Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, are continuing to develop a robotic technology that can transform into a virtually infinite number of shapes. In fact, the breakthrough has led to some surprising spin-off projects, including research into aircraft control actuators and medical devices.
SIGNAL Online Exclusives
The U.S. Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) is in the first stages of a five-stage plan to virtualize its computers at facilities across the globe in an attempt to save resources. Though the program itself has no direct connection to the recent sequester cuts that went into effect earlier this month, such projects could present possible cost-saving options to budget-constrained organizations.
NASA is in the midst of its first phase of flight tests to determine the effects of alternative biofuels on the emissions and performance of jet engines flying at altitude.
The program is called the Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions, or ACCESS, according to Dr. Ruben Del Rosario, project manager of NASA’s Subsonic Fixed Wing project. The goal is to investigate how biofuels perform compared with traditional jet fuel and also to measure the environmental impact of biofuels. The results of the tests are significant because of the growing popularity of biofuels for both the U.S. Air Force and Navy as well as private sector aviation.
The United States quickly must adopt a segmented approach to its military forces to ensure that key elements can survive a comprehensive cyber attack, according to a recently released Defense Science Board (DSB) Task Force on Resilient Military Systems. This approach entails a risk reduction strategy that combines deterrence, refocused intelligence capabilities and improved cyber defense. The effort must constitute “a broad systems approach … grounded in its technical and economic feasibility” to face a cyber threat that has “potential consequences similar in some ways to the nuclear threat of the Cold War,” the DSB report says.
U.S. Navy technology may allow in-flight conversion from helicopter to fixed wing.
Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory are developing unmanned aircraft technology that will allow the conversion from a vertical take-off and landing system to a fixed-wing craft during in-flight operation. The conversion capability will provide the take-off and landing flexibility of a helicopter with the longer range, higher speeds and lower wear and tear of an airplane.
The sea service seeks to extend NMCI’s lifetime just in case its replacement is delayed.
The Department of the Navy is looking to lengthen the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) continuity of services contract if its new Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) program is delayed beyond its expected April 30, 2014 switchover date. But, even if NGEN proceeds according to schedule, the NMCI contract ceiling still will be exceeded in September 2013, requiring additional funds to keep the legacy network running.
|NASA’s new TDRS-K communications satellite, built by Boeing, features new electronics and better power management to serve future space missions.|
The TDRS constellation adds to its lifetime, but NASA planners already are looking at revolutionary technologies for the subsequent generation of orbiters.
The Long Beach Police Department dive team adopts new homeland security equipment.
The Long Beach, California, police department dive team is now using a newly acquired search and recovery system to help protect the local port, shipping lanes and critical infrastructure.
The U.S. Army is finalizing its official report on the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 13.1 even as it prepares for the next iteration of the event and Capability Set 14. Soldiers are tweaking processes to make the exercises more valuable while working closer with industry to speed fielding as much as possible under tight acquisition regulations.
One day after unveiling a long-awaited executive order concerning a wide-range of cybersecurity concerns, President Barack Obama’s top cybersecurity advisers admit that the order only goes so far in dealing with pressing Internet security needs. They say that the order is only a “down payment” and no substitute for permanent congressional legislation on the matter.
Imagine a wire that can stretch eight to 10 times its original length and still send crystal clear audio from your music player to your earphones, or imagine accidentally cutting a cable to a tactical radio and repairing the cut just by physically putting the wires back together.
Those are just two of the many possible products that could result from materials science research now underway at North Carolina State University under the direction of Dr. Michael Dickey, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the university.
Over the past month, the U.S. Army has consolidated two directorates in an effort to continue improving agile acquisition. Combining the offices is designed to allow more efficient and effective cooperation, enhance long-term planning capabilities and boost the service’s ability to acquire an overall system of systems.
The purpose of the attack is purely robbery, says a cyber expert, who has shared his McAfee report with government officials.
NIE efforts do not pan out as expected; neither do some other rapid procurement approaches.
The U.S. Army’s Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) events are not working as well as anticipated in moving new technologies into the force, say two Army officials. This lack of success is accompanied by drawbacks in rapid acquisition strategies that may lead to a change in traditional acquisition approaches for communications and information systems.
Bryon Young, executive director, Army Contracting Command - Aberdeen Proving Ground, explains that the NIE process creates problems by attaining some of its goals.
U.S. Pacific Command’s J-5 gives perspective on regional changes, troop rotations, China and extremists.
Military activities in the Asia-Pacific region have become more focused since the release of a defense strategy a few months ago that places renewed attention on the global area. Through U.S. Pacific Command's (PACOM's) recent theater campaign plan, leaders are telling the subordinate military-service components to report back in a year on how efforts are working while deconflicting duplicate programs.
The report on the power transmission system was delayed by government officials for security reasons.
U.S. Air Force Cyber Summit raises leadership awareness on service’s roles and responsibilities.
|Ronald E. Meyers delves into quantum physics research at the U. S. Army Research Laboratory. Meyers, fellow researcher Keith Deacon and Gert Cauwenberghs, a professor of bioengineering and biology at the University of California at San Diego, earned a patent for a futuristic neural computer chip.|
Small business contracts make up 32 percent of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) business, with an average of 3,500 new contracts added every year. But it can be challenging for small companies to take advantage of these opportunities. Breaking into the DHS market as a small business is not impossible, according to Bob Namejko, industry liaison, DHS, but it is difficult.
Namejko says that one of the most important things a company can do when submitting a proposal to the DHS is to differentiate itself from its competition. The company not only needs to know who the competition is but also how to read between the lines when the request for proposal (RFP) goes out.