Technology Blog

Pentagon Adds Projects for 5G Experimentation

December 11, 2019
By George I. Seffers
The Defense Department has added to new 5G-related requests for prototype proposals to its efforts with the National Spectrum Consortium. Credit: Wit Olszewski/Shutterstock

The Defense Department seeks cutting-edge, fifth-generation wireless networking capabilities related to smart warehousing and virtual reality-enabled combat training.

Putting Up the Fence

December 11, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Air Force’s new Space Fence solution, installed in the Marshall Islands on the Kwajalein Atoll, will provide “unprecedented” situational awareness in space, the Space and Missile Systems Center reports. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin

Solid-state S-band radar detection tool will supply critical space situational awareness.

Not Your Grandfather's HF

December 9, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
An HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter assigned to the 305th Rescue Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, flies during an exercise above the waters of Tampa Bay, Florida, in November. The Air Force is pursuing innovative digital high frequency solutions as another communications tool for airmen and Joint warfighters. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ryan C. Grossklag, To attendees at the recent AFCEA Alamo ACE event, Brig. Gen. Bradley Pyburn (l), USAF, director, Cyberspace Operations and Warfighter Communications, Air Force Headquarters, sitting with Brig Gen. Gregory Gagnon, director, Intelligence, HQ Air Combat Command (ACC); and Brig Gen. Chad Raduege, director, Cyberspace and Information Dominance, HQ ACC; explains the service’s returned focus on high frequency communications.

As the Air Force tackles warfighter communications, the service sets its sights on modern high frequency solutions, as does the industry.

Sponsored: The Link 16 Evolution: Making a Military Communications Protocol Even Better

Viasat takes a proactive approach to improving a vital platform for warfighters.

Flying with Augmented Reality

November 18, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
A Santa Monica-based company has developed an augmented reality platform to allow fighter pilots to train in aerial warfare against virtual opponents. Credit: Photo courtesy of Red6 Aerospace., Red6 Aerospace has developed an augmented reality platform that provides virtual opponents for pilot’s dog fighting training runs. Credit: Photo courtesy of Red6 Aerospace.

Digital solution creates simulated adversaries for fighter pilots training in the skies.


DHS Awards Funds for Blockchain Security Technology

November 13, 2019
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Credit: Shutterstock/whiteMocca

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has a contract to develop blockchain security technology to prevent credential fraud.

Getting to Joint Warfighting

November 13, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Mike Holmes, USAF, commander of Air Combat Command (r), receives a brief on U-2 Dragon Lady ejection procedures from Lt. Col. Charles, 9th Operations Group deputy commander, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Holmes visited the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, where he was immersed in all aspects of the reconnaissance mission. U.S Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tristan D. Viglianco

For multidomain operations across the forces, the complex array of integrated sensors, data and secure processing needs to be effectively connected to warfighters.

Teaching Satellites Self-Defense

October 21, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories search for ways to protect satellites from a variety of threats, including missiles, lasers and electronic warfare. Credit: Shutterstock/Andrey Armyagov

The campaign, called Science and Technology Advancing Resilience for Contested Space (STARCS), will fund dozens of Laboratory Directed Research and Development projects.

Perception, Manipulation and Teaming Generate Army Robotics Achievements

October 18, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
This early version of the ARL RCTA's LLAMA robot demonstrated how a quadruped can ascertain obstacles and avoid them. An improved version features better sensors, and future iterations will give it more speed and greater payload., An ARL RCTA robot designed to clear paths of obstacles opted to use its clawed arm to drag a large tree limb out of the way rather than attempt to carry it off. Sensors weighed options based on the vehicle’s capabilities to determine the best course of action., If faced with two potentially dangerous barrels apart in a roadway, this robot will use its sensors and its mechanical arm to determine which one is only partly full. That barrel then will be moved out of the way to clear a safe path for soldiers.

The capstone of an Army Research Laboratory collaborative robotics alliance introduced advanced autonomous functions designed to turn robots into battlefield partners.

Jette: We Need to Re-Examine Our Industrial Base

October 17, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Soldiers travel in an M113 armored personnel carrier during a combat support training exercise. The Army keeps purchases and stores for long periods components of major systems, such as transmissions for M113s, but advances in manufacturing could help the service, and the industrial base, find new ways of sustaining heavy equipment. Credit: Master Sgt. Michel Sauret

“We have a problem with the industrial base, particularly for the defense industry.”—Bruce Jette, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology

DARPA Doubles Down on Blackjack

October 11, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
DARPA’s Blackjack program wilDARPA’s Blackjack program will leverage commercial low Earth orbit solutions, says Paul “Rusty” Thomas, Blackjack program manager. Concept graphic courtesy of DARPAl leverage commercial low Earth orbit solutions, says Paul “Rusty” Thomas, Blackjack program manager. Credit: Concept graphic courtesy of DARPA

Through its LEO satellite demonstration project, the agency aims to create a more resilient, and less expensive, agnostic spacecraft architecture.

Study Finds Robots Could Someday Recognize Human Emotions

October 7, 2019
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Credit: Lemberg Vector studio

A new study shows that robots could be taught to recognize human emotions from the way people move.

Heartfelt Security Application Emerges

October 7, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Sandia National Laboratories is pursuing a heartbeat-based technology for a security application. Credit: Shutterstock/LuckyStep

Key government research arm signs an agreement with small business to develop security system based on the human heartbeat.

Army Approves Advanced Manufacturing Policy

October 4, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
A new policy approved by the secretary of the Army requires the use of advanced manufacturing techniques, which included 3D printing, for new and existing systems. Credit: Pixabay/mebner1

Advanced manufacturing includes robotics, artificial intelligence, composite materials and additive manufacturing, often referred to as 3D printing.

Structure Increases Content Value

September 30, 2019
By Maryann Lawlor
 Putting content in predetermined structures facilitates sharing, tracking and reusing., Information formatting standardization facilitates sharing data on a number of platforms.,  Authors within a structured content environment can produce material that can used in a number of ways.

Going from business as usual to a structured content environment poses some trials, but making the transition is worth the work.

Students in Sandia Program Evaluate Autonomy and AI for Hypersonic Applications

September 27, 2019
Students from the Autonomy New Mexico program at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque developed drone platforms in order to test hypersonic system applications. Credit: Vince Gasparich

Team of interns developed drone platforms as a testbed for hypersonic systems.

Civil Libertarians Wrong to Fear Biometrics

September 26, 2019
By Shaun Waterman
Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley said biometrics will fundamentally change the way we must think about privacy during his closing keynote at the Federal Identity Forum and Expo. Photo: Shaun Waterman/Signal

Civil libertarians are wrong to fear facial recognition and other biometric identity technologies. But, they will fundamentally change the way we must think about privacy and could have very negative consequences for democracy if not regulated correctly.

Misperceptions About Facial Recognition Taint Public Conversation

September 26, 2019
By Shaun Waterman
Panelists (l-r) Duane Blackburn, S&T policy analyst for The MITRE Corporation; Ralph Rodriguez, Facebook research scientist; Logan O'Shaughnessy, attorney, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board; Arun Ross, professor, Michigan State University; and moderator Stephanie Schuckers, director of the Center for Identification Technology Research at Clarkson University, discuss misperceptions about facial recognition at FedID 2019. Photo: Shaun Waterman/Signal

Experts: Bad science and click-driven media stokes public fears on facial recognition technology.

Shape-Shifting Robots Built from Smaller Robots

September 25, 2019
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Close-up of a "smarticle"—smart active particle—showing the two 3D-printed arms, light sensor and motor. Credit: Rob Felt, Georgia Tech, Five identical "smarticles” interact with one another in an enclosure. By nudging each other, the group—dubbed a "supersmarticle"—can move in random ways. The research could lead to robotic systems capable of changing their shapes, modalities and functions. Credit: Rob Felt, Georgia Tech, Light hits a smarticle causing it to stop moving, while the other smarticles continue to flap their arms. The resulting interactions produce movement toward the stopped smarticle, providing control that doesn't depend on computer algorithms. Credit: Rob Felt, Georgia Tech

Researchers have taken a new approach to developing robots—using smaller robots known as “smarticles” to unlock the principles of a potentially new locomotion technique.

NIST: Facial Recognition Technology Improving by Leaps and Bounds

September 24, 2019
By Shaun Waterman
Credit: Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov

Facial recognition technology has become “spectacularly” more effective at matching an individual with their photo in a gallery of millions of pictures.