Technology Blog

Potential Drone Operators Get to Play Games

March 20, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Air Force Tech Sgt. Matthew Coutts launches a Raven B Digital Data Link drone during a demonstration in Southwest Asia in January. The Navy is developing a video game-based tool to evaluate the skills of potential unmanned vehicle operators. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Kleinhol

The Navy is using a video game to evaluate the skills of unmanned vehicle operators.

COMPASS to Filter Areas of Gray

March 16, 2018
By Maryann Lawlor
 DARPA’s Collection and Monitoring via Planning for Active Situational Scenarios (COMPASS) program aims to develop advanced decision-making tools for commanders and other decision makers in complex and dynamic gray-zone conflicts. (Image by DARPA)

DARPA delves into the gray zone.

Army Moves to Adapt-and-Buy Strategy

March 7, 2018
By Maryann Lawlor
Brig. Gen. (P) Brian J. Mennes, USA, director of force management, HQDA, deputy chief of staff, G-3/7, describes the operational environment at the AFCEA Army Signal Conference in Springfield, Virginia.

With this new approach, the service asked industry to propose solutions to four of its top problems.

High-Energy Laser Weapons Are Moving Out to Sea

March 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Under the High-Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler with Surveillance (HELIOS) program, the Navy is swiftly pursuing laser weapons for use on surface ships. The technology will combine the lethality of a laser weapon with surveillance capabilities and an integrated optical dazzler, a non-lethal device that disables sensors or humans visually. Photo Credit: Lockheed Martin, artist rendering of Lockheed Martin’s HELIOS System

The Navy continues to move toward fielding a high-energy laser weapon system for NAVSEA.

Researching Technologies for Multidomain Battles

February 26, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
With an M3 anti-tank weapon on his shoulder, Army Spc. Austin Helms stands guard at Fort Polk, Louisiana, on February 15. The Army's science and technology research is focusing on increasing soldier lethality through improved situational awareness, among other strategies. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, Army Spc. Hayden Harnek (l) aims an M240B machine gun as Army Spc. Josh Rowe assists during training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, on February 15. The Army is looking into lighter-weight materials, enhanced ammunition design and integrated technologies, all to increase warfighter lethality. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon

For the fight of the future, the Army’s investments target soldier performance and protection.

You Can't Hear the Forest for the Trees

February 22, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/Galyna Andrushko

Army Research Laboratory scientists are looking to use trees in a self-powered organic sensor network for future battlefields.

Robots Need Tactics, Too

February 16, 2018
Posted by Maryann Lawlor
Northrop Grumman’s team is launching an open architecture testbed and seeking participants to create and test their own swarm-based tacking on the platform as part of DARPA’s OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics program.

DARPA has initiated work on a program that will help troops deploy robot swarms.

Constrained Brains No Match for Machines

February 8, 2018
By Beverly Cooper
The AlphaGo Zero initiative exceeded human level of play in the game of Go, with the machine playing itself and learning how to win from its own experience. Credit: Saran Poroong, Shutterstock , Experts discuss AI and other disruptive technologies at a panel at West 2018 sponsored by AFCEA’s Young AFCEANs.

From robots, to simulations to self-training algorithms and beyond, AI will change tactics, strategies and outcomes across the globe.

Information Warfare Begs Definition

February 7, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, USN, deputy chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare (N2N6), describes the challenges facing Navy information warfare during her keynote luncheon speech at West 2018.

The U.S. Navy faces diverse—and changing—challenges in information warfare.

Technology Reigns on Navy Operations

February 6, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Panelists discussing the effect of technology on Navy operations are (l-r) moderator Lt. Gen. Robert Shea, USMC (Ret.), AFCEA president and CEO; Kenneth W. Bible, deputy director, C4/Deputy CIO, U.S. Marine Corps; Kelly Fletcher, acting Department of Navy CIO; Vice Adm. Matthew J. Kohler, USN, commander, Naval Information Forces; and Rear Adm. Kevin Lunday, USCG, assistant commandant, C4&IT and commander, U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command.

New technologies are equipping the fleet. Now the Navy must tailor them to suit its needs while preparing for the next generation of innovations.

March of Military Network Technology Continues

February 5, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The military wants smaller, lighter and ruggedized servers, routers and other equipment that contain cybersecurity measures in order to take their networks into battle. Here, soldiers are taking a look at the PacStar Tactical Fidelis Cybersecurity System. Photo Credit: Pacific Star Communications., The technology industry is working to provide the military with secure network components that are ruggedized, yet smaller in form factor, such as the “Hurricane” storage server from General Micro Systems. Photo Credit: GMS Inc.

Lighter, more compact and ruggedized network solutions also include more cyber protections.

Army Pursuing Weaponized Robotics

February 1, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
As part of the ‘ Wingman’ program, the U.S. Army is developing the Autonomous Remote Engagement System, which is mounted on the Picatinny Lightweight Remote Weapon System and coupled with an M240B machine gun. The system will employ both vision-based automatic target detection and user-specified target selection to reduce the time needed for target identification. Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo.

The Army is pairing traditional weapons and vehicles with autonomous systems, an effort they characterize as the first step toward weaponized robotics.

AFRL Anticipates Arrival of Neuromorphic Supercomputer

January 29, 2018
By George I. Seffers
 IBM this summer will deliver to the Air Force Research Laboratory the 64-chip array, brain-inspired, IBM TrueNorth Neurosynaptic System, an artificial intelligence supercomputing system that will enable deep-network learning and information discovery. (Image Courtesy U.S. Air Force)

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is set to receive a neuromorphic supercomputer from IBM this summer.

NIST Switches On New AI Technology

January 26, 2018
By George I. Seffers
A new superconducting synapse developed by NIST researchers could mark a major step forward for neuromorphic computing, a form of artificial intelligence. Credit: geralt/Pixabay

The NIST switch is called a synapse, after its biological counterpart, and it supplies a missing piece for neuromorphic computers. 

Agency Facilitates Cyber Risk Assessments

January 25, 2018
By Maryann Lawlor
While the migration to the Joint Regional Security Stacks will transition ownership of security architecture from the Air Force to DISA, the squadron will retain operational control of traffic flow for Air Force networks. U.S. courtesy photo

Service product packages offer holistic view of information systems risk posture.

U.S. Air Force to Craft Long-Term Science and Technology Plan

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.

The service is soliciting "innovative technical ideas" on research priorities and business tactics.

NASA Goddard's New GOLD Mission to Explore Near-Space

January 5, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
NASA’s new GOLD mission, launching on January 25, will provide important observations of the ionosphere, and how it impacts technologies operating in near-space. NASA photo, NASA’s GOLD mission is harnessing commercial satellite infrastructure for the first time by hitching a ride with SES Government Solution’s SES-14 communications satellite. SES Government Solutions Photo of SES-12

NASA's new GOLD mission to explore the ionosphere and the impact of that environment on radio communications.

Radio Enhances Situational Awareness

December 20, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
The reduced size of the STT provides size, weight and power-constrained platforms with the same Link 16 access as legacy Link 16 terminals but at one-third the size and weight.

Capability enables users to obtain tactical information from a ground network and pass it to and from Link 16.

SOCOM Leashes Up a New 'Robot Dog'

December 11, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
A multipurpose canine handler with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, applies medical dressings to a realistic canine mannequin during medical training at Stone Bay on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Photo by Cpl. Bryann K. Whitley, USMC

A new ''robot dog" training simulator is helping canine handlers to improve their care of soldier dogs.

New Technique Allows Faster 3-D Printing

December 11, 2017
By using laser-generated, hologram-like 3-D images flashed into photosensitive resin, researchers can build complex parts in a fraction of the time of traditional layer-by-layer printing. Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

By using laser-generated 3-D images flashed into photosensitive resin, researchers can print complex parts in a fraction of the time.