The U.S. Air Force’s Material Command, or AFMC, will pursue several new innovative efforts across open architecture for fighter jets, digital administration forms, flight testing and medical field operations. The command, led by Gen. Arnold Bunch, USAF, announced its 2022 Spark Tank winners in an October 12 release. AFMC leaders selected five semifinalists out of 97 submissions in the competition; last week the semifinalists presented their solutions to leaders during the command’s fall Senior Leader Conference.
The transition plan for some of the technologies involved in the U.S. Army’s Project Convergence 2021 (PC 21) campaign of learning should be delivered to the commander of U.S. Army Futures Command by Christmas, according to his deputy commander.
Lt. Gen. James Richardson, USA, deputy commander, Army Futures Command, told the audience at the Association of United States Army (AUSA) annual conference in Washington, D.C., that PC 21 includes about 110 technologies, some of which could transition very quickly to programs of record. PC 22 began this month and will end on November 9.
The U.S. Army equipped the I Corps’ 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 17th Field Artillery Brigade, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, with the nation’s first prototype hypersonic ground equipment, the service announced in a press release.
There is a lot of information available about zero trust—at times inconsistent and unreliable. Talk to different vendors and you are likely to get different answers as to exactly what zero trust is and how to adopt it within your agency.
What you need to know is this:
As the U.S. military shifts its operational focus from counterinsurgency to contending with near-peer nation state adversaries, the need to remain dominant in multidomain operations is key.
The U.S. Navy is looking to quickly implement commercial information technologies while it concurrently conducts a cattle drive to rid itself of obsolete capabilities, said its chief information officer (CIO). Aaron Weis allowed that industry will play a key role in providing innovation in an outside the box approach that addresses serious shortcomings.
“We have an infrastructure that for the most part is not supporting the mission,” Weis said.
The Defense Information Systems Agency is bringing its broad resources to bear in an effort to improve the cloud and deliver its capabilities to the warfighter. Since the agency has absorbed defensewide cloud services earlier this year, it sees an opportunity to provide greater cloud capabilities to the warfighter faster and at less cost.
Professor emeritus of Management, Technology and Innovation at The George Washington University and author of the book Beyond Knowledge.
How has the pandemic changed the way people acquire and exchange information?
The pandemic highlights how modern societies are fragile and unable to cope with crises. We now face the stark realization that social institutions must be reformed to survive more pandemics, climate change and other threats. It is particularly sobering that many refuse to take precautions (masking, vaccines) because of unfounded beliefs, driving home the destructive power of disinformation.
In a tactical environment, commanders project their ability to communicate forward into the battlespace through retransmissions, or “retrans.” Retrans nodes are established when a mobile radio system is maneuvered well forward of the line of advance to provide a link between one node and those with which that node must communicate, receiving the transmission on one frequency and retransmitting it on another. This allows command and control to be maintained even while moving disparate units across a dynamic battlespace, outside of normal radio operating ranges. Ground vehicles with mounted radio systems and power amplifiers, such as the MRC-145, are some of the most common means of establishing retrans.
The speed and distributed nature of the modern public and private workplace means that getting the right teams and people aligned for a project can be challenging, as can coordinating and sharing information between those individuals. One way to do this is through virtual workspaces that can be applied to both existing physical spaces like meeting rooms and in a purely online setting.
This type of cooperation is important because it helps teams and decision makers work together in ways that traditional collaboration and screen sharing tools can’t because of their inherent limitations, explains David Kung, vice president for marketing strategy at Bluescape.
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Mahdi Al-Husseini, assigned to the 25th Infantry Division based in Hawaii, won the fifth iteration of the XVIII Airborne Corps Dragon’s Lair competition for his innovation: an AI pilot biofeedback system applicable to all rotary wing Army airframes, on September 27.
“Mahdi’s program has the potential to revolutionize the way our Army manages aviation practices and pilot and crew performance,” Col. Joe Buccino, USA, XVIII Airborne Corps innovation officer, says is a press release. “This was among the most well-developed, visionary concepts we’ve seen come into Dragon’s Lair thus far.”
Scientists participating in an international research effort at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, have discovered a previously unknown component of silicon crystals and unveiled new information about a subatomic particle. In doing so, the researchers of the multi-year experiment have yielded details about the “long-theorized fifth force of nature.” The findings may enable additional breakthroughs in quantum technologies, the University of Waterloo announced in a September 10 statement.
The Command and Control Incident Management Emergency Response Application, or C2IMERA, software tool, created by Kessel Run, one of the U.S. Air Force’s software factories, will now be employed at all of Air Combat Command’s facilities, the Boston-based Kessel Run announced on September 1.
Gen. Mark Kelly, USAF, commander of Air Combat Command (ACC), has specified that the tool—which provides installation reporting, planning, force generation, emergency management, and command and control (C2) monitoring and execution functions—be used at all of its installations.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Defense Department entered something of a forced telework pilot situation, maximizing telework flexibility to minimize workforce health risks. Having experienced the hurdles, hiccups and Herculean adaptation across the department, I think the department did well. I also support the department implementing maximum telework policy even if COVID becomes less of a threat.
I recently contributed to a written product circulating among Army leaders concerning the Army’s telework situation pre- and post-pandemic. Therein multiple advantages existed among a few manageable disadvantages.
It will be a long time, if ever, before it’s possible to securely deploy internet voting systems for most Americans, but even the most skeptical experts are coming around to the idea that online ballots are OK in certain circumstances, attendees of AFCEA’s 2021 Federal Identity Forum and Expo heard Monday.
That was the takeaway from a panel on election identity, featuring technical experts discussing the development and use of identity technologies in voting. Inevitably, the conversation turned to online voting.
As China, Russia, the United States and others race to gain an advantage with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, quantum-enabled AI may be the next evolution, according to a panel of experts at the August 16-19 AFCEA TechNet conference in Augusta, Georgia.
The panel of women experts included moderator Carrie McLeish, director of federal capture, SANS Institute; Maj. Gen. Johanna Clyborne, ARNG, deputy commanding general, ARNG U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence; Arlene Espinal, vice president, Analytics, Automation, AI and Innovation Capabilities Office, ManTech; and Gokila Dorai, assistant professor, School of Computer and Cyber Sciences.
The FBI has been running a full-scale iris-print ID service as part of its Next Generation Identification, or NGI, system for almost a year now, Douglas Sprouse, a management and program analyst with the bureau’s Biometric Services Section told the 2021 Federal Identity Forum and Expo Monday.
The U.S. Defense Department has entered the first phase of delivery on a sweeping capability known as Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2), a once-in-a-generation modernization of the military’s approach to commanding forces.
Department officials aim to deliver a minimal viable product that includes an array of capabilities, such as a fundamental platform, identity control access management, zero-trust cybersecurity and data transport capabilities, according to Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, USMC, director for command, control, communications and computers/cyber and chief information officer, Joint Staff/J-6. Once the minimal viable product, also known as an MVP, is in place, the department can continue to add capabilities.
Soldiers on the battlefield may be using ray guns to defend against airborne threats sooner rather than later. The U.S. Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) is fielding four prototype units of Stryker-mounted laser systems in the Directed Energy Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (DE M-SHORAD) effort.
Each of the four systems employs 50-kilowatt-class lasers powered internally by the Stryker using gasoline-fueled generators. The lasers are designed to protect divisions and brigade combat teams against unmanned aircraft systems, rotary- and fixed-wing threats, rocket artillery and mortar rounds, Army officials say.
In order to make the unified network vision a reality, the Army will need to adopt an array of technical capabilities, including 5G, zero trust cybersecurity, software-defined networks and data fabric.
Just a few years ago, the U.S. Army was sending compact discs with software updates through the mail, a process that could take weeks or even months in some cases, but its software sustainment efforts have improved dramatically and continues to do so, according to Jennifer Swanson, director, Software Engineering Center (SEC), Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM).
Within this decade, commanders of combat units will have to plan and execute information activity, according to Army officials speaking at the August 17-19 AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference in Augusta, Georgia.
Appearing via video, Lt. Gen. Ted Martin, USA, commander, Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, said the new doctrine being drafted “as we speak” by Army officials “is forcing us to move into the future, and part of that future is information advantage.”
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Subterranean Challenge, an effort to develop robot technologies capable of performing underground, is expected to host its final contest next month, but the program has advanced robotics technology that already are being used.
The program aims to develop technologies to rapidly map, navigate and search complex underground environments such as human-made tunnel systems, urban undergrounds and natural cave networks. The challenge run by the agency commonly known as DARPA might be described as two challenges in one since it focuses both on physical and virtual robot technologies.
As technology accelerates all aspects of modern life, from business to warfare, the need for real-time situational awareness has become critical.
But several hurdles must be cleared to achieve this level of awareness, specifically the need to avoid or close any capability gaps and the ability to scale.
“When you get to the heart of it, when we’re talking about real-time situational awareness, we are talking about mission,” David Erickson, senior director for solutions architecture at Elastic told Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine’s editor in chief during a SIGNAL Media Executive Video interview.
U.S. Army researchers are developing spectrum visualization technology that offers an array of benefits, including the ability to maintain contact with—and control of—remotely controlled vehicles on the battlefield.
Officials assessed the Network Coverage Overlay (NCO), which has been nicknamed “Nico,” during the recent Network Modernization Experiment at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.
As part of the Army’s efforts to eventually unify its tactical and enterprise networks, the service is developing three pilot technologies designed to simplify the planning and management of its tactical network.
With plans for future U.S. Army soldiers to work with a cadre of autonomous systems, scientists at the Army Research Laboratory are examining the intricacies of communication to support effective operations between groups of soldiers and robotic systems. They are finding ways to measure communication and study conversational processes to understand human-autonomy team performance, trust and cohesion.
“No Comms, No Bombs” is the mantra of Military Signals Divisions (Brigades or Corps), and they’re right: Communications is an integral part of any Army, Navy, Air or Space Force.
Luckily the reverse: Comms => Bombs, is not true and comms go far further in the modern military than providing time and location information for bombing. No Comms also means no search and rescue, no logistics support, no tactical awareness, ...
Examples of communications go:
Satellites are the military communicator’s easy button. As long as the operating environment is permissive, communications planners can easily establish high bandwidth links that satisfy the demands of data-hungry commanders and their staffs. But this go-to solution is a hollow one, as any adversary that can contest the electromagnetic spectrum or the space domain can knock satellite communications out of the fight. Jamming, spoofing and other means of electronic warfare can render satellites ineffective, while missiles and lasers can destroy satellites from the Earth or from space.
Srini Iyer is the chief technology officer and head of ManTech’s Innovation & Capabilities Office.
Q. How can the military secure data at the edge to ensure reliability?
Did you know, in 2020, there were a staggering 36 billion records exposed as a result of data breaches, according to a recent report from Risk Based Security? COVID-19 was of course the catalyst for these infringements, as the pandemic gravely impacted industries all over the globe and opened the door for cyber criminals to attack.
To maintain America’s advantage over potential adversaries, the Department of Defense last year outlined a data strategy directing that military leaders must “recognize that data is a strategic asset that must be operationalized in order to provide a lethal and effective Joint Force that, combined with our network of allies and partners, sustains American influence and advances shared security and prosperity.”
The U.S. Army for the first time has demonstrated during its Network Modernization Experiment the integration of three capability cards—one for positioning, navigation and timing, another for mounted mission command, and a third for the TSM tactical communications waveform. The capabilities are associated with the service’s open suite of standards and were integrated onto a Stryker combat vehicle.
Around for several decades, the technology of combined-fiber, high energy lasers are advancing to the battlefield from laboratory or exercise demonstration. The advent of the production of the technology, advanced battery capabilities and higher laser power—along with a mounting unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) threat—are all combining into more demand and use by the U.S. military. The transition of laser weapon systems to the battlefield brings with it concept of operations and tactics, techniques and procedures that will improve warfighting, said Michael Jirjis, lead, Directed Energy Weapons Experimentation, U.S.
Technology is evolving at an incredibly rapid pace. IT professionals today, whether in government or industry, must stay current with new technology trends and skills to secure the jobs of tomorrow. And given the speed of change and progress, IT professionals must constantly be learning, unlearning and relearning technologies to remain relevant. Having a support system with like-minded technologists and the opportunity to network with a diverse group of government, industry, academic and scientific experts can help immensely. That’s where AFCEA’s Technology Committee comes in.
Entrepreneurs are leading advances in artificial intelligence, chip-level Internet of Things cybersecurity, and satellite capabilities. In 10-minute intervals, representatives from five startup companies pitched these emerging aerospace-related technologies during Starburst Accelerator’s virtual Los Angeles Selection Committee meeting on July 14. The entrepreneurs are vying for partnership agreements, venture capitalist seed funding and a chance to join Starburst's Accelerator program. Headquartered in Paris, with offices in Los Angeles, Singapore, Munich, Tel Aviv, Madrid, Seoul and Mumbai, Starburst has been uniting startups and investors in the aerospace industry for the past eight years.
The next onslaught on the power grid may come not from a cyber adversary but from our warmest neighbor. Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are exploring how to protect the grid against a coronal mass ejection from the sun that could physically damage the nation’s electrical infrastructure and knock out power for several weeks with resultant societal chaos and massive economic losses.
Vice Adm. William Galinis, USN, commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, indicated that digital twins are instrumental in the design of a broad array of ships, including next-generation attack submarines, destroyers and amphibious warships.
With social media platforms representing one of the main conduits for adversarial propaganda, researchers are examining how information spreads across the digital environment and how it spills into action outside of the online presence. A recent breakthrough in sentiment analysis—with an algorithm that can detect sarcasm—from the University of Central Florida as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s SocialSim project, aids in this understanding and in defense.
Across the globe, ministries of defense are continually challenged with meeting the demands of armed forces who need access to the right intelligence products to protect citizens, defend borders and support humanitarian missions.
While the need for rapid decision-making has never been greater, decision makers often lack the timely information required to inform their choices. In dynamic military environments, situations and plans change quickly and intelligence can become outdated. The problem becomes even more complex during joint and multinational operations.
The next-generation battlefield has gone digital. The United States Air Force (USAF) is taking a major defensive leap into that new reality with its Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) initiative.
With only months remaining before this fall’s Project Convergence 2021, U.S. Army researchers aim to integrate roughly 20 systems with the service’s fledgling artificial intelligence-enabled targeting technology known as FIRES Synchronization to Optimize Responses in Multi-Domain Operations.
During large-scale combat operations and operations in austere environments, the modern warfighter must remain light and agile and enjoy ease of communication with both higher and lower echelons. These requirements highlight the necessity for and relevance of devices such as the Global Rapid Response Information Package.
Have you heard of GAMECHANGER? It is not a game but a tool everyone associated with the U.S. Defense Department will likely find helpful. And the intriguing name matches the tool!
After 15 months of enduring a deadly pandemic, the world is beginning to take stock of the looming unknown future. The shape of things to come remains uncertain, but what is certain is that research and development will lead us into that future.
Two things the pandemic has brought home about research and development: first, the new normal will require changes in technology that will be born of research and development advances; and second, the future economy will be more technology-oriented than today’s, which will require a surge in research to develop new capabilities. These are broad umbrella outlooks, but achieving them will require more specific and nuanced efforts.
The U.S. Navy Special Warfare Command seeks to conduct missions no one else can, and officials expect artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to assist in that effort, Rear Adm. Hugh Wyman Howard III, USN, the organization’s commander, told the audience today during the 2021 WEST virtual conference.
The Department of the Navy (DON) has set a course to add a “large number” of air, surface and subsurface unmanned platforms to operate in all domain alongside manned systems. In March, the Navy and the Marine Corps published the Unmanned Campaign Framework to guide their investments in and integration of unmanned platforms. The service should not stray from this effort, despite cultural, operational and funding barriers, said a panel of experts, led by moderator Capt. George Galdorisi, USN (Ret.), director, Strategic Assessments and Technical Futures, Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, speaking at the virtual West 2021 conference.
Entrepreneurs pushing the edge of technological advancement are offering solutions in technical data management software, decentralized identity, aircraft digital parking assistance, spacecraft on-orbit servicing and travel technology. In 10-minute intervals, company representatives pitched their emerging, aerospace-related technologies at Starburst Accelerator’s Paris Selection Committee meeting on June 23, which was held virtually.
The U.S. Air Force’s innovation arm, AFWERX, is looking for state-of-the-art data, sensor and communication solutions in three concurrent competition areas: the Aircraft Maintenance Operations Challenge; the Flightline Security Challenge; and the Airfield Maintenance and Repair Challenge, which are all part of a greater effort called the Revolutionizing USAF Flightline Operations Challenge.
Quantum computing and cryptography are hot topics in the world of emerging technology. But how feasible are they on a large scale?
“Right now those things are energy intensive and expensive and time consuming,” said Bill Halal, founder of TechCast, during the virtual AFCEA/GMU C4I Center Symposium.