Researchers recently announced that they can use a groundbreaking 4D-printing process to create material capable of morphing into the likeness of a human face, the most complex shape-shifting structure ever. The research may one day lead to advances in dynamic communications, soft electronics, smart fabrics, tissue engineering for medical purposes, robotics and an array of commercial applications.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which to date has sickened tens of thousands of Americans and killed hundreds, is testing the viability of the FirstNet network in ways never seen before. The exponential increase in the number of cases in the country is pulling in more and more emergency medical services personnel, police officers, firefighters and other public safety officials, often in more remote areas, who all need real-time data exchange, network connectivity and communication tools.
To improve communications on the battlefield, the Marine Corps Systems Command, headquartered at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, gave the green light to field an advanced intercom system, known as the G4 ICS, for use in light armored vehicles.
The Program Manager for Light Armored Vehicles, PM LAV—led by Steve Myers—will begin initial procurement of the system in fiscal year 2021, with full operational capability in FY 2022, the Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) reported.
Fairfax, Virginia-based Highlight Technologies reported on July 31 that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) selected the company to provide communications and outreach support services under an $18 million Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA). As part of the effort, the company will support NIH's Office of Extramural Research (OER) with communications and technical writing support; website and social media support; grants information support; training support; workshop and seminar logistical support; and technical and administrative support. “Highlight is honored to work with NIH OER to support its important mission," said Adam McNair, COO of Highlight Technologies.
BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services, Rockville, Maryland, is being awarded a $23,456,568 modification (P00043) to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00421-15-C-0008). The modification provides for services in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division's Special Communications Mission Solutions Division, to support integrated communications and information systems radio communications for Navy ships. Work will be performed in St. Inigoes, Maryland, and is expected to be completed in July 2024. Fiscal year 2019 working capital funds (Navy) in the amount of $4,000,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the fiscal year.
News about the coming 5G wireless network is seemingly everywhere, with advertisements referring to it as revolutionary or transformational. And indeed, the suggested “superpowers” of the fifth generation of wireless technology are quite impressive: great speed, improved latency and tremendous capacity in terms of bandwidth. 5G will provide connectivity to many more devices, support video and other digital images at much higher capacities and broaden the era of the Internet of Things. 5G will become the basis for critical infrastructure and the platform that enables the use of autonomous vehicles, which will alter daily life.
A combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, fifth-generation communications and agile software development processes may one day allow commanders to direct any asset from anywhere, essentially revolutionizing command and control.
During the recent AFCEA Alamo Chapter Event in San Antonio, several officials agreed that the current command and control (C2) center known as an air operations center (AOC) has grown too cumbersome and vulnerable for Air Force commanders to make the rapid-fire decisions required in the modern era of multi-domain operations.
Fortis Nova A JV LLC,* Phoenix, Arizona (N62473-19-D-2426); Galindo Electric Inc.,* Vista, California (N62473-19-D-2427); Power Pro Plus Inc.,* Rancho Cucamonga, California (N62473-19-D-2428); Souza Construction Inc.,* Farmersville, California (N62473-19-D-2429); Synergy Electric Co.
D.L. Martin Co.,* Mercersburg, Pennsylvania (N64498-18-D-4012); Epsilon Systems Solutions Inc.,* Portsmouth, Virginia (N64498-18-D-4013); GSE Dynamics Inc.,* Hauppauge, New York (N64498-18-D-4014); and Rhoads Industries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (N64498-18-D-4015), are each awarded a $14,500,000 ceiling firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award service contract to support the assembly and test services for submarine mast, antenna, periscope and communication systems hull, mechanical and electrical assemblies. Work is expected to be performed at various Navy bases, ship yards, repair facilities and contractor facilities in the continental U.S..
The U.S. Army’s major overhaul of its network may lead to a communications structure capable of conforming to an array of operational situations, including the possibility of providing offensive cyber and electronic warfare capabilities.
Defense computing systems need to operate in a highly disparate range of environments. Depending on the program’s requirements, ruggedness is a function of the environment each system will be deployed in. A system that operates just fine in a pressurized aerospace application, such as a wide-bodied aircraft, may have issues in a marine application, and may be completely unacceptable in a vehicle being driven through a hot and sandy desert. Even within airborne applications, the environment might be a wing-mounted pod that is completely unpressurized. Computing systems for each of these environments must be ruggedized to match requirements.
When rugged ... isn’t
Apollo Information Systems Corp.,* Los Gatos, California, is being awarded a $13,115,787 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of up to 1,102 Fortinet FortiGate license subscriptions to support communications security for the P-8A Multi-Mission Maritime Poseidon aircraft for the Navy and the government of the United Kingdom. Work will be performed in Los Gatos and is expected to be completed in January 2022. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $83,923 will be obligated at the time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
Not only does the Army want new capabilities to deal with dynamic changes in the warfighting realm, it also faces the challenge of obsolescence in many of its existing communications-electronics systems. Technologies designed decades ago are still carrying the freight for information that increasingly is sent in a format far different from the equipment that must deliver it to the warfighter and decision maker.
Rockwell Collins Inc.–Government Systems, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has been awarded a $12,887,772 firm-fixed-price contract. The contractor will provide full-rate production of equipment for Increment 1 of the Common Very Low Frequency Receiver (CVRi1) program. Work will be performed in Richardson, Texas, and is expected to be completed by March 1, 2019. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2015 production funds in the amount of $1,337,478; fiscal 2016 production funds in the amount of $6,536,484; and fiscal 2017 production funds in the amount of $5,013,810 are being obligated at the time of the award.
A panel of U.S. military communications officers stationed in the Asia-Pacific region told the defense technology industry what they most need to accomplish the mission. The list included capabilities ranging from next-generation authentication tools to airborne command and control network modeling.
Rear Adm. Kathleen Creighton, director of command, control, communications and cyber, U.S. Pacific Command, named advanced identity management. “The technology is there. It’s probably more of an acquisition [issue] on the government side, but I think that’s a critical one,” she said during a panel discussion on the final day of AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific in Honolulu.
The After Active Duty blog series examines the challenges, rewards and lessons learned for those who have transitioned from active duty to the private sector and the role AFCEA played in this progression.
Col. Dean Fox, USAF (Ret.), executive vice president for cybersecurity, AECOM, has done a lot of building of one sort or another throughout his active-duty career and afterward.
This is the fifth in a series of interviews with signaleers, one for each of SIGNAL Magazine's seven decades, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of AFCEA International.
No one needs reliable connectivity more than the nation’s armed forces, especially during the heat of battle. But reliable connectivity often can be hampered by a hidden enemy: latency and bandwidth concerns.
The military heavily relies on voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) for calls, web conferencing, high-definition video sharing and other bandwidth-heavy applications. While this might sound more like the communication tool for a business boardroom, it is equally applicable within the military and compromised systems come with potentially life-altering consequences.
Lockheed Martin, Moorestown, New Jersey (N00014-16-D-2002); ArgonST, Fairfax, Virginia (N00014-16-D-2003); Northrop Grumman, Linthicum, Maryland (N00014-16-D-2004); Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems Advanced Technology Programs, Tewksbury, Massachusetts (N00014-16-D-2005); EOIR Technologies, King George, Virginia (N00014-16-D-2006); SI2 Technologies, North Billerica, Massachusetts (N00014-16-D-2007); S2 Corp., Bozeman, Montana (N0