science and technology

April 1, 2021
By Shaun Waterman
NASA astronauts Shannon Walker (l), Victor Glover (second from l), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi (second from r), and NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins (r), walk toward their SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The November launch was the first time NASA personnel had traveled into orbit aboard a commercial space vehicle.  NASA/Joel Kowsky via Flickr

Ever since the Sputnik scare of 1957, space has been front and center on the U.S. national security agenda. Successive administrations have highlighted the essential role of space-based capabilities such as GPS, satellite imagery and real-time global communications in undergirding U.S. military power.

January 5, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
Biometrics systems tested by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate effectively identify most individuals even when they wear face masks. Credit: SergeyTinyakov/Shutterstock

A controlled scenario test by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) shows promising results for facial recognition technologies to accurately identify individuals wearing protective face masks, according to an S&T press release.

The tests were conducted as part of S&T’s 2020 Biometric Technology Rally, held this fall at the Maryland Test Facility, and could reduce the need for people to remove masks at airports or ports of entry.

October 23, 2020
By George I. Seffers
C5ISR Center electronics engineer Michelle Moore studies vehicle positions while evaluating the Blue Force Tracking Resiliency effort during Network Modernization Experiment 20 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, September 29. The experiment also included autonomous agents monitoring the network. Credit: U.S. Army C5ISR Center photo/Jenna Mozeyko

The recently completed Network Modernization Experiment (NetModX) included an army of autonomous agents unleashed in defense of the network and in some cases also protected other artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

NetModX is a science and technology experiment held July 20-October 2 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. The science and technology experiment provides lessons learned for Army acquisition decisions, science and technology specifications, requirements and strategies necessary to modernize the force. Systems that performed well this year might ultimately end up in the Army’s arsenal as part of the capability sets to be fielded in 2023 and 2025.

October 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Department of Homeland Security scientists serve as the first line of defense against the COVID-19 pandemic.  Mongkolchon Akesin/Shutterstock

When the mysterious and deadly coronavirus invaded America’s shores in January, scientists who study deadly pathogens scurried to gather as much information as possible about the virus to help end the outbreak as soon as possible. They’ve answered some of the critical questions, but some answers are yet to come.

Some of those researchers work with a program called PANTHR for the Probabilistic Analysis for National Threats, Hazards and Risks within the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate. The program officially kicked off in October 2019, but it was created through a consolidation of ongoing efforts.

October 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
New York City was one of the early hotspots for the spread of COVID-19. New York University researchers funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation have been studying human behavior near medical facilities to help inform policies on pandemics and other potential disasters.  GagliardiPhotography/Shutterstock

New York University researchers are studying the behavior of people leaving healthcare facilities and how they physically interact with the environment—what they touch and for how long, for example. The research will allow the development of localized disease transmission models that can be applied to larger areas, such as entire cities. Potential models could be critical for predicting the continued spread of COVID-19 as well as future pandemics and other disasters, such as chemical spills.

August 12, 2020
Posted by George I. Seffers
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate intends to hold a virtual industry day next week seeking solutions to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo credit: U.S. Army

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is seeking groundbreaking solutions to address current and future operational needs.

August 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Soldiers from the 5-3 Field Artillery Regiment conduct live-fire exercises with the High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System at Yakima Training Center. A lighter-weight, longer-range rocket fuel is one of the winners of the xTechSearch competition that will contribute to multidomain operations.  U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jacob Kohrs

Being surprised on the battlefield is never a good thing, but Army officials, who are focused on modernizing the force, welcome industry—especially small businesses—to offer solutions they didn’t know existed and didn’t know they needed.

The xTechSearch competition seeks novel, disruptive concepts and technologies to support the Army’s top modernization priorities, all of which contribute to the service’s vision of multidomain operations, or MDO. The MDO concept describes how the U.S. Army, as part of the joint force, can counter and defeat a near-peer adversary in all domains in the 2025-2050 timeframe.

July 24, 2020
 
Army National Guard Chaplain Lt. Col. Henry Roberson (center) gives communion to search and rescue workers across the street from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the site of a 1995 terrorist attack caused by a fertilizer bomb. The Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate is building a modeling tool that will help officials plan for and counter attacks at special events. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Marvin Krause, U.S. Air Force

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate’s Chemical Security Analysis Center (CSAC) is developing a modeling tool that estimates the hazard and related human health consequences from thousands of plausible threat scenarios.

The tool is called the Homeland Explosive Consequence and Threat (HExCAT), and it helps public officials to plan for attacks at special events, such as parades, elections, sporting events and inaugurations. After validation and further development, it will be integrated into national- and regional-level risk analysis.

April 16, 2020
Posted by George Seffers
The Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology Directorate has released a review of systems it developed and fielded that are now contributing to the COVID-19 response. Credit: Corona Borealis Studio/Shutterstock

The Homeland Security Department’s Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate has released a review of systems it has developed and fielded and their contributions to countering the COVID-19 pandemic.

The list includes:

Single Automated Business Exchange for Reporting (SABER)

SABER is a free, open-source software that enables businesses to report their operating status both during and after a disaster. Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, users have leveraged SABER to:

April 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
National Institute of Standards and Technology researchers have developed a new photonic sensor that could prove beneficial for growing human tissue—skin, muscle, bones or internal organs—in the laboratory. The device might ultimately be implanted in the body to monitor reactions to organ or tissue transplants.  Images by Jennifer Lauren Lee/NIST and Shutterstock. Edited by Chris D’Elia

A new, highly precise photon sensor could help advance the science of growing human tissue, such as bones, skin or vital organs, in the laboratory and could benefit warfighters and society. The potential applications include monitoring environmental conditions, such as poison gases on the battlefield or toxins in the home.

October 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood

NATO’s Science and Technology Organization took notice of the military potential of same-frequency simultaneous transmission and reception, or SF-STAR, capability employed with full-duplex radio technology, and in 2017 formed an exploratory team to examine the potential use in tactical communications and electronic warfare.

September 16, 2019
Posted by: George I. Seffers
Sandia National Laboratories researchers are ready to commercialize a nanoantenna-enabled detector on an assembled focal plane array for a thermal infrared camera. The gold nanoantennas are too small to be visible on top of the detector array.    Photo courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories

Sandia National Laboratories researchers are ready to commercialize tiny, gold antennas to help cameras and sensors deliver clearer pictures of thermal infrared radiation for everything from stars and galaxies to people, buildings and items requiring security, lab officials announced today. In a Laboratory Directed Research and Development project, a team of researchers developed a nanoantenna-enabled detector that can boost the signal of a thermal infrared camera by up to 3 times and improve image quality by reducing dark current, a major component of image noise, by 10 to 100 times.

August 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Officials with the Homeland Security Department are sorting through the hope and hype of blockchain solutions as they prepare to transition from paper-based processes to digital documentation. Credit: Pixabay/xresch

Officials with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate are exploring the potential for blockchain technology to prevent fraudulent government documents as agencies consider transitioning from paper-based processes to digital. And they’re not interested in cheap imitations.

July 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
The NSF’s Quantum Leap initiative includes a number of programs aimed at advancing the quantum technology research and helping the United States maintain a competitive edge over other nations.  Nicolle R. Fuller/ NSF

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is investing in a number of research institutes designed to advance quantum technologies in four broad areas: computation, communication, sensing and simulation. The institutes will foster multidisciplinary approaches to specific scientific, technological, educational, and workforce development goals in quantum technology, which could revolutionize computer and information systems.

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. 

June 29, 2018
 
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have created a nerve gas detector using a smartphone, a box made of Legos and a chemical sensor. Credit: University of Texas at Austin

Researchers at the University of Texas, Austin, have designed a way to sense dangerous chemicals by rigging up a smartphone, a sensor and a box made from Lego bricks, the university has announced. The device could help first responders and scientists in the field identify deadly and difficult-to-detect nerve agents such as VX and sarin.

April 30, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
Ionic Security Inc.’s prototypical plug-in for video surveillance systems is the first to successfully complete testing under the DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program. Ionic will move to the pilot deployment phase of the program. Credit: simell1968/Pixabay

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) is announcing today that Ionic Security Inc., based in Atlanta, is the first company to successfully complete prototype testing and move to the pilot deployment phase as part of the Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP).

January 18, 2018
Kimberly Underwood
Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, Gen. Stephen Wilson, USAF, vice chief of staff for the Air Force, and Air Force Maj. Gen. William Cooley, commander, Air Force Research Laboratory, discuss the process to update the service's research priorities.

While the Air Force is coming up with a budget and a five-year plan in the next few weeks, it also will tackle a much larger effort, the development of a long-term research and development plan to the year 2030. The examination of research priorities will include a look at how the service spends research dollars and how it can modernize business tactics. The Air Force is partnering with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, respectively, along with several public universities for the planning effort dubbed #AF2030.

June 26, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor

The military agency known for its bleeding-edge technology capabilities is reaching out to small, innovative, tech-savvy companies and research teams that they have not worked with in the past. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Strategic Technology Office (STO) invites companies and university researchers to attend Sync with STO, taking place August 2 and 3 at its conference center in Arlington, Virginia.

April 28, 2017
 

The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced the transition of Hyperion, a malware detection technology, to the commercial marketplace.

February 16, 2017
By Julianne Simpson

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) awarded 33 scientists $16 million through its 2017 Young Investigator Program (YIP). The winners’ research holds strong promise across several naval-relevant science and technology areas. Typical grants are $510,000 over a three-year period.

The candidates were selected from more than 360 highly qualified applicants. Awardees come from 25 academic institutions nationwide, in disciplines ranging from robotics and lasers to nanomaterials. They will use the funds to support laboratory equipment, graduate student stipends and scholarships, and other expenses critical to ongoing and planned investigational studies.

December 13, 2016
 

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate’s Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency has announced that ZeroPoint, an exploit detection and analytics tool, has spun off as a startup company called ZeroPoint Dynamics.

October 4, 2016
 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, through DHS’s Office of Procurement Operations, has awarded a $494.7 million indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract to­ the­­­­­­­­ RAND Corporation to operate and manage a new federally funded research and development center known as the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC).

The HSOAC will dedicate its efforts to seven focus areas: acquisition studies; homeland security threat and opportunity studies; organizational studies; regulatory doctrine and policy studies; operational studies; research and development studies; and innovation and technology acceleration.

July 18, 2016
 

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate will host two industry days to provide additional insights to the mobile and cellular industry and researchers about the Mobile Threats and Defenses request for information (RFI).

December 11, 2015
 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) today announced its first Innovation Other Transaction Solicitation (OTS) aimed at non-traditional performers such as technology startups to offer solutions to some of the toughest threats facing DHS and the homeland security mission. Awarded through Other Transaction Solicitation HSHQDC-16-R-B0005, the first call for proposals is looking for solutions to improve situational awareness and security measures for protecting

July 24, 2015
 

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) today announced a $2.9 million cybersecurity mobile app security research and development award that will help identify mobile app vulnerabilities. The Northern Virginia-based small business, Kryptowire, was awarded a 30-month contract through the S&T’s Long Range Broad Agency Announcement.

June 9, 2015
By Maryann Lawlor
Sandia researchers work with new imaging techniques to view cell-level activity with unprecedented detail. (By Randy Montoya)

Sandia National Laboratories and the Georgia Institute of Technology signed a five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) that enables them to collaboratively solve science and technology problems of national importance. Among the goals of the partnering agreement are to solve major national problems; to engage talented researchers to work on practical, complex problems early in their academic careers; and to introduce new ideas and technologies into the marketplace through jointly developed intellectual property. 

October 22, 2014
 

Reginald Brothers, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) undersecretary for science and technology, today announced the new visionary goals for the department’s Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate.

September 22, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Factors ranging from weapons of mass destruction proliferation to nanotechnology advances are driving the development of new technologies to serve the U.S. intelligence community. Necessity and opportunity are well represented among items listed by agency technologists at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C.

Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense is high on the list, according to David Honey, director for science and technology, Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Its proliferation is a challenge, as many countries and groups are willing to add to that proliferation.

September 18, 2013
By Rita Boland

Cyberspace has security problems, and the U.S. government is trying to do something about it. The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) is promoting a plan and taking actions to move citizens beyond usernames and passwords to more powerful methods of authentication. In recent years, massive data theft has occurred in the cyber realm. Even strong passwords are vulnerable to hackers.

April 8, 2013
George I. Seffers

 

October 29, 2012
George I. Seffers

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) has awarded 34 contracts to 29 academic and research organizations for research and development of solutions to cyber security challenges. The contracts were awarded by the DHS S&T Cyber Security Division (CSD) under Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) 11-02 which solicited proposals in 14 technical topic areas aimed at improving security in federal networks and across the Internet while developing new and enhanced technologies for detecting, preventing and responding to cyber attacks on the nation’s critical information infrastructure.

April 6, 2010
By Katie Packard

I keep up with all things social media and Web 2.0 related by reading Mashable, one of the largest blogs focused specifically on these topics. Now fans like me can read Mashable on the go with the Mashable iPhone app. The free tool allows users to browse by channel, category, tag or author; share stories via e-mail, Twitter or Facebook; save stories to read offline later; and more. For more information or to download the application, visit the iTunes store.

March 23, 2010
By Katie Packard

Fans of the magazine Popular Science--and those who are interested in science and technology--will enjoy the magazine's app, PopSci Reader. The free application grabs the magazine's RSS feed and offers users the most recent articles with images. Users can even read articles offline because the last feed pull remains cached. There's also a "share" feature, so users can e-mail their favorite articles to friends. For more information or to download the application, visit the iTunes store.

March 2, 2010
By Katie Packard

I'm a fan of all things Discovery: Animal Planet, TLC, and of course the Science and Military channels. So I'm particularly excited about the Discovery News iPhone application. Fans like me can get instant access to the most recent news articles, videos, special features and more, ensuring they'll always have the latest science and tech information at their fingertips.

February 23, 2010
By Katie Packard

Army Technology Live is the U.S. Army RDECOM's blog. Its purpose is to inform the public about Army initiatives and technologies and to showcase the work produced by the Army technology team. Pretty cool, right? Well, now the self-described "science and technology command" has launched a free iPhone application so that fans can have access to the blog anywhere and anytime. The app downloads current news features, including entries to the Army Technology Live blog, the official RDECOM Web site, job listings, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and more.

February 19, 2010
By Katie Packard

"These materials and electronics ... have the potential to increase the performance and useful life of the next generation of satellites and launch systems."-Col. Stephen Hargis, USAF, director of the Space Test Program and commander, Space Development Group at the Space Development and Test Wing

For more of Col. Hargis' thoughts, read the full article, available online now at SIGNAL Online.

February 17, 2010
By Henry Kenyon

For my article in the February 2010 edition of SIGNAL Magazine, titled "Research in the Final Frontier," I interviewed members of the Defense Department's Human Spaceflight Payloads Office and Space Test Program about the experiments they help put into space. The projects impressed me, as did the sources' firm belief in the importance of what they do to help warfighters.

February 2, 2010
By Katie Packard

Science nerds, gather 'round! Every Friday afternoon, you can get your science on with Science Friday, a weekly talk show that focuses on timely science topics. But now the show has launched an application that lets fans of the show access podcasts and videos any day of the week. Future versions that feature more social networking options are in the works. The free app works on iPhones and iPod Touch. For more information or to download the app, visit the iTunes store.

January 6, 2010
By Katie Packard

"Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military" is a weekly podcast from the U.S. Defense Department that highlights the importance of science and technology to modern military operations and the DOD. Interviews with scientists, administrators and operators are conducted to inform listeners about the cutting-edge research and development happening within the defense community.

January 1, 2015
By James Kadtke and Linton Wells II

Technology developments increasingly have strategic effects. They help determine winners and losers in economies, how nations interact and how our children think. The pace of innovation is accelerating while becoming more globalized. A number of prestigious studies have raised serious concerns that this increasing competition will result in a loss of U.S. technological pre-eminence. These trends are particularly worrisome for future U.S. military capabilities, which have been based on technological dominance for decades.

December 1, 2013
By George I. Seffers
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Ariel Tolentino, a sensor surveillance operator, conceals two cameras on the ground during an operational check at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is developing isotope-powered batteries that could allow unattended ground sensors to continue operating for far greater periods that today’s chemical batteries will allow.

U.S. Army researchers are developing batteries powered by radioisotopes that could last for decades, or longer. The long-lived power sources could lighten the logistics load on the battlefield and energize sensors and communications nodes for extended periods, offering enhanced situational awareness and opening up operational options for warfighters that do not exist today.

December 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

 

Sandia National Laboratories employees Jon Salton (l) and Steve Buerger put the Urban Hopper through its paces.

Acrobatic vehicle seeks urban combat deployment.

August 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

 

All-electric cars and trucks can recharge off the grid overnight without overwhelming power plants and distribution systems.

Multigeneration upgrade of electrical transmission system is driven by government-industry partnership and cutting-edge technologies.

April 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

 

Staff Sgt. Andre Murnane, ARNG, became the first National Guard Special Forces soldier to jump with a prosthesis on August 1, 2010.

Future prostheses could open new doors for injured soldiers, including an option to return to their units.

July 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

 

Technicians launch an aerostat containing a High Antennas for Radio Communications, or HARC, payload. An optical fiber tether carries an analog ground radio signal to its corresponding antenna aboard the aerostat, providing greatly increased transmission range.

December 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

 

Recent advances in fuel cell technology offer the potential for small tactical unmanned aerial systems (UASs) to operate up to 24 hours. The Experimental Fuel Cell (XFC) UAS being developed by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) currently can fly for up to six hours and carry a variety of sensor payloads.

April 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

March 2009
By Maryann Lawlor