Technology

December 11, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
A multipurpose canine handler with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, applies medical dressings to a realistic canine mannequin during medical training at Stone Bay on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Photo by Cpl. Bryann K. Whitley, USMC

U.S. Marine Corps soldiers in the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) are adding a new tool to the doghouse: a “robot dog” for hands-on canine medical training. The realistic dog mannequin simulator, used recently for the first time at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, will help the soldiers improve their canine medical skills, according to a report by Cpl. Bryann Whitley, USMC. 

December 11, 2017
By using laser-generated, hologram-like 3-D images flashed into photosensitive resin, researchers can build complex parts in a fraction of the time of traditional layer-by-layer printing. Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

By using laser-generated, hologram-like 3D images flashed into photosensitive resin, researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL), along with collaborators at UC Berkeley, the University of Rochester and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), have discovered they can build complex 3-D parts in a fraction of the time of traditional layer-by-layer printing, according to an LLNL press release.

The novel approach is called “volumetric” 3-D printing, and is described in the journal Science Advances, published online on December 8.

December 7, 2017
The U.S. Army conducts a demonstration of robotic and autonomous systems at Fort Benning, Georgia. Service officials want to design a Remote Combat Vehicle more lethal and maneuverable than an Abrams tank. Photo credit: Patrick A. Albright

Within five years, the Army would like to start testing remote combat vehicle (RCV) prototypes that are as light and as fast as a Stryker but provide the same level of firepower as an M-1 Abrams tank, according to a service press release.

While the holy grail is the Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV), the Army thinks it can more quickly field a limited number of RCVs, and importantly, the results of that testing could help inform the requirements for the NGCV, which is slated for fielding in 2035.

December 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers
U.S. special forces operate in extreme and austere environments, requiring a wide range of capabilities, including undergarments that warm the body in cold weather and cool the body when it is hot.

Special operations forces require a variety of systems—everything from satellites to submarines—to accomplish their mission, and officials are looking outside traditional circles for solutions. By the end of this month, they expect to decide on a path forward for problem solvers who fall outside of the norm and their new methods and ideas touching on biotechnology, machine learning and the Internet of Things.

December 1, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
A rendering of Lockheed Martin’s combined fiber laser shows the power the weapon would offer to the Army. Lockheed Martin

The U.S. Army is moving closer to putting high-energy laser weapons on individual vehicles to improve its short-range air defense capabilities. The weapons meet the Army’s need for counter-rocket, artillery and mortar fire and protection for unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned aircraft systems—the latter of which is particularly important, given their abundance. Laser systems offer substantially lower cost per fire than traditional weapons, and their stealth firing characteristics make them valuable countermeasures for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.

December 1, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor

Defense Information Systems Agency mission partners will soon be able to take advantage of cloud computing and storage at up to 70 percent cost savings. The agency’s milCloud 2.0, a commercial-grade private cloud for defense customers scheduled to achieve initial operational capability next month, spreads out costs among many customers and makes infrastructure upgrades more affordable. MilCloud 2.0 also will offer customers much-needed agility, an important feature for warfighters who must respond dynamically to ever-changing threats.

December 1, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
The U.S. Army is looking at what it can do with MAX POWER, the Air Force Research Laboratory-developed microwave technology. AFRL

A prototype microwave defense system known as MAX POWER, which deployed in 2012 to Afghanistan, proved useful in neutralizing the threat of improvised explosive devices. The system houses high-powered vacuum tubes to generate microwaves that detonated roadside bombs before they could harm soldiers.

Originally developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, MAX POWER has transferred to the Army. In an agreement with the AFRL, the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at New Jersey’s Picatinny Arsenal is looking to see what it can do with MAX POWER’s hardware.

December 1, 2017
By Jennifer A. Miller

The U.S. Defense Department is implementing one of the world’s largest enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and the process could be going better. This is the case for many organizations that decide to adopt the software. After all, ERP software can cause network failures, resulting in significant lost opportunities and resources.

ERP software allows the integration of business management applications and automation of office functions. As a taxpayer and a steward of tax dollars, I have questioned the department’s choices of ERP software and implementation techniques. I have also studied a rarity—an ERP implementation success in a government organization.

November 16, 2017
The damage-sensing network is integrated into a conceptual composite UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter.

For the first time, researchers have successfully developed and tested networked acoustic emission sensors that can detect airframe damage on conceptual composite UH-60 Black Hawk rotorcraft, according to an announcement from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL). The discovery could lead to onboard features that immediately alert the flight crew to the state of structural damage, such as matrix cracking and delamination as they occur, giving the crew more time to take corrective actions before catastrophic failure.

November 15, 2017
DARPA’s Nascent Light-Matter Interactions (NLM) program aims to develop theory-anchored models that could yield new structures for materials with never-before-seen electromagnetic properties. This artist's concept depicts an example of how an engineered material might be able to convert, generate, or harvest electromagnetic fields exploiting interactions that could have far-reaching effects in areas such as sensing, thermal control, frequency conversion and dynamics.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced a new program designed to better understand and ultimately improve metamaterials. The program could lead to improvements in a number of areas, including imaging, thermal control and frequency conversion.

November 1, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
High-power electromagnetic weapons will be critical nonlethal tools for cyber and electronic warfare applications, explains Mary Lou Robinson, Air Force Research Laboratory lead of the High Power Electromagnetics Division at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.

As cyber attacks and electronic warfare become ever-growing concerns in the battlespace, the need for electromagnetic technologies such as high-power microwave weapons becomes crucial to defend against threats.

November 1, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
When armed with a high-energy weapon, the versatile C-130 could be a formidable threat.

For the Air Force, the daily use of a laser as a weapon itself is coming. The youngest of the U.S. military services, founded more than a decade before the laser’s invention, is looking to incorporate the high-energy systems into its warfighting arsenal.

November 2, 2017
By Beverly Cooper
Leadership will be challenged to manage and communicate differently with work force of the future, said TechNet Asia-Pacific panelists, l-r: Master Sgt. Brandon T. Cruz, USAF; John C. Adams; Capt. Herman L. Archibald, USN; Sam M.P. Sneed, director, ES&, Inc.; and Jeffrey T. Jacoby.

Technology is rapidly expanding, and as a result, we must deal with changes in our organizations as well as in our personal communications. Master Sgt. Brandon T. Cruz, USAF, chief, Standardization and Evaluations, 690th Cyberspace Operations Squadron, Joint-Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam, led a panel at AFCEA Technet Asia-Pacific that looked at the cultural as well as organizational differences that occur in a hiring market where there are more jobs than skilled workers to fill them. 

November 1, 2017
By Beverly Cooper
A group of dynamic and successful women leaders gathered to help advance educational topics during AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific. From l to r: Cindy Moran, Jodi Ito, Col. Claire Cuccio, USA, and Miyi Chung.

Self study, find a mentor, be confident with your knowledge, network and don’t be intimidated. These were some of the recommendations for women offered by female leaders on the Education and Future Technologies Panel at Technet Asia-Pacific. The panel was moderated by Linda Newton, AFCEA Hawaii Educational Foundation.

You have to stay current, or you become stale, said Cindy Moran, president and managing partner, Pikes Way LLC, who acknowledged that the reason she became an executive was because she was tired of being told what to do and not having input. “It wasn’t about power,” she added.

November 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
The Russian Krasukha-2 electronic warfare (EW) system is designed to jam airborne early warning aircraft radar from as far away as 250 kilometers (155 miles). Russia has committed billions of rubles to advancing its EW capabilities for use in conflicts against NATO nations, according to a recent think-tank report. Wikimedia Commons/Vitaly V. Kuzmin

Russia has advanced the state of the art in electronic warfare capabilities to overcome and even overpower Western electronic systems, both military and commercial. And now the country’s military modernization plan extending to 2025 lays the groundwork for further advancement, according to a recent European think tank report.

Russia is developing a total package of electronic warfare (EW) systems covering a broad frequency range. The systems encompass traditional areas such as surveillance, protection and countermeasures, and they shield Russian use of the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS). These total package systems are designed to be highly mobile and include small units deployable by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

November 1, 2017
By Maj. Gen. Earl D. Matthews, USAF (Ret.)

Bitcoin’s underlying technology, called blockchain, has great potential in the public sector. Blockchain is an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two or more parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way. This can include the exchange of money, goods, property, documents or data—anything of value that can be represented digitally. A trusted centralized intermediary such as a bank can enforce terms, and details recorded in the ledger can be used for arbitration.

October 24, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
Panelists discuss data management at MILCOM 2017 in Baltimore.

Data stored “in silos” is not providing a fluid, agile stream of information that the DOD needs to perform everyday missions. While data may successfully be generated, getting the needed information “in the right hands at the right time” is a challenge the DOD is facing.

October 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
A Delta IV rocket carrying the WGS-9 satellite lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. International partners receive proportional access to bandwidth based on their financial contribution to the satellite in what could be a harbinger of future tactical military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) programs.

U.S. military satellite communications is expanding to provide greater coverage of the tactical environment as part of its overall mission to serve the land, sea and air domains. Broadening tactical coverage requires new types of satellites with a larger variety of capabilities, and these spacecraft must be shielded against threats ranging from cyber attack to on-orbit interference.

October 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division use Rifleman Radios and other tactical network technologies during a training exercise. In the future, Army officials intend to provide soldiers with a radio capable of using both the Soldier Radio Waveform, which the Rifleman Radio relies on, and the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System waveform.

As U.S. Army leaders assess the future of tactical communications and networking programs, the service is moving forward with several measures to extend improved capabilities to soldiers at the platoon and squad levels. 

Service officials spent most of the summer participating in a major review of the Army’s network modernization strategy. Gen. Mark Milley, USA, the Army chief of staff, informed Congress in May that he had directed a “rigorous and painful review” of tactical communication programs out of concerns that systems being developed may not be sufficiently hardened against electronic attacks.

October 16, 2017
By Julianne Simpson
Beamlines entering the lower hemisphere of the National Ignition Facility’s target chamber. Lawrence Livermore researchers have successfully combined nine of the facility’s 192 laser beamlines into one directed pulse of light. (Photo: Damien Jemison/LLNL)

For 40 years, the Star Wars Death Star has been one of science fiction’s most iconic figures. But scientists and laser experts held that its superbeam could never work because of the properties of lasers—theory says that the beams would just pass through one another, not converge and combine their energy.

That’s all about to change. A team of researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has added a plasma—a charged mixture of ions and free electrons—to the concept and successfully combined several separate lasers into a superlaser.

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