Technology Blog

DHS Awards Funds for Blockchain Security Technology

November 13, 2019
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Credit: Shutterstock/whiteMocca

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has a contract to develop blockchain security technology to prevent credential fraud.

Getting to Joint Warfighting

November 13, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Mike Holmes, USAF, commander of Air Combat Command (r), receives a brief on U-2 Dragon Lady ejection procedures from Lt. Col. Charles, 9th Operations Group deputy commander, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Holmes visited the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, where he was immersed in all aspects of the reconnaissance mission. U.S Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tristan D. Viglianco

For multidomain operations across the forces, the complex array of integrated sensors, data and secure processing needs to be effectively connected to warfighters.

Teaching Satellites Self-Defense

October 21, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories search for ways to protect satellites from a variety of threats, including missiles, lasers and electronic warfare. Credit: Shutterstock/Andrey Armyagov

The campaign, called Science and Technology Advancing Resilience for Contested Space (STARCS), will fund dozens of Laboratory Directed Research and Development projects.

Perception, Manipulation and Teaming Generate Army Robotics Achievements

October 18, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
This early version of the ARL RCTA's LLAMA robot demonstrated how a quadruped can ascertain obstacles and avoid them. An improved version features better sensors, and future iterations will give it more speed and greater payload., An ARL RCTA robot designed to clear paths of obstacles opted to use its clawed arm to drag a large tree limb out of the way rather than attempt to carry it off. Sensors weighed options based on the vehicle’s capabilities to determine the best course of action., If faced with two potentially dangerous barrels apart in a roadway, this robot will use its sensors and its mechanical arm to determine which one is only partly full. That barrel then will be moved out of the way to clear a safe path for soldiers.

The capstone of an Army Research Laboratory collaborative robotics alliance introduced advanced autonomous functions designed to turn robots into battlefield partners.

Jette: We Need to Re-Examine Our Industrial Base

October 17, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Soldiers travel in an M113 armored personnel carrier during a combat support training exercise. The Army keeps purchases and stores for long periods components of major systems, such as transmissions for M113s, but advances in manufacturing could help the service, and the industrial base, find new ways of sustaining heavy equipment. Credit: Master Sgt. Michel Sauret

“We have a problem with the industrial base, particularly for the defense industry.”—Bruce Jette, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology

DARPA Doubles Down on Blackjack

October 11, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
DARPA’s Blackjack program wilDARPA’s Blackjack program will leverage commercial low Earth orbit solutions, says Paul “Rusty” Thomas, Blackjack program manager. Concept graphic courtesy of DARPAl leverage commercial low Earth orbit solutions, says Paul “Rusty” Thomas, Blackjack program manager. Credit: Concept graphic courtesy of DARPA

Through its LEO satellite demonstration project, the agency aims to create a more resilient, and less expensive, agnostic spacecraft architecture.

Study Finds Robots Could Someday Recognize Human Emotions

October 7, 2019
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Credit: Lemberg Vector studio

A new study shows that robots could be taught to recognize human emotions from the way people move.

Heartfelt Security Application Emerges

October 7, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Sandia National Laboratories is pursuing a heartbeat-based technology for a security application. Credit: Shutterstock/LuckyStep

Key government research arm signs an agreement with small business to develop security system based on the human heartbeat.

Army Approves Advanced Manufacturing Policy

October 4, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
A new policy approved by the secretary of the Army requires the use of advanced manufacturing techniques, which included 3D printing, for new and existing systems. Credit: Pixabay/mebner1

Advanced manufacturing includes robotics, artificial intelligence, composite materials and additive manufacturing, often referred to as 3D printing.

Structure Increases Content Value

September 30, 2019
By Maryann Lawlor
 Putting content in predetermined structures facilitates sharing, tracking and reusing., Information formatting standardization facilitates sharing data on a number of platforms.,  Authors within a structured content environment can produce material that can used in a number of ways.

Going from business as usual to a structured content environment poses some trials, but making the transition is worth the work.

Students in Sandia Program Evaluate Autonomy and AI for Hypersonic Applications

September 27, 2019
Students from the Autonomy New Mexico program at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque developed drone platforms in order to test hypersonic system applications. Credit: Vince Gasparich

Team of interns developed drone platforms as a testbed for hypersonic systems.

Civil Libertarians Wrong to Fear Biometrics

September 26, 2019
By Shaun Waterman
Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley said biometrics will fundamentally change the way we must think about privacy during his closing keynote at the Federal Identity Forum and Expo. Photo: Shaun Waterman/Signal

Civil libertarians are wrong to fear facial recognition and other biometric identity technologies. But, they will fundamentally change the way we must think about privacy and could have very negative consequences for democracy if not regulated correctly.

Misperceptions About Facial Recognition Taint Public Conversation

September 26, 2019
By Shaun Waterman
Panelists (l-r) Duane Blackburn, S&T policy analyst for The MITRE Corporation; Ralph Rodriguez, Facebook research scientist; Logan O'Shaughnessy, attorney, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board; Arun Ross, professor, Michigan State University; and moderator Stephanie Schuckers, director of the Center for Identification Technology Research at Clarkson University, discuss misperceptions about facial recognition at FedID 2019. Photo: Shaun Waterman/Signal

Experts: Bad science and click-driven media stokes public fears on facial recognition technology.

Shape-Shifting Robots Built from Smaller Robots

September 25, 2019
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Close-up of a "smarticle"—smart active particle—showing the two 3D-printed arms, light sensor and motor. Credit: Rob Felt, Georgia Tech, Five identical "smarticles” interact with one another in an enclosure. By nudging each other, the group—dubbed a "supersmarticle"—can move in random ways. The research could lead to robotic systems capable of changing their shapes, modalities and functions. Credit: Rob Felt, Georgia Tech, Light hits a smarticle causing it to stop moving, while the other smarticles continue to flap their arms. The resulting interactions produce movement toward the stopped smarticle, providing control that doesn't depend on computer algorithms. Credit: Rob Felt, Georgia Tech

Researchers have taken a new approach to developing robots—using smaller robots known as “smarticles” to unlock the principles of a potentially new locomotion technique.

NIST: Facial Recognition Technology Improving by Leaps and Bounds

September 24, 2019
By Shaun Waterman
Credit: Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov

Facial recognition technology has become “spectacularly” more effective at matching an individual with their photo in a gallery of millions of pictures.

Identification Verification Capabilities Shrink

September 19, 2019
By Maryann Lawlor
The wearable authentication tokens will enable soldiers at every echelon to prove their identity when operating systems, devices and applications on the Army tactical network. Credit: Spc. Dustin D. Biven, USA, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, The Task ID and Access Management (TIDAM) program’s tokens are lightweight, flexible and rugged. They can be inserted in a pocket, attached to a sleeve or integrated into a wristband. Credit: Douglas Scott, Soldiers wearing TIDAM tokens could log in by getting near to a system, which would then prompt them to enter a PIN or a biometric as a second form of ID. They would be automatically logged out when they walk out of the system's range. Credit: Combat Camera, courtesy of CCDC C5ISR Center public affairs

U.S. Army's Combat Capability Development Command directorate fields a wearable ID token.

Seeing Infrared with Sandia’s Nanoantennas

September 16, 2019
Posted by: George I. Seffers
Sandia National Laboratories researchers are ready to commercialize a nanoantenna-enabled detector on an assembled focal plane array for a thermal infrared camera. The gold nanoantennas are too small to be visible on top of the detector array.    Photo courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories

Sandia is pursuing leads to establish a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement to start transferring the technology to industry.


Army Researchers Work To Combat Deepfake Videos

September 11, 2019
Computer scientists at the U.S. Army¹s Combat Capabilities Development Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground are working on biometric software systems to combat so-called "deepfake" or bogus media. Credit: Shutterstock/meyer_solutions

Computer scientists are employing biometric systems to battle bogus media and protect warfighters.

Robots Go Underground

August 23, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Timothy Chung, program manager, Tactical Technology Office, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), briefs SIGNAL Magazine and other reporters on August 20 during DARPA's Subterranean Challenge at a coal mine research facility in Pittsburgh.,  Researchers from the Jet Propulsion Lab, California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and South Korea's KAIST Center, representing the CoStar Team, await to deploy additional ground robots into the coal mine tunnel on August 20 during DARPA's Subterranean Challenge.,  Team Pluto, with roboticists from the University of Pennsylvania, Exyn Technologies and Ghost Robotics, relied in part on Ghost's quadruped robot platform (pictured), as well as Exyn's advanced autonomous aerial robot.

Test of robotic systems in subterranean coal mine spells trouble for aerial systems.

Multidomain Operations Challenge Traditional Strategies

August 16, 2019
By Maryann Lawlor
During the radio rodeo, the C5ISR Center places industry radios into an operationally relevant field environment to assess their ability to operate on the move in a contested, multidomain environment. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Photo Courtesy of PEO C3T), Warrant Officer Alan Mendoza, USA, an all-source intelligence technician assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, reviews significant activity during exercise Allied Spirit X in Hohenfels, Germany. The exercise included participants from 15 nations, enabling U.S. military participants to evaluate communications interoperability. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Thomas Mort, USA),  The C5ISR Center’s Radio Rodeo is an opportunity for U.S. Army personnel to communication openly about their requirements and for companies to demonstrate their mature solutions. (Photo Credit: C5ISR Center)

The modernization, proliferation and commoditization of electronics make contending with peer and near-peer adversaries more difficult, lethal and deadly.