November 2011

November 30, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

NASA's final space shuttle mission did not mark the end of U.S. space travel. Instead, scientists and engineers now have their sights set on exploring deeper into the solar system with plans to enable trips to Mars and asteroids. A plethora of projects are testing how to supply the food, liquids and fuel necessary for such journeys.

November 15, 2011
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Connections

One look at any professional’s calendar illustrates just how much they must love meetings. After all, it’s a pretty good bet that there are meetings scheduled for Monday morning, late Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday at lunch and again at 3 p.m. Thursday looks open, but Friday has three meetings … morning, noon and night. Important information is disseminated during these gatherings, and the work sitting on their desks and computer screens couldn’t possibly be as important as the insights they’ll gain from their co-workers during a three-hour meeting, right?

November 14, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

November 28, 2011

Here’s an interesting look into the inner workings of international cyber criminals by virtue of covertly recorded conversation snippets. The characteristics of similar processes in Western governments, particularly here in the United States, are well known because they are described in detail in the media. Our processes exist to provide accountability, budget constraint, quality assurance and fair competition. The bad guys have a slightly different take on how to go about things.

November 17, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The community could mitigate smaller reductions with a new approach by veteran officials.

The U.S. intelligence community faces the possibility of devastating budget cuts if the congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction does not reach an agreement by November 23, 2011. The community is not ready for the massive reductions that would be imposed if that congressional committee fails to reach agreement, says a senior defense official.

November 15, 2011
By Jordan Garegnani, SIGNAL Connections

AFCEA currently has more than 125 chapters and subchapters in more than 30 countries worldwide. These chapters are usually located near government and military installations, providing a convenient place where industry and government can meet in an ethical forum to discuss government’s technology needs and industry’s solutions.

November 10, 2011
George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

U.S. Army officials are planning improvements to the Army’s mobile cloud computing platform commonly used in Afghanistan. The next version of the Battle Command Common Services (BCCS) system will mark the Army’s first attempt to align the cloud platform with the Common Operating Environment. It will improve interoperability between the operations and intelligence communities, ultimately improving situational awareness for warfighters.

November 15, 2011
By Rachel Eisenhower, SIGNAL Connections

Leadership, mentoring, networking and fundraising—just a handful of the skills that helped Colleen Dilly achieve success both in her career and in her position with the Central Maryland Chapter. As director of recruiting for Data Computer Corporation of America, she works to attract talented individuals and match their skills with job opportunities. This ability to build a strong team shines through in her role as leader of the chapter’s annual Race for Excellence 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run.

November 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

 

Intel Lab’s experimental single-chip cloud computer is a 48-core concept microprocessor that is like a microcosm of a cloud data center. The architecture could offer a solution to some of the issues chip developers face.

These tiny technologies will influence what systems can accomplish in the years to come.

November 2, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The future is in the East, and the United States must adapt to ensure that it can meet the challenges of the Asia-Pacific region in the 21st century. These challenges are complex and diverse, and the U.S. military must carry out an increasingly changing mission under tightening budget constraints.

November 2, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office and the U.S. Air Force have created a coordinated strategy for certifying commercial launch vehicles to send their payloads into space, including Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle missions. The document will provide commonalities across the organizations while allowing each to specify its own criteria. Through the effort, more companies will compete for the contracts.

November 3, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

It may take a village of computer experts to build the next generation of networks as access, identification, applications and security concerns weigh heavily on planners and managers alike. New networking trends such as the proliferation of social media are complicating efforts to find solutions to thorny problems such as cybermarauders, who are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

November 2011
By Kent R. Schneider, SIGNAL Magazine

 
Government information technology is an area rife with issues for discussion. These include enterprise initiatives, mobile computing, the cloud in all its forms, cybersecurity and many more. However, one activity is the key to making all government information technology useful and secure: the common operating environment.

November 2011
By Capt. Steven Pugh, USAF, SIGNAL Magazine

 

With the secure mobile communications initiative, users will be able to stay reliably connected to receive the most important data.

The National Security Agency is evaluating potential secure mobile architectures.

November 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

 

A Czech mobile company command post uses ruggedized laptops (inset) to help provide tactical command and control for mobile forces. The Czech military must upgrade its communications and information systems both to accommodate technology capabilities and to suit new international mission obligations.

November 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

 

U.S. Army soldiers adjust cables on a satellite communications dish. Army communications and information systems are becoming more sophisticated and reaching further down to the force.

Smaller is better for Signal Corps units and their equipment.

November 2011
By Paul A. Strassmann, SIGNAL Magazine

A successful Defense Department transition to platform-as-a-service computing will require adjusting both funds and mindsets.

The tight coupling that currently binds Defense Department architecture—the infrastructure, communications, databases, applications, security and desktops into more than 2,200 unique silos—must be separated. Right now, each silo is the consequence of contracts in which all software is assembled into a one-of-a-kind collection of codes. The resulting software is costly to maintain; applications are not interoperable; and lack of compatibility complicates the exchange of data.

November 2011
By Michael A. Robinson, SIGNAL Magazine

A veteran-led company designs satellite applications for mobile devices.

Jim Ramsey never dreamed he would become a leader in the satellite communications industry. He just wanted to be a soldier. But his U.S. Army superiors had other ideas. They decided to transfer him from infantry to combat support, specifically as an officer in the Signal Corps. Ramsey was anything but happy about his impending transfer in the late 1980s.

November 2011
By Cdre. Robert Howell, RN (Ret.), SIGNAL Magazine

Allied Command Transformation faces a multitude of challenges across the alliance.

New security concerns are vying with the global financial crisis as NATO’s Allied Command Transformation attempts to keep abreast of the dynamic field of global security. Gen. Stéphane Abrial, FRAF, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, opened the eighth ACT Industry Day held in London in September by emphasizing that affordability is today’s important word.

November 2011
By Capt. Joseph A. Grace Jr., USN (Ret.), SIGNAL Magazine

 
The word transparency is used in many different places but with different results. Transparency is what we want in Congress, friendships, relationships and processes, as well as in city council meetings, school board decisions, neighborhood association rules and acquisition strategies. However, in today’s world, very few things are opaque—particularly when it comes to the process of government procurement.

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