Technology

December 10, 2014
By Sandra Jontz
Maj. Mark Jacobsen, USAF, tests an unmanned aerial vehicle as part of the Syria Airlift Project, which he hopes one day will use drones to deliver food and medicine to war-torn countries.

What if inexpensive, lightweight, easy-to-use drones could deliver food and medicine to war-ravaged refugees?

Maj. Mark Jacobsen, USAF, intends to answer that.

January 6, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
NRL's Christoph Englert examines the prototype Michelson interferometer (MIGHTI) being developed at NRL for flight on NASA's ICON mission.

When NASA’s Pegasus rocket lifts off in June 2017, it will carry scientific equipment and technology that might help researchers better understand space variations that contribute to disruptions in communications equipment, radar and Global Positioning Systems here on Earth.

NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission will study what happens in Earth’s upper atmosphere and the connections to environmental conditions on the planet, says Thomas Immel, ICON mission lead with the University of California, Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory.

“[The ionosphere] shows day-to-day, hour-to-hour variability that we have never understood,” Immel says.

December 1, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
The Blackphone 1 by Silent Circle incorporates the company’s ephemeral key encryption to provide secure peer-to-peer connectivity.

With the information world marching en masse to the cloud, one global firm is offering direct peer-to-peer encryption to reduce the threat of an intervening cyber intercept. This approach is applicable to dedicated hardware as well as to commercial off-the-shelf consumer communications equipment, and its operation is relatively transparent to the user.

November 20, 2014
By Sandra Jontz
McKinley Middle School students design and build the model car they will race in the New Mexico Electric Car Challenge on November 22 at Albuquerque’s Highland High School.

Get your motors running …

Students from 27 middle schools across New Mexico—some who might aspire to be automotive engineers—will vie this Saturday in Albuquerque in a race, a design competition and an optional oral presentation. The New Mexico Electric Car Challenge will pit 46 teams against each other as students use science and math concepts in creative ways to create the winning design.

December 19, 2014
By Sandra Jontz
DSCOVR spacecraft at NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.

Scientists are gearing up to launch revolutionary technology into deep space that will provide the most advanced solar storm warning system to date. The spacecraft includes new research systems that also will better monitor Earth's atmosphere and land. 

Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) is scheduled for launch aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on January 23 and will become the first operational spacecraft in deep space to provide weather analysis.

December 9, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The 3-D printer recently installed on the International Space Station has printed a replacement part for itself, proving the process works in space and potentially paving the way for long-term space expeditions. 

December 23, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) is inviting comments on a draft project to secure medical devices known as networked infusion pumps, which convey fluids, drugs and nutrients into patients' bloodstreams. Hospitals are increasingly using the devices and connecting them to a central system, which makes them more vulnerable to cyberthreats.

A networked infusion pump can allow centralized control of the device’s programming as well as automated cross checks against pharmacy records and patient data to ensure the right dose of fluids or medication are delivered at the right time to the right patient.

December 15, 2014
 

IBM Corp., Bethesda, Maryland, was awarded a $60,424,975 modification (CC0169) to contract (W91QUZ-06-D-0010) to increase the not-to-exceed labor hours and dollars and contract ceiling for information technology services for the Computer Hardware Enterprise Software and Solutions contract, which is the Army preferred website and source for the procurement of information technology services and products. Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance Army funds in the amount of $370,000 were obligated at the time of the award. Estimated completion date is November 30, 2015. Work will be performed at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

December 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The growing technology gap between U.S. forces and their allies and partners could be addressed in part by having allies help establish standards for new systems. The gap, caused by advancing technology progress in U.S. forces, threatens coalition operations by leaving less advanced nations unable to interoperate with their U.S. counterparts.

December 12, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor

Podcasts are the audio on-demand equivalent of video these days. They are a bit more portable because anyone with a smartphone or tablet can tune in and catch up on episodes—not only all the time but also wherever they want. It’s a bit difficult to watch a movie while driving, although it’s been done. Podcasts also feature one other capability that on-demand viewing does not facilitate: audience participation.

December 10, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

A new system finally may enable high-level information sharing among coalition partners by eliminating fears that the wrong partners might access another partner’s valuable data. The Regional Domain Awareness joint concept technology demonstration would allow unclassified information sharing with built-in access control.

December 10, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Even when interoperability challenges are not technical in nature, technology can help overcome the problems. Using cognitive interoperability may allow personnel to avoid thorny cultural issues that plague many attempts at interoperability.

December 10, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Establishing a clear and effective mission partner environment (MPE) will require careful planning to avoid the development of new silos amid the Joint Information Environment (JIE). Ultimately, a Defense Department planning group may hold the key to success.

December 9, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Defense Department will be greeting Christmas this year with its first wireless network inside the Pentagon. On December 23, a test network will be switched on to help lay the groundwork for departmentwide wireless connectivity.

December 9, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

On Monday, December 15, the U.S. military services will be notified that they no longer have to go through the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) for cloud services, according to the Defense Department’s acting chief information officer (CIO). Terry Halvorsen told the Tuesday luncheon audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2014 in Honolulu, being held December 9-11, that Monday’s memo will tell the services they have the authority to buy cloud services without DISA’s approval.

December 9, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The success of the Joint Information Environment (JIE) may depend on the successful implementation of the Joint Regional Security Stacks, or JRSS, according to the Defense Department acting chief information officer (CIO). Terry Halvorsen told the Tuesday luncheon audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2014, being held December 9-11 in Honolulu, that JRSS implementation is his office’s top priority for the JIE.

December 9, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

A new term for interoperability may have emerged from the office of the U.S. Defense Department’s chief information officer (CIO). Intercollaborability was described to the Tuesday luncheon audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2014, being held December 9-11 in Honolulu, by Terry Halvorsen, Defense Department acting CIO.

Halvorsen explained that cooperation happens when people want to protect their piece of the pie, while collaboration occurs when people think there is more of the pie. Intercollaborability describes the combination of collaboration and interoperability.

November 20, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C., today announced the consolidated screening list (CSL), a streamlined collection of nine different screening lists from the U.S. Departments of Commerce, State and the Treasury that contains names of individuals and companies with whom a U.S. company may not be allowed to do business due to U.S. export regulations, sanctions or other restrictions. The CSL is designed to make it easier for U.S. companies to comply with export laws.

November 19, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Northrop Grumman officials say they are developing a new kind of cyber system—a disposable system tailored for a single mission. The concept, they say, will make it more difficult for adversaries to penetrate or maneuver inside user networks.

November 19, 2014
 

Lockheed Martin, Mission Systems and Training, Moorestown, New Jersey, is being awarded a $15,577,396 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-09-C-5103) to incrementally fund the Aegis Platform Systems Engineering Agent (PSEA) activities and Aegis Modernization Advanced Capability Build (ACB) engineering.

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