News Briefs

March 22, 2019
 
Soldiers train in a Stryker Virtual Collective Trainer at the Mission Training Complex on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The system was recently fielded to Vilseck, Germany, the first fielding in Europe.   Credit: C. Todd Lopez

The Joint Multinational Simulation Center recently fielded the Stryker Virtual Collective Trainer (SVCT) to Vilseck, Germany, the system’s first deployment in Europe.

The SVCT, which was fielded to Vilseck in January, was developed at the Combined Arms Center-Training – Innovation facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to provide the Army’s Stryker community the capability to train a platoon in a multi-vehicle, virtual environment. Army officials describe the trainer as a low-cost, commercial, game-based simulator that provides a realistic training environment while also being relatively easy to configure and administer.

March 21, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has launched MagQuest, a $1.2 million global open innovation challenge, seeking advanced approaches to geomagnetic data collection. Credit: Shutterstock/Siberian Art

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, headquartered in Springfield, Virginia, today announced the launch of MagQuest, its $1.2 million global open innovation challenge, seeking advanced approaches to geomagnetic data collection.

March 11, 2018
 
The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate and Israel’s Ministry of Public Security are searching for companies or academic institutions in each country to work together on first responder systems, including unmanned aerial vehicles, border protection and systems to fight cyber crime. Credit: charles taylor/Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and Israel’s Ministry of Public Security (MOPS) are seeking proposals to support collaborative research and development between U.S. and Israeli companies, or between a company and a university or research institute—one from the United States and one from Israel. 

March 4, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Marines will now have access to round-the-clock assistance for their 3D manufacturing needs, the Marine Corps Systems Command reports.Credit: Shutterstock/Alexander Tolstykh

With the establishment of the Advanced Manufacturing Operations Cell, or AMOC, at the Marine Corps Systems Command, Marines can now get round-the-clock support for 3D printing, the command announced last week.

The AMOC team will be on hand to answer questions, field requests for 3D printing, as well as “fully vet” any part that requires fabrication by a Marine organization, which includes required legal and safety reviews. The AMOC is not limited to helping with 3D printing, but can assist with all forms of manufacturing and sustainment, reported Monique Randolph, of the command's Office of Pubic Affairs.

February 26, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Army paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade prepare to board a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft, in preparation for operations in Pordenone, Italy, on February 21. The brigade is the service's Contingency Response Force that responds to the needs of the U.S. European, Africa or Central Commands. The Army’s Fiscal year 2020 budget proposal, expected to be presented to Congress on March 12, has to support these operations as well as its modernization efforts. Army Photo by Paolo Bovo

The U.S. Army is striving to modernize and go faster, with a better focus, said Undersecretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy at a breakfast meeting on February 26 at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Institute of Land Warfare. This includes taking measures to be more effective with the funding the Army receives. “We're trying to put in a behavior of reform so that we can do better with every dollar that we have,” he stated.

February 25, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood

The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate is teaming up with NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration in order to manage unmanned aerial vehicle traffic. With projections of seven million drones that could congest the national airspace, the federal agencies needed a capability to control the domain.

They are creating the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management  infrastructure, or UTM, a cloud-based, automated air traffic management system, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). The UTM would then communicate with a required UAS Service Supplier interface on drones.

February 19, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Marines’ Systems Command and Recruiting Command have partnered to create a computing tool aimed at making recruitment of the next generation of Marines easier. Photo courtesy of the Marine Corps Recruiting Command

The U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia has unveiled a computer system aimed at giving Marine Corps recruiters state-of-the-art tools for the enlistment process.

Working with the Marine Corps Recruiting Command (MCRC), the MCSC developed the Marine Corps Recruiting Information Support System II, known as MCRISS II. The system uses a customizable platform that recruiters can access across government-issued cellphones, laptops and tablets.

January 29, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Marines with 1st Marine Logistics Group (MLG) work together to secure a concrete bridge support column during a 3D concrete printing exercise at Camp Pendleton, California in December.  The 1rst MLG worked with the Marine Corps Systems Command’s Advanced Manufacturing Operations Cell and the Army Corps of Engineers, to print the concrete bridge parts and evaluate the technology for future Marine Corps applications. Credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Robert Bliss

Using a special 3D printer called ACES, or Automated Construction of Expeditionary Structures, U.S. Marines from the 1st Marine Logistics Group, along with the Marine Corps Systems Command’s Advanced Manufacturing Operations Cell and the Army Corps of Engineers, created a concrete footbridge in December.

The Marines printed and assembled the bridge during the service’s annual Steel Knight exercise to demonstrate the ability to use concrete 3D printing in an operational environment, the service reported. The Marines trained on how to operate ACES and incorporate new equipment into the process.

January 24, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
In late February, DARPA is planning to launch a new type of antenna that could enable missions that usually require large satellites, the agency reports. Credit: DARPA

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA’s) development of a new type of membrane reflect-array antenna as part of its Radio Frequency Risk Reduction Deployment Demonstration (R3D2) program is ready to be space qualified, the agency reports, and anticipates that R3D2 will be launched in late February.

The agency stated that the antenna could enable multiple missions that usually depend on large satellites. R3D2 was produced with a “tissue-thin Kapton membrane” or a polyamide film, which allows the antenna to compact during launch and then deploy to a full size of 2.25 meters in diameter once it reaches low-Earth orbit, according to DARPA.

January 16, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The U.S. Navy commissioned the littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Wichita, LCS-13, on January 12. Lockheed Martin Corp. and its team, including Fincantieri Marinette Marine, built the Freedom-variant ship, pictured conducting acceptance trials in Lake Michigan in July 2018. The Navy has tapped the team to build an additional Freedom-variant ship, LCS-31, under a contract option exercised on January 15. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corp.

On January 15, the U.S. Navy awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin Corp. of Baltimore, exercising an option to build an additional littoral combat ship (LCS).

Lockheed Martin will build the ship, known as LCS-31, at teammate Fincantieri Marinette Marine’s (FMM’s) naval shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin. Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will oversee the design and construction, as well as the testing and trials of the ship for the Navy.  

The award is a fixed-price-incentive firm target modification to a previously awarded contract. DOD did not disclose the dollar amount of the award, as it was considered source-selection sensitive information.

January 15, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
A Navy electronics technician conducts maintenance on a radar aboard aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). The Navy has announced the first contract award under the Information Warfare Research Project. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin R. Pacheco/Released

Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic has awarded the first prototype project agreement valued at $1.3 million for a Low Altitude Range Communication System (LARCS) for the Marine Corps under the Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP) for $1.3 million.

The other transaction authority contract, order N65236-19-9-1001, was awarded January 8 to ATI on behalf of Booz Allen Hamilton in collaboration with Intuitive Research Technology Corporation (IRTC). A significant portion of the work will be performed by IRTC, a nontraditional defense contractor, and is scheduled to be completed in 10 months.

January 9, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
A new virtual platform offers electronic caregiving. Credit: SameDay Security

A division of Las Cruces, New Mexico-based SameDay Security Inc., has introduced a virtual home health care assistant that the company claims will “quickly deliver an immersive end user experience.” The electronic interface, known as Addison Care, uses visual, artificial intelligence and augmented reality. The system runs on Amazon Sumerian, a service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

“Designed to transform the home into a full-time health and wellness environment, Addison appears on 15-inch media screens throughout a residence and provides support to consumers with features including medication management, care plan adherence, social experiences and emergency response,” a company official stated.

January 9, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
IARPA announced today two new technology challenges related to credibility assessment and automated video surveillance. Credit: TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has announced two new challenges: the Credibility Assessment Standardized Evaluation (CASE) Challenge, which seeks methods for measuring the performance of credibility assessment techniques and technologies, and the Activities in Extended Video (ActEV) Prize Challenge, which aims to develop algorithms that will monitor surveillance videos for suspicious activity.

January 9, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
IARPA has issued two requests for information, one for classified deep learning and machine learning research and another for novel cooling solutions for portable devices. Credit: geralt/Pixabay

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is seeking information on research efforts in the area of machine learning with a particular focus on deep learning and in the area of cooling systems for small mobile devices.

January 7, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
Research at Sandia National Laboratories may help shape the future of quantum computing. Credit: TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay

Four newly announced projects led by Sandia National Laboratories aim to advance quantum computing technology, according to an announcement from the laboratories.

The efforts include: a quantum computing testbed with accessible components on which industrial, academic and government researchers can run their own algorithms; a suite of test programs to measure the performance of quantum hardware; classical software to ensure reliable operation of quantum computing testbeds and coax the most utility from them; and high-level quantum algorithms that explore connections with theoretical physics, classical optimization and machine learning.

December 19, 2018
 
Everett Kaneshige, chief strategy officer for broadband and telecommunications for the State of Hawaii (l) and Tom Lawless, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) region IX coordinator, test satellite connectivity in remote areas affected by the Kilauea volcanic eruption. DHS has announced a new approach to information technology modernization, which opens new opportunities for industry, including small businesses. Credit: Grace Simoneau/FEMA

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chief Procurement Officer Soraya Correa announced this week that DHS will follow a new strategy for obtaining information technology services. Rather than pursue a re-competition of the Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading-Edge Solutions (EAGLE) II, the department will offer an array of options for industry, including greater opportunity for small businesses, under EAGLE Next Generation.

December 13, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command is leveraging other transactional authority to spur a Next Generation Handheld Targeting System, which is meant to replace four legacy systems. Credit: Marine Corps Systems Command.

To spur innovation for a necessary handheld targeting system, the U.S. Marine Corps is turning to the Other Transaction Authority contracting tool, which provides for rapid prototyping of technologies.

The Marine Corps Systems Command awarded four Other Transaction Authorities (OTAs) to BAE Systems, Elbit Systems of America, Fraser Optics and Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., according to the command.

The command will use the OTAs to assess how the companies are able to produce a Next Generation Handheld Targeting System. The Marines need such a system to quickly acquire targets; perform guidance against targets; and generate target location data during combat operations, the command reported.  

December 11, 2018
Posted by Julianne Simpson
NIST researcher Jelena Senic drives a robot used to measure the performance of different antenna beam patterns. Photo Credit: NIST

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers have developed a method for assessing and selecting optimal antenna design for future fifth-generation (5G) cellphones and other wireless devices and base stations.

5G systems will avoid crowded, conventional wireless channels by using higher, millimeter-wave frequency bands. Because transmissions at these frequencies lose a lot of energy along the way, received signal strength can weaken. One solution is “smart” antennas that can form unusually narrow beams and quickly steers them in different directions.

December 11, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
To protect the nation, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is pursuing multiple drone intrusion detection research and development efforts. Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Yupa Watchanakit.

The number of unmanned aerial vehicles in the sky is expected to triple this decade. The need to find or manage drones in the sky, especially adversarial drones, will correspondingly grow, experts say.

In response, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate, through its research and development, is developing capabilities to improve the management of vulnerabilities that drones present, the department recently announced.

December 7, 2018
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Researchers injected a magnetorheological (MR) fluid into hollow lattice structures built on LLNL’s Large Area Projection Microstereolithography (LAPµSL) platform, which 3D prints objects with microscale features over wide areas using light and a photosensitive polymer resin. Photo by Julie Mancini/LLNL

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have developed a new class of metamaterials that can almost instantly respond and stiffen 3D-printed structures when exposed to a magnetic field. The development has huge implications for next-generation helmets, wearable armor and countless other innovations.

These new “field-responsive mechanical metamaterials” (FRMMs) use a vicious, magnetically responsive fluid that is manually injected into the hollow struts and beams of 3D-printed lattices. Unlike other shape-morphing materials, the structure of the FRMMs does not change.

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