April 20, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
The Colorado Springs-based nonprofit engagement organization known as The Smalls works with businesses and government organizations such as the Defense Department-sponsored Colorado Procurement Technical Assistance Centers to help companies procure federal, state and local government contracts. Credit: The Smalls

It just took an idea from two friends and interest from a couple of companies to create an organization that is fostering a supportive ecosystem for defense, government and industrial companies in Colorado.

April 4, 2022
By Sandra Jontz
Mohan Tammisetti, senior vice president and COMSovereign’s chief engineer, demonstrates a prototype of the company’s portable, compact, easily deployable standalone communications system at the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative Living Innovation Lab at George Mason University. The standalone 5G wireless network hardware, available as a backpack or housed within a durable Pelican case, is powerful enough to keep an entire city’s secure communication needs up and running.

A future of warfighters having instantaneous access to actionable intelligence on the battlefield, traffic jam-free highways thanks to connected driverless vehicles and energy-efficient buildings that prepare for employees’ arrivals well before they even hit the parking lot each share a common need—secure and readily accessible 5G technology and the applications that make synchronization possible.

February 24, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
Airmen quickly remove the final pins from a U-2 Dragonlady before a flight, Oct. 4. The U-2 is the primary source of high altitude intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has been a government leader in cloud adoption and development security operations for software development. Among other efforts, the agency now is trying to foray into practices not widely employed before in an intelligence community setting, including the use of commercial solutions and expansion of unclassified operations.

February 17, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
A panel of industry experts explore the hows and whats of the technology future at WEST 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The key to developing amazing new technologies and capabilities for defense may lie in disciplined development, according to industry experts. The “anything goes” approach to innovation may give way to more structured architectures that ensure the customer receives what it wants and needs.

A panel of industry experts gave a glimpse of the future by describing the present at WEST 2022, the conference and exposition hosted by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute in San Diego February 16-18. They described many approaches that only recently have been embraced as the key to what might emerge from commercial laboratories and research facilities.

February 1, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
An F-35C Lightning II, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314, taxis as it prepares to launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), operating in the U.S. 3rd Fleet in the Pacific Ocean in November 2021. In addition to more formal exercises, such as Trident Warrior to conduct technology insertions, the Navy is also pursuing lower barrier of entry events to bring in more emerging technologies from industry and academia.  U.S. Marine Corps photo by 1st Lt. Charles A

The Science and Technology department within the U.S. Navy’s Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic division is embracing the concept of “good enough” when it comes to rapidly fielding advanced technologies.

December 2, 2021

Advanced Strategic Insight Inc., McLean, Virginia, has been awarded a $7,794,814 firm-fixed-price contract to provide multi-domain subject matter expertise support to the Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office. Work will be performed in Washington, D.C., and other locations as required per mission requirements, and is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2022. This award is the result of fair and open competition. Fiscal 2021 research, development, test, and evaluation funds in the amount of $320,000 will be obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8612‐22‐C‐5015).

October 14, 2021
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
One of two semifinalists of U.S. Air Force’s Material Command (AFMC) Spark Tank competition, Gregory Monroe, Air Force Lifecycle and Management Center, created a web-based system to provide coordinated flight test planning. Credit: AFMC

The U.S. Air Force’s Material Command, or AFMC, will pursue several new innovative efforts across open architecture for fighter jets, digital administration forms, flight testing and medical field operations. The command, led by Gen. Arnold Bunch, USAF, announced its 2022 Spark Tank winners in an October 12 release. AFMC leaders selected five semifinalists out of 97 submissions in the competition; last week the semifinalists presented their solutions to leaders during the command’s fall Senior Leader Conference.

July 27, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s new Moonshot Labs facility is a key component in growing greater cooperation between the private sector and government, and leveraging the competitive advantages that combination will bring, according to Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Avril Haines, who was on-hand for the facility’s July 23 opening.

On July 23, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency officially opened its first unclassified innovation center, Moonshot Laboratories. Located within the facilities of T-REX, a nonprofit innovation and entrepreneur development center in St. Louis, Moonshot Labs aims to attract entrepreneurs and venture capitalists investing in geospatial-intelligence, or GEOINT, technologies. By locating such a facility outside of NGA’s classified infrastructure, it makes it easier for academia, nontraditional and traditional GEOINT companies to participate in technology and software development.

July 21, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
In developing the active electronically scanned array AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) software for the U.S. Air Force’s F-16 Viper fighter aircraft, Northrop Grumman had to balance a new way of interacting with and delivering to its customer. Credit: Northrop Grumman

As the U.S. Air Force is pursuing digital transformation and agile software development, its contractors are also leaning into new processes to provide swift updates to key systems. Northrop Grumman, the manufacturer of the active electronically scanned array AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) software for the F-16 Viper fighter aircraft, has seen some initial success in providing lean-agile software development, according to the company.

February 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Navy operations specialist communicates with bridge wing watchstanders aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Sterett. The Navy is moving full speed ahead on its modernization efforts, but it needs more rapid insertion of information technologies into the fleet and ashore.  U.S. Navy photo

The U.S. Navy is looking for speed—not speed of platforms or vehicles, but of innovation. Introducing new capabilities into the force rapidly is vitally important to maintain the combat edge necessary to deter or defeat adversaries that are building up steam in their efforts to confront the U.S. military.

This will require tapping industry for innovative information technology advances. Ensuring that speed of capability may require working with the commercial sector to steer it into the right areas to suit naval needs. Ultimately, software-defined systems may hold the key to keeping ahead of the deployment curve in technology-based systems.

June 16, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
A Gulfstream C-37A taxis on the flight line at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, May 3, 2021, carrying Gen. Mark Kelly, USAF, commander of Air Combat Command and his team for a visit about the base’s rebuild. The Air Force’s innovation hub, AFWERX, is conducting a new consecutive three-part challenge to bring in solutions for flightline security, advanced sensors and communication, and aircraft maintenance. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Anabel Del Valle

The U.S. Air Force’s innovation arm, AFWERX, is looking for state-of-the-art data, sensor and communication solutions in three concurrent competition areas: the Aircraft Maintenance Operations Challenge; the Flightline Security Challenge; and the Airfield Maintenance and Repair Challenge, which are all part of a greater effort called the Revolutionizing USAF Flightline Operations Challenge.

June 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
The USS John Finn launches a missile during the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Unmanned Systems Integrated Battle Problem 21 in April. Integrating unmanned systems into the fleet is one of the challenges facing the Navy as it modernizes to meet growing adversarial threats.  U.S. Navy photo

Back to basics may be the mantra for integrating innovation into the U.S. Navy. The long-held goal of network-centric warfare is more important than ever, and standards definition may hold the key for successful naval innovation.

The need for innovation is emphasized by advances by peer adversaries around the world. To keep up with ever-increasing challenges, the Navy is looking toward new weapons, unmanned systems and advanced dataflow to unify its operations against potential foes’ growing capabilities.

January 7, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
The Navy is exploring advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence handle the rapidly increasing amount of sensor data flooding naval intelligence systems. Credit: U.S. Navy photo

The U.S. Navy is looking for speed—not faster platforms or vehicles but innovation. Introducing new capabilities into the force rapidly is vitally important to maintaining the combat edge necessary to deter or defeat adversaries who are building up steam in their efforts to confront the U.S. military.

Accomplishing this task will require tapping industry for novel information technology advances and ensuring its success may entail working with the commercial sector to steer it into the right areas to suit naval needs. Ultimately, software-defined systems may hold the key to staying ahead of the deployment curve in technology-based systems.

December 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Vice Adm. Nancy A. Norton, USN, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and commander, Joint Force Headquarters Department of Defense Information Network, reports that the interagency and international partnerships DISA has forged have strengthened the protection of critical assets around the world. Adm. Norton was the opening keynote speaker December 1 at AFCEA TechNet Cyber Conference, being held virtually through December 3.

Like most organizations during the pandemic, the Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA, is doing things a bit differently this year. Naturally, the agency is leveraging virtual events to increase its engagement with key mission partners, as well as government, industry and academia, including at the annual TechNet Cyber conference, noted Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, DISA’s director and the commander of Joint Forces Headquarters for the Department of Defense Information Systems Network (JFHQ-DODIN).

December 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Army infantryman radios his situation report during an exercise. Future defense communications systems are likely to be smaller and more comprehensive as the military and industry collaborate on new information technology capabilities that help the warfighter in the battlespace. Credit: Capt. Lindsay Roman, USA

Speed will be the order of the day for military information systems as new technologies incorporate breakthrough innovations. Hardware also will transform as capabilities grow in influence. But above all, the entire defense information system community is undergoing major cultural changes spawned by a combination of innovation and disease.

November 23, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The Air Force's new initiative, Operation Flamethrower, is meant to aggressively get rid of legacy policies, processes and equipment that are not effective. Credit: Shutterstock/Mack Pansuwan

The U.S. Air Force, led by Brig. Gen. Chad Raduege, USAF, the Air Combat Command’s A-6, along with Deputy Chief Information Officer Lauren Knausenberger, is pursuing Operation Flamethrower, an aggressive project to abandon legacy network-related policies, processes or equipment that are not working. The tongue-in-cheek name of the effort is meant to illuminate the nature in which leaders will eliminate ineffective or redundant components in order to drive innovation.

“We are ruthlessly going after these things and setting them on fire,” Knausenberger said.

November 10, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Two scores of airmen and four B-1B Lancers from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, arrive at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam in May to conduct missions in the Indo-Pacific theater, supporting the Pacific Air Forces’ training with allies and partners and performing strategic deterrence missions to reinforce the rules-based international order in the region. Credit: PACAF Public Affairs/Tech. Sgt. David Scott-Gaughan

The new concept of employing computerized modeling and virtualization to the acquisition cycle may provide advanced aircraft more quickly to the U.S. Air Force, said Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, USAF, commander, Pacific Air Forces (PACAF); Air Component commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command; and executive director, Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The concept can also be applied to communications, sensors and network systems.

The new PACAF commander spoke at a recent Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies virtual event.

November 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The flexibility that flying orbs present the military is game-changing, notes Col. Nathan Diller, USAF, director, Agility Prime, and director, AFWERX. Beta Technologies’ six-seat lift and cruise aircraft has a 50-foot wingspan.  Beta Technologies

The U.S. Air Force is preparing to have initial electric vertical takeoff and landing, or eVTOL, testing by December and a more substantial fielding of an estimated 30 or more eVTOL aircraft by 2023. The service’s Agility Prime program is pursuing a so-called Air Race to Certification, seeking a global advantage in eVTOL, says Col. Nathan Diller, USAF, director, Agility Prime, and director, AFWERX.

Agility Prime is one of three experiments that adds innovation quickly—in addition to Spark and Air Force Ventures—and represents a new approach for the service, Col. Diller says.

September 16, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, presents the idea of electronic-systems or e-systems, at the Air Force Association's virtual conference on September 15.

The U.S. Air Force is pursuing a bold new strategy of digital transformation across the service’s acquisition lifecycle. Essentially, it is applying electronic systems, known as e-systems, to every part of a weapon’s or system’s acquisition process, including design, engineering, software, manufacturing, testing and sustainment efforts. These so-called digital threads will speed innovation, reduce risks and program costs.

Underpinning any e-system is the digital trinity of digital engineering and management; agile software development; and open architecture, explained Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics. And e-systems are so much more than computer-aided design, or CAD.

September 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA’s) Science and Technology Directorate is developing a new strategy to pull in innovation to support U.S. warfighters’ understanding of foreign militaries. A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon lands at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.  USAF/Airman 1st Class Aaron Larue Guerrisky

Over the last year and a half, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Future Capabilities and Innovation Office, or FCI, has iteratively developed a new strategy to drive innovation and collaboration to the agency. The DIA, as the agency is known, is looking to harness artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, counterintelligence tools and other solutions to identify and assess cyber behaviors, among other capabilities. The FCI also must be able to measure the impacts of any solutions.

August 27, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
The U.S. Navy’s PEO C4I and Space Systems is focusing on parallel development of digital assets and capabilities to speed innovation to the fleet. Credit: U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy is focusing on parallel development of its new digital assets and capabilities as it works to rush advanced information innovations to the fleet. With the need for better technologies increasing coincidental to the rapidly evolving threat picture, the service has opted for concurrence as its main tool for implementing both upgrades and innovations.

August 28, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories are hosting the new Technology Readiness Gross Receipts Tax Credit Initiative, with funding of up to $150,000 per company and technical assistance to innovative New Mexican companies. Credit: Randy Montoya

Through September 3, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories are accepting statements of intent from companies in New Mexico as part of a technical assistance effort. The program is designed to help move prototypes and near-ready products to the commercial market.

August 3, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Patrice A. Melançon (USAF), executive director, Tyndall Air Force Base Reconstruction Program Management Office, U.S. Air Force, speaking at the AFWERX Fusion2020 event last week, highlights the steps the service is taking to rebuild the base. Credit: AFWERX

As the Air Force holds its innovation push via AFWERX 2020, an annual event to draw advanced solutions to key challenges, the service is targeting capabilities to improve base facilities and operations via its comprehensive Base of the Future effort.

One of the initial focuses of the Base of the Future effort is to rebuild Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, explained Brig. Gen. Patrice A. Melançon, USAF, executive director, Tyndall Air Force Base Reconstruction Program Management Office, U.S. Air Force, speaking at last week’s Fusion event hosted by AFWERX.

July 13, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Latest from startups presenting during Starburst Accelerator's U.S. Selection Committee offer innovative aerospace technology, including a new imaging sensor from Owl Autonomous Systems. Credit: Owl Autonomous Systems.

Entrepreneurs developing lightweight propulsion systems for satellites, cybersecurity for Linux, wireless power and a blockchain application for secure part procurement, among other emerging technologies, presented their technologies to investors, the military and industry. In 10-minute intervals, the company representatives pitched their early stage, aerospace-related technologies at Starburst Accelerator’s third U.S. Virtual Selection Committee meeting on July 9th, which was held virtually. Headquartered in Paris, Starburst's U.S. team brought in the eight hopeful companies, all vying for partnership agreements, venture capitalist funding and a chance to join Starburst's Accelerator Program.

June 17, 2020

Accenture Federal Services LLC, Arlington, Virginia (FA7014-20-D-0006); Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Arlington, Virginia (FA7014-20-D-0007); Deloitte Consulting LLP, Arlington, Virginia (FA7014-20-D-0008); Digital Mobilizations Inc., Warrenton, Virginia (FA7014-20-D-0010); KMPG LLP, McLean, Virginia (FA7014-20-D-0009); BCG Federal Corp., Bethesda, Maryland (FA7014-20-D-0005); Grant Thornton Public Sector LLC, Arlington, Virginia (FA7014-20-D-0004); and McKinsey & Co. Inc., Washington, D.C.

June 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Program Executive Office Command Control Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), through its Program Manager Tactical Network, equips a brigade combat team in the 82nd Airborne Division with the an inflatable satellite communications system known as T2C2. Brig. Gen. Robert Collins, USA, takes over as the new PEO C3T on June 1 and says he will continue the key efforts to modernize the service's tactical communications. Credit: U.S. Army photo by Amy Walker, PEO C3T

With key knowledge of the Army’s necessary sensors, intelligence and electronic warfare capabilities, Brig. Gen. Robert Collins, USA, today steps into the role of Program Executive Office Command Control Communications-Tactical, or PEO C3T. Gen. Collins replaces newly promoted Lt. Gen. David Bassett, USA, who becomes the director of the Defense Contract Management Agency.

February 19, 2020

JAB Innovative Solutions LLC, Bristow, Virginia, has been awarded an $8,849,120 firm-fixed-price and time and material contract for Defense Innovative Unit (DIU) scientific and technical consulting support services.

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.

November 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II jets fire flares while breaking away after aerial refueling from a KC-135 Stratotanker of the 340th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron out of Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, in August. In multidomain operations in the future, the Air Force will need a highly connected web of sensors across the air, land, sea and space.  U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Keifer Bowes

As the U.S. Air Force is working to define operations on the battlefield of the future, sensors or other digitally connected devices will play a key role—as they always have—but on a much larger scale, one expert says. For the military, the world of Internet of Things, or IoT, has to work across the air, land, space and sea domains. And for the Air Force to enable a greater sensor-based environment, it has to tackle data platforms, cloud storage and capabilities, communication infrastructure and its network, says Lauren Knausenberger, the Air Force’s chief transformation officer.

July 29, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Judges and competitors gathering after the latest AFCEA innovation shark tank are (l-r) Robert Osborne, CTO of IMPRES Technology Solutions; judge Glenn Hernandez, national director of U.S. Cyber Challenge; judge Col. Laurie Moe Buckshot, USA (Ret.), president and CEO of Corvus Consulting; Nicholas Edwards, founder and CEO of winning company TunnelVue; Robert Stewart Jr., president and CEO of Federal Government Experts; and judge Bob Gourley, co-founder and CTO of OODA LLC.

A technology that provides network-wide encryption throughout the existence of its information was identified as the winner of the latest AFCEA Innovation Showcase. The competition was the second in a series of individual competitions running into the fall.

October 1, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
NATO members participating in the 2019 Coalition Warrior Interoperability Exercise test communication equipment to ensure partner communications can interoperate during combined operations. Allied Command Transformation (ACT) is working to speed innovation into NATO forces to help improve interoperability along with seizing key military advantages.  Supreme Allied Commander Transformation photo

NATO is accelerating its efforts to input innovation into its operational capabilities. This effort is aided both by industry and academia and by different nations that bring new technology applications to the alliance table. But even the best ideas are encountering speed bumps, and adversaries are moving quickly to exploit their own technological advances.

September 26, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Air Force is conducting a new program, called Air Force Explore, to find “remarkable” ideas to apply to persistent awareness, resilient information sharing and rapid, effective decision-making, among other areas. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Janweb B. Lagazo

Calling it a unique new call to action, the U.S. Air Force is searching for transformational solutions that advance the principles of its Science and Technology 2030 strategy. The service’s effort, called Air Force Explore, is soliciting solutions from interested parties nationwide, according to an Air Force statement.

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 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.