innovation

May 15, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
As the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (R&E) pursues DOD’s modernization priorities, such as fully networked C3, microelectronics, space and cyber space offense and defense capabilities, it is looking to the industry for innovative solutions. Credit: Shutterstock/Gorodenkoff

As the Defense Department’s acquisition and sustainment office works to improve the military’s contracting processes, the research and engineering component—newly separated from acquisition and sustainment in a major reorganization last year—is ready for industry advancements, said Doug Schroeder, DASD Space, Strategic and Intelligence Systems and deputy director, National Intelligence Division, Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).

March 14, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Gaining experience with information operations in Afghanistan and hosting several pilot programs will help the rise of the U.S. Army’s information warfare capabilities and aid the transformation of the Cyber Command into an information operations warfare command, says Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, commanding general, Army Cyber Command. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The Army is transforming its Cyber Command to meet the challenges of a multidomain battlefield. Just over eight years old, the command, located at Ft. Gordon, Georgia, will evolve by 2028 into something possibly called the Army Information Warfare Operations Command, which will fully incorporate cyber, electronic warfare and information operations.

March 12, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Eric Teasdale of Automation Anywhere gives the winning presentation of the company’s robotic process automation technology at the season's last AFCEA innovation shark tank, held on March 6. His company will join five other finalists in the championship competition being held at AFCEA’s Homeland Security Conference on April 22 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. Photo by Elizabeth Moon

Two technologies that employ robotic process automation (RPA) secured the last two spots for the championship round in the latest AFCEA innovation shark tanks. Held Thursday, February 25, and Wednesday, March 6, the competitions were the penultimate and ultimate in a string of shark tanks over the past few months. The winning technologies will advance to the final competition, which will be held on April 22.

March 6, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
The U.S. Marshals Service, the nation’s first federal law enforcement agency, works to protect the judicial process, apprehend fugitives and transport federal prisoners, and needs advanced digital technologies that can keep up, says CIO Karl Mathias. Credit: AFCEA NOVA

As the chief information officer and an assistant director of the U.S. Marshals Service, Karl Mathias spends 75 percent to 80 percent of his time on the day-to-day information technology needs of the agency. In order to focus on developing new technologies, he would rather decrease that time, by leveraging advanced technologies that can help “keep the lights on, so to speak, the circuits alive, and the laptops running, patched and secure.”

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.

January 23, 2019
By Joe Marino
Delivering innovative technologies into the hands of warfighters requires streamlined acquisition processes. Photo by Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Drake Nickel

The response to the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson’s repeated request to “pick up the pace” of developing and implementing breakthrough technologies for our warfighters has gone, in my opinion, largely unheeded.

This is not the result of a lack of innovative solutions. A myriad of research and development programs exists to support the development of new technologies or to adapt existing commercial technologies to defense applications. Rather, it’s the result of an arcane acquisition process that is burdensome, expensive and lacking vision. Acquisition reform is where we need to pick up the pace!

November 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Daniel Leithinger, assistant professor at the ATLAS Institute and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, suggests that advanced computer interfaces can allow users to touch, grasp and deform data physically, transforming computer and human interaction.  MIT Media Lab

Researchers envision a day when shape-shifting materials, novel sensors and other interactive technologies replace the flat, insipid computer screen. Such advances will allow users to interact in a tactile manner, enhancing their understanding of information and data. Researchers on the cutting edge of human-computer interaction are working on physical representations of data or information. Computer scientists portend that computers can, and should, have an output of information that mirrors the adroitness and expressiveness of the human body.

October 12, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
At the recent Starburst Aerospace Accelerator event held at MITRE Corp., innovators presented emerging technologies for aerospace and military applications. One startup company, San Francisco-based Elroy Air, is developing an autonomous aerial cargo aircraft system that can carry 200-500 lbs of payload by air over a range of 300 miles.

Innovative pioneers looking to bring their ideas and concepts to reality are pushing the edge of aerospace capabilities. In some cases, the technologies are the result of university research, while others come from markets outside of defense. The entrepreneurs purport that their technologies will be, if not groundbreaking, useful and more efficient. The entrepreneurs presented their nascent products and discoveries at a pitch meeting hosted by The MITRE Corporation in McLean, Virginia on October 11 as part of Starburst Aerospace Accelerator’s annual East Coast Selection Committee event.

September 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Hughes’ latest satellite, EchoStar XIX, provides high-capacity broadband, increasing satellite Internet service in North America.

The commercial satellite industry is harnessing a perfect storm of technological advancements, cost reductions and increased emphasis on mobile communications to provide greater global connectivity. Innovation is reaching all aspects of the industry, from satellite manufacturing, satellite launch services and satellite ground equipment to satellite services, industry officials report, driving cost savings and performance gains.

August 7, 2018
 

Envistacom was selected as a prime contractor for a $18 Million, 3-year task order under the Army Contracting Command's (ACC's) Deployable Adaptive Global Responder Support (DAGRS) contract, the company announced in an August 7 statement. Under the award, the company will provide mission-critical information technology, rapid-prototyping, data analysis and intelligence support to both the Army and Navy. Envistacom is one of 10 companies selected to compete for task orders on the DAGRS Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) vehicle, worth up to $480 million over five years, the company said. Envistacom's work will satisfy requirements for engineering and technical assessment enhancements through rapid-prototyping initiatives.

June 27, 2018
By Maryann Lawlor
U.S Air Force Academy cadets work with industry participants during a CyberWorx design project.

The U.S. Air Force is exploring innovative ways to put technology to work and address both warfighter fitness maintenance issues and access to troop fitness readiness data. With the help of AF CyberWorx, a public-private design center, innovators will tackle one of two challenges during a daylong hackathon.

May 15, 2018
Kimberly Underwood
Panelists, moderated by Stephen Wallace, chief technology director, Development and Business Center, DISA (far r), discuss innovation at the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

Companies or government agencies that strive for innovation have to keep development at the forefront, experts say. And the action of providing impactful ideas that turn into effective products is always “far more complicated in reality,” according to Jennifer Yates, assistant vice president, AT&T Labs.

May 1, 2018
By Synlethia Bagwell and Lt. Cameron Woods, USN
Lt. Steven McGhan, USN, demonstrates a gun-augmented reality system at Trident Warrior 2017. In support of the Navy’s Optimized Fleet Response Plan, the Naval Information Warfighting Development Center (NIWDC) uses live, virtual and constructive training capabilities like these to effectively train the fleet. Navy photo by Alan Antczak

The increased sophistication and unpredictability of adversaries’ cyber capabilities and tactics demands improvements in war-fighting readiness by revolutionizing how information warfare is executed in the U.S. Navy’s fleet. To address this challenge, the service is aligning and synchronizing efforts among its various communities and supporting multiple warfare areas with an information-packed warfighting model.

March 14, 2018
By Maryann Lawlor
The DHS outlines capabilities that are ready to take the next step into the marketplace. Credit: ra2studio/Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate has released two publications, the 2018 Cyber Security Division Portfolio Guide and the 2018 Cyber Security Division Technology Guide, to help transition mature cybersecurity solutions to the marketplace.

September 21, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
Operation Overmatch pits innovation against reality in a virtual environment.

The U.S. Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC) and Army Game Studio are introducing an online multiplayer game that enables soldiers to help design the future battlespace. Called Operation Overmatch, the technology allows warfighters, research personnel and leaders to configure future concepts of vehicles and equipment, execute missions and complete objectives in a virtual complex environment.

Operation Overmatch was created with the help of Early Synthetic Prototyping (ESP), a process and set of tools that facilitates the radical transformation of development and acquisition decisions by designing and assessing emerging technology in a game environment.

July 11, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
Computers and credit cards are the new department stores, shopping malls and food marts.

Nearly everyone has heard a parent or grandparent refer to the good ol’ days. Tales usually begin either with, “When I was your age…” or “In my day, we didn’t have….”

While it seems appropriate that octogenarians and nonagenarians tell such stories, today they’re not the only generations sharing memories that begin with, “When I was young….” People in their 20s and 30s reflect on their youth wistfully because members of the younger generation—who, by the way, are only five or 10 years younger than they are—can communicate, play, buy and sell, and share life moments in ways that surprise even 20-somethings.

February 28, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is now accepting requests for proposals (RFPs) for its Systems Engineering, Technology and Innovation (SETI) contract vehicle, a $7 billion, multiyear revamped acquisition process that acutely challenges the status quo in the procurement of engineering support and services.

By Katie Helwig
Douglas Maughan from the Department of Homeland Security speaks to AFCEA committee members.

Douglas Maughan, director of the Cyber Security Division at the U.S.