Technology

March 1, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Peshkova/Shuttertock

The changes that artificial intelligence will bring to the technology landscape could pale in comparison to what it wreaks on global society. Humans need not be taken over by intelligent machines, as some doomsday soothsayers predict, to face a brave new world in which they must revolutionize the way they conduct their daily existence. From employment upheaval to environmental maintenance, people may face hard choices as they adapt to the widespread influence of artificial intelligence advances.

March 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Many tasks that are simple for humans to learn are much more complicated for robots. Illustration from Shutterstock images

Amidst a great deal of hype, hope and even apprehension regarding artificial intelligence (AI), experts at the U.S. Defense Department’s premier research and development organization intend to help smart machines reach their full potential.

March 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Across, the United States, four organizations are working to build connections and address societal issues through data resources, including machine learning tools.  Sahacha Nilkumhang/Shutterstock

The National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering is working to create a big data ecosystem. As part of that effort, the NSF, as it is known, is expanding the National Network of Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs, first created three years ago. The hubs, with one location for each U.S. Census region—the Midwest, Northeast, South and West—grew out of the need to aid the development of big data research and to help solve complex societal problems. The hubs are having a positive impact on the growth of machine learning, increasing the access to data, methods, networks and expertise, experts say.

March 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Some fingerprint authentication systems, such as those on mobile devices, use only a partial print that is not as unique as an entire print and leaves the technology vulnerable to a synthetic fingerprint hack.  Shutterstock

Some people worry that artificial intelligence will steal their jobs, but machine learning algorithms now generate images of fake fingerprints that match the prints of one in five people on the planet. Other biometric identification systems, such as face and iris recognition, may also be vulnerable. The capability puts the mobile device industry on notice that current biometric authentication systems may not be adequate for securing cell phones and other devices.

March 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood

Burgeoning computer capabilities often are unreliable, or brittle, at first. Capabilities that work successfully in one instance may fail miserably when applied to another area. At the moment, machine learning is no different, experts say, and the government and private industry are endeavoring to get past the limitations to improve its use.

March 1, 2019
By Lindsay Clarke

In his famous poem, “The Road Not Taken,” Robert Frost writes, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.” If you have read the poem or analyzed it, as many a high school English teacher has required, you know that Frost suggests taking the road less traveled is the better choice. And while this may be true for adventure seekers and wanderers out there, here in the world of IT I recognize the benefits of not wandering off on my own. The life cycle of network equipment can be five to seven years, or even longer, so on this cusp of 400G it is important to choose optics that offer interoperability for the long term.

March 1, 2019
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

Information has long been a tool of learning, an agent of influence and a weapon of conflict dating back to Darius I and the Persian Empire. Just as Gutenberg’s printing press fueled the promotion, expansion and spread of dogma and new ideas during the Renaissance, today’s information technologies and their inherent capabilities have enabled information, disinformation and misinformation to be disseminated more rapidly to a much broader audience than ever before. Enabling technologies such as the Internet and artificial intelligence allow more rapid and effective targeting in terms of message content and selection of recipients.

February 28, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Credit: GreenTech/Shutterstock

Commercial cloud offers the federal government access to a dynamic computing environment almost immediately, with services or capabilities they may not have previously had access to during the time of having to purchase all of the hardware, software and infrastructure themselves. However, the roll out to the cloud for the government has not come quickly or easily, experts say.

February 27, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Congress is keeping an eye on the Defense Department’s information technology efforts. Credit:Shutterstock/Tono Balaguer

The U.S. House of Representatives is examining the status of the Defense Department’s information technology, modernization efforts and strategic direction. The House Armed Forces Committee’s Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities, led by ranking member Rep. James Langevin (D-R.I.), held a hearing on February 26, with top DOD IT leaders testifying.   

February 26, 2019
By George I. Seffers
DARPA looks to the future of artificial intelligence with its Artificial Intelligence Colloquium to be held next week. Credit: kalhh/Pixabay

Artificial intelligence (AI) has come a long way in recent years, but the technology still has hurdles to overcome if machines are to become true partners and collaborators with humans. To help push the systems to that next level, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is hosting a two-day conference aimed at spurring the next wave of AI advances.

February 19, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Marines’ Systems Command and Recruiting Command have partnered to create a computing tool aimed at making recruitment of the next generation of Marines easier. Photo courtesy of the Marine Corps Recruiting Command

The U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia has unveiled a computer system aimed at giving Marine Corps recruiters state-of-the-art tools for the enlistment process.

Working with the Marine Corps Recruiting Command (MCRC), the MCSC developed the Marine Corps Recruiting Information Support System II, known as MCRISS II. The system uses a customizable platform that recruiters can access across government-issued cellphones, laptops and tablets.

February 15, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Rear Adm. Boris Becker, commander of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, speaks during a panel at West 2019. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, advanced manufacturing, blockchain, 5G, the Internet of Things, quantum computing, data science, cloud computing and cybersecurity all have one thing in common: information.

Rear Adm. Boris Becker, USN, commander of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, made that point during a panel session at the AFCEA-USNI West 2019 Conference in San Diego. “It’s information in warfare and information as warfare,” he added.

February 6, 2018
Kimberly Underwood
A soldier from Company B, 50th Expeditionary Signal Battalion-Enhanced, tears down a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) satellite dish during a demonstration on November 29, 2018, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Army leaders are working to bring advanced communications technologies into an integrated network. U.S. Army photo by Amy Walker, PM Tactical Network PEO C3T public affairs

Army leaders are tackling the integration of modern network capabilities to push out broadly across the Army force structure over the next decade.

Maj. Gen. David Bassett, USA, program executive officer for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO-C3T) and Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher, USA, director, Network Cross-Functional Team (Network CFT) are overseeing the effort and have developed an iterative plan to bring together network transport, mission command applications and services, all easily deployed to soldiers.

February 4, 2019
By Maryann Lawlor
Virtual Reality Land Training (VRLT) technology enables soldiers to train in a variety of environments, including urban streets. (Photo by BiSim)

The British Army is exploring how virtual reality can be integrated into soldier training. Virtual Reality in Land Training (VRLT) technology allows soldiers to train in complex and hostile simulated scenarios that are difficult to recreate on a training ground. The system will place troops in the middle of an urban firefight, intense crowd control situation or within a building filled with enemy soldiers.

Virtual reality enables training situations to be set-up quickly, re-run and analyzed to demonstrate the most effective approaches to real-life battlefield challenges. At the end of the pilot program, recommendations will be proposed about how to best exploit the technology for soldier training.

February 1, 2019
By Lt. Col. Brandon Baer, USA; Lt. Col. Vince Morris, USA; and Kathryn Bailey
1st Lt. Zachary Johnson, USA (l), uses a Nett Warrior end-user device during air assault training as part of Exercise Saber Junction 2018 at the Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany. 1st Lt. Johnson is assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, one of several units evaluating the Integrated Tactical Network (ITN) during operational exercises to help inform design decisions for future Infantry, Stryker and Armor formations.  U.S. Army photo/Spc. Rolyn Kropf, USA

The U.S. Army’s current tactical network environment is not optimized to provide expeditionary, mobile, hardened or simple intuitive network capability under all conditions. Its full range of communication capabilities provides the communications backbone across all echelons, but if commanders face a disconnected intermittent limited situation such as during an electronic warfare attack, they must have the ability to turn to alternate communication methods or pathways.

This multipath diversity is especially critical during expeditionary, early entry, early phase operations when soldiers rely heavily on effective communications to initiate their missions before vehicles and other high-capability systems join the fight.

February 1, 2019
By Maj. Ryan Kenny, USA

What’s smaller than small? Nano. One nanometer is a billionth of a meter. At a scale smaller than a grain of salt, a blood cell or a virus, resides the nanoverse. Nanoparticles range from one to 100 nanometers. For perspective, a sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick.

Many believe the development of nanotechnologies will forever change our world. Rather than taking what the planet provides, we can make what we want, beginning at the smallest scales. From microprocessors to minuscule organ-on-a-chip devices, the forefront of creation begins with some of the tiniest objects. With nano, a new era in capabilities is moving from the horizon to the now.

January 30, 2019
By Steven Boberski
The U.S. Defense Department has started to integrate unified communications into its Everything Over Internet Protocol strategy, but a wide range of computing platforms, telecommunications systems and other collaboration technologies result in a web of technologies that cannot integrate or interoperate. Credit: geralt/Pixabay

When the Department of Defense (DOD) launched its Everything Over IP initiative nearly 10 years ago the focus was to bring traditional telecommunications technology—phone calls, streaming video and even faxes—to the digital world.

At that time, unified communications (UC), especially in the government workplace, was a relatively new concept. Remember, this was a time when voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones were still seen as cutting edge. Now, though, UC has become not just a business tool, but a strategic offering that can connect employees in disparate locations, including the frontlines.

January 29, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Marines with 1st Marine Logistics Group (MLG) work together to secure a concrete bridge support column during a 3D concrete printing exercise at Camp Pendleton, California in December.  The 1rst MLG worked with the Marine Corps Systems Command’s Advanced Manufacturing Operations Cell and the Army Corps of Engineers, to print the concrete bridge parts and evaluate the technology for future Marine Corps applications. Credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Robert Bliss

Using a special 3D printer called ACES, or Automated Construction of Expeditionary Structures, U.S. Marines from the 1st Marine Logistics Group, along with the Marine Corps Systems Command’s Advanced Manufacturing Operations Cell and the Army Corps of Engineers, created a concrete footbridge in December.

The Marines printed and assembled the bridge during the service’s annual Steel Knight exercise to demonstrate the ability to use concrete 3D printing in an operational environment, the service reported. The Marines trained on how to operate ACES and incorporate new equipment into the process.

January 25, 2019
By Chris Balcik
A soldier fires an M240B machine gun during combined arms live-fire training. Soldiers in combat face a great deal of emotional and physical stress, but wearable technologies can monitor their health and performance. Photo by Army Spc. Hannah Tarkelly

The military continues to focus its efforts on developing the most sophisticated technologies and capabilities needed to sustain tactical advantage and achieve mission objectives. But the most critical component to success on the battlefield continues to lie with the warfighter.

January 24, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
In late February, DARPA is planning to launch a new type of antenna that could enable missions that usually require large satellites, the agency reports. Credit: DARPA

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA’s) development of a new type of membrane reflect-array antenna as part of its Radio Frequency Risk Reduction Deployment Demonstration (R3D2) program is ready to be space qualified, the agency reports, and anticipates that R3D2 will be launched in late February.

The agency stated that the antenna could enable multiple missions that usually depend on large satellites. R3D2 was produced with a “tissue-thin Kapton membrane” or a polyamide film, which allows the antenna to compact during launch and then deploy to a full size of 2.25 meters in diameter once it reaches low-Earth orbit, according to DARPA.

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