Technology

March 16, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman

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

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

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

March 1, 2020
By Theresa Fox

The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB’s) Memorandum M-19-18, “Federal Data Strategy - A Framework for Consistency” acts as a foundation of guiding principles and best practices to help agencies update the way they manage and use data and improve on information delivery, service and consistency. The intent is to pull government into the modern technological times in which we live while focusing on the ethical and compliance challenges of governing, managing and protecting data.

February 26, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Sandia National Laboratories researchers leading the MARCUS project are developing a system to capture small unmanned aircraft systems then fly them away from crowds or sensitive areas such as government buildings. Photo by Randy Montoya

An unmanned aircraft system tracks and follows Sandia National Laboratories researcher David Novick, who is leading a project to identify, track and capture enemy UAS during flight.</body></html>

February 26, 2020
By Cameron Chehreh
Principles for artificial intelligence stewardship will give agencies a clear framework for promoting safe, ethical AI development in the private sector. Credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

By 2030, artificial intelligence (AI) is projected to add $13 trillion to the global economic output. In government, AI applications promise to strengthen the federal workforce, safeguard our nation against bad actors, serve citizens more effectively and provide our warfighters the advantage on the battlefield. But this success will require collaboration and advancements from government and industry.

February 13, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Space and Missile Systems Center’s fifth Advanced Extreme High Frequency satellite, AEHF-5, in the faring of United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V vehicle, launches last August at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The center has moved control of the satellite to the new Space Operations Command. Credit: SMC

The Space and Missile Systems Center has transferred its fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite to the new Space Operations Command. Both the center, known as SMC, and the command, known as SpOC, fall under the new U.S. Space Force. Operators from SpOC at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, will now retain control authority for the key military satellite communications capability, the center reported on February 12.

February 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
A U.S. Marine with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, fast ropes from a MV-22B Osprey during drills in November at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Technologies fielded by the service’s Command Element Systems must be lightweight and effective for expeditionary forces.  U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Matthew Kirk, USMC

A Marine Corps of the future with a “reinvigorated Fleet Marine Force” and a strong Marine Expeditionary Force requires robust command and control and other advanced communications technologies, says the service’s top leader. As such, the Marine Corps Systems Command’s Command Element Systems is pursuing advanced satellite communications, electronic warfare, biometrics and other solutions.

February 5, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Lead researcher Dave Soscia said the “brain-on-a-chip” device, designed and fabricated at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, was designed to be easily reproducible. The lab has applied for a patent on the device and is looking to engage with potential collaborators to further develop it. Photo by Julie Russell/LLNL

Engineers and biologists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have developed a 3D “brain-on-a-chip” device capable of recording the neural activity of living brain cell cultures. This is a huge advancement in the realistic modeling of the human brain outside of the body.

February 4, 2020
 
Boeing and the U.S. Navy have demonstrated that one EA-18G Growler can be used to autonomously control two others. Credit: Boeing

Boeing and the U.S. Navy successfully flew two autonomously controlled EA-18G Growlers at Naval Air Station Patuxent River as unmanned air systems using a third Growler as a mission controller for the other two, Boeing has announced.

The flights, conducted during the Navy Warfare Development Command’s annual fleet experiment (FLEX) exercises, proved the effectiveness of technology allowing F/A-18 Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers to perform combat missions with unmanned systems.

February 3, 2020
By Brandon Shopp
A U.S. Army soldier tests his battle systems in the field at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Credit: Army photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division

Cloud computing can quicken U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) efforts toward information dominance, but agencies must be measured and deliberate in the march toward the cloud.

February 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The National Spectrum Consortium, a Defense Department research and development organization, is central to the Pentagon’s efforts to gain dominance in the 5G arena.

The United States and China are locked in a competition to take command of fifth-generation spectrum technologies known as 5G. Because those technologies will enable autonomous vehicles, smart cities and battlefield operations, the leading nation will reap commercial, economic and military benefits. To spur U.S. innovation, the Defense Department is largely relying on the National Spectrum Consortium, a research and development organization designed to develop revolutionary spectrum-related technologies through collaboration among industry, academia and government agencies.

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