News Briefs

September 13, 2018
By Ali Cybulski
A researcher from the American Chemical Society—an NSF INCLUDES award recipient—works at St. Jude’s Research Hospital. The society received a $400,000 alliance award. Credit: Biomedical Communications­–St. Jude’s Research Hospital

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued new awards in its program called INCLUDES—Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science. The awards will support the program’s next step, which is to develop a national network that will enhance U.S. leadership in STEM by broadening participation in those disciplines.

September 7, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) continues its development of low-power lasers for use on MDA-configured MQ-9 Reapers from General Atomics. Photo credit: General Atomics

The Missile Defense Agency has funded a second investment in an airborne low-power laser for missile defense. In some cases, it has increased initial funding levels by more than 200 percent with its August 31 contract award modifications to the Boeing Co., General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems and Lockheed Martin Corp.

The three companies are pursuing aspects of the agency’s development of a low-power laser weapon for use on an aircraft—such as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)—and in conjunction with the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).

August 30, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Michael Moss, deputy director of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC), Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), told Congress that CTIIC remains concerned by the "increasingly damaging effects of cyber operations and the apparent acceptance by adversaries of collateral damage." Credit: Shutterstock/EVorona

As billions more Internet of Things (IoT)-related devices come online, the barrage of cyber threats will not only continue but will target users in new ways. Moreover, the number of adversaries mounting attacks against the United States in cyberspace will continue to grow in the next year, as nation-states, terrorist groups, criminal organizations and others persist in the development of cyber warfare capabilities, Michael Moss, deputy director, Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC) warned during recent Congressional testimony.

August 13, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
China has a significant military presence in the South China Sea that is supported by “unprecedented" levels of signals intelligence activity, says David Stupples, professor of electronic and radio systems, City, University of London. Graphic Credit: David Rosenberg, Middlebury College (www.southchinasea.org).

For the last decade, “informatization” of its national civilian and military infrastructure has been a top priority for the People’s Republic of China. The country’s efforts to become a global power in information and communications technology include a focus on signals intelligence. Out of its $150 billion total defense budget, the country is spending an estimated $15 billion on signals intelligence, said David Stupples, professor of electronic and radio systems, City, University of London, at an August 9 Association of Old Crows (AOC) online event.

August 24, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The DOD reports a successful demonstration of the miniature air-launched decoy technology upgraded with electronic warfare known as MALD-X. Pictured here is an earlier version of the MALD vehicles, manufactured by The Raytheon Company. Photo credit: Raytheon

The military’s miniature air-launched decoy technology, known as MALD, equipped with decoy, jamming and now electronic warfare capabilities, advanced this week after a successful free flight run through. The decoys are used by the military to confuse adversarial air defenses.

The Air Force’s MALD Program Office and the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, along with the Naval Air Warfare Center at Point Mugu, California, successfully completed a series of MALD-X demonstrations on August 20 and 22, the DOD noted in a statement.

August 7, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
A new fabrication process enables the creation of soft robots at the millimeter scale with features on the micrometer scale as shown here with the example of a soft robotic spider with moving body parts and colored eyes and abdomens. Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

Researchers have developed an integrated fabrication process that for the very first time enables the design of soft robots on the millimeter scale with micrometer-scale features. To demonstrate the capabilities of their new technology, they created a robotic soft spider from a single elastic material with body-shaping, motion and color features.

The research team members are from Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Boston University. The study is published in Advanced Materials.

August 2, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
Marines from the 1st Marine Division test out the Mobile User Objective System at a Field User Evaluation in Camp Pendleton, California. MUOS is a satellite communication system that uses commercial cell phone technology on the battlefield. Marine Corps Systems Command will begin fielding MUOS in the fourth quarter of 2018. Credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Eddie Young

The U.S. Navy announced today that U.S. Strategic Command has approved the service’s next-generation narrowband satellite communication system for expanded operational use. The authorization paves the way for Navy and Marine Corps “early-adopter” commands to use the system on deployment as early as this fall, primarily in the Pacific theater, according to the written announcement. The Navy's on-orbit, five-satellite constellation—the Mobile User Objective System, or MUOS—began providing legacy satellite communications shortly after the system’s first satellite launch in 2012.

August 7, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
Oracle has launched a formal protest against the U.S. Defense Department’s potential 10-year, $10 billion cloud computing contract commonly known as JEDI. Credit: Aichi8Seiran/Pixabay

Oracle, one of several companies vying for the U.S. Defense Department’s potential $10 billion, 10-year cloud computing contact known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), launched a formal protest yesterday, less than two weeks after the Defense Department released its official solicitation for the contract.

Companies have until September 17 to respond to the request for proposals. The Government Accountability Office will issue its decision on the protest by November 14.

August 1, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Researchers at Boeing's new Aerospace & Autonomy Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts to continue to develop autonomous aircraft systems.

The Northeast is drawing in companies and military organizations seeking innovation. The Boeing Co. announced that it would be opening the new Boeing Aerospace & Autonomy Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, according to an August 1 statement.

The center will focus on “designing, building and flying autonomous aircraft and developing enabling technologies,” the statement said. The facility will house employees from both Boeing and its subsidiary Auora Flight Sciences, purchased last year. Aurora creates flight autonomy software, among other innovations.

July 23, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
Social media data could become integral to detecting violations of nuclear nonproliferation agreements. Researchers have developed a computation model that incorporates often incompatible sources of data, such as satellite imagery and Twitter posts that indicate when a violation has occurred. Credit: Geralt/Pixabay

Researchers at North Carolina (NC) State University have developed a new computational model that draws on normally incompatible data sets, such as satellite imagery and social media posts, to answer questions about what is happening in targeted locations. The model identifies violations of nuclear nonproliferation agreements.

July 10, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Rear Adm. Christian "Boris” Becker, USN, commander, SPAWAR (l), discusses naval capabilities with another officer while visiting the Office of Naval Research and Naval Research Laboratory  exhibit at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition last year. SPAWAR System Command’s recent Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) award for its Information Warfare Research Project  will drive key innovative information warfare capabilities to the Navy, Rear Adm. Becker says. Credit: U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams

The U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Systems Center Atlantic (SSC Atlantic) is leveraging the flexible contracting platform known as other transaction authority to improve the service’s information warfare capabilities. Technologies will be developed through prototype project awards under the Navy’s new Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP) Consortium.

The IWRP OTA will accelerate acquisition and bring nontraditional sources, research and development labs, and industry together to provide new, innovative information warfare solutions," Rear Adm. C.D. Becker, USN, commander of SPAWAR Systems Command, said in a statement.

June 18, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
A Marine with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit's Force Reconnaissance Platoon waits on the flight deck while training in the Pacific Ocean. Marine Corps Systems Command unveiled its new Binocular Night Vision Goggle II that it is fielding to Force Recon and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Marines this year, with full capability next year. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. T. T. Parish, USMC

U.S. Marines on the move need to be able to negotiate the battlefield effectively. Part of operating on the fly also means working in the dark. To aid warfighters, the Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) recently began fielding advanced binoculars to help with improved vision at night, according to a June 18 report from Kaitlin Kelly, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication.

June 29, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The addition of the U.S. Marines Corps’ networking on the move platform known as NOTM-A Increment II system onto the MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft will enhance the Marines’ abilities to communicate in the air. (U.S. Marine Corps photo courtesy of Chris Wagner)

The effort of the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command in bringing the networking on-the-move platform to more aircraft is coming to fruition. The service announced on June 28 that it had placed a new iteration of tactical network family of systems known as the NOTM onto the MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.

The new NOTM-Airborne Increment II System can provide communications access for up to five users, including access to networks, voice, email, video and texting capabilities while airborne, command officials noted.

June 4, 2018
 
Ensign Edward Hanlon, USN, along with a group of midshipmen, helped create the robotic satellite repair system AMODS, which will be launched into space for testing this summer.

Researchers at the Systems Engineering Department of the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California, will remotely test for the first time an autonomous satellite repair system known as AMODS, after it is launched with Rocket Lab USA’s Electron rocket this summer, reports Matthew Schehl of the Navy News Service.

The U.S. Navy’s Morgan Lange, Edward Hanlon and Benjamin Keegan were midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy when they developed AMODS—the Autonomous Mobile On-orbit Diagnostic System—with guidance from Jin Kang, assistant professor, Aerospace Engineering Department, and director, Naval Academy Small Satellite Program.

May 4, 2018
Posted by: George I. Seffers
Jack Lewis, a NIST associate, demonstrates the use of a virtual reality headset and controllers with NIST’s virtual office environment in which first responders search for a body in a fire. Credit: Burrus/NIST

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) aim to make virtual reality simulations more of a reality for first responders, enabling firefighters, law enforcement officers and others to train for emergency operations and communications.

April 30, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
Ionic Security Inc.’s prototypical plug-in for video surveillance systems is the first to successfully complete testing under the DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program. Ionic will move to the pilot deployment phase of the program. Credit: simell1968/Pixabay

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) is announcing today that Ionic Security Inc., based in Atlanta, is the first company to successfully complete prototype testing and move to the pilot deployment phase as part of the Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP).

April 27, 2018
 
Sailors stand aboard the fast-attack submarine USS Missouri prepare to pull into their new home port to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in January. SkillMil, a new venture from SRI International that harnesses artificial intelligence will help match sailors and soldiers to jobs in the civilian world, when they leave the service. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jessica O. Blackwell

SkillMil, a new business venture spun off from the independent, nonprofit research center SRI International, aims to pair military veterans with civilian job opportunities. SkillMil uses a platform that quantifies the percentage match of a veteran’s skills and experience with current job postings. The platform also identifies the training and skills needed to achieve a 100 percent job match.

April 25, 2018
Posted by Julianne Simpson
During the demonstration at Fort Bragg, 320 MPU5 radios, spread across 37 multi-story buildings including basements, successfully communicated on a single radio frequency channel. Credit: Persistent Systems

The Army wants extremely scalable, robust flat network mobile communications for its brigade combat teams. And Persistent Networks has the answer. The company successfully demonstrated that its MPU5 smart radio could scale up to an extraordinary 320-node mobile ad hoc network (MANET) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

April 25, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
Technology developed under DARPA’s Vertical Lift and Takeoff Experimental Plane program has gained approval to transition to the commercial sector. Photo credit: Aurora Flight Sciences

The Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) has agreed to allow Aurora Flight Sciences to transition its X-Plane program technology to commercial applications, including expanding its research into commercial electronic vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) systems, the company has announced.

April 9, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
The U.S. Department of Energy has released a request for proposals for at least two next-generation exascale supercomputers. Credit: dlohner/Pixabay

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry today announced a request for proposals potentially worth up to $1.8 billion for the development of at least two new exascale supercomputers, to be deployed at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories in the 2021-2023 timeframe. Among other benefits, the systems will help nuclear security, a major piece of the nation’s critical infrastructure.

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