Technology

April 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
A new augmented reality platform will help pilots train in the air with digital assets.  Design by SIGNAL Art Director of DOD photo by Tech. Sgt. Ned Johnston, Air Force Thunderbirds

A technology that harnesses augmented reality will enable the U.S. Air Force to train in the air for initial pilot qualification, dogfighting, refueling and maneuvering. The A-TARS augmented reality platform, or Airborne Tactical Augmented Reality System, developed by California-based Red 6, provides virtual opponents, such as the fifth generation Chinese J-20 and Russian Su-57, for pilot’s aerial dogfighting training runs, as well as other aerial digital assets to develop and enhance different piloting skills.

April 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) MedUSA additive manufacturing machine incorporates large-scale 3D printing to build and finish components simultaneously. This and other systems the laboratory is working on are part of an effort to advance the state of the art in U.S. manufacturing technologies.  Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy

From elaborate buildings constructed by on-site 3D printers to synthetic fish for testing hydroelectric projects, U.S. national laboratory scientists are exploring the state of the art in additive manufacturing. Their goal is to develop new techniques that can be transitioned to commercial applications as well as explore advances that could revolutionize industrial manufacturing.

April 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
An automatic 3D printer creates a small robot figure on an additive manufacturing platform. The technology is ideally suited for custom manufacture of small parts and items.  Shutterstock/Kyrylo Glivin

Additive manufacturing, also described as 3D printing, is opening up new pathways to production. While many of these are dead ends as economics and logistics limit some of the hoped-for applications, others offer the potential to be game changers in the manufacturing arena.

Printed body parts are taking shape in laboratories, but printed industrial parts may not always fit the bill. Issues such as reliability, integrity and longevity must be determined on a case-by-case basis as custom parts are devised and built.

April 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
National Institute of Standards and Technology researchers have developed a new photonic sensor that could prove beneficial for growing human tissue—skin, muscle, bones or internal organs—in the laboratory. The device might ultimately be implanted in the body to monitor reactions to organ or tissue transplants.  Images by Jennifer Lauren Lee/NIST and Shutterstock. Edited by Chris D’Elia

A new, highly precise photon sensor could help advance the science of growing human tissue, such as bones, skin or vital organs, in the laboratory and could benefit warfighters and society. The potential applications include monitoring environmental conditions, such as poison gases on the battlefield or toxins in the home.

April 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Researchers generated a 3D surface using an artificial intelligence algorithm. The ribs in the different layers of the lattice are programmed to grow and shrink in response to a change in temperature, mapping the facial features of mathematician and scientist Carl Friedrich Gauss.  Illustration combines an image by Lori Sanders/Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science with a portrait of Carl Friedrich Gauss painted by Christian Albrecht Jensen in 1840. Edited by Chris D’Elia

Researchers recently announced that they can use a groundbreaking 4D-printing process to create material capable of morphing into the likeness of a human face, the most complex shape-shifting structure ever. The research may one day lead to advances in dynamic communications, soft electronics, smart fabrics, tissue engineering for medical purposes, robotics and an array of commercial applications.

April 1, 2020
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

Many people looking at the technology of the future have focused on electronics and software. While these two have fueled the information revolution, another technology is poised to impose significant changes on life at large. Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, has the potential to alter the way items are made and economies of scale are leveraged.

April 1, 2020
By Jennifer Miller

The Secure 5G and Beyond Act, the Promoting United States Wireless Leadership Act and the Prague Proposals have topped the headlines in recent months. All three are focused on security.

March 31, 2020
By Jerry Dotson, VP, Public Sector, Avaya
Credit: Shutterstock/Yurchanka Siarhei

Quantum computers will revolutionize information technology, ushering in an era where certain types of calculations will be performed with almost unimaginable speed. Practical applications will include healthcare disciplines such as molecular biology and drug discovery; big data mining; financial services such as portfolio analysis and fraud detection; and artificial intelligence and machine learning.

March 31, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
The Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is modeling the effects of drug molecules to stop the COVID-19 coronavirus. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL

A national laboratory supercomputer used to model neutron star collisions now is peering into inner space to explore potential vulnerabilities in COVID-19. The Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), described by officials there as the world’s most powerful and smartest, is matching small-molecule drug compounds against the coronavirus in the hope of blunting the virus’s activities on two fronts.

March 16, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson

The Army xTechSearch team announced that due to concerns about COVID-19, the technology pitch for the xTechSearch 4 Semifinals will now be held via a live-streamed event open to the public.

The competition seeks out innovative, dual-use technologies emerging in the U.S. technology, entrepreneur and small business ecosystems.

The interactive, live-stream prize competition will focus on 20 companies participating in the xTechSearch 4 Semifinals and will allow the contestants to showcase their technologies and make a supporting business plan proposal to a panel of judges.

Up to 10 participants with the highest-ranked pitches will receive cash prizes of $120,000 and advance to the finals.

March 16, 2020
By Capt. Jason Nunes
A drone operated by airmen flies over a training area at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, in October, while capturing aerial intelligence during a two-week military exercise. Software for unmanned systems goes through extensive and time-consuming testing, but machine learning could change that. Credit: Alejandro Pena, Air Force

A mushroom cloud explosion in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945 forever changed the nature of warfare. Science had given birth to weapons so powerful they could end humanity. To survive, the United States had to develop new strategies and policies that responsibly limited nuclear weapon proliferation and use. Warfare is again changing as modern militaries integrate autonomous and semiautonomous weapon systems into their arsenals. The United States must act swiftly to maximize the potential of these new technologies or risk losing its dominance.

March 11, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Lt. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford, USA, Army Chief Information Officer/G-6, listens to attendees at the AFCEA Army Signal Conference 2019.

“There’s a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it’s not about who’s got the most bullets. It’s about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think … it’s all about the information.” These lines are from the 1992 movie Sneakers, a film exploring the possibility of a decryption machine that could break any code, obliterating the ability to protect secrets. Nearly three decades later, the fictitious decoder still doesn’t exist, but the importance of data has grown exponentially.

March 5, 2020
 
The U.S. Army secretary has announced the start of the fifth Army Expeditionary Technology Search competition, also known as xTechSearch. The competition seeks disruptive concepts and technologies to support the Army's modernization priorities. Credit: Derplan 13/Shutterstock

Bruce Jette, the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, has announced the start of the fifth Army Expeditionary Technology Search competition, also known as xTechSearch.

The xTechSearch competition seeks novel, disruptive concepts and technologies to support the Army's top modernization priorities, medical technologies, military-engineering technologies and other critical technology focus areas that can provide technology advancement or enable cost savings throughout the Army systems' life cycle.

March 3, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
SIGNAL Magazine interviews Pat Sullivan, NAVWAR executive director, during WEST 2020.

The U.S. Navy is cloning ship systems by creating digital twins that will help improve procurement and training times. Part of the service’s migration to the digital environment, the digital twins project is being incorporated into the 26 ships of the USS Theodore Roosevelt strike group. It will allow new systems to develop, and sailors to train, in their deployment environment.

March 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Army sergeant communicates via radio on maneuvers in Germany. Army researchers are looking to incorporate new technologies into the service’s communications network to be able to maintain information supremacy in future combat operations.  U.S. Army photo

Long-extant technologies will team with advances only dreamed of in laboratories if planners have their way in building the Army network of the future. The service is revamping its approach to networking in light of changes to the warfighting picture, and its scientists are working on a multitude of complementary technologies and capabilities that will be needed to empower future Army networks.

March 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
The greatest threat to the global electronics supply may be a break at a weak point in the chain.  Shutterstock/Sashkin

The electronics supply chain to the West faces a greater threat from total cutoff than from having its components tinkered with by malefactors, according to some experts. Many measures currently in place to help ensure quality also serve to thwart saboteurs and counterfeiters. However, a far greater menace looms in the potential for a complete damming of the flow of chips and circuit boards, as the United States and most Western countries lack the infrastructure to pick up fabrication and manufacturing on short notice.

March 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The Army’s Integrated Tactical Network will leverage emerging mid-earth-orbit satellite communications, among other advanced technologies.  Shutterstock/Andrey Armyagov/NASA

The U.S. Army’s work on advancing its tactical network through its “capability package construct” will pull in significant capacity, added resiliency and interoperability, leaders say. The Army is leveraging more commercial solutions than ever, as well as its own Science and Technology Directorate research and development, to bring a competitive edge.

As part of its latest pursuit of solutions for the Integrated Tactical Network concept, or ITN, the Army is going after high capacity commercial satellite communications, protected waveforms, mid-earth-orbit constellations, and space-based Internet.

March 1, 2020
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

The electronics supply chain is the aorta to the global economy. Both the military and the commercial sectors rely on it to provide the lifeblood necessary to flourish, yet the security of that same supply chain, with its ubiquitous importance, potentially holds the key to their demise.

Various threats menace the security of the electronics supply chain. It is susceptible to attacks from many different vectors and from a diverse set of actors. These attacks can serve any number of purposes and take on many guises.

March 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman

One of the more exotic technologies being explored for Army networking is ultraviolet communications. It can be employed for non-line-of-sight (LOS) communications or direct LOS, and it is harder for an adversary to detect, as atmospheric absorption limits its range. This also reduces an enemy’s ability to jam the signal.

March 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The Army is working to advance how it integrates sensors to improve intelligence and Mission Command capabilities, says Brig. Gen. Robert Collins, USA, program executive officer, Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors.  U.S. Army/PEO IEW&S

The ability to provide deep sensing for long-range fires, confront improvised explosive devices, increase the survivability of aircraft, protect forces, and conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, all hinges on an advanced tactical network on the battlefield.

Pages