Technology

May 10, 2022
By George I. Seffers
CERTS 2022 panelists discuss cyber training for the services.

A panel of cyber experts discussing the pros and cons of dramatically expanding joint cyber training among the military services and other agencies agreed the pros outweigh the cons.

The panel discussion took place on the second day of the AFCEA Cyber Education, Research and Training Symposium (CERTS), May 10, in Augusta, Georgia.

Moderator Robert Kazimer, deputy to the commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, told the audience he intended to ask provocative questions but that on the subject of joint training the participants agreed.

May 6, 2022
 
Cross-domain solutions help the DoD and intelligence communities move data quickly between different classification and security levels. Credit: Shutterstock

One of the challenges the U.S. military and intelligence communities have faced for years is quickly moving information between different networks and classification levels to reach users in a timely manner.

Recent steps taken by the Department of Defense to seamlessly move data between security levels at speed and volume will help warfighters and intelligence specialists carry out their missions more effectively, George Kamis, Forcepoint’s chief technology officer for Global Governance and Critical Infrastructure told SIGNAL Magazine’s Director of Digital News Media Kimberly Underwood in an SIGNAL Media Executive video discussion.

May 1, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Travelers in long lines at Denver International Airport pass through Transportation Security Administration screening areas. Artificial intelligence software developed under an Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity program could help identify certain human behaviors. Jim Lambert/Shutterstock

A research and development program to create automated software capable of detecting specified behaviors in videos has nearly reached its goal of detecting 75 percent of activities with a false alarm rate of only 2 percent.

May 1, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
Europe’s HEXA-X 25-member consortium is delving into the technical challenges of developing the foundation for 6G networks on the continent. Shutterstock/d1sk

Led by European telecommunication carriers, the so-called HEXA-X consortium is examining solutions for advanced 5th Generation and 6th Generation mobile networks. Through carrier research and development investments, public-private partnerships, industry activity and academia studies, HEXA-X is delving into some of the most complicated issues before structuring future, powerful 6G communications networks on the continent. The group’s research so far points to the large, expected contribution that artificial intelligence and machine learning will have for 6G networks by serving a plethora of functions in many layers of the network, such as spectral efficiency, protocols and network performance.

April 28, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Stephen Wallace, chief technology officer and director of DISA’s Emerging Technology Directorate, shown during a session of TechNet Cyber 2022, told reporters during a media roundtable at the conference that his organization already is evaluating future capabilities for the next generation of Thunderdome. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is still in the prototyping stage with its zero-trust solution but already is looking ahead to the next version.

Thunderdome, the prototype being developed by Booz Allen Hamilton under a six-month contract awarded in January, is DISA’s solution for implementing zero-trust cybersecurity. It is a comprehensive effort requiring cooperation across the agency, as well as with the military services, combatant commands and others.

April 26, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
DISA Director Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, USAF, addresses the audience at TechNet Cyber 2022.  Photo by Michael Carpenter

The need to address solution gaps has the attention of the director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). The agency’s leader, Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, USAF, who is also commander of the Joint Force Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network, has spent the last year reorganizing, setting strategic goals and identifying key lines of effort. Next up is tackling a wish list of nagging gaps or areas in which technology is negatively impacting warfighter operations, and Gen. Skinner is calling on warfighters and industry to assist with innovative solutions.

April 21, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
NASA is seeking to replace its NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) communications system, shown in a NASA illustration. The administration is pursuing two demonstrations with six commercial satellite communication providers to start to examine how the industry can support future near-Earth communication mission requirements. Credit: NASA

Building on the success of private industry cargo, launch and commercial crew services, NASA is betting on the commercial satellite industry to meet its future communication needs. It is turning to a service model for fixed satellite services in low-Earth orbit, to support its various missions, and later on, is planning on using mobile satellite services. What stands in the administration’s way, however, is a lengthy regulatory hurdle. NASA must obtain spectrum regulatory recognition for satellite-to-satellite operations from the world’s governing body, the World Radio Conference, which only meets every four years.

April 18, 2022
By Lt. Col. Randall Linnemann, USA
Soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) use a Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter to slingload an M777 howitzer during air assault training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The 101st is experimenting with cloud computing for tailored command posts. Credit: Photo by: Sgt. Marcus Floyd

This is the second in a series of online articles written by Army Signal Corps officers.

The 101st Airborne Division travels and moves light by helicopter and foot. Air assault troopers headed to the tactical edge—to the sound of the guns on the forward line of troops—carry only what they need for that fight, planning a resupply during consolidation of gains.

April 18, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood

In its quest to advance its systems, the U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Office for Manpower, Logistics and Business Solutions is hosting its second Innovation Day on April 28 and 29. The office is looking to its end users within the Department of the Navy and its military and civilian staff for ideas to improve its digital enterprise, which includes such platforms as MyNavy HR IT Solutions Services, Ready Relevant Learning, Data Transformation Services and Marine Corps Logistics Integration Information Solutions Services, amongst others, explained Noelle Shott, principal, assistant project manager, Innovation Support Services, PMW 250, Enterprise Systems & Services & Innovation Support Services, Department of the Navy.

April 14, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
TechNet Indo-Pacific panelists discussing the coming 5G revolution are (l-r) Stephanie Hutch, Makai Defense; Michael Bilyeu, NineTwelve; William Fong, NIWC Pacific; and Robert Perkins, Vectrus.

One of the biggest challenges facing 5G is for providers and users to actually grasp what it can accomplish, some experts say. A host of new capabilities are foreseen, but they ultimately may fall far short of what innovative applications are eventually realized. As more uses are discovered, its potential may expand into areas far beyond experts envisioned.

A panel discussing the future of 5G weighed the technology’s future on the third and final day of TechNet Indo-Pacific, held in Honolulu April 11-13. The panel, comprising government and industry officials, closed out the conference with a look at the near and distant future.

April 14, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Lt. Gen. James Jacobson, USAF, deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Air Forces, describes the command’s pursuit of technology at TechNet Indo-Pacific. Credit: Tony Grillo photo

Technologies such as software-defined systems, rapid data delivery and virtual training are vital for the Air Force to stay ahead of adversaries striving to exploit the same capabilities, said a theater service deputy commander. The biggest challenge may be for the Air Force to keep abreast of industry innovation as its opponents might.

April 13, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
TechNet Indo-Pacific panelists discussing the future of AI and ML are (l-r) Christine Lanning, Integrated Security Technologies; Brig. Gen. Jacqueline “Denise” Brown, USA, USINDOPACOM; Michele Engelhart, GDIT; Nicole Isoda, NIWC Pacific; and Catherine Johnston, USINDOPACOM. Credit: Tony Grillo photo

The future is bright for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), but its crystal ball is cloudy. Much uncertainty remains both in terms of positive potential and in terms of drawbacks.

A panel of five industry and government leaders discussed what may lie ahead for AI and ML during a Women in AFCEA Panel titled, “Senior Cyber Leaders Discuss AI and ML Challenges” on day 2 of TechNet Indo-Pacific, being held in Honolulu April 11-13. The five experts explored a range of pros and cons that might define the future of AI and ML in both government and the private sector.

April 13, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Members of the TechNet Indo-Pacific J-6 panel include (l-r) panel moderator Brig. Gen. Paul Fredenburgh, USA (Ret.), AFCEA International; Brig. Gen. Jacqueline “Denise” Brown, USA, USINOPACOM; Col. Donald “Thunder” Cloud, USAF, U.S. Pacific Air Forces; Robert A. Stephenson, U.S. Pacific Fleet; Col. Koichi Takagi, USMC, U.S. Marine Forces Pacific; and Col. Lisa D. Whittaker, USA, U.S. Army Pacific. Credit: Dave Livingston photo

New information technologies that are heading toward the military also promise to change the way the force operates at all levels, say experts in charge of those systems. With these new technologies come new demands that must be met to guarantee effectiveness, the experts note.

These changes were discussed in a J-6 panel on the second day of TechNet Indo-Pacific, being held in Honolulu April 11-13. Its theme of “From Data to Dominance” went to the heart of what the communicators are tasked with achieving in their missions.

April 12, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Panelists discussing cloud computing at TechNet Indo-Pacific are (l-r) moderator Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence, USA (Ret.), AFCEA president and CEO; Bill Burnham, Hewlett Packard Enterprise; Boris Kilimnik, Juniper Networks; James T. Matney, GDIT; and Angel Smith, Microsoft. Credit: Dave Livingston photo

Advances in cloud capabilities are opening new vistas for government and industry, but both are dealing with uncertainties in both their goals and their approaches to achieve them. The federal government, with more stringent restraints on cloud operations, is looking to work with the private sector as both face similar challenges to their cloud aspirations.

April 1, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
To meet the growing demand from warfighters confronting near-peer adversaries, the Hosting and Compute Center at the Defense Information Systems Agency is updating its resources in the Indo-Pacific Region. DISA

The Defense Information Systems Agency’s new Hosting and Compute Center is pushing to advance innovation, provide modern-day “products” to warfighters, and ultimately, a global fabric of computer power and data storage. With a 2,000-person workforce, the Hosting and Compute Center has a heavy agenda, including managing the U.S. Defense Department’s large-scale commercial cloud endeavor, the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability; overseeing the department’s data centers; advancing agile computer development; and providing the hosting and compute for Joint All-Domain Command and Control, among other measures.

April 1, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Two U.S. Army officers prepare for a fire mission at Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii. The Indo-Pacific region stands to benefit from greater emphasis on high-frequency (HF) communications over the vast area. U.S. Army photo

The U.S. military is returning to an old friend to help conquer the tyranny of distance in an increasingly contested area. The Defense Information Systems Agency is working with its forces in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world to bring back high-frequency radio communications as a key link for operations in potentially difficult or denied environments.

April 1, 2022
 

John Cofrancesco, the vice president for government for Fortress Information Security, is a former information officer with the U.S. Navy and a frequent cybersecurity subject matter expert
for national news media.

What is the greatest vulnerability in cyberspace today?

Today, organizations are increasingly reliant on partners and subcontractors for critical products and services. Interconnected systems provide refined and cost-effective solutions to business and government challenges alike. The result is an increased vulnerability to network intrusions, hacks and sophisticated cyber attacks. When a supply chain is compromised, its security can no longer be trusted.

March 31, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: dotshock/Shutterstock

A comprehensive strategy with period reviews built around a goal-oriented plan are necessary for the U.S. Defense Department to prevail in the competition with China for artificial intelligence (AI), declares a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. The Defense Department concurs with all seven of the recommendations issued by the GAO, which calls for the department to improve strategies, inventory processes and collaboration guidance.

March 14, 2022
By Maj. Todd Klinzing-Donaldson, USA
Soldiers assigned to the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, conduct mission command and network communications on-the-move, during the Army’s three-week Armored Formation On-The-Move Network Pilot at Fort Stewart, Georgia, on Feb. 2.  U.S. Army photo by Capt. Detrick Moore, assistant program manager for Mission Network, Project Manager Tactical Network, PEO C3T

This is the first in a series of online articles written by Army Signal Corps officers.

As an armored formation, our lethality is not just derived from our firepower but also from our mobility—the speed that we can bring lethality into the fight.

March 9, 2022
 
Access to large amounts of data and the ability to analyze and model it is now becoming increasingly available to medium and small sized organizations. Credit: bleakstar/Shutterstock

Modern organizations run on data, but they need a workforce skilled at interpreting and managing that information for the greatest advantage, says James Stanger, the chief technology evangelist at the Computing Technology Industry Association, or CompTIA.

March 14, 2022
 
Margaret Palmieri has been named the Defense Department's deputy chief digital and artificial intelligence officer (CDAO). Credit: Naval Information Forces

The U.S. Defense Department has named Margaret Palmieri as its deputy chief digital and artificial intelligence officer (CDAO).

Palmieri previously served as special assistant to the vice chief of naval operations and as director of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Action Group. Palmieri also founded and directed the Navy Digital Warfare Office.

March 10, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Netflix’s Simian Army of software production tools offers a potential model for the Defense Department to mimic. Credit: Wiratchai wansamngam/Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of Defense might learn a thing or two about the software-defined world from non-defense industry companies such as Netflix and Mazda, Jason Weiss, chief software officer, U.S. Defense Department, recently suggested to the AFCEA Cyber Committee.

Weiss, who serves on the committee, relayed an incident from Mazda that he said keeps him up at night. The incident was reported by BBC News in a February 10th article.

March 1, 2022
 

John Dvorak is a chief architect for Red Hat and a member of the AFCEA Technology Committee and AFCEA Zero Trust Strategies Subcommittee. He is a former member of the U.S. Senior Executive Service and a private sector chief information officer and chief technology officer.

What are the biggest challenges to edge computing?

March 2, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: spainter_vfx/Shutterstock

Concern over chip shortages may be drowning out a more significant supply chain threat. The circuit boards on which chips reside may become an endangered species in the United States as manufacturers increasingly rely on offshore sources. This in turn would be as damaging as being unable to obtain chips.

“Chips don’t float,” says William Marsh, president of the Printed Circuit Board Association of America and vice president of government relations for TTM Technologies. “They have to have a home.”

March 1, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Scientists at a National Science Foundation-supported institute for accelerating the use of artificial intelligence for scientific research intend to deploy an AI-based alert system to aid the detection of major cosmic events. MoVille/Shutterstock

Researchers at the National Science Foundation’s newly created institute designed to improve artificial intelligence algorithms for scientific research say they expect to make dramatic advances in the institute’s first year of operation.

March 1, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood

The capabilities of, and the industry for, artificial intelligence and machine learning have exploded in the last few years. The challenge of employing such capabilities at the far reaches of a battlefield persists, with many potential pitfalls and considerations, but one that could bring great rewards to warfighters, says Charles Clancy, general manager, MITRE Labs, and senior vice president, The MITRE Corporation.

March 1, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
Applying machine learning to radar simulations has achieved radar performance improvements, researchers find. Shutterstock/your

Guided by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, researchers from the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University are examining the application of machine learning to radar. They have found that memory-based machine learning algorithms work well applied to simulated radar operations. The researchers’ system provides an effective radar waveform selection capability that iteratively learns and adjusts the waveform selection over time. Their early findings demonstrate improved radar sensing and the capability’s effectiveness in different environments.

March 1, 2022
By Maryann Lawlor

Companies that opened their doors a mere five years ago couldn’t have imagined the sudden, immense need for secure communications capabilities a pandemic would demand any more than financiers could have foreseen FaceTime and Zoom as a future investment windfall. But in March 2020, COVID-19 arrived, bringing surprising needs to the forefront. In a matter of days, government agencies had to continue operations while the fast-spreading virus required staff to shelter in place and videoconferencing replaced boardrooms and classrooms.

February 25, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
Eng Lim Goh, a senior vice president and chief technology officer, artificial intelligence, at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, addresses the Rocky Mountain Cyberspace Symposium 2022.

The computing edge, where devices operate, is getting more and more intelligent. Several companies around the world are pushing the boundaries of data generation and processing, offering a view into future possibilities, said Eng Lim Goh. And if U.S. technologists pay attention, we can bridge some of the capability gaps.

Goh, a senior vice president and chief technology officer, artificial intelligence, at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, spoke yesterday at the AFCEA Rocky Mountain Chapter’s annual Cyberspace Symposium held in Colorado Springs February 21-24.

February 24, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
CIOs from different part of the Defense Department talk about cybersecurity issues during a panel at the Rocky Mountain Cyberspace Symposium 2022.

To be able to face near-peer adversaries in degraded, denied and intermittent communication environments, U.S. warfighters need to be able to leverage tactical cloud computing at the battlefield or operational edge. For some departments, it is a large-scale and urgent need, chief information officers report.

A panel that included the chief information officers (CIOs) of the Air Force, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the Navy spoke yesterday at the AFCEA Rocky Mountain Chapter’s annual Cyberspace Symposium, held February 21-24 in Colorado Springs.

July 26, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical and the C5ISR Center integrate Stryker vehicles with the C5ISR/Electronic Warfare Modular Open Suite of Standards (CMOSS) capabilities during the Network Modernization Experiment (NetModX) 2021 from May to July, 2021 at the C5ISR Center’s Ground Activity, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. Credit: U.S. Army photo by Kathryn Bailey, PEO C3T

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.

February 10, 2022
By George I. Seffers
New communications technologies integrated onto armored vehicles during the U.S. Army’s Armored Formation On-The-Move Network Pilot could enable the service to eliminate large-tent tactical operations centers in favor of distributed command capabilities.

The U.S. Army is conducting a pilot program to evaluate new and emerging commercial network on-the-move technologies integrated onto armored vehicles. The new equipment dramatically improves communications capabilities and could potentially eliminate the need for big-tent tactical operations centers (TOCs).

February 1, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Navy SEALs conduct diving operations with the attack submarine USS New Mexico during training in the Mediterranean Sea in June 2021. The Undersea Warfighting Development Center helps integrate a variety of technologies and capabilities for the undersea warfare mission. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy

While submarines are vital to undersea warfare, success in the domain requires the integration of a much broader array of systems and technologies, including artificial intelligence and unmanned systems.

“Undersea warfare is a lot more than just submarine versus submarine. My job is to make sure our undersea forces—and that includes our ballistic missile submarines, our attack submarines, our carrier strike group ASW [anti-submarine warfare] forces, maritime patrol aircraft, fixed systems, unmanned and autonomous systems, all of that—are able to integrate as part of an undersea battle force,” explains Rear Adm. Richard Seif, USN, commander, Undersea Warfighting Development Center (UWDC), Groton, Connecticut.

February 1, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
In March 2021, the U.S. Army began delivering the first prototype hypersonic equipment to soldiers with the arrival of two training canisters. The United States is in the race to create hypersonic vehicles and weapons by 2023 and is turning to U.S. universities to perform the fundamental research necessary for vehicles capable of flying at least at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5+). Credit: Elliot Valdez, Defense Media Activity

To create hypersonic vehicles that can fly at speeds at least above Mach 5 requires fabrication of materials and systems that can withstand extreme temperatures that reach thousands of degrees, the associated thermal expansion and traveling at 60,000 feet, among other conditions. The Defense Department’s University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics has some U.S. universities examining solutions to address the pressing challenges of hypersonic flight.

February 1, 2022
By Lt. Col. Ryan Kenny, USA

Slapping the term “cognitive” or “smart” in front of a given technology is an easy marketing tool conveying an advanced level of automation whereby devices change behaviors with little or no human control. Cognitive networks, cognitive electronic warfare tools, cognitive radios. Without “cognitive,” they would just be dumb devices.

Are cognitive devices that intelligent? How adaptive are they? Furthermore, when confronted with an adversary similarly equipped, do they make the right adaptations? Perhaps it’s time for Defense Department procurers to ask more of smart devices.

With this in mind, I present this cognitive device wish list.

February 1, 2022
By Henry S. Kenyon

As military operations become more dependent on networked sensors and shooters seamlessly working together, there is a greater need for sharing critical information in real time to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.

Resilient waveforms such as the Link 16 tactical data link will be key components in the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) approach to networked warfare. Introduced 40 years ago to coordinate NATO air defenses during the Cold War, Link 16 communications continue to evolve into smaller and more diverse form factors, going from theater commands to individual warfighters.

February 1, 2022
By Henry S. Kenyon

The U.S. Navy is modernizing how it fights and operates in the modern battlespace by focusing on how information from sensors and other systems can quickly get to warfighters to help them make decisions, creating the need for a mission-proven technology platform to achieve a variety of digital transformation use cases.

Most of these efforts fall under the Department of the Navy’s Information Superiority Vision, which aims to upgrade the service’s infrastructure, develop and deploy new capabilities, and defend Navy data from cyber attack.

February 1, 2022
 

Shivaji Sengupta is member and CEO of MAGNUS Management Group LLC and founder and CEO of NXTKey Corporation. He also is an adjunct professor of cybersecurity at Delaware State University.

How are cybersecurity and innovation intersecting, and is it a positive or negative development?

January 20, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Heidi Shyu, undersecretary of defense for Research and Engineering, outlines new defense technology thrusts and priorities.

A pair of classified efforts in FY23 will aim to develop and push prototypes into rapid experimentation to fill a joint operational capability gap. These are part of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering’s (USD [R&E’s]) Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve, or RADER, activity. It is designed to conduct a campaign of joint experimentation, explains Heidi Shyu, the USD (R&E).

January 26, 2022
By Dolan Sullivan, VP & GM of Federal, Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company

The rapid shift to telework and associated digital transformation brought on by the pandemic has accelerated cloud adoption across the U.S. federal government. Now the recognized cloud benefits of greater efficiency, accessibility and rapid innovation can be extended with confidence to include cloud-managed networks to support civilian and military operations.

January 19, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
The military is employing hologram-based solutions to aid in logistics. Credit: IKIN Inc.

Holograms paired with advanced communications networks are assisting the Navy, Marine Corps and special forces with logistics and operational efforts. Certain organizations in the services are relying on large-format holographic projection capabilities that display volumetric images. In desktop applications, the capabilities allow groups of people to collaborate around complex, visual data, and smaller, more mobile groups or single users at the tactical edge to see information quickly on handheld, portable devices. Most 3D-ready content can be applied to the solutions, such as augmented reality and virtual reality formats, and used for simulated and in-situ training exercises with gesture and touch screen interaction capabilities.

January 18, 2022
Posted by George I. Seffers
LNL researchers Nick Fischer and Amy Rasley are characterizing nanolipoprotein particle vaccine formulations using a dynamic light-scattering instrument. The researchers are part of a team developing one vaccine to protect U.S. forces against three different bacterial biothreats. Credit: Julie Russell/LLNL

Scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and three other institutions are seeking to develop a multipathogen vaccine that will protect against three bacterial biothreat pathogens that cause plague, rabbit fever and melioidosis, LLNL announced today.

January 4, 2022
Posted by George I. Seffers
A camera the width of a grain of salt produces clear, full color images. Credit: Princeton University

Researchers at Princeton University and the University of Washington, partially funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), have developed a camera half a millimeter wide—the size of a grain of coarse salt—that captures clear, full-color images that could be used for medical diagnostics or robotic sensors. Previously, the effectiveness of microsized cameras has been hindered by technology that produces distorted images with a limited field of view, according to an NSF press release.

January 1, 2022
By Dakota Miller

Peer cache is a great way to optimize Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (MECM) and provide a more significant user experience to warfighters in remote areas.

MECM, formerly System Center Configuration Manager, is an enterprise tool to maintain compliance for Windows operating systems. It maintains all updates, third-party applications and enterprise configurations. Trying to maintain computers used for defense operations can be quite a challenge and this gives engineers the ability to directly affect battlefield endpoints.

January 1, 2022
 

Throughout 2021, On Point’s guest columnists answered a variety of questions geared to spurring discussion on new and emerging technologies. However, each columnist also answered one common question, and below is a summary of their responses to this single query:

What do you think is the next great technology trend?

December 23, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
In April 2021 at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, Staff Sgt. Christopher Watson, USAF, 25th ASOS Radio Frequency Transmissions craftsman (l), speaks with Gen. Ken Wilsbach, USAF, Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) commander (c) and Chief Master Sgt. David Wolfe, USAF, PACAF command chief, about the 25th ASOS’ joint all-domain command and control (JADC2) capabilities. Authors of a new study are warning about the growing risks of JADC2 on space-based solutions. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Wilson

The U.S. military’s existing satellite communications network, built to serve legacy systems, cannot appropriately enable warfare in the information age. To enable joint all-domain command and control, or JADC2, the U.S. Space Force needs to proliferate low-earth- and mid-earth-orbit, LEO and MEO, satellite constellations. In addition, the service needs to leverage space-based optical communications to reach the full potential of proliferated satellite communication networks.

December 23, 2021
 

Throughout the year, we highlighted a wide variety of thought leaders in our On Point column. Each interviewee shared their insight on the next great technology trend, and we’ve compiled a list of their top trends to watch as we prepare to kick off a new year.

1. Quantum effects

“Using them produces significant gains in sensitivity and thus signal-to-noise ratio. I admit, however, that I am less excited about quantum key distribution, believing that post-quantum public key cryptography that is resistant to cracking by quantum computation may prove to be more reliable.” —Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google

December 17, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
In a December 17 media call to reporters, Air Force Research Laboratory Commander Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle, USAF, announces the first two Space University Research Initiative, or SURI, projects. She said the work in space logistics, mobility and domain is what is needed to further the U.S. Space Force’s and Air Force’s missions.

Today, the Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, unveiled the two winning groups of the Space University Research Initiative program, the first such university-based research effort for the two-year old U.S. Space Force, which may also result in technology transition to the U.S. Air Force.

December 16, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Northrop Grumman's design for a multipurpose commercial space station is one of the three proposals selected by NASA for development and orbit this decade. Credit: Northrop Grumman

The successors to the International Space Station may come from the drawing boards of commercial research and development shops. NASA has signed agreements with three U.S. firms to design commercial low-earth-orbit (LEO) platforms that could serve both government and private sector needs. Eventually, NASA aims to certify their use by NASA crew members as part of an effort to provide space services that the government needs at a lower cost than currently possible.

December 15, 2021
 
The #1 most-read SIGNAL article of the year covered how the U.S. Army’s 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) is looking to fill vital cyber and communications gaps.

Which articles from our SIGNAL Media team caught your eye this past year? Check out the top 10 most-read articles from 2021.

1. Special Forces Command Seeks Key Data Aggregation, Cyber Tools
By Kimberly Underwood, February 17, 2021