Technology

January 14, 2021
By Julianne Simpson
The future enterprise will be edge-centric, cloud enabled and data driven, says Bill Burnham, CTO, U.S. Public Sector Business Unit, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The future enterprise will be edge-centric, cloud enabled and data driven, said Bill Burnham, CTO, U.S. Public Sector Business Unit, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

He shared his ideas during an AFCEA online event titled “The Edge Is Where the Action Is!”

January 8, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a machine learning algorithm that makes scientific research about 40,000 faster and can be used for a wide variety of purposes.   Credit: Andrey Suslov/Shutterstock

A research team at Sandia National Laboratories has successfully used machine learning—computer algorithms that improve themselves by learning patterns in data—to complete cumbersome materials science calculations more than 40,000 times faster than normal, according to a Sandia press release.

Their results, published in the January 4 issue of a journal called npj Computational Materials, could herald a dramatic acceleration in the creation of new technologies for optics, aerospace, energy storage and potentially medicine while simultaneously saving laboratories money on computing costs, according to the press release.

January 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
U.S. Army soldiers in a Joint Tactical Ground Station (JTAGS) at Osan Air Base, Korea, stand ready to provide early warning of missile launches. JTAGS units run by the Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) defend U.S. forces worldwide.  U.S. Army photo

The benefits of space are being delivered to the ground-based warfighter in greater degrees as the Army taps the ultimate high ground for cutting-edge capabilities. Operational assets once available primarily to commanders now are reaching down to the individual in the foxhole. Coupled with new technologies, these activities empower warfighters while giving commanders more information and options for decisions.

January 1, 2021
By George I. Seffers
U.S. Army soldiers conduct satellite communications terminal training at Fort Hood, Texas. Future satellite communications terminals may be more resilient, reliable, automated and easy to use.  U.S. Army photo by Spc. Danielle Ferrer

Technological leaps in ground station capabilities, such as interference cancellation, band diversity and phased array antennas, will allow the U.S. Army to use new Internet of Things satellite constellations to boost combat communications. New technologies offer lower latency, higher throughput and greater network resilience while being easier for soldiers to use.

Recent Army experiments, including the Network Modernization Experiment (NetModX) and Project Convergence, have included a range of technologies for enhancing and protecting satellite communications (SATCOM). The technologies will support Army modernization goals, including a more resilient network, long-range precision fires and air and missile defense.

January 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. soldiers assigned to the Regimental Engineer Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, launch the RQ-7 Shadow, an American unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), in Rose Barracks, Germany, in May 2020. The service relies heavily on UAVs to provide surveillance and reconnaissance support for warfighters and, as such, needs future power capabilities for longer UAV flights.  U.S. Army photo by Maj. John Ambelang

Mounting threats from adversaries and the need to support multidomain operations require unmanned aerial vehicles that can run longer, repower quickly and fly farther. For the U.S. Army to rely on advanced unmanned aerial vehicles in the future, associated motors and fuels—and for smaller vehicles, battery recharging capabilities—must evolve. Researchers at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s (CCDC’s) Army Research Laboratory (ARL) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, are examining the possibilities of hybrid propulsion systems that harness multiple fuels.

January 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman

Joint doctrine emphasizes the importance of information operations (IO) in campaign planning and operational design. Information operations include many information-related capabilities, such as cyber operations, electromagnetic spectrum operations, special technical operations and others. But as the battle for the narrative becomes exponentially more important in an increasingly interconnected world, joint planners must re-examine how they employ one of the most neglected information-related capabilities—public affairs.

December 21, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Members of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command Technical Center watch as Kestrel Eye is able to take its first images from space in April. Kestrel Eye is a small, low-cost, visible-imagery satellite prototype designed to provide near real-time images to the tactical-level ground Soldier in the field, rapidly and inexpensively. (Photo by Jason B. Cutshaw)

Operational assets once available largely to commanders now are being delivered to individuals in the foxhole. Coupled with new technologies, the U.S. Army is tapping into the ultimate high ground for cutting-edge capabilities not only empowering warfighters but also giving commanders more information for decision making.

Despite the benefits orbital assets provide, drawbacks remain. Fiscal uncertainty lurks throughout the future planning process. Adversaries have increased their efforts to overcome the lead position U.S. forces traditionally held in space. In addition, cultural and architectural barriers inhibit Army space forces from realizing their full potential.

December 14, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Virtual reality, artificial intelligence and other technologies will transform the Internet in the coming years, experts predict. Credit: TierneyMJ/Shutterstock

Within the next decade or two, technological advances may revolutionize the Internet, creating an environment that is secure for all, provides more power to the people and offers an immersive, virtual reality experience as a part of daily life, according to a recent study of strategic foresight.

The study was completed this summer by the TechCast Project, a virtual think tank that focuses on strategic forecasting. The project was founded by William Halal, professor emeritus of management, technology, and innovation at George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

December 3, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Danielle Metz, acting deputy CIO for information enterprise, outlines obstacles the Defense Department faces in implementing rapid technology development and fielding processes.

The U.S. Defense Department is in the process of implementing its software modernization strategy, which starts with the goal of delivering new capability directly into the hands of the warfighter and addresses both the technical and nontechnical obstacles to that vision. Still, the department faces challenges in rapidly developing and fielding technologies, according to Danielle Metz, the department’s acting deputy chief information officer for information enterprise.

December 3, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Defense Information Systems Agency officials are moving toward a secure and agile software development process known as DevSecOps for new contracts. Credit: Andrey Suslov/Shutterstock

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is moving toward requiring rapid, agile and secure software development processes for new systems.

Brian Hermann, director and program executive officer, Services and Development Directorate within the agency, said he wanted to make it clear that the process known as DevSecOps will be increasingly essential for new contracts. 

December 3, 2020
By George I. Seffers
A U.S. Space Force office has revealed a hundreds of millions of dollars in commercial satellite contracts to be awarded in the coming months. Credit; Panuwatccn/Shutterstock

During the AFCEA TechNet Cyber conference, the U.S. Space Force revealed a total of 25 commercial satellite communications (COMSATCOM) contracts to be awarded in the coming months. 

Mike Nichols, chief of the COMSATCOM Solutions program, a business unit of the Commercial Satellite Communications Office, U.S. Space Force, highlighted several of the opportunities. Some programs released requests for proposal in November, but industry still has time to respond.

December 2, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Lockheed Martin's SBIRS GEO-5 satellite is tested in a vacuum chamber at the company's Sunnyvale, California, production facility in April. The U.S. Space Force has ruled that the satellite is now ready for launching in 2021. Credit: Lockheed Martin

The fifth Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite, known as SBIRS GEO-5, is ready for launch in 2021. The U.S. Space Force deemed complete the high priority program satellite, which will provide worldwide missile warning capability to the U.S. military. The service’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) Production Corps at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, and industry partner Lockheed Martin Space, in Sunnyvale, California, prepared the important warning system in record time.

December 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Soldiers with the 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York, survey an obstacle during an evaluation of the modular scalable vest generation II. The U.S. Army’s Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is working on developing personal and vehicle protective gear using new materials for harsh combat conditions.  ARL photo

The U.S. Army is developing new materials that can withstand the harshest environmental condition on the battlefield—high-energy kinetic combat. A multipronged research effort at the Army Research Laboratory aims at creating exotic materials that would protect warfighters and their equipment from new kinds of weaponry that are appearing, and may appear, in future tactical combat.

December 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Developed for the Defense Innovation Unit, the xBD data set combines advanced algorithms and satellite imagery to help assess the damage from catastrophes, including from California wildfires.  Credit: Shutterstock/stockpexel

In a project for the Defense Department’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), computer scientists have turned to artificial intelligence and aerial imagery to construct a detailed damage assessment solution. The tool can be used remotely and automatically to determine the amount of damage to buildings and structures from a natural disaster or catastrophe. The prototype, known as the xView II model, was tested this fall, with the goal of rolling out a more finalized operational version next year.

December 1, 2020
By Maj. Brian Kerg, USMC

As the capabilities of networked technologies continue to increase exponentially, so too does the speed and impact of the narrative. Recordings, images and commentary about an event can be uploaded within seconds. Based on how visceral any event might be, it could go viral within moments. By the end of the hour, a dominant narrative about that event could be echoed across the Internet, television and radio, and remain wedged in the minds of the audience for weeks, months or years.

Especially if it isn’t true.

December 1, 2020
By Henry S. Kenyon

Over the last two decades, unmanned systems have evolved from relatively simple surveillance and reconnaissance to sophisticated and increasingly autonomous system-of-systems that are a key part of U.S. military strategy and tactics.

In what seemed like science fiction only a few years ago, artificial intelligence empowered unmanned systems teaming with manned platforms are shaping up as the path for future operations. The evolution of smarter sensors coupled with automated processing tasks now being performed right at the point of interest are also essential to this growth, which is now mature enough to allow more coordinated teamwork between manned and unmanned systems on the battlefield.

November 25, 2020
By George I. Seffers
While human cyborgs may still be the stuff of science fiction, the science may be a little closer to reality following breakthroughs in materials used for neural links and other implants that offer a wide array of benefits, including potential medical advances. Credit: Ociacia/Shutterstock

A breakthrough in materials could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of electronic implants in the human brain or other parts of the body. The advance could offer an array of biotechnology benefits and allow humans to control unmanned vehicles and other technologies directly with their brains.

The development involves a polythiophene, or PEDOT, chemical structure. The newest materials, which David Martin describes as PEDOT Plus, dramatically enhances electronic implants in the body.

November 23, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The Air Force's new initiative, Operation Flamethrower, is meant to aggressively get rid of legacy policies, processes and equipment that are not effective. Credit: Shutterstock/Mack Pansuwan

The U.S. Air Force, led by Brig. Gen. Chad Raduege, USAF, the Air Combat Command’s A-6, along with Deputy Chief Information Officer Lauren Knausenberger, is pursuing Operation Flamethrower, an aggressive project to abandon legacy network-related policies, processes or equipment that are not working. The tongue-in-cheek name of the effort is meant to illuminate the nature in which leaders will eliminate ineffective or redundant components in order to drive innovation.

“We are ruthlessly going after these things and setting them on fire,” Knausenberger said.

November 10, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/Krunja

The whole will be greater than the sum of its parts as evolving technologies come together to spawn entirely new capabilities that will affect the connected world. That connected world itself will be expanding as innovations empower people far beyond existing, and even envisioned, parameters

As with all advances, this new connected world will not be without drawbacks. Security and privacy concerns will be greater, as the potential threats become more ubiquitous. But some capabilities may bring their own solutions to these challenges.

November 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The flexibility that flying orbs present the military is game-changing, notes Col. Nathan Diller, USAF, director, Agility Prime, and director, AFWERX. Beta Technologies’ six-seat lift and cruise aircraft has a 50-foot wingspan.  Beta Technologies

The U.S. Air Force is preparing to have initial electric vertical takeoff and landing, or eVTOL, testing by December and a more substantial fielding of an estimated 30 or more eVTOL aircraft by 2023. The service’s Agility Prime program is pursuing a so-called Air Race to Certification, seeking a global advantage in eVTOL, says Col. Nathan Diller, USAF, director, Agility Prime, and director, AFWERX.

Agility Prime is one of three experiments that adds innovation quickly—in addition to Spark and Air Force Ventures—and represents a new approach for the service, Col. Diller says.

November 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
A laboratory technician in the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL’s) USAF School of Aerospace Medicine Epidemiology Laboratory tests samples for COVID-19. In addition to urgent research projects, the AFRL is exploring new scientific disciplines that may entail combining traditionally disparate technology.  U.S. Air Force

Radio-driven electro-optic sensors, exotic molecular materials and bugs that repair runways are just some of the technologies the Air Force is looking at to help it retain air supremacy in the future. Partnerships with industry and academia are central to this research, but the service is directing efforts to meet goals established in the most recent National Defense Strategy.

November 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
DARPA’s Gremlin program completed its first test flight last year. Earlier this year, DARPA and the Air Force opted to add a fourth phase to the program to prepare it to transition from research and development to operational status.  Photo: Courtesy of DARPA

The fourth and final phase of the Gremlins unmanned aerial system program will include collaborative autonomy software that allows one person to control multiple unmanned air vehicles. The technology extends the capability of unmanned aircraft systems to conduct long-distance engagements of mobile ground and maritime targets in areas with poor communications or limited navigational signals.

November 1, 2020
By Shaun Waterman
The Mobile Low Power Prototype Number 1 at the National Reactor Testing Station, Idaho Falls, Idaho, was designed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. It was deployed in Idaho in 1961 and was one of a series of ultimately failed efforts by the Army Corps of Engineers to develop a mobile nuclear reactor in the 1960s.  U.S. Army photo courtesy of Office of History, HQ, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Photographer unknown

The U.S. Defense Department is working toward a mini nuclear reactor that could solve its small-scale localized energy needs. The device would be rapidly deployable for bases and outposts as well as provide power for up to three years with minimal supervision. It would not pose many of the safety challenges if existing nuclear power plants, and it would help alleviate the threat to energy supply convoys in contested areas.

For deployed forces in combat, there’s rarely an electric grid to rely on, and the resupply umbilical is a major pressure point in wartime. In the first decade of the war on terror, more than half of all U.S. casualties occurred during attacks on convoys, according to the Rand Corp.

November 1, 2020
By Nicholas A. Strnad and Lt. Col. Elizabeth Agapios, USA
Army scientists explore materials at the nanolevel with the goal of finding stronger or more heat-resistant properties to support the Army of the future. Credit: U.S. Army photo by David McNallyArmy scientists explore materials at the nanolevel with the goal of finding stronger or more heat-resistant properties to support the Army of the future. Credit: U.S. Army photo by David McNally

Nanotechnology continues its march through the field of electronics, enabling faster and more energy-efficient computer processors, larger computer memory density and increased battery capacity. These ever-shrinking micro and nanodevices require advanced manufacturing methods to produce. Atomic-scale processing refers to a collection of these methods that may be used to deposit and remove material at the smallest scales, a single atomic layer at a time.

October 28, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The Tactical Assault Kit (TAK) is a map-based software application that enables coordination among thousands of users with features such as a position data, chat, mission planning and shared overlays. Army researchers say it is being integrated with unmanned vehicles, virtual reality, wearable computers and heads up displays. Credit: U.S. Army CCDC C5ISR Center

The U.S. Army’s infinitely adaptable situational awareness tool created a decade ago continues to find new uses thanks to artificial intelligence, wearable computers, virtual reality, unmanned systems and other cutting-edge technologies.

The Tactical Assault Kit (TAK) is a map-based software application that enables coordination among thousands of users with features such as a position data, chat, mission planning and shared overlays. It is compatible with Android, Apple iOS and Windows. The Air Force, FBI, Secret Service, U.S. Park Police and Special Operations Forces are among the organizations that have customized it for their own purposes.

October 23, 2020
By George I. Seffers
C5ISR Center electronics engineer Michelle Moore studies vehicle positions while evaluating the Blue Force Tracking Resiliency effort during Network Modernization Experiment 20 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, September 29. The experiment also included autonomous agents monitoring the network. Credit: U.S. Army C5ISR Center photo/Jenna Mozeyko

The recently completed Network Modernization Experiment (NetModX) included an army of autonomous agents unleashed in defense of the network and in some cases also protected other artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

NetModX is a science and technology experiment held July 20-October 2 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. The science and technology experiment provides lessons learned for Army acquisition decisions, science and technology specifications, requirements and strategies necessary to modernize the force. Systems that performed well this year might ultimately end up in the Army’s arsenal as part of the capability sets to be fielded in 2023 and 2025.

October 14, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Photo Courtesy of NOAA NCEI

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency announced the final results of MagQuest, a $2.1 million competition to advance how we measure Earth’s magnetic field.

Over 18 months, the challenge accelerated novel data collection methodologies for the World Magnetic Model (WMM). The first place winner Iota Technology will be awarded $350,000 and two second place winners — Spire Global and SB Quantum, and University of Colorado Boulder — will receive $225,000 each. Runners-up Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium and Stellar Solutions will each receive $50,000.

October 5, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Sandia National Laboratories researcher J. Darby Smith examines computer boards containing artificial neurons Intel Corp designed. (Photo by Regina Valenzuela)

An industry leader has delivered 50 million artificial neurons—a number roughly equivalent to the brain of a small mammal—to Sandia National Laboratories. Intel Corporation and Sandia will explore numerous potential uses from neural-inspired computing and plan to examine the effects on artificial intelligence in commercial and defense areas.

October 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
New York City was one of the early hotspots for the spread of COVID-19. New York University researchers funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation have been studying human behavior near medical facilities to help inform policies on pandemics and other potential disasters.  GagliardiPhotography/Shutterstock

New York University researchers are studying the behavior of people leaving healthcare facilities and how they physically interact with the environment—what they touch and for how long, for example. The research will allow the development of localized disease transmission models that can be applied to larger areas, such as entire cities. Potential models could be critical for predicting the continued spread of COVID-19 as well as future pandemics and other disasters, such as chemical spills.

October 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
To roll out a massive cloud project of electronic health records in 93 days during the beginning of the pandemic required a team of teams from the Program Executive Office Defense Healthcare Management Systems and other organizations.  PEO DHMS

Facing a pandemic and an aging legacy medical record system with limited data storage capacity at an on-premise data center in Charleston, South Carolina, the Enterprise Intelligence & Data Solutions (EIDS) team, sprang into action to complete a game-changing cloud migration project. The effort, called the Accelerated Migration Project, or AMP, moved petabytes of secondary healthcare data and related applications to the cloud. The project digitally transforms access to U.S. Defense Department medical records and offers better data analytics and more reliable information discovery, driving improved outcomes in patient care and business operations, experts say.

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

The microscopic biological particle that has altered the way of life for 7 billion people worldwide also has had a major technological impact. It has brought the importance of information technology to the fore, in terms of both working to alleviate the virus’ effects and supporting the lives of people impacted by the pandemic. The vitality of information technology has been put on display, and changes it has wrought are going to help define the new normal.

September 24, 2020
By George I. Seffers
An Area-I Air-Launched, Tube-Integrated, Unmanned System, or ALTIUS, is launched from a UH-60 Black Hawk at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, March 4 where the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center led a demonstration that highlighted the forward air launch of the ALTIUS. Courtesy photo provided by Yuma Proving Ground

Artificial intelligence technology tested during the Army’s Project Convergence exercise largely met expectations and will help transform the way the Army fights in the future, officials say.

September 17, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Intelligence community chief information officers are selecting advanced capabilities to support key mission efforts. Credit: Shutterstock/Gorodenkoff

During the pandemic, technology leaders across intelligence agencies have focused not only on supporting the continuity of mission efforts and the connectivity of its work force, but also emerging solutions to drive innovation and efficiencies.

Some of the main tools officials are pursuing include: advanced software delivery, multicloud use, machine learning and data processing tools, said chief information officers (CIOs), who along with moderator Lewis Shepherd of VMware, spoke on September 17 at the Intelligence and National Security Summit, co-hosted virtually by INSA and AFCEA.

September 10, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Mobile devices could service as an identity platform for the U.S. government, providing a contactless access experience with more privacy, some experts say. Credit: Shutterstock/Drazen Zigic

The U.S. federal government should consider implementing a digital identity for each citizen and enable the use of mobile devices for in-person access and other applications, experts say. Mobile devices, paired with strong standards, can enable physical access to federal buildings—as the common access card, or CAC, does currently. In addition, employing more digitally integrated, holistic systems would improve privacy. And given the onset of COVID-19, the pandemic has heightened the need for innovation, especially around contactless technologies, said officials speaking yesterday at the Federal Identity Virtual Collaboration Event.

September 8, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Money laundering and other crimes have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the need for more widespread use of identity verification and management technologies, government officials say. Credit: stevepb/Pixabay

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the federal government’s need for better identity verification and management tools, in part to ensure relief funds go to the people who need them.

Gay Gilbert, administrator, Office of Unemployment Insurance, Department of Labor, told the audience for the FedID Virtual Collaboration Event today that the department was hit with a pandemic-induced perfect storm. “For those of you who have been watching the news, probably you’ve noticed that the unemployment insurance program has become a key—a little bit of a hotbed, actually, with regard to COVID-19,” she said.

August 31, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Dr. Irma Becerra, president, Marymount University (c), wears a face mask alongside orientation leaders and community assistants as Marymount students move back to campus for the fall 2020 semester.  Photo by Marymount University

From plumbing to space travel, the vast majority of future good-paying jobs will involve technology. Not only will these careers offer regularly increased salaries but also opportunities for advancement and, even more importantly, independence. These are some of Irma Becerra’s beliefs borne of personal experience, a deep passion for technology and a personal purpose in education.

September 1, 2020
By Maj. Gen. Jennifer Napper, USA (Ret.)

Innovation has propelled the government and society forward with lasting advances in science, technology, medicine and many other fields. Its relentless nature has created competition among technology providers, shortened product life cycles and resulted in many solutions being shelved in favor of upgraded ones.

However, some legacy systems remain useful and still fulfill customer needs. If a solution or system isn’t broken, should it receive upgraded functionality or be set aside in favor of a new solution “just because?” If so, what’s the criteria for doing so?

September 1, 2020
 

Identity drives everything across the federal space, from the PIV-CAC cards staffers carry to massive defense projects involving huge budgets and diverse players. The federal identity landscape has evolved rapidly in recent years, with the rise of public and private clouds, DevSecOps and zero trust. But underlying architectures have not kept pace with these advances. Established agencies are still grappling with aging investments made over successive waves of innovation, going from one authoritative directory behind a firewall to a growing collection of attributes scattered across diverse repositories.

August 24, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
LIFT Aircraft CEO Matthew Chasen shows Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett the controls of the company's Hexa electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft at Camp Mabry, Texas, on August 20. The demonstration, hosted by the Texas Air National Guard, was the first in a series that the service's Agility Prime will hold this fall as it strives to field eVTOL aircraft by 2023. Credit: Air National Guard photo by Staff. Sgt. Sean Kornegay

Last Thursday afternoon, leaders deemed the first demonstration of a flying orb by AFWERX’s Agility Prime effort a success. The event was the first in a series of steps toward the U.S. Air Force fielding electric vertical takeoff and landing, or eVTOLs, by 2023.

August 12, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The U.S. Army wants to automate planning for primary, alternate, contingency and emergency (PACE) communications. A so-called intelligent engine will suffice in the short term, but over time, service officials expect artificial intelligence to conduct PACE planning.  (U.S. Army photo courtesy of the Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical)

The U.S. Army wants an automated communications planning system. In the short term, researchers expect to use an “intelligent engine” but in the future, artificial intelligence will likely take over the task.

Planning communications for different conditions is commonly known as PACE planning. The acronym stands for “primary, alternate, contingency and emergency” communications. Different situations call for different communications systems, explains Michael Brownfield, chief of the Army Future Capabilities Office within the Combat Capabilities Development Command’s research organization formally named the Command and Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center.

August 7, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The Ripsaw M5 robotic combat vehicle developed by a team made up ofTextron, Howe & Howe, and FLIR Systems, is one of two robotic systems being developed for the Army's manned-unmanned teaming concept.  The other is the a light robotic vehicle being developed by QinetiQ and Pratt and Miller. The service is conducting a series of experiments to test the concept using surrogate vehicles while the robotic systems are in development. Photo courtesy of Textron

Manned-unmanned teaming technologies being assessed in a weeks-long experiment are receiving mostly positive reviews from Army officials and non-commissioned officers.

The Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team and Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center are conducting soldier operational experiments at Ft. Carson, Colorado, from June 15 through August 14. The goal is to observe, collect and analyze feedback from soldiers to assess the feasibility of integrating unmanned vehicles into ground combat formations.

August 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off, carrying the company’s StarLink low-earth-orbit networking satellites. Flooding near-earth space with hundreds of satellites is the future of orbital activities as satellite construction expenses and launch costs continue to come down.  SpaceX

The next era of satellite communications is upon us in the form of low-earth-orbit constellations aiming to revolutionize personal connectivity, according to satellite experts. These new satellite swarms are being driven by technology innovations simultaneously with the growth of less-expensive launch services. The result will be an explosion in the number and type of orbiters serving their earthbound hosts while raising the bar for support technologies on the ground.

August 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket lifts off from Vandenber Air Force Base on January 19, 2019. With its rapid fielding pace, the Space Development Agency plans to launch initial capacity of its new network in 2021. U.S. Air Force photo by Michael Peterson

The threats to the U.S. military and the nation are such that additional space-based capabilities must be rapidly fielded. A proliferated low-earth-orbit constellation of satellites and sensors will connect to the military’s tactical legacy datalinks and weapons systems to deter against advanced threats. In particular, beyond-line-of-sight targeting capabilities and enabling the detection, tracking and fire control of advanced missile threats will be a part of the system that the Space Development Agency deploys as part of its National Defense Space Architecture, or the NDSA, says the agency’s director, Derek Tournear.

August 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The Naval Research Lab’s Blossom Point satellite tracking facility is fully automated, reducing manpower and costs. Now, the research lab is extending those capabilities with autonomous antennas in California and Hawaii.   Emanuel Cavalarro

By year’s end, U.S. Navy researchers intend to add one of two remote autonomous antennas to its satellite tracking architecture, enhancing its ability to collect strategic satellite data and support space-related research and development.

The first antenna will be located at a secure, undisclosed and unmanned site in California and will extend the tracking capabilities from Blossom Point, Maryland. The second is planned for Hawaii.

Blossom Point is located south of Washington, D.C., and is owned and operated by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). It is considered a state-of-the-art command and control facility capable of supporting satellite spaceflight missions from launch through end-of-life.

August 1, 2020
By Henry S. Kenyon

Mapping and location finding technologies common to every smartphone are making their way to 911 emergency calls, letting first responders know exactly where to go and saving precious time that can be used to save lives.

These capabilities are emerging in what’s known as Next Generation 911, or NG911. They represent a fusion of mobile device applications and services that are being overlaid or built into these new emergency telecommunications systems that let police, paramedics and firefighters get to exactly where they need to be.

August 1, 2020
By Henry S. Kenyon

Intelligence community and government personnel who work with classified or sensitive information often use multiple computers on their desks, each one connected to a separate network based on the security level of the information being accessed.

This can create a variety of IT and logistical challenges for workers onsite, but as ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other circumstances force more people to work remotely, managing all of this equipment and their security requirements from a private home can be difficult or nearly impossible without multilevel secure systems capable of doing the job of multiple desktops in a single secure station.

July 30, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
A DARPA cubesat placed into orbit from the International Space Station contains an experiment in which microelectronic mechanical systems (MEMS) change the mirror shape of an optical system to generate high-quality imagery. Space is just one area in which the agency is boosting its research to meet new challenges. Credit: NASA photo

New research areas and greater emphasis on existing sciences define the way ahead for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Longstanding areas such as artificial intelligence, quantum sciences and directed energy systems now are sharing the spotlight with antiviral research, space systems and operational biotechnology as the agency aims deeper into the new decade.

July 30, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The Army’s CCDC C5ISR Center uses field experimentation, such as the annual Network Modernization Experiment, to evaluate the maturity of DOD and industry technologies early in the research and development cycle and in a relevant, threat-based environment. Credit: U.S. Army

During the Army’s Network Modernization Experiment 2020 that kicked off last week, researchers are attacking fledgling systems with electronic warfare capabilities that near-peer adversaries are not expected to possess for years to come, officials say.

July 29, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The Defense Health Agency and the Defense Healthcare Management Systems' recently completed cloud Accelerated Migration Project required a massive amount of storage, from Amazon Web Service's (AWS') Snowball Edge devices (pictured), which each have a capacity of 100 terabytes of data. Credit: AWS

Experts at the Defense Health Agency (DHA) and the Program Executive Office, Defense Healthcare Management Systems, recently completed a game-changing cloud migration project that digitally transformed access to Defense Department medical records. The so-called Accelerated Migration Project, or AMP, was a vast data migration of petabytes of secondary healthcare data to the cloud. The effort involved working with 20 outside vendors, restructuring to 14 cloud native services, managing 60 separate applications and consolidating several hundred virtual machines.

July 20, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Vince Urias, Sandia National Laboratories computer scientist, will pitch cybersecurity tools to potential investors at a special Department of Energy event. Photo by Randy Montoya

Two Sandia National Laboratories computer scientists are earning national recognition for cybersecurity platforms they developed. Adrian Chavez and Vince Urias will pitch their software to investors, entrepreneurs and prospective customers during the Cybersecurity Technology Virtual Showcase, which runs July 21-30 and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Combined, Chavez and Urias led the creation of four of the technologies to be showcased.