News Briefs

March 31, 2020
 
Anyone with 3D printing or other additive manufacturing capabilities can help counter the spread of the coronavirus by making N95-style masks. Credit: CDC image

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. 

March 23, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
A common hypersonic glide body (C-HGB) launches from Pacific Missile Range Facility during a Defense Department flight experiment, Kauai, Hawaii, March 19, 2020. Credit: DOD

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.

March 23, 2020
 
Sandia National Laboratories’ Saturn accelerator, viewed through an artistic lens, tests countermeasures used to protect electronics against X-ray radiation from nuclear weapons. Laboratory officials have announced two new initiatives, one to protect the electrical grid, and another to help maintain a nuclear edge. Photo by Randy Montoya

To deter attempts to disable U.S. electrical utilities and to defend nuclear weapon systems from evolving technological threats, Sandia National Laboratories has begun two multiyear initiatives to strengthen U.S. responses.

March 17, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Essye Miller, principal deputy, DOD CIO, speaks at a town hall on the response to COVID-19. Credit: Screenshot of DVIDS video

During a town hall on the response to COVID-19, leaders at the Pentagon stressed the importance of cybersecurity as more employees shift to telework. Along with personal hygiene, Daniel Walsh, acting director, Pentagon Force Protection Agency, asked Pentagon personnel to practice good cyber hygiene.

Essye Miller, principal deputy, Department of Defense Chief Information Officer, echoed similar sentiments. “With the increased telework capability comes an increased attack surface for our adversaries. They are already taking advantage,” she said.

March 16, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson

The Army xTechSearch team announced that due to concerns about COVID-19, the technology pitch for the xTechSearch 4 Semifinals will now be held via a live-streamed event open to the public.

The competition seeks out innovative, dual-use technologies emerging in the U.S. technology, entrepreneur and small business ecosystems.

The interactive, live-stream prize competition will focus on 20 companies participating in the xTechSearch 4 Semifinals and will allow the contestants to showcase their technologies and make a supporting business plan proposal to a panel of judges.

Up to 10 participants with the highest-ranked pitches will receive cash prizes of $120,000 and advance to the finals.

March 16, 2020
 
Exercise DEFENDER-Europe 20 is the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas. The exercise was expected to test multidomain operations but is now being restricted out of caution regarding the new coronavirus outbreak. Credit: U.S. Army

In response to the current outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and recent guidance by the Secretary of Defense, the U.S. Army has modified exercise DEFENDER-Europe 20 in size and scope. As of March 13, all movement of personnel and equipment from the United States to Europe has ceased, according to an Army announcement.

March 5, 2020
 
The U.S. Army secretary has announced the start of the fifth Army Expeditionary Technology Search competition, also known as xTechSearch. The competition seeks disruptive concepts and technologies to support the Army's modernization priorities. Credit: Derplan 13/Shutterstock

Bruce Jette, the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, has announced the start of the fifth Army Expeditionary Technology Search competition, also known as xTechSearch.

The xTechSearch competition seeks novel, disruptive concepts and technologies to support the Army's top modernization priorities, medical technologies, military-engineering technologies and other critical technology focus areas that can provide technology advancement or enable cost savings throughout the Army systems' life cycle.

March 2, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood

The U.S. Marine Corps selected Wixom, Michigan-based Trijicon to deliver Squad Common Optic Systems for use with infantry assault rifles, including the M27, M4 and M4A1. Under the $64 million indefinite-delivery, indefinite quantity firm fixed contract, the company will produce 19,000 units of the optic technology.

Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC), the contracting authority, will begin fielding the tool to Fleet Marine Forces beginning in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021 and through 2023, MCSC reported on February 24.

February 27, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/Funtap

The phased approach to rolling out the Defense Department’s cybersecurity maturity model certification (CMMC) is accelerating with the department’s issuance of training guides late next month, said a department official. Stacy S. Bostjanick, director of CMMC policy, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, recently described how that and other steps are part of the foundation for the five-year effort.

Speaking at an AFCEA NOVA Chapter luncheon, Bostjanick described how the CMMC will begin rolling out 15 practices in 2020-21, followed by 75 in 2022, 250 in 2023, 479 in 2024 and another 479 in 2025. The progressive program will increase complexity with higher levels of certification.

February 26, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Sandia National Laboratories researchers leading the MARCUS project are developing a system to capture small unmanned aircraft systems then fly them away from crowds or sensitive areas such as government buildings. Photo by Randy Montoya

An unmanned aircraft system tracks and follows Sandia National Laboratories researcher David Novick, who is leading a project to identify, track and capture enemy UAS during flight.</body></html>

February 13, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Space and Missile Systems Center’s fifth Advanced Extreme High Frequency satellite, AEHF-5, in the faring of United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V vehicle, launches last August at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The center has moved control of the satellite to the new Space Operations Command. Credit: SMC

The Space and Missile Systems Center has transferred its fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite to the new Space Operations Command. Both the center, known as SMC, and the command, known as SpOC, fall under the new U.S. Space Force. Operators from SpOC at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, will now retain control authority for the key military satellite communications capability, the center reported on February 12.

February 10, 2020
 
The U.S. Defense Department has released a $705 billion fiscal year 2021 budget request that includes funding for cybersecurity, hypersonic weaponry, artificial intelligence and multidomain warfare. Credit: Defense Department photo

President Donald J. Trump sent Congress a proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget request of $740.5 billion for national security, $705.4 billion of which is for the Department of Defense (DOD), department officials announced today.

February 10, 2020
 
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology directorate is working with four companies to develop sensors to help thwart wildfires threatening urban areas. Credit: U.S. Bureau of Land Management photo

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) selected four new industry partners to participate in a new wildfire sensors project with Smart City Internet of Things Innovation (SCITI) Labs.

February 4, 2020
 
Boeing and the U.S. Navy have demonstrated that one EA-18G Growler can be used to autonomously control two others. Credit: Boeing

Boeing and the U.S. Navy successfully flew two autonomously controlled EA-18G Growlers at Naval Air Station Patuxent River as unmanned air systems using a third Growler as a mission controller for the other two, Boeing has announced.

The flights, conducted during the Navy Warfare Development Command’s annual fleet experiment (FLEX) exercises, proved the effectiveness of technology allowing F/A-18 Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers to perform combat missions with unmanned systems.

January 29, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
A new tool from West Lafayette, Indiana-based PlaneEnglish provides a training application for new pilots learning to speak with air traffic controllers during all flight phases, from taxi out, to takeoff, to airspace entrance, approach, landing and taxi in, the company says. Credit: PlaneEnglish

The U.S. Air Force and its innovation arm, AFWERX, have funded an application-based simulator of aviation radio communications through a $1 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research award. The tool, called PlaneEnglish, offers a training environment for pilots to learn aviation speak and radio telephony flight procedures by simulating communications between the pilot and air traffic control. 

January 29, 2020
 
DroneShield, one of 20 companies chosen to move forward in the U.S. Army's xTechSearch contest, provides a range of counter-drone technologies. Credit: DroneShield

The U.S. Army today announced the selection of 20 small business and technology firms to advance to Phase III of the xTechSearch 4.0 technology prize competition. xTechSearch is an Army-sponsored competition focused on finding technologies with both defense and commercial applications that have been developed by American technology entrepreneurs and small businesses.

“The 20 selected entrepreneurs and companies presented incredible capabilities and systems that we would have not otherwise seen or been able to support had it not been for Army xTechSearch,” Bruce D. Jette, the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, says in the written announcement.

January 24, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Marines with 2nd Marine Division conduct a light armored vehicle (LAV) crew gunnery atn Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, last June. A new tactical communications system for LAVs that the service will field increases situational awareness and communication capabilities for warfighters. Photo credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Nathaniel Q. Hamilton

To improve communications on the battlefield, the Marine Corps Systems Command, headquartered at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, gave the green light to field an advanced intercom system, known as the G4 ICS, for use in light armored vehicles. 

The Program Manager for Light Armored Vehicles, PM LAV—led by Steve Myers—will begin initial procurement of the system in fiscal year 2021, with full operational capability in FY 2022, the Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) reported. 

January 27, 2020
By George I. Seffers
By connecting two quantum systems, Army and University of Maryland researchers opened the door to brand new tools in the field of quantum communication, useful for timing synchronization between quantum systems, the Army has announced. (Photo credit: U.S. Army photo)

U.S. Army Research Laboratory scientists and University of Maryland researchers recently published a study showing how they combined two different quantum technologies to produce a timing synchronization tool for future quantum networks, the Army has announced. The breakthrough could lead to a hybrid quantum network that combines the best features of different types of quantum systems.

January 17, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Department of Homeland Security is rolling out A Smart City Technology Integration Pilot in St. Louis, aimed at increased interoperability for public safety officials and first responders. Credit: Shutterstock/Rudy Balasko

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported on January 17 that its Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate had completed the final integration of a smart city technology pilot in St. Louis as part of a program designed to enhance overall public safety and streamline operations across the city’s departments.

“This final rollout event, which included a series of tabletop exercises and operational scenarios, demonstrated how these technologies could be leveraged by first responders, emergency managers and other city officials in real-life events, such as floods, fires or earthquakes,” the DHS indicated.

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