The U.S. Air Force and its innovation arm, AFWERX, have funded an application-based simulator of aviation radio communications through a $1 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research award. The tool, called PlaneEnglish, offers a training environment for pilots to learn aviation speak and radio telephony flight procedures by simulating communications between the pilot and air traffic control.
General Dynamics Information Technology Inc., doing business as General Dynamics Mission Systems, Fairfax, Virginia, have been awarded a $35,683,952, cost-plus-incentive-fee modification (P00015) to previously awarded FA8307-17-F-0004 for next generation GEO overhead persistent infrared (NGG-OPIR). The contract modification provides for additional Medium/LargeSat Common Solutions (MLCS) variants for the NGG-OPIR program, additional MLCS engineering development modules, increased tempest testing and to fund an overrun. Work will be performed at General Dynamics Mission System, Scottsdale, Arizona, and is expected to be completed by March 31, 2022.
“The whole business of being a CTO has changed,” said Yuvi Kochar, managing director, technology and operations, CAQH, a nonprofit alliance creating shared initiatives to streamline the business of healthcare.
During his keynote address at the AFCEA-GMU C4I and Cyber Center Symposium, the former chief technology officer (CTO) of The Washington Post, discussed how he first became a CTO in 2000 for a small startup in Boston. “My first job was all about building technology and operating it. And that was good enough,” Kochar said.
Over time though, he’s seen the job transform into a more business-centric role. “Technology is taking more and more of a backseat,” he related.
Officials leading the Defense Innovation Unit, the Defense Department’s one-of-a-kind rapid prototyping organization, intend to increase the unit’s influence, largely by focusing on technologies with the broadest applicability.
Steven Wert, recently named the U.S. Air Force’s Program Executive Officer Digital, is on a mission to fundamentally alter the service’s processes for developing and fielding software through development operations, commonly known as DevOps. The methodology merges software development and technology operations functions, allowing the two to work more closely to reduce the time needed to create new systems. Working closely with the end users is key to what Wert describes as a “release cadence” of weeks or months instead of years.
Open source containers, which isolate applications from the host system, appear to be gaining traction with IT professionals in the U.S. defense community. But for all their benefits, security remains a notable Achilles’ heel for a couple of reasons.
First, containers are still fairly nascent, and many administrators are not yet completely familiar with their capabilities. It’s difficult to secure something you don’t completely understand. Second, containers are designed in a way that hampers visibility. This lack of visibility can make securing containers extremely taxing.
Layers upon layers
Researchers hope to transform military communications with blockchain technology, the backbone of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
To realize this vision, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a phase 1 grant to Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO) to develop a secure, unhackable messaging and transaction platform for the U.S. military. ITAMCO will work to create robust and efficient technology for Defense Department communications. Uses will include communication between ground troops and their headquarters or between intelligence officers and the Pentagon.
The U.S. Army's System of Systems Integration Directorate (SoSI) is seeking participants for the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 13.2 event, which is scheduled to take place at Fort Bliss and White Sands Missile Range in May 2013. Only mature solutions that focus on SoSI-identified network gaps will be considered.