Technology

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.

February 1, 2020
By Shaun Waterman
Spc. Damaris Vazquez, USA, an orderly room clerk with 90th Human Resources Company, Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, Fort Stewart, Georgia, scans a common access card at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, to process soldiers in units assisting with Hurricane Florence relief efforts. Credit: Sgt. Elizabeth White, USA/Released

The Pentagon is looking to buy an enterprisewide identity management system to provide a single authoritative source of user information, identity authentication and information technology access for millions of U.S. Defense Department computer network users. The Defense Information Systems Agency’s call for white papers on the development and deployment of a Defense Department Enterprise Identity Service is the first step in identifying two or three vendors to take part in a competitive prototyping contest under an other transaction authority effort.

February 1, 2020
By Col. Stephen Hamilton, USA, and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Judy Esquibel, USA
Staff Sgt. David Nelson, USA, a signal support systems specialist assigned to 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in support of Resolute Castle 2018, explains near vertical incidence skywave antenna theory to members of Company B, 151st Expeditionary Signal Battalion during a high frequency radio class. Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Kimberly D. Calkins, ANG

As cyber threats continue to grow, so does the reality that digital satellite communications can be degraded and denied either through digital or electromagnetic means. If these capabilities are compromised, however, high frequency radio provides a means to continue communicating even beyond the line of sight by leveraging the ionosphere to refract radio signals back to earth.

The International Communication Union Telecommunication Standardization Sector designates the high frequency (HF) range as between 3 megahertz and 30 megahertz. While this method of communication was utilized extensively up through the 1990s, it began to lose traction in the military when the availability of satellite communications (SATCOM) increased.

February 1, 2020
By Lynn Hitchcock, Vasko Neskovski and James Forest
Lt. Col. Johnpaul Kelly, USA, an operations officer assigned to U.S. Army North, participates in a conference call with unit leadership in Hempstead, Texas, as the U.S. Defense Department conducts Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations in response to the effects of Hurricane Harvey. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Dustin D. Biven, USA

With the technology transition to voice over Internet protocol and the underlying transport shift to Internet protocol, a new methodology can be used to deploy a completely resilient distributed command and control voice conference. The technique removes the participants’ physical location associated with conference devices and allows Internet protocol capabilities to self-heal by redirecting callers to services that survived a threat.

February 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Aaron Cohen, computer engineer and electrical engineer at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, discusses radio frequency relay testing with Amanda Bowling. To improve long-range communications, researchers at the lab developed a method to combine multiple weak signals into one stronger signal. Credit: NRL​

To improve long-range radio frequency communications, researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory are working on a method of combining signals at the receiver level after multiple relays and a single transmitter. The solution is meant to extend line-of-sight communications. Finding an affordable alternative to beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) communications usually provided by satellites, aircraft or drones is an important priority for the Navy and the Defense Department, says Aaron Cohen, computer engineer and electrical engineer at the Naval Research Laboratory, known as the NRL.

January 29, 2020
 
DroneShield, one of 20 companies chosen to move forward in the U.S. Army's xTechSearch contest, provides a range of counter-drone technologies. Credit: DroneShield

The U.S. Army today announced the selection of 20 small business and technology firms to advance to Phase III of the xTechSearch 4.0 technology prize competition. xTechSearch is an Army-sponsored competition focused on finding technologies with both defense and commercial applications that have been developed by American technology entrepreneurs and small businesses.

“The 20 selected entrepreneurs and companies presented incredible capabilities and systems that we would have not otherwise seen or been able to support had it not been for Army xTechSearch,” Bruce D. Jette, the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, says in the written announcement.

January 27, 2020
By George I. Seffers
By connecting two quantum systems, Army and University of Maryland researchers opened the door to brand new tools in the field of quantum communication, useful for timing synchronization between quantum systems, the Army has announced. (Photo credit: U.S. Army photo)

U.S. Army Research Laboratory scientists and University of Maryland researchers recently published a study showing how they combined two different quantum technologies to produce a timing synchronization tool for future quantum networks, the Army has announced. The breakthrough could lead to a hybrid quantum network that combines the best features of different types of quantum systems.

January 16, 2020
 
The Mission Enabling Technologies Demonstrator manned vehicle can operate two unmanned platforms to make contact with the enemy before soldiers do, while achieving overmatch against future operating environment threats. The Army’s vision includes three robotic vehicle variants—light, medium and large, but service officials have decided for now to cancel the acquisition of a medium variant. U.S. Army photo by Jerome Aliotta/Released 

The U.S. Army announced today that it has canceled the solicitation for the Section 804 Middle Tier Acquisition (MTA) Rapid Prototyping phase of the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV). Based on feedback and proposals received from industry, the Army has determined it is necessary to revisit the requirements, acquisition strategy and schedule before moving forward. 

"We remain committed to the OMFV program as it is our second-highest modernization priority, and the need for this ground combat vehicle capability is real. It is imperative we get it right for our soldiers," Dr. Bruce Jette, assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, says in a written announcement. 

January 1, 2020
By Henry S. Kenyon

5G wireless technology is poised to take the world by storm, offering fast and effective network connectivity at data throughput speeds once reserved for dedicated fiberoptic landlines. This increased speed will also fuel new developments in wireless applications and connected devices to vastly increase the size, depth and interconnectivity of networks of all kinds.

January 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Research supported by the National Science Foundation could help the United States leapfrog past fifth-generation wireless networks, enabling an array of smart city technologies.  Krunja/Shutterstock

A National Science Foundation effort to ensure U.S. national leadership in wireless technologies will not stop at fifth-generation capabilities commonly referred to as 5G.

The extensive program, Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR—pronounced power), already has established testing grounds in three states—Salt Lake City, Utah; Raleigh, North Carolina, and New York City. Additionally, the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently released a request for proposals for a rural broadband testing area. The goal is to establish four city-scale testbeds, which NSF officials refer to as platforms. Each platform will ultimately be connected virtually as a shared innovation lab for wireless research.

January 3, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
To improve resiliency, the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Center is leveraging commercial satellite communications technology for its next series of Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellites on the WGS11+ platform. Pictured is the Boeing-built WGS-9 satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida in 2017. Photo Courtesy of the United Launch Alliance

The U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center is harnessing advanced satellite communication technology from the private sector through the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) 11+ platform and its Pathfinder effort. The WGS-11+ effort is centered on capabilities that will provide more coverage beams, beam-formed bandwidth and frequency re-use than existing legacy systems, according to a release from the center known as SMC, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base.

January 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
One of four phased array antennas is mounted on the top wall of Columbia University’s engineering building as part of the COSMOS wireless testbed, designed to test emerging wireless capabilities in an urban environment.

Across 15 blocks in New York City sit the beginnings of an extensive wireless testbed, which will help advance driverless car, smart city and other technologies for the modern urban environment. The outdoor laboratory, known as COSMOS, provides a platform for researchers to experiment with a low-latency, ultra-high bandwidth wireless network during everyday life in West Harlem.

January 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The artificial intelligence software provided by Stabilitas Intelligence Communications is designed to warn organizations of disruptive global or local events, including natural disasters, social unrest, political upheaval, or terrorist attacks, predict the results on the clients’ organization and operation, and help develop a response plan.  Vit-Mar/Shutterstock

A company founded by military veterans uses artificial intelligence to alert clients to major events, such as natural disasters, strikes or political unrest, around the world that will affect their organizations and operations. The company, Stabilitas Intelligence Communications, has traditionally worked with large, commercial businesses, including “one of the world’s largest retailers” and “several global logistics and consumer product companies,” Stabilitas officials say. But the company is now actively seeking government customers in the national security and defense arena.

January 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
This artist’s concept shows the cross-section of a carbon nanotube T-gate transistor, with densely aligned carbon nanotubes, that can reach speeds of 100 gigahertz. Breakthroughs in this research, originally funded by the Army Research Office, may lead to better and more advanced mobile communications throughout the military and commercial worlds.  Imagery courtesy of Carbonics Inc.

High-frequency radios may be more resilient, military sensors more sensitive and 5G communications more versatile because of a technological breakthrough initiated by the Army Research Laboratory. Carbon nanotubes, the exotic material that offers a broad scope of promises, now can be fabricated into transistors that would replace those of conventional metal oxide semiconductors used commonly in radio frequency systems. Ultimately, they would pave the way for less expensive chips that would eliminate many of the drawbacks that plague radio frequency systems.

January 1, 2020
By Jennifer Miller

Like me, you may have thought black is black and as dark as it gets. However, courtesy of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), individuals are creating blacker and blacker, even blackest versions of black. A quick Google or YouTube search yields all sorts of interesting results from BMWs painted in Vantablack, to the “blackest little black dress.”

In practice, CNTs are materials that can be vertically aligned to capture light in the 99.9XX percent range and produce blacker versions of the blackest black. CNTs are microscopic filaments of carbon that can be grown on surfaces for various uses.

December 13, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Students at the Naval War College are told that broad adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) will be the key to future operational success. (U.S. Navy photo)

Students and faculty at the Naval War College should begin “diving in” to artificial intelligence (AI), said the director of the Defense Department’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center. Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, USAF, declared, “We need far more national security professionals who understand what this technology can do or, equally important, what it cannot do,” according to Navy officials.

December 11, 2019
By George I. Seffers
The Defense Department has added to new 5G-related requests for prototype proposals to its efforts with the National Spectrum Consortium. Credit: Wit Olszewski/Shutterstock

The U.S. Defense Department has released two more draft requests for prototype proposals seeking fifth-generation (5G) wireless solutions. The newly announced projects are for smart warehousing and asset management for Naval Supply Systems Command and augmented reality and virtual reality at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

December 11, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Air Force’s new Space Fence solution, installed in the Marshall Islands on the Kwajalein Atoll, will provide “unprecedented” situational awareness in space, the Space and Missile Systems Center reports. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin

A new capability will give the U.S. military crucial situational awareness in a domain that is growing in importance—space. The so-called Space Fence will detect closely located objects, breakups, maneuvers, launches and conjunction assessments all the way from low Earth orbit through geosynchronous Earth orbit, reported an official from Los Angeles Air Force Base, California on December 10.

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