News Briefs

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.

November 29, 2018
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Credit: Rawpixel.com

Threat researchers from McAfee Labs have released their 2019 cybersecurity threats predictions report. Unfortunately, cyber criminals are expected to become more sophisticated and collaborative as the “underworld” consolidates into stronger malware-as-a-service families actively working together.

Software and security teams will need to adapt as threats become more complex. McAfee predicts more attackers will be using artificial intelligence to avoid detection by security software. “In fact, an entire underground economy has emerged where criminals can now outsource products and dedicated services to aid their activities,” says Thomas Roccia, a researcher on the team.

November 19, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
The latest littoral combat ship to be commissioned, the USS Sioux City, is "a capable and lethal and tough ship,” designed to combat asymmetric threats, says Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, USN. Credit: LCS Team Freedom

The U.S. Navy added another ship to the fleet on Saturday with the commissioning at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, of the USS Sioux City, the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), known as LCS-11.

The 387-foot LCS-11 has one of the largest flight decks of U.S. surface combatants, and offers reconfigurable spaces topside for flexible armament of guns and missiles, for the medium caliber 57-mm Mk 110 deck gun and Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM), according to Lockheed Martin, the LCS Freedom-variant industry team lead.

October 29, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Photo Credit: Peshkova

With technologies entering the market at a blistering pace and autonomous systems expected to make a larger contribution, the work force of the future may not resemble past efforts.

Eager to try and make sense of the coming environment, Deloitte's recent study, Government jobs of the future: What will government work look like in 2025 and beyond?, delves into predictions.

October 23, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
Researchers used digital light processing to advance the art of 3D printing complex origami structures. (Credit: Christopher Moore)

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a one-step approach to fabricating complex origami structures whose lightweight, expandability and strength could offer a wide range of benefits, including biomedical devices and equipment used in space exploration. Until now, making such structures has involved multiple steps, more than one material and assembly from smaller parts.

October 22, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The U.S. Government has granted Aquabotix an explosives license to use with unmanned aquatic vehicles. Photo credit: Aquabotix Ltd.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, known as the ATF, granted a Federal Explosives License to Aquabotix Ltd. The explosives license will allow the unmanned aquatic vehicle company to develop, manufacture, store and sell unmanned vehicles with explosive capabilities, according to a company statement. 

October 10, 2018
Posted by: George I. Seffers
The outlook remains stormy for the Pentagon’s potential $10 billion cloud computing contract known as JEDI as technology giant IBM files a pre-award protest. Credit: 12019/Pixabay

IBM announced in a blog post that it has filed a pre-award protest against the Defense Department’s potential $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI)  cloud computing program. Proposals for the effort are due Friday, October 12.

Oracle filed a pre-award protest in August.

IBM’s blog post, written by Sam Gordy, general manager, IBM U.S. Federal, says that JEDI “as outlined in the final solicitation, would not provide the strongest possible foundation for the 21st century battlefield.”

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