The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the European Union will create a joint working group to address the rise of ransomware attacks in the United States and Europe. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas made the announcement during a visit this week to Portugal for the biannual U.S.-EU Ministerial Meeting on Justice and Home Affairs, according to a report from the DHS.
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.
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have “entangled” two small mechanical drums and precisely measured their linked quantum properties. Similar entangled pairs may someday perform computations and transmit data in large-scale quantum networks.
The NIST team, which was led by physicist John Teufel, used microwave pulses to entice the two tiny aluminum drums into a quantum version of the Lindy Hop, with one partner bopping in a cool and calm pattern while the other was jiggling a bit more. Researchers analyzed radar-like signals to verify that the two drums’ steps formed an entangled pattern—a duet that would be impossible in the everyday classical world, according to a NIST press release.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Global will launch the second round of Global-X, a nine-month international science challenge worth up to $500,000, to encourage groundbreaking research from around the world.
The purpose of the Global-X Challenge is to discover, disrupt and help drive basic and applied research for later development and delivery of revolutionary capabilities to the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, the commercial marketplace and the public. ONR Global is interested in receiving white papers and proposals on the following challenge topics:
The Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing/Space Cross-Functional Team announced today the approval of the Tactical Space Layer (TSL) abbreviated capability development document.
The document validates the need and provides the source for desired capabilities to execute rapid experimentation and prototyping efforts for tactical space-based sensors with supporting ground-based equipment. The accelerated TSL will deliver solutions necessary to shorten the sensor-to-shooter timeline and equip the Army multidomain operations (MDO)-capable force by 2028 to the MDO-ready force by 2035.
U.S. Army Europe and Africa will receive two new units—a Multi-Domain Task Force and Theater Fires Command—in the coming months and retain three sites previously scheduled to be returned to the German government due to growing operational requirements in the European theater.
The units will add approximately 500 Soldiers, 35 local national positions and 750 family members to U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden. The Theater Fires Command is expected to activate 16 Oct. 2021 and the Multi-Domain Task Force is expected to activate on 16 Sept. 2021. The sites that will be retained are Mainz Kastel Station and Mainz Kastel Housing in Mainz-Kastel, and Dagger Complex in Darmstadt.
Engineers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have built a low-cost computer system that connects older public safety radios with the latest wireless communications networks, showing how first responders might easily take advantage of broadband technology offering voice, text, instant messages, video and data capabilities.
The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Accreditation Body (CMMC-AB), the sole authoritative source for operationalizing CMMC assessments and training by the U.S. Defense Department, has announced the formation of a cybersecurity Industry Advisory Council’s (IAC).
The CMMC-AB IAC mission is to provide a unified voice as representatives of organizations seeking certification to provide to the Defense Department and the accreditation board feedback, input and recommendations for implementing the CMMC.
To develop capabilities to monitor the current COVID-19 pandemic and other future biological events, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate has awarded $199,648 to Mesur.io Inc., for analysis and reporting of outbreak-related data.
A new open-access quantum computing testbed from the Department of Energy is ready for the public. Scientists from Indiana University were the first team to begin using Sandia National Laboratories’ Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed, or QSCOUT.
QSCOUT is rare because it is a free, open-access testbed made with trapped ion technology. The platform gives users an uncommon amount of control in their research.
The Office of the Secretary of the Air Force announced a reorganization plan today that will add duties to the First Air Force. In addition to its current role, the Numbered Air Force (NAF) also will be the air component to the U.S. Space Force Command.
Under Air Combat Command, the First Air Force, based at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, is responsible for protecting the continental United States, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by providing air component support to the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command. Now the NAF will also be providing command and control over the Air Force efforts supporting U.S. Space Command.
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has created a navigation app that addresses first responders’ vehicle requirements to help them find the best route to provide aid. The capability takes into consideration vehicle-specific factors such as size and turning radius, road hazards or special road rules applicable to law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical services.
A new product called Intelligent Tracker developed by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) will increase the Army’s Next Generation Combat Vehicle’s intelligent fire control capability to control its medium and large caliber weapon systems, according to an NSWCDD press release.
The Intelligent Tracker innovation—made possible with state-of-the-art algorithms developed over 10 years of cumulative research at NSWCDD—adds a rapid and precise automated target detection and tracking capability to the kill chain for manned and unmanned weapon systems.
The U.S. military should begin fielding low-cost, low-collateral counter-drone systems as early as next year, officials told reporters in a February 2 conference call.
The Army has been designated the lead service for deploying systems to counter small unmanned aerial system (C-sUAS) technologies across the department. The service recently released its C-sUAS strategy . The strategy provides the framework for addressing sUAS hazards and threats in a variety of operating environments, including the U.S. homeland, host nations and contingency locations.
This week, the cybersecurity arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, known as CISA, held a virtual exercise and preparedness event with Major League Baseball’s (MLB's) Cactus League. The event aimed to boost physical security and cybersecurity at training, practices and games this spring in Arizona, CISA reported.
The Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation announced awards for two collaborative projects. Totaling $1.5 million, the projects will develop advanced homeland security technologies in the areas of threat detection and 3D mapping. The BIRD Homeland Security (HLS) program is a joint initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the Israel Ministry of Public Security (MOPS).
The 2020 HLS awardees are:
A research team at Sandia National Laboratories has successfully used machine learning—computer algorithms that improve themselves by learning patterns in data—to complete cumbersome materials science calculations more than 40,000 times faster than normal, according to a Sandia press release.
Their results, published in the January 4 issue of a journal called npj Computational Materials, could herald a dramatic acceleration in the creation of new technologies for optics, aerospace, energy storage and potentially medicine while simultaneously saving laboratories money on computing costs, according to the press release.
The U.S. Defense Department released today its strategy for countering small unmanned aircraft systems, which have become a growing threat both for the homeland and abroad.
The Defense Digital Service (DDS) and HackerOne announced the launch of the DDS’s latest bug bounty program with HackerOne. It is the eleventh such program for DDS and HackerOne and the third with the U.S. Department of the Army.
Hack the Army 3.0 is a security test— time-bound and hacker-powered—aimed at revealing vulnerabilities so they can be resolved before they are exploited by adversaries. The bug bounty program will run from January 6, 2021, through February 17, 2021, and is open to both military and civilian participants.
A controlled scenario test by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) shows promising results for facial recognition technologies to accurately identify individuals wearing protective face masks, according to an S&T press release.
The tests were conducted as part of S&T’s 2020 Biometric Technology Rally, held this fall at the Maryland Test Facility, and could reduce the need for people to remove masks at airports or ports of entry.
The European Union has released a new EU Cybersecurity Strategy designed to bolster Europe's collective resilience against cyber threats and help to ensure that all citizens and businesses can fully benefit from trustworthy and reliable services and digital tools, according to a published announcement.
Cyber attacks against the Defense Department and many other organizations have increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the integration of cyber threat intelligence has helped the department defend its networks, according to Col. David Violand, deputy director of intelligence, Joint Forces Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN).
Col. Violand made the comments during the AFCEA TechNet Cyber conference, a virtual event held December 1-3.
The Defense Department reported on October 26 that it had awarded a $20 million per year contract to Texas A&M University's Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) to establish and manage the University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics, known as UCAH. The award has a base year and four additional optional years of $20 million, with a total value of up to $100 million.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Spiro Devices LLC, and AirMid Critical Care Products Inc., have been awarded $100,000 prizes for their emergency ventilator designs as part of the ongoing U.S. Army’s xTech COVID-19 Ventilator Challenge launched earlier this month.
On April 5, the Army called for ideas for a low-cost, easily manufactured, deployable ventilator that could operate in austere and rural environments. In just 10 days, 150 American companies, academic institutions and individuals submitted their concepts, with a chance at winning $5,000 if invited to present their ideas. The goal of the Army xTech COVID-19 Ventilator Challenge is to produce 10,000 ventilator units within eight weeks.
An agile and nontraditional partnership between the Solider Lethality Cross-Functional Team (SL CFT) and Microsoft is keeping the development of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) on schedule despite the outbreak of COVID-19.
Though the Army implemented strict measures to reduce the spread of the virus, Team IVAS has kept the soldiers and civilians working on the program safe without sacrificing time on the pursuit of critical next generation modernization technology.
IVAS is an augmented and virtual reality goggle system based on Microsoft’s HoloLens, and the SL CFT’s signature modernization effort. The concept was introduced when the Army partnered with Microsoft in November 2018.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and its industry partners are committed to applying the nation’s most powerful supercomputers and knowledge in computational modeling and data science to fighting the deadly disease.
To assist in this effort, LLNL, Penguin Computing and AMD have reached an agreement to upgrade the lab’s unclassified, Penguin Computing-built Corona high performance computing (HPC) cluster with an in-kind contribution of cutting-edge AMD Instinct accelerators, which is expected to nearly double the peak performance of the machine.
The Homeland Security Department’s Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate has released a review of systems it has developed and fielded and their contributions to countering the COVID-19 pandemic.
The list includes:
SABER is a free, open-source software that enables businesses to report their operating status both during and after a disaster. Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, users have leveraged SABER to:
A joint advisory published today by the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) shows that a growing number of cyber criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 outbreak for their own personal gain.
A movement is underway to inspire 3D printing or other additive manufacturing experts and hobbyists to produce N95-style masks, visors and other critical medical supplies across the United States and the globe.
The so-called Maker’s Mask is a mask created by Rory Larsen at the request of Kaiser Permanente in Seattle. Larsen created the mask from commercially available hobbyist-grade 3D printers and other common household materials. He intends to share his design freely and widely.
The U.S. Department of Defense successfully tested a hypersonic glide body in a flight experiment held at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii.
This event is a major milestone toward the department’s goal of fielding hypersonic warfighting capabilities in the early- to mid-2020s.