News Briefs

July 15, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
The DHS Science and Technology Directorate is funding a $35 million, 10-year effort to create a research center of excellence focused on preventing and countering terrorist attacks. Credit: deepspace/Shutterstock

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced today $35 million in funding opportunities for a new DHS Center of Excellence (COE) for Terrorism Prevention and Counterterrorism Research (TPCR). Accredited U.S. colleges and universities are invited to submit proposals as the center lead or as an individual partner to work with the lead institution in support of the center’s activities.

July 11, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Navy is pursuing machine learning-based cyber security through a new $100,000 prize challenge. Credit: U.S. Navy illustration by Frances Zukowski

The Navy is seeking advanced cybersecurity solutions based on artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command announced in a recent statement.

The Command, known now as NAVWAR, and the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I) are co-sponsoring the so-called Artificial Intelligence Applications to Autonomous Cybersecurity Challenge (AI ATAC).

July 10, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Advanced digital tools, accessed through as-a-service models, offer benefits to the military, a study from Frost &Sullivan says. Credit: Shutterstock/Titina Ongkantong

The military and the government in the United Kingdom are employing cloud computing, big data, data analytics, Internet of Things devices, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and blockchain more often, according to recent study from London-based Frost & Sullivan, entitled Digitalization in Defense.

The result improves the continuity of operations and brings the military to a higher level of combat readiness, said Alix Leboulanger, senior industry analyst of defense at Frost & Sullivan.

July 9, 2019
 
The U.S. Marine Corps is replacing some of its aging infrastructure at its recruiting centers to improve connectivity and support Internet of Things devices, making the recruiting process easier. Marine Corps recruits with the India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, prepare for initial drill evaluations on Parris Island, South Carolina, last fall. Credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Dana Beesley.

The Marine Corps is replacing aging communications technology at its U.S recruiting centers and has selected New-York-based MetTel to provide the improved infrastructure. MetTel will upgrade the service’s aging T-1 transmission lines with high speed broadband.

“We are putting broadband Internet services into 1,500 of their recruiting stations,” said Diana Gowen, general manager and senior vice president, MetTel Federal. “Compared to what they had previously, they're saving about 70% in telecommunications costs.”

June 19, 2019
Posted by Gopika Ramesh
The Wave Relay MANET assists the CRS(I) in communications by eliminating the need for fixed infrastructure. It is helpful for applications that require complete mobility. Photo credits: Persistent Systems.

The U.S. Army chose New York-based Persistent Systems Wave Relay mobile ad hoc networking technology (MANET) to equip the Common Robotic System-Individual (CRS(I)) program of record. The company will be part of the QinetiQ North America (QNA) team supporting the CRS(I) program. The Army made the selection in March, the company reported.

Weighing less than 25 pounds, the CRS(I) is a backpackable robot that dismounted users can carry with sensor suites for viewing and detecting threats to improve situational awareness on the battlefield.

June 19, 2019
Posted by Gopika Ramesh
A U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal is assembling an AN/PRC-117G radio on the flight deck of an amphibious assault ship. The Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) adds updated firmware to the radio, giving warfighters more advanced satellite communications.” Credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tawanya Norwood.

The U.S. Marine Corps recently began using a next-generation narrowband satellite communication system called the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) to help warfighters in connecting to networks on the battlefield and communicate in a tactical environment.

MUOS works by using antennas that let Marines access SATCOM networks while also providing them with secure and nonsecure internet access. The system applies to both mobile or stationary marines and was fielded in the first quarter of 2019. It includes updated firmware to the AN/PRC-117G radio system and one of three antenna kits.

June 17, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
Afsaneh Rabiei examines a sample of composite metal foam. Her pioneering research has led to armor plating that weighs far less than steel and is capable of stopping armor-piercing .50-caliber bullets. Credit: North Carolina State University

A composite metal foam (CMF) material developed by researchers at North Carolina State University can stop ball and armor-piercing .50 caliber rounds as well as conventional steel armor, even though it weighs less than half as much, the university recently announced. The finding means that vehicle designers will be able to develop lighter military vehicles without sacrificing safety, or can improve protection without making vehicles heavier.

Previous research has resulted in CMF material capable of shredding bullets.

June 17, 2019
Posted by Gopika Ramesh

The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization (DITCO) is reducing their contracting fee for enterprise acquisition services from 2.5% to 2.25% starting on October 1st, 2019 according to a recent release by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). This will be coinciding with the start of fiscal year 2020.

In a statement, Christopher Barnhurst, DISA’s chief financial officer said, “DITCO’s dedication to controlling costs while evolving service offerings has resulted in the ability to lower fees to customers, thereby enabling reinvestment into lethality for the DOD."

June 13, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
The U.S. Air Force has successfully launched the AGM-183A Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon from a B-52 Stratofortress for the first time. Credit: Airman 1st Class Victor J. Caputo/U.S. Air Force

The U.S. Air Force successfully conducted the first flight test of its AGM-183A Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon, or ARRW, on a B-52 Stratofortress aircraft on June 12 at Edwards Air Force Base, California, the service has announced.

June 6, 2019
By Maryann Lawlor
Unlike standard GPS-enabled map apps, QuickRoute settings include options such as “Use Controlled Opposing Lanes” and “Show QuickRoute Alerts on Map.”

First responders can’t always use the same apps the general public depends on to get to their destination by the fastest route. Commercial apps may not factor in delays such as weather events, traffic accidents or the size and weight of their vehicles.

May 30, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
A new agreement between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the U.S. Air Force is meant to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence in Air Force operations. Credit: Shutterstock/Yousif Al Saif

On May 23 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, known as MIT, announced that it had signed an agreement with the U.S. Air Force to carry out fundamental research on artificial intelligence.

The MIT-Air Force AI Accelerator program is aimed at bringing rapid prototyping, scalability and the use of advanced algorithms and systems into Air Force operations.

“MIT and the U.S. Air Force have signed an agreement to launch a new program designed to make fundamental advances in artificial intelligence that could improve Air Force operations while also addressing broader societal needs,” a university official stated.

May 29, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
The U.S. Defense Department awards a contract to Rekor Systems Incorporated to license software that turns existing Internet protocol cameras into license plate readers. Credit: Pixabay/Capri23auto

Rekor Systems, Inc. has announced that it will provide automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) solutions to the U.S. Defense Department. The contract with the department is for the purchase of 200 licenses to use Rekor's machine learning-enabled vehicle recognition system powered by the company’s OpenALPR software.

May 16, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
President Trump takes action to block risky technology coming into the United States through the IT supply chain. Credit: Shutterstock/Travel mania

In an effort to secure the digital supply chain for the United States, President Trump issued a policy on May 15 prohibiting the trade of information and communications technology or services designed, developed, manufactured or supplied by adversaries. 

The Executive Order on Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain states that the risk of using such technology and services constitutes a national emergency.

April 9, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Industry solutions across manufacturing, materials and mobility applications are wanted for the government’s $5.2 million High Performance Computing Energy Innovation Program. Credit: Shutterstock

The Department of Energy and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are working to advance high performance computing by lowering adoption risks and conducting related technology development. Under the High Performance Computing Energy Innovation Program, known as HPC4EI, they are pursuing three initiatives involving the manufacturing, materials and mobility applications of high performance computing, and are seeking industry solutions as part of a $5.2 million request for proposal solicitation. The laboratory, known as LLNL, is managing the HPC4EI Program in conjunction with other laboratories.

March 26, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
A screenshot depicts the virtual reality environment for the EMS scenario for the NIST Public Safety Communications Research Division’s Haptic Interfaces for Public Safety Challenge. Credit: PSCR

The requirement to share information and communicate effectively via radio or other equipment during natural disasters, fires, crimes or catastrophes has only increased for police officers, firefighters and other public safety personnel. The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST's) Communications Technology Laboratory, known as the CLT, has been working to improve interoperability among the first responders and other public safety organizations, conducting research to update legacy systems and harness new mobile technologies to exchange vital voice and data communications in a crisis 

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.

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