Technology

July 13, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
The Internal Revenue Service must include technological innovation as it tackles its Congressional mandates, such as tax reform, says Kevin Bierschenk, acting director, Enterprise Program Controls, IRS.

Faced with a decreasing workforce, budgetary challenges and the annual mammoth effort of collecting, processing and enforcing the nation’s taxation, U.S. Department of Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is also implementing the tax reform Congress mandated in December under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the largest tax reform in 30 years. At the same time, the bureau must innovate to continuously improve the taxpayer experience and lessen the burden of filing taxes, said IRS leaders at the IRS Fiscal Year 2018 Industry Conversation event on July 10 in Washington, DC.

July 9, 2018
By Shaun Bierweiler
It may be a great time for government agencies to leap into open source, but looking first is always advised, says Shaun Bierweiler of Hortonworks. Credit: Sambeet/Pixabay

In February 2018, the Department of Defense (DOD) Defense Digital Service (DDS) relaunched Code.mil to expand the use of open source code. In short, Code.mil aims to enable the migration of some of the department’s custom-developed code into a central repository for other agency developers to reduce work redundancy and save costs in software development. This move to open source makes sense considering that much of the innovation and technological advancements we are seeing are happening in the open source space.

July 3, 2018
By Maryann Lawlor
Advances in manufacturing techniques will deeply impact a variety of businesses such as building construction. They will be particularly useful as part of emergency response efforts to reconstruct homes quickly. Credit: Shutterstock/benik.at

As the tentacles of technology reach further and deeper into mainstream uses, their influence on the job market, man-machine interactions, government agencies and the military will grow exponentially. Capabilities once thought of as fodder for science fiction have become science fact at such unpredictable speeds organizations will need to understand the implications quickly if they hope to take advantage of the benefits they offer and not fall behind the curve.

July 1, 2018
By Christopher J. Balcik
Samsung’s GearVR would immerse warfighters in a training environment that better leverages mobile platforms.

The U.S. Defense Department is accelerating its investments in live, virtual, constructive and mixed-reality training, which will result in the rapid development of new immersive military applications. As the mobile revolution intersects with new data science technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, these expenditures will enable warfighters to be better prepared regardless of the scenario.

July 1, 2018
By Terry Halvorsen

I wasn’t sure how to define this article. I tossed around some ideas, but none seemed quite right. Are we winning the technology race? Are we still the best and brightest? Is the United States losing ground because it is too late to adopt technology? Instead, I will answer questions I have been asked as I travel the globe. These frequently asked questions come from governments, allies, industry, academia and the media.

July 1, 2018
By Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan White, USCG

Ever-expanding reviews and policies aren’t the only way to control enterprise information technology projects. Instead, management should establish clear standards and incentivize project managers to choose enterprise-friendly designs that streamline external reviews and eliminate the delays and costs associated with compliance.

Information technology projects have distinct requirements: cybersecurity, privacy and Section 508 compliance. These necessary requirements add a significant burden and can cause slowdowns and cost overruns. Other external challenges come from the budgeting process, procurement and configuration management.

June 28, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is improving digital access to patient health care information, as well as identity management, says Steve Posnack, executive director, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS. Posnack participated in AFCEA’s recent Federal Identity (FedID) Understanding of Identity Meetup event. Credit: Shutterstock

The Internet of Things is impacting most industries, including the medical field. Portable, wireless devices are helping to monitor and diagnose patient health conditions. Hospital and other facilities provide remote monitoring, improved data analytics and automated systems. At the same time, while electronic health records have moved patient health information to the digital realm, patients continue to lack access to that health care information.

June 27, 2018
By Maryann Lawlor
U.S Air Force Academy cadets work with industry participants during a CyberWorx design project.

The U.S. Air Force is exploring innovative ways to put technology to work and address both warfighter fitness maintenance issues and access to troop fitness readiness data. With the help of AF CyberWorx, a public-private design center, innovators will tackle one of two challenges during a daylong hackathon.

June 14, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
The Navy’s Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island is considering the capabilities of micro aquatic robots, such as this unmanned surface vehicle called SwarmDiver from Aquabotix. Photo credit: Aquabotix

This article was updated on June 18 to reflect new information.

Autonomous vehicles, whether for land, air or sea, are already in use by the military. The services are now looking into what niche devices can provide as far as capabilities.

The U.S. Navy recently entered into a special purpose Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Fall River, Massachusetts and Sydney, Australia-based Aquabotix to examine the possibilities of the company’s micro aquatic robot.

June 13, 2018
By George I. Seffers
U.S. Army officials intend to modernize the service’s network, which is considered too complex and cumbersome. As part of that effort, the service could potentially kick off a competition for industry and academia to offer cutting-edge solutions. Photo Credit: David Vergun

Two U.S. Army generals intimately involved in the modernization of the service’s network are considering a competition for industry and academia to come up with cutting-edge solutions, such as artificial intelligence, for the future network.

In an example of great minds thinking alike, Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher, USA, who leads the network modernization cross-functional team (CFT), and Maj. Gen. David Bassett, USA, the program executive officer for command, control and communications-tactical (PEO C3T), recently realized during an interview with SIGNAL Magazine that both were thinking along the same lines.

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.

June 4, 2018
 
Ensign Edward Hanlon, USN, along with a group of midshipmen, helped create the robotic satellite repair system AMODS, which will be launched into space for testing this summer.

Researchers at the Systems Engineering Department of the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California, will remotely test for the first time an autonomous satellite repair system known as AMODS, after it is launched with Rocket Lab USA’s Electron rocket this summer, reports Matthew Schehl of the Navy News Service.

The U.S. Navy’s Morgan Lange, Edward Hanlon and Benjamin Keegan were midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy when they developed AMODS—the Autonomous Mobile On-orbit Diagnostic System—with guidance from Jin Kang, assistant professor, Aerospace Engineering Department, and director, Naval Academy Small Satellite Program.

June 4, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer satellite, known as ICON, will track how Earth’s weather and space weather interact. Photo and artistic rendering of ICON courtesy of NASA.

With a growing reliance on the global positioning system (GPS), satellites and other space-based technologies for use in everyday life on Earth, the importance of understanding the region of space where these technologies operate has also grown.

June 1, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman

The future of the cloud is being defined by the technology’s two-way relationship with both users and innovation. Each group exerts influence over cloud evolution, and the cloud shapes the needs of customers and the direction of technology transformation. Cloud improvements might make traditional data storage and retrieval activities become less visible, fading into a cloud of usage analogous to 19th-century military thinker Carl von Clausewitz’s fog of war.

June 1, 2018
By Kurt Stephens and Bill Whittington
An omnidirectional broadband antenna and 5 meter Rolatube mast system weighs 11 pounds and can be set up and ready for transmit and receive in less than six minutes by one person.

With the development and fielding of satellite communications throughout the U.S. military, today’s warfighters rarely use high frequency communications within and between units. International events have increased interest in high frequency communications as an alternative to connecting via satellites on current and future battlefields. U.S. military units already own a large amount of the radio equipment suitable for employment at various levels of the battlefield and for humanitarian relief as a redundant means of beyond-line-of-sight communications.

June 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Multitenant data centers such as this Ashburn, Virginia, Equinix International Business Exchange facility are providing the physical link to cloud service providers.

A couple of years into the so-called second wave of cloud, there are few signs of declining demand for cloud-based services. Experts think demand will only continue to grow as Internet of Things-related services are sought from the cloud, and data generated by smart devices increases the need for cloud storage. Now, traditional data centers are morphing into key global cloud interconnectors.

June 1, 2018
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

Artificial intelligence, or AI, offers the promise of being the next great disruptive technology. Its reach and value seem limitless. But as with any disruptive innovation, it has the potential for negative effects when put in the hands of nefarious actors. And to prevent potential adversaries from exploiting the capability, the free world must commit to a concentrated effort on AI research and development.

June 1, 2018
By Jennifer A. Miller

G-Invoicing: Sounds interesting by name alone, right? Chatter among the U.S. Defense Department financial management communities and peripheral groups supporting government invoicing confirms said interest. Many of my colleagues and I want to know more, and I hope you do too because it is changing the way intragovernmental transactions work. In the last year or so, questions, thoughts and, most recently, training are informing audiences about G-Invoicing.

June 1, 2018
By Terry Halvorsen

Second of two parts. Read part one.

Technology can either multiply time or diminish time, depending on how you manage it. Unfortunately, email and text communications are frequently mismanaged. But the technology isn’t at fault. You the leader must own the technology and not let the technology own you.

Don’t be a slave to texts and emails. If an issue isn’t important, then don’t respond to a message immediately.

Be careful about the number of emails or texts you send, and talk with your team about how they are managing emails and texts. Resist the temptation to jump into a discussion if you are copied.

June 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood

As U.S. Army and other Defense Department end users employ cloud services more and more through the ACCENT contract vehicle, they will have an army of approved contractors standing by to assist them, with each company trying to make its mark and win business.

The Army’s Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) conducts the on-ramping qualification process for companies to be ACCENT cloud service providers. Once approved by the PEO EIS, the companies remain for the duration of the contract; the Army intends to have an annual open window for companies to apply.

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