News Briefs

October 14, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Photo Courtesy of NOAA NCEI

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency announced the final results of MagQuest, a $2.1 million competition to advance how we measure Earth’s magnetic field.

Over 18 months, the challenge accelerated novel data collection methodologies for the World Magnetic Model (WMM). The first place winner Iota Technology will be awarded $350,000 and two second place winners — Spire Global and SB Quantum, and University of Colorado Boulder — will receive $225,000 each. Runners-up Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium and Stellar Solutions will each receive $50,000.

October 8, 2020
Posted by: George I. Seffers
Defense Department officials released a new data strategy. They envision building a larger community of data leaders, via a deliberately expanded department data council that brings in the combatant commands, agencies and field activities. Photo: greenbutterfly/Shutterstock

The Department of Defense has published a new Data Strategy focused on accelerating the Department’s transition to a data-centric organization that uses data at speed and scale for operational advantage and increased efficiency, according to a department press release

October 2, 2020
Posted by: George I. Seffers
An Army paratrooper provides security during a mission in southeastern Afghanistan, Dec. 29, 2019. The service is discontinuing the Asymmetric Warfare Group and the Rapid Equipping Force as part of the shift from counterinsurgency operations to multi-domain operations. Photo by: Army Master Sgt. Alejandro Licea

The Department of the Army announced today the discontinuation of both the Asymmetric Warfare Group and the Rapid Equipping Force as the service transitions from counterinsurgency operations to a focus on multi-domain operations and large-scale combat operations.  

September 18, 2020
Posted by: Julianne Simpson
Members of AFC and ACC tour the future facilities of the Software Factory. Credit: ACC

The Army Futures Command (AFC) has named Austin Community College District (ACC) as the home for its new Software Factory. The first of its kind, the Software Factory at ACC will provide a training pipeline for soldiers and ACC students. It’s designed to help students rapidly scope and solve real-life problems through advanced software development processes.

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 27, 2020
Posted by: Julianne Simpson
M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzers from Battery B, 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment “Battlekings,” 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, sit ready to fire at Fort Stewart, Georgia, September 11, 2014. Credit: U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Richard Wrigley

A first-of-its-kind Army Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) pilot seeks to leverage small business innovators to help increase the rate of fire of self-propelled howitzer systems. A new program, the Special Program Awards for Required Technology Needs (SPARTN), is combining government and industry best practices to introduce a whole-of-Army, collaborative approach to solution innovation.

August 25, 2020
Posted by: George I. Seffers
The X-61A unmanned aerial system successfully completed its second series of flight tests in July. The system is being developed by a Dynetics-led team under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Gremlins program. Photo courtesy of DARPA

DARPA’s Gremlins program is targeting additional tests of the X-61A vehicle later this year after meeting several primary objectives during risk reduction flights at the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah in late July. The Gremlins program seeks to develop and demonstrate air launch and air recovery of up to four unmanned aerial systems (UASs), known as Gremlins Air Vehicles, within 30 minutes.

August 21, 2020
 
The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USMDC) Technical Center launches a Pathfinder Zombie target at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, June 25 for a foreign military sales customer. The USMDC has been named a service component command to U.S. Space Command while continuing to serve the same role for U.S. Strategic Command. (U.S. Army photo)

The Army announced today that U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USAMDC) will take on the additional responsibility of serving as the Army service component command to U.S. Space Command, while retaining its responsibilities as the service component command to U.S. Strategic Command.

Naming USASMDC as the service component command to both Space Command and Strategic Command will strengthen integration and synchronization of these vital operations and has been endorsed by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to a service press release.

August 12, 2020
Posted by George I. Seffers
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate intends to hold a virtual industry day next week seeking solutions to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo credit: U.S. Army

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is seeking groundbreaking solutions to address current and future operational needs.

July 20, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Vince Urias, Sandia National Laboratories computer scientist, will pitch cybersecurity tools to potential investors at a special Department of Energy event. Photo by Randy Montoya

Two Sandia National Laboratories computer scientists are earning national recognition for cybersecurity platforms they developed. Adrian Chavez and Vince Urias will pitch their software to investors, entrepreneurs and prospective customers during the Cybersecurity Technology Virtual Showcase, which runs July 21-30 and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Combined, Chavez and Urias led the creation of four of the technologies to be showcased.

July 14, 2020
By George I. Seffers
A Polish army officer talks with village elders in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan. U.S. Army officials are discussing the need to include international partners and allies in the Joint All-Domain Command and Control concept, which is expected to dramatically improve interoperability. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Micah E. Clare

U.S. Army leaders are considering adding “combined” to the Joint All-Domain Operations Command and Control (JADC2) concept to include international partners and allies, such as the so-called Five Eyes nations, says Army Undersecretary James McPherson.

McPherson made the comments July 14 during the virtual Army Signal Conference 2020, which is sponsored by AFCEA.

July 14, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, the Army's soon-to-retire CIO/G-6, attends a working lunch during the Joint Warfighting Assessment on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., May 1, 2019. The CIO said during the Army’s virtual 2020 Signal Conference hosted by AFCEA that the time is right for the service to split the CIO and G-6 offices. Credit: Sgt. Torrance Saunders

The U.S. Army’s near future will include an increased focus on adopting “zero trust” cybersecurity practices, better protecting its network endpoints and consolidating its plethora of cloud computing contracts, according to Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, the Army’s outgoing CIO/G-6. It also will likely include tightening defense budgets.

The general indicated during a keynote address for the Army’s virtual 2020 Signal Conference, which is hosted by AFCEA, that the 2021 fiscal year “is going to be all about driving on priorities.”

July 14, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
A U.S. Army M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System sits during a demonstration at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany in February. The Army Futures Command is creating a software factory to train warfighters to code on the spot. Credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Denice Lopez

The U.S. Army Futures Command is preparing a software center designed to improve the digital competency of warfighters. The so-called software factory, in Austin, Texas, will take soldiers and civilians with a propensity toward software development and sharpen their skills. Warfighters facing near-peer threats and operating in a multidomain environment in the future may not have the ability to reach back to higher echelons for coding solutions or necessarily rely on contractor presence for software. They will need to be able to diagnose software issues of information technology that soldiers will be using the future as well as code specific solutions on the spot to support faster decision making.

June 22, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Scheduled for completion in 2022, the Exascale Computing Facility Modernization project will upgrade the Livermore Computing Center by significantly expanding the facility’s power and cooling capacity in preparation for delivery of next-generation exascale supercomputing hardware. Credit: LLNL

The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA’s) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has broken ground on its Exascale Computing Facility Modernization (ECFM) project. It will substantially upgrade the mechanical and electrical capabilities of the Livermore Computing Center. The upgrades will enable the facility to provide exascale-class service (supercomputers capable of at least one quintillion calculations per second) to the NNSA laboratories: LLNL, Los Alamos and Sandia.

June 17, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Brig. Gen. Robert Lyman (USAF), director, Command, Control, Communications, and Cyber Systems Directorate, TCJ6, pictured center, speaks to Col. Mark Bradley, USAF, the TCJ6 deputy director at the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) on June 9. In July, Gen. Lyman will be joining the Pentagon as the Air Force’s assistant deputy chief of staff for Cyber Effects Operations, AF A2/A6. Photo by Michelle Gigante, USTRANSCOM/PA

Next month, Brig. Gen. Robert Lyman (USAF) will become the assistant deputy chief of staff for Cyber Effects Operations, the AF A2/A6, at the Pentagon, the U.S. Transportation Command announced on Monday. Gen. Lyman is currently dual-hatted as the director for Command, Control, Communications, and the Cyber Systems Directorate, TCJ6, at the command.

As the TCJ6 director, Gen. Lyman led the planning, integration, operations and maintenance of the Transportation Command’s, or USTRANSCOM’s, command, control, communications and computing (C4) systems, as well as guiding cyberspace mission assurance.

June 10, 2020
By George I. Seffers
During a webinar sponsored by the Association of the United States Army, Gen. John Murray, USA, commander, Army Futures Command, updated the audience on the service’s modernization efforts. Credit: Graphic illustration of concept for Smart Targeting Environment for Lower Level Assets (U.S. Army CCDC C5ISR graphic illustration/Jamie Lear)

Although the Army’s Integrated Tactical Network has faced delays for a variety of reasons, the two-channel manpack radio will undergo operational testing this fall, according to Gen. John Murray, USA, commander, Army Futures Command.

June 9, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches on May 30 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station. NASA, in partnership with Starburst Aerospace, is conducting a $1 million technology challenge to pull in even more innovation from the public sector. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA's Science Mission Directorate is partnering with Los Angeles-based aerospace technology accelerator Starburst in offering a $1 million prize challenge. Known as the Entrepreneurs Challenge, the effort is meant to pull in state-of-the-art technology from individuals and corporations in three technology areas: physics-based transfer learning and artificial intelligence; advanced mass spectrometry; and quantum sensors.

June 5, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
A F-15E Strike Eagle from the 492nd Fighter Squadron takes off from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England on May 27 during a large force exercise. The U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa and airmen from the 48th Fighter Wing conducted the dissimilar air combat training to advance combat readiness and increase tactical proficiency to help strengthen the NATO alliance. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Air Force Senior Airman Christopher Sparks

The Air Force recently hosted a large exercise in the United Kingdom’s North Sea airspace, the Defense Department reported on June 5. The service’s 48th Fighter Wing held the exercise to continue the advanced training of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa and NATO partners given the persistent and growing near-peer threats in the region. 

May 4, 2020
 
Time is running out to apply to be a cybersecurity professor at the U.S. Marine Corps University’s Krulak Center. Credit: Pixabay

The U.S. Marine Corps University’s Krulak Center is searching for a professor of cybersecurity.

The primary responsibility is to serve as the full-time university cybersecurity expert.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens with expertise in cybersecurity issues, including offensive and defensive policies and procedures to inform teaching and research. They also must possess, or obtain within one year of employment, an earned terminal degree in a related field from an accredited college or university in a discipline related to cybersecurity.

April 30, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
LLNL mechanical engineer Ken Enstrom (l) and technicians Greg Norton (c) and Aaron Sperry test and validate simple ventilator prototypes that could be easily assembled from readily available parts. Photo by Julie Russell/LLNL

A self-assembled “skunk works” team at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has worked tirelessly to prototype a simple ventilator design for quick and easy assembly from available parts. The effort is in response to a potential surge in demand for ventilators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dubbed the “Novel Emergency Response Ventilator” (NERVe), the design comes from proven concepts and contains parts that are not being used by commercial ventilator manufacturers to prevent disrupting already thin supply chains.

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