SIGNAL Online Exclusives

August 19, 2010
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Years from now, engineers and scientists across the U.S. Defense Department may double-click an icon on their desktop computer screens and access the phenomenal processing power of the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Defense Department Supercomputing Resource Center (DSRC) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Those computers are currently capable of processing 350 trillion calculations per second. 

July 29, 2010
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Speed was the focus of the Trident Warrior 2010 (TW10) U.S. Navy experiment: increasing the speed of communications, assessments and especially acquisition. Participants in the event evaluated nearly 100 technologies that touched upon areas such as networks; coalition information operations; command and control; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. With the support of the U.S. Marine Corps, early feedback about the experiment reveals that TW10 resulted in resolution of some maritime domain awareness doctrine issues.

July 9, 2010
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

An ultra-fast search algorithm that finds patterns in social networks could impact national security, businesses and individuals.

A team of university researchers has developed a computer program that can be used to uncover covert agents and terrorist groups communicating via social media sites such as Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Twitter.

July 20, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

With the development of the Afghan Air Force six to nine months behind schedule, the commander of the Combined Air Power Transition Force is pushing for more technology, teaching tools and NATO support.

July 1, 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Government agencies and other organizations responding to the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January were able to coordinate efforts better thanks to the deployment of new information-sharing technology. The latest version of the All Partners Access Network (APAN), formerly known as the Asia-Pacific Area Network, made its operational debut during the crisis as a tool to help various nontraditional partners share information in a lateral way.

June 18, 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

A factor as simple as purchasing desktop computers instead of laptop units may be a key clog holding back the flow of telework among U.S. federal government employees. A recent study has determined that only 23 percent of federal employees telework regularly or exclusively, compared to 64 percent of private-sector employees. And, 93 percent of federal employees state that being able to telework would make working for an organization more desirable.

June 24, 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Interactive site provides the public with a responder's view of the oil spill.

June 10, 2010
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Rarely does a week go by that doesn't include a military-sponsored exercise, experiment or demonstration. As participants ready for the event, excitement mounts. During the event, there don’t seem to be enough hours in a day to accomplish tasks as troops immerse themselves in the job at hand and the days fly by all too quickly. Usually, the purpose of these activities is to find out if a technology or a concept has merit. But as the event winds down and draws to a close, participants pack their bags, file their reports, shake hands with each other and return to their “real jobs.”

June 2, 2010
By Lt. Col. Patricia S. Collins, USA, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

One of the most significant challenges the U.S. commander in Afghanistan has faced is the technical capabilities needed for command and control. The commander has not been able to obtain the most current information at the right time to make the most timely, effective decisions. This has been largely because of the lack of a single, classified network that facilitates information sharing across all coalition partners.

May 26, 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Friday, May 21, 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

May 17, 2010
by Henry Kenyon, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

A package of sensors, software and navigation equipment will soon permit U.S. Army ground robots, trucks and armored vehicles to move around a battlefield with minimal human supervision. The Autonomous Navigation System (ANS) allows robots to perceive and follow paths and other vehicles. The system recently completed its critical design review and is now moving on to the prototype fabrication stage.

May 06, 2010
by Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Update May 11: The Senate has confirmed Keith Alexander's promotion to general.

April 14, 2010
by Helen Mosher, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

When it comes to evaluating security risks and ensuring they are avoided, it always boils down to the people involved.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
by Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The U.S. Army has unveiled to the public a new robot that aids troops in their fight against improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Intended to attach to more than 8,000 other robotic assets already deployed in the field, Tanglefoot employs simple tools to clear routes that military members must traverse. Developers of this new machine believe its capabilities will help save lives by improving the security of roadways and by keeping soldiers away from explosives during the detection and disarming processes.

March 11, 2010
by Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Multinational operational commands in Afghanistan and the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) are shaping their requirements to upgrade the International Force Tracking System (IFTS). Although not finalized, one new requirement calls for a system capacity increase of at least 500 percent. Accomplishing this task will involve configuration and software changes and will likely include replacing certain components to facilitate capacity growth.

Friday, March 19, 2010
by Henry S. Kenyon, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

A recently released publication is designed to help facilitate information sharing across civilian and military organizations in the U.S. Government. Produced as a joint effort by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Defense Department and the U.S. intelligence community, the document creates a common information security framework for the federal government and the contractors who support it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

DARPA no longer has a corner on the market for reaching out to nontraditional sources for new ideas. The U.S. Army has announced the Apps for the Army (A4A) challenge, a three-month outreach to the service’s active duty, National Guard and civilian employees that will award a total of $30,000 to the top 40 individuals or teams. Winners will be announced in June, and demonstrations will take place at the LandWarNet 2010 conference, Tampa, Florida, in August.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010
by Maryann Lawlor

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has released its 2010 Campaign Plan. Although designated as this year’s plan, the document actually lays the groundwork for DISA activities that will take place during the next two to five years. While it may appear ambitious, the agency’s officials believe that it is absolutely necessary to reach beyond DISA’s grasp as it heads into the future.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010
by Katie Packard

The U.S. Defense Department’s weekly podcast series, “Armed With Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military,” emphasizes the important roles science and technology play in military operations by interviewing scientists, engineers, policymakers and other personnel. Not only does the series highlight cutting-edge technologies and capabilities, it also encourages information sharing and collaboration across the government and the military.