Technology

September 11, 2018
By Paul Parker
Strip away the spin around software-defined networking, and IT administrators are left with the same basic network management processes under a different architectural framework, says Paul Parker with SolarWinds. Credit: geralt/Pixabay

The need for next-generation networking solutions is intensifying, and for good reason. Modern software-defined networking (SDN) solutions offer better automation and remediation and stronger response mechanisms than others in the event of a breach.

But federal administrators should balance their desire for SDN solutions with the realities of government. While there are calls for ingenuity, agility, flexibility, simplicity and better security, implementation of these new technologies must take place within constraints posed by methodical procurement practices, meticulous security documentation, sometimes archaic network policies and more.

September 12, 2018
By Ali Cybulski
Stephen Cox, chief engineer at SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific’s RESTORE Lab in San Diego, uses a laser scanner. Credit: Alan Antczak

When neither the original parts nor the original cast were available to repair the U.S. Air Force’s AN/TRC-194 antenna, experts from Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) stepped in with their 3D printing technology.

September 11, 2018
By Ali Cybulski
DARPA research could lead to a third wave of AI technologies with humanlike communication and reasoning capabilities. Credit: DARPA

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the research arm of the U.S. Defense Department, will invest $2 billion in a multiyear campaign called “AI Next” to accelerate the next wave of artificial intelligence technologies. The agency, known as DARPA, plans to explore new theories and applications that could allow machines to adapt to changing situations.

September 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Hughes’ latest satellite, EchoStar XIX, provides high-capacity broadband, increasing satellite Internet service in North America.

The commercial satellite industry is harnessing a perfect storm of technological advancements, cost reductions and increased emphasis on mobile communications to provide greater global connectivity. Innovation is reaching all aspects of the industry, from satellite manufacturing, satellite launch services and satellite ground equipment to satellite services, industry officials report, driving cost savings and performance gains.

September 5, 2018
By Tony Franklin
Image courtesy of Intel

As edge technologies continue to get smarter, faster, and more connected, incredible opportunities have emerged for the public sector to accelerate time to value and reduce costs. These mission-specific solutions are also simpler and faster to deploy!

September 1, 2018
By George I. Seffers
The Deep Space Optical Communications system will be launched into space in 2022 on the Psyche spacecraft, which will explore a massive metallic asteroid. The research program may eventually contribute to a laser communications infrastructure around the red planet. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University/Space Systems Loral/Peter Rubin

In the coming months, researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory expect to take a series of small steps that will ultimately result in a giant leap in laser-enabled Mars telecommunication capabilities. Their technological progress will contribute to a telecommunications infrastructure around the planet that will support both human and robotic expeditions.

Mars is expected to be a veritable hotbed of activity in the relatively near future. NASA’s InSight lander is scheduled to touch down in November to study the planet’s deep interior using seismology and various sensors. The planet also is drawing commercial interest. SpaceX plans to land its Red Dragon spacecraft in 2020.

September 1, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Master Sgt. Bryan Norman, USMC, marks targets for close-air support during last fall’s Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course 1-18 in Yuma, Arizona. The course provided air wing personnel a first chance to try the THS V.2 in that environment.

As they field the remainder of their new and improved target handoff systems, the U.S. Marines are planning further enhancements and applications, including possibly using the technology to control an unmanned aircraft or its sensor payload.

September 1, 2018
By Terry Halvorsen

During the past several months, as I have visited organizations in the United States and across the world, I have heard a lot from both men and women about the need to do more to promote women in technology to leadership roles. I asked my colleague Barbara Hoffman, vice president for global strategic operations at Samsung, a former member of the Senior Executive Service and a U.S. Defense Department employee, to provide her perspectives on this issue.

August 24, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The DOD reports a successful demonstration of the miniature air-launched decoy technology upgraded with electronic warfare known as MALD-X. Pictured here is an earlier version of the MALD vehicles, manufactured by The Raytheon Company. Photo credit: Raytheon

The military’s miniature air-launched decoy technology, known as MALD, equipped with decoy, jamming and now electronic warfare capabilities, advanced this week after a successful free flight run through. The decoys are used by the military to confuse adversarial air defenses.

The Air Force’s MALD Program Office and the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, along with the Naval Air Warfare Center at Point Mugu, California, successfully completed a series of MALD-X demonstrations on August 20 and 22, the DOD noted in a statement.

August 23, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Maj. Gen. James J. Mingus, USA, commanding general, 82nd Airborne Division, speaks at AFCEA’s TechNet Augusta conference. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The world is on the verge of a space-based global mesh network that could provide full-motion video of the entire planet, and that could pose problems for the military.

August 22, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Maj. Gen. David Bassett, USA, and Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher, USA speak at AFCEA's TechNet Augusta conference. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The U.S. Army already is delivering several components of an integrated tactical network (ITN), a concept designed to allow the service to keep pace with technological advances, insert new capabilities as they become available and address emerging threats.

The ITN focuses on a simplified, independent, mobile network solution that does not rely on a single component to provide enhanced network availability down to the small unit dismounted leader. It takes advantage of both commercial and military network transport to enable communications in disrupted, disconnected, intermittent and limited bandwidth environments, according to an Army article.

August 10, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Dana Deasy, who became the U.S. Defense Department’s chief information officer nearly 100 days ago, has been charged with creating the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.

The U.S. Defense Department’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) will see major progress next year, says Dana Deasy, the department’s new chief information officer. The joint center will accelerate the delivery of AI-enabled capabilities and develop tools and technologies that will offer benefits across the military.

August 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor, USA, commanding general, U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, and senior commander of Aberdeen Proving Ground, is working to improve the Army’s readiness.

To ensure greater supply availability of certain technologies, the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command is pursuing a concept not widely used in the military, reports Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor, USA, commander of the organization and senior commander of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The command has started a pilot program that will allow the service to option intellectual property rights in specific hardware and software contracts, Gen. Taylor says.

August 1, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
U.S. soldiers conduct a communications check during an exercise. The Army is implementing a plan for restructuring its battlespace network after years of ad hoc changes in Southwest Asia. Army photography by Lt. Col. John Hall, USA.

The U.S. Army will be ditching some programs, re-engineering others and seeking innovative technologies to fill networking requirements created by a new operational reality, say the service’s information technology experts. Having a deliberate period of acquisition now, the service is able to incorporate flexibility and innovation into its plans to meet new requirements.

August 10, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
The commercial sector continues to implement new electronic warfare (EW) technology, pushing towards multifunction, multi-domain applications. Sierra Nevada’s mobile land-based system, called Modi, defends against unmanned vehicle threats as well as traditional EW threats. Credit: Sierra Nevada Corp.

As electronic warfare is re-emerging as a key battlefield function, the commercial sector is striving to offer advanced technologies. Land-based systems are needed to combat both ground and airborne adversarial threats, while airborne electronic warfare tools provide maneuverable tactics to marque aircraft.

The focus of Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC’s) dismounted electronic countermeasure system, known as Modi, has evolved from defeating radio-controlled improvised explosive devices (RCIEDs) to being a multi-function electronic warfare (EW) tool, explained Jerry Coburn, director, business development, SNC, during a recent interview with SIGNAL Magazine.

August 7, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
A new fabrication process enables the creation of soft robots at the millimeter scale with features on the micrometer scale as shown here with the example of a soft robotic spider with moving body parts and colored eyes and abdomens. Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

Researchers have developed an integrated fabrication process that for the very first time enables the design of soft robots on the millimeter scale with micrometer-scale features. To demonstrate the capabilities of their new technology, they created a robotic soft spider from a single elastic material with body-shaping, motion and color features.

The research team members are from Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Boston University. The study is published in Advanced Materials.

June 12, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Tom Miller (c), CEO of ClearForce, stands with the judges who declared his firm’s technology the winner in the second AFCEA Small Business Innovation Shark Tank Competition. Flanking Tom are (l-r) Glenn Hernandez, CISO, OpEdge Solutions LLC; Manoj Bhatia, president, Network Runners Inc.; Maria Horton, CEO of EmeSec; and Bill Jones, senior vice president of DSA’s Integrated Solutions Group. Photo credit: Elizabeth Moon

A small business with a prestigious board of directors is the second firm selected in an AFCEA Small Business Innovation Shark Tank competition June 7 to uncover innovative emerging technologies. The company, ClearForce of Vienna, Virginia, won against three other firms with its proprietary technology for seeking out employees who might be motivated to commit insider crimes deliberately as well as accidentally.

May 23, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman

A company designing networked drones for disaster relief is the first small business selected in an AFCEA Small Business Innovation Shark Tank competition to uncover innovative emerging technologies. The company, LTAid of Vancouver, Washington, is building unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can serve emergency responders as well as warfighters in theater.

“The demand for logistics outstrips the ability of logistics,” said LTAid’s Chris Thobaben during the competition. “We look to revolutionize a small piece of the supply chain, but it’s the most critical piece.”

August 6, 2018
By Andrew Kelleher
The NSA has had significant, and perhaps surprising, influence on the standards for destroying no-longer-needed data. Credit: PRILL/Shutterstock

Never before has there been such an intense focus on data security and privacy. With data breaches increasing exponentially and the European Union’s recent implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), data security has been at the forefront of news stories over the past several months, with both businesses and consumers suddenly paying very close attention. With this increased attention has come an understanding that data continues to exist even when it is no longer needed or used. Due to this newfound understanding and GDPR’s “Right to be Forgotten,” the eradication of data has new urgency and has become critical to a successful data security program.

August 1, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Researchers at Boeing's new Aerospace & Autonomy Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts to continue to develop autonomous aircraft systems.

The Northeast is drawing in companies and military organizations seeking innovation. The Boeing Co. announced that it would be opening the new Boeing Aerospace & Autonomy Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, according to an August 1 statement.

The center will focus on “designing, building and flying autonomous aircraft and developing enabling technologies,” the statement said. The facility will house employees from both Boeing and its subsidiary Auora Flight Sciences, purchased last year. Aurora creates flight autonomy software, among other innovations.

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