SIGNAL Magazine

July 9, 2010
By Beverly Schaeffer

With just a pinch of cotton seed, a cup of canola and assorted ingredients, the Marine Corps and other services are stirring up a batch of new recipes to bring home the bacon and go green. Money is only one side of the coin in the toss for biomass fuel alternatives. The flip side is the potential savings in human lives-because for every vehicle running on alternative fuel, the likelihood of full-blown explosion from IEDs can be reduced.

July 5, 2010
By Beverly Schaeffer

Don't turn up your nose when you pass by a stagnant green pond; it might turn out to be the next best thing that powers your world. A consortium of researchers is creating its own version of Boggy Creek, and the results are sure to become the alliance legend of Los Alamos National Laboratory. In this issue of SIGNAL Magazine, Henry S. Kenyon's article, "Pond Scum Powers New Research," looks at the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB) for the latest scoop on turning algae, plastics and other substances into usable resources.

June 25, 2010
By Jordan Garegnani

By reinventing technology decades old, researchers have created a new sensor with the ability to perceive nanoscopic amounts of chemical or biological materials. It now awaits development and manufacturing for practical application.

In this month's SIGNAL Magazine, Rita Boland explains the method and impact of new sensor technology in the article "Technology Aims to Trace Sub-Microscopic Troubles."

Scientists Nickolay Lavrik and Panos Datskos at Oak Ridge National Laboratory employ microelectromechanical systems and nanoelectromechanical systems, which have been around a while, to create a generic sensor that can spot a specific substance.

June 17, 2010
By Beverly Schaeffer

Current reality washes away any former notions of romantic high-seas rogues when nations take into account just how piracy has threatened life, limb, and the world economy.

June 14, 2010
By H. Mosher

Readers who enjoyed SIGNAL's special supplement to its June edition honoring the Signal Corps' 150th anniversary will also want to "like" the U.S. Army Signal Regiment on Facebook to see photographs from various celebrations of the occasion as well as numerous historical photos submitted by fans.

This week, we'll be adding several sets of photographs to Flickr to join the Chief Signal Officer/Chiefs of Signal collection.

June 3, 2010
By Beverly Schaeffer

Analysts certainly don't want to become obsolete, but they definitely appreciate a leg up in the world of technology. If finding a needle in a haystack were the challenge, the best and brightest would suggest, for example, using a giant magnet to sift right through the hay to obtain the metal prize. Now instead, picture specialized data as the coveted prize-information so important that to find it in the vast, voluminous barn loft of information, researchers need a proverbial data "magnet" to find what they're looking for-a system so precise in tagging verbiage that one could say it literally brings all information right through the eye of the needle.

May 19, 2010
By Beverly Schaeffer

High fashion means high-level protection when warfighters sport the latest threads containing embedded sensors and computers. A joint concept technology demonstration project called FITE, for Future Immersive Training Environment, lets soldiers and Marines experience test battle scenarios by projecting their movements into a virtual interactive scenario.

May 17, 2010
By Beverly Schaeffer

The Joint Operating Environment (JOE) 2010 report, just released by  the U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM), is the newest primer for joint force leaders. It identifies trends, threats, world context and other critical details to aid in future planning.

May 7, 2010
By Beverly Schaeffer

Although the U.S. Defense Department keeps its finger on the pulse of secure communications, it's cautiously easing up on its banning of thumb drives. That's not to say the department is becoming lax, however, because it has imposed tight restrictions on the use of these and other portable data storage devices. Better to keep the pressure cuff on than to end up having to stanch the potential flow of classified information into the hands of the enemy if a device is lost or stolen. In this issue of SIGNAL Magazine, Henry S. Kenyon describes the department's efforts to stay in step with 21st century cyberspace while being mindful of its security.

April 23, 2010
By Beverly Schaeffer

DISA's Future COMSATCOM Services Acquisition (FCSA) program may open up a wide new world of SATCOM buying options. And the COMSATCOM arena is all abuzz-with negative and positive speculation-about this new DISA/GSA plan that aims to create a common satellite marketplace. In this issue of SIGNAL Magazine, Maryann Lawlor acquires the facts about FCSA's methods and goals in her article, "High-Flying Challenges." The two procurement agencies have already taken steps to make FCSA a reality.

April 16, 2010
By Beverly Schaeffer

With commercial off-the-shelf equipment ranging from portable geolocation systems, voice translators and solar-powered tents, Marines can head into the field deploying gear that's ready to roll. With its two-fold mission of conducting humanitarian and combat operations, sometimes both simultaneously, the Marine Corps keeps an eye out for new capabilities. In his article, "Off-The-Shelf Gear Strengthens Marine Operations," in this issue of SIGNAL Magazine, Henry S.

March 24, 2010
By Beverly Schaeffer

It might not be as mesmerizing as inventor Alexander Graham Bell's historical moment when he first said over the telephone, "Mr. Watson, come here, I want you." But this malleable antenna technology is no slacker when it comes to inventions. In this month's issue of SIGNAL Magazine, Executor Editor Maryann Lawlor introduces a modern-day Bell-Watson duo in the form of two scientists. Her article, "Shape-Shifting Antennas Flex Their Muscles," takes on both the history and the potential for this amazing technology.

April 2, 2010
By H. Mosher

Networking on the move is the newest capability coming to the warfighter, writes Linton Wells II in this month's Incoming column. He goes on to speculate what this might look like, but notes several challenges along the way.

March 19, 2010
By H. Mosher

In "New Document Provides Framework for Interagency Data Sharing," Henry Kenyon describes a newly released document that sets common standards for data security and risk management: the NIST Special Publication 800-37, Revision 1, Guide for Applying the Risk Management Framework to Federal Information Systems: A Security Life Cycle Approach (NIST SP-800-37).

March 9, 2010
By Beverly Schaeffer

"Pushing the envelope" has meant many things over the years. Boundaries range from space, where a test pilot in a fighter jet first dared to reach beyond Earth's gravity, to the laboratory, where researchers have vied for critical scientific breakthroughs that change lives. But now that envelope has expanded to include the ethereal realm of cyberspace and cyberattacks, and with the expansion, the recognition that only together will the separate organizations succeed in overcoming threats. The new U.S. National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), under the DHS umbrella, aims at being the one-stop shop for monitoring and protecting U.S. cyber infrastructure and networks.

February 16, 2010
By Beverly Schaeffer

Ingenious tools are being developed to make even jury-rig specialist Mac MacGyver of TV fame envious. These technologies may soon be in the hands of first responders, thanks to work being done at the DHS's Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA). The agency is pulling together the technology pieces-large and small-so responders are ready to roll when disasters strike.

January 27, 2010
By Beverly Schaeffer

Star Wars character Han Solo said, "Traveling through hyperspace ain't like crop dusting." The same can be said about cyberspace-with regard to security. The valuable harvest growing from social media includes information sharing and networking opportunities-and developers of the military/government colleague network DEFStar want to settle the dust surrounding social media phobias of government leaders. Fear still abounds that social media sites for government use are too vulnerable to breaches.

December 31, 2009
By Beverly Schaeffer

SIGNAL Magazine and AFCEA wish everyone a safe and happy New Year! New Year's Eve

December 24, 2009
By Beverly Schaeffer

SIGNAL Magazine and AFCEA wish everyone a wonderful and happy holiday! soldiers

December 9, 2009
By Beverly Schaeffer

Seeing in the dark isn't the only benefit emerging from two new versions of next-generation goggles. The U.S. Army is using vision devices that combine image intensifier (I2) and infrared technologies--a feat never before seen. News Editor Rita Boland has these goggles in her sights in Night Vision Is Only the Beginning, featured in this month's SIGNAL Magazine.