Next-Generation Technologies

May 27, 2020
By George I. Seffers
An M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle crew participates in gunnery training at the Doña Ana Range Complex, New Mexico, in 2018. The Army is developing a Next-Generation Combat Vehicle, and the xTechSearch program may help reduce the vehicle's weight and increase its survivability while also develop advanced antennas to replace the ubiquitous whip antenna. Credit: U.S. Army photo

The U.S. Army’s xTechSearch program, which is designed to rapidly develop technologies, may offer more specialized challenges similar to the one recently conducted to develop a medical ventilator to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The xTechSearch program develops partnerships primarily with nontraditional businesses that do not normally work with the military but that may offer dual-use solutions the Army never knew it needed. While most of the challenges have been wide open with companies allowed to pitch any solution, the program recently issued a challenge targeted specifically at developing the COVID-19 ventilator.

March 29, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Pamela Whitley, deputy assistant administrator for the FAA's Next Generation Air Traffic Management System, or NextGen, discusses the program's progress during AFCEA's TechNet Air symposium in San Antonio.

It has taken about 15 years, but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is greeting the 21st century.

The U.S. government pledged a commitment to build an efficient air traffic control system that allows for technological and procedural improvements, and provides a system as efficient as possible for travel, says Pamela Whitley, deputy assistant administrator for the agency’s Next Generation Air Traffic Management System, or NextGen.

June 2008
By Maryann Lawlor

The LucidTouch is a see-through touchscreen for mobile devices that enables users to interact with the information by touching the back rather than the front of the screen. As a result, users do not obscure the specific point they are trying to view on the screen.
Innovations from the world’s largest software company deliver and dazzle.

June 2008
By Rita Boland

Nanograss is a special silicon surface that resembles a lawn of evenly cut grass, with individual "blades" only nanometers in size. Researchers are developing nanotechnologies that will enable a variety of next-generation communications capabilities.
Move over, fortune tellers and psychics—scientist seers hear the future loud and clear.

June 2008
By Henry S. Kenyon

DARPA’s Visibuilding program will enable warfighters to map buildings prior to urban operations. The radar-based technology also can detect the presence of large quantities of metal, such as a weapons cache, and it can track the movements of individual people in a building.
Innovative optics, radar systems cut through the fog of battle.

June 2008
By Henry S. Kenyon

Researchers at Northrop Grumman and the University of Illinois have built a transistor radio with key components made from carbon nanotubes. The radio was built to demonstrate new techniques for growing parallel rows of nanotubes, which allows the structures
to be readily adapted for use in a range of electronic devices.
Microscopic radio points way to small, strong, power-saving electronics.

June 2008
By Rita Boland

Scientists are manipulating the speed of light to discover new capabilities and devices.

Science fiction heroes zooming faster than the speed of light is the stuff of space-age movies, but slowing down or stopping light’s speed may prove more useful to the military and others. Scientists have found that changing the pace of light brings technologies that were once considered impossible closer to reality.

June 2008
By Robert K. Ackerman