations are re-evaluating their communications network design and resiliency following the September 11 terrorist attacks. Planners are now emphasizing dispersed, redundant, military-style systems that can rapidly retrieve and update lost data or switch to alternate transmission modes to maintain connectivity.