August 1, 2013
By Michael A. Robinson

With the nation facing a new atmosphere of austerity and mandated budget cuts, now would seem to be the absolute worst time to target the federal government for defense-related technology contracts. Yet, for one business, tight government funding is more of an opportunity than a challenge.

July 1, 2013
By Max Cacas
Online meeting attendees using a collaboration tool can see presentations, a list of other attendees and attendee chats.

The U.S. Navy uses a popular online collaboration tool 
to change course around last-minute travel restrictions.

The U.S. Naval Safety and Environmental Training Center, charged with conducting safety and environmental training worldwide, successfully is circumventing hurriedly imposed government travel restrictions by using an online application to conduct safety and environmental training. The tool recently enabled the center to conduct an annual conference with more than 1,000 attendees.

July 1, 2013
By Max Cacas
Eric Forsythe, Ph.D., team leader and flexible electronics display deputy project manager  with the Army Research Laboratory, poses with some of the equipment used to produce the flexible displays at the Army's Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University.

Recent developments in advanced materials bring the Army closer to next-generation displays for a new breed of warfighter mobile devices.

A coalition of military, academic and industry scientists is approximately one year away from the first working prototypes of mobile devices using newly developed flexible display technologies. The goal is to demonstrate that manufacturing the displays can be done economically, and in quantity, so that they can be widely adopted by mobile device makers, benefitting both the military and consumers. Project managers ultimately hope to introduce mobile devices that are lighter, more reliable and less expensive.

April 1, 2013
By Lt. Ben Kohlmann, USN

As conflicts become more complex and uncertain in the 21st century, quick pivots to new technologies will become increasingly important. The starting point for this rapid fielding must begin with more frequent, and more relational, lower level warfighter-technologist interaction.

March 21, 2013

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is searching for companies to participate in its recently launched Probabilistic Programming for Advanced Machine Learning (PPAML) program. Probabilistic programming is an innovative approach to manage the uncertain information that computers use to understand data, manage results and infer insights. The PPAML seeks to increase the number of people who can successfully build machine learning applications as well as boost the effectiveness of current machine learning experts. In addition, the project will focus on creating more economical, robust and powerful applications that require less data to produce more accurate results.

March 1, 2013
by Kent R. Schneider

Anyone who has attended an AFCEA conference in the past two months has heard the constant drumbeat from senior government leadership on the limitations on operations and readiness likely to occur in defense, intelligence and homeland security. At the AFCEA/USNI West 2013 Conference in San Diego January 29-31, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told a packed audience that the U.S. Defense Department did not know how much money it would receive, when it would receive it or what the restrictions on its use would be.

October 1, 2012
By Max Cacas

A new computing architecture emphasizes shared resources.

The nation’s intelligence community has embarked on a path toward a common computer desktop and a cloud computing environment designed to facilitate both timely sharing of information and cost savings. The implementation could result in budget savings of 20 to 25 percent over existing information technology spending within six years, but the ramifications could include large cultural changes that result both in lost jobs and business for industry partners.

August 2012
By Michael A. Robinson, SIGNAL Magazine

Military budget cuts do not deter a longtime aircraft builder.

Janaury 2012
By Michael A. Robinson, SIGNAL Magazine


Molycorp Incorporated’s Mountain Pass, California, mine, is one of the largest rare earth mines outside China. It recently reopened after being closed for about a decade.

China’s newly gained monopoly may disappear by mid-decade.

November 2011
By Michael A. Robinson, SIGNAL Magazine

A veteran-led company designs satellite applications for mobile devices.

Jim Ramsey never dreamed he would become a leader in the satellite communications industry. He just wanted to be a soldier. But his U.S. Army superiors had other ideas. They decided to transfer him from infantry to combat support, specifically as an officer in the Signal Corps. Ramsey was anything but happy about his impending transfer in the late 1980s.

August 2011
By Michael A. Robinson, SIGNAL Magazine


The Hummer belonging to Eric DeMarco, chief executive officer (CEO) of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, speaks volumes about both the company and its leader.

CEO targeted fast growth with a string of acquisitions.

July 2011
By Michael A. Robinson, SIGNAL Magazine

Company value grows with strong acquisitions.

Combining alpine skiing with avionics may not be a standard formula for business success except to Brad Lawrence. The 64-year-old avionics executive is pursuing an aggressive business model that fits with his personal recreational philosophy as he takes his high-technology company forward in an era of tighter defense budgets. Based in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, Lawrence’s Esterline Technologies Corporation is at the forefront of broad new economic imperatives reshaping defense contractors in this time of shifting Pentagon funding priorities.

January 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine


Many military and civilian federal agencies rely on commercial satellite services to carry out operations. The FCSA will enable these organizations to procure their services through the GSA, but even after the award of the first contracts, the program is proving contentious.

January 2011
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Magazine


MONAX is one of Lockheed Martin Corporation’s latest innovations. Based on mobile network access, the MONAX Lynx handset transforms a smart phone into a tactical communications device connected through a persistent, dedicated, secure broadband network.

January 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine


Engineers work on a Cisco IRIS payload. Many in the commercial satellite industry and other fields are calling for reform to current export regulations. Concerns that the United States is losing business to foreign companies and disadvantaging allies have prompted the U.S. government to make changes to current rules in an effort to improve trade.

August 2010
By Michael A. Robinson, SIGNAL Magazine

A blue-sky approach may be enabled by clouds.

It is almost impossible to overstate the importance computer networks and Internet-oriented applications play in today’s federal arena. After all, Pentagon officials constantly stress the military superiority inherent in net-centric warfare in which voice, data, satellite images and video provide essential battlefield information in real time. In this electronic enclave, U.S. fighting forces always stay at least one step ahead of the enemy.

March 2010
By Michael A. Robinson, SIGNAL Magazine


Lisa N. Wolford is the founder, president and chief executive officer of

Federal contract rules offer attractive terms for growing company.

July 2009
By Maryann Lawlor

Stimulus program transforms acquisition world.

The U.S. economic stimulus package is making waves throughout government and industry. Some experts believe that it represents a sea change in government acquisition in terms of oversight, contractor accountability and transparency, which has been attempted before but never has been fully realized. Companies that wish to benefit from the stimulus package need to move—and move quickly—by positioning themselves as solutions providers and as businesses that are willing to follow the new rules.

May 2009
By Michael A. Robinson


Dr. Stanton D. Sloane is the president and chief executive officer of SRA International Incorporated.

Information technology is at the heart of many job-creation efforts.

February 2009
By Michael A. Robinson

A mid-size company blends needed electronics with acquisitions.

One could forgive Paul Domorski for running a little scared. How else can people describe an executive whose guiding business book is none other than Only the Paranoid Survive by former Intel Chairman Andy S. Grove?

That critically acclaimed book documents the impact that disruptive change can have on a company and its leaders. Grove’s case study about the power of what he calls strategic inflection points can be viewed as something of an oxymoron: It is a blueprint of sorts for managing unpredictable technological upheavals and the resulting chaos.