Technology Blog

VIDEO: Digital Twins Offer Navy New Efficiencies

March 3, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
SIGNAL Magazine interviews Pat Sullivan, NAVWAR executive director, during WEST 2020., The Naval Information Warfare Systems Command's digital twins project is being incorporated into the 26 ships of the USS Theodore Roosevelt strike group. U.S. Navy photo by Cmdr. Damon Loveless/Released

The Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) aims to shave years off development and training times.

Catching Menaces In Midair

February 26, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Sandia National Laboratories researchers leading the MARCUS project are developing a system to capture small unmanned aircraft systems then fly them away from crowds or sensitive areas such as government buildings. Photo by Randy Montoya, Camron Kouhestani (l) flies an unmanned aircraft system while Jaclynn Stubbs (c) and Bryana Woo monitor a camera stream at Sandia National Laboratories. Ground-based computer systems control the swarming drone platforms totrack and capture enemy aircraft systems while they fly. Photo by Randy Montoya

Mini flying threats call for drone-on-drone swarming warfare. 

Space Operations Command Takes Over AEHF-5 Satellite

February 13, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Space and Missile Systems Center’s fifth Advanced Extreme High Frequency satellite, AEHF-5, in the faring of United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V vehicle, launches last August at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The center has moved control of the satellite to the new Space Operations Command. Credit: SMC

The Space and Missile Systems Center has transferred its fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite to the new Space Operations Command.

LLNL Develops 3D 'Brain-on-a-Chip'

February 5, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Lead researcher Dave Soscia said the “brain-on-a-chip” device, designed and fabricated at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, was designed to be easily reproducible. The lab has applied for a patent on the device and is looking to engage with potential collaborators to further develop it. Photo by Julie Russell/LLNL

Engineers and biologists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have developed a 3D “brain-on-a-chip” device capable of recording the neural activity of living brain cell cultures.

EA-18 Growlers Can Be Controlled Autonomously

February 4, 2020
Boeing and the U.S. Navy have demonstrated that one EA-18G Growler can be used to autonomously control two others. Credit: Boeing

Navy and Boeing demonstrate autonomous control during major exercise.

Twenty Companies Advance in Army Tech Competition

January 29, 2020
DroneShield, one of 20 companies chosen to move forward in the U.S. Army's xTechSearch contest, provides a range of counter-drone technologies. Credit: DroneShield

xTechSearch is an Army-sponsored competition focused on finding dual-use technologies developed by American entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Army Blends the Best Quantum Networking Worlds

January 27, 2020
By George I. Seffers
By connecting two quantum systems, Army and University of Maryland researchers opened the door to brand new tools in the field of quantum communication, useful for timing synchronization between quantum systems, the Army has announced. (Photo credit: U.S. Army photo)

The breakthrough could lead to a hybrid quantum network that combines the best features of different types of quantum systems.

Army Cancels Robotic Vehicle Acquisition Phase

January 16, 2020
The Mission Enabling Technologies Demonstrator manned vehicle can operate two unmanned platforms to make contact with the enemy before soldiers do, while achieving overmatch against future operating environment threats. The Army’s vision includes three robotic vehicle variants—light, medium and large, but service officials have decided for now to cancel the acquisition of a medium variant. U.S. Army photo by Jerome Aliotta/Released 

Service leaders say they will restart the program with new requirements.

Advancing Military SATCOM Through WGS 11+

January 3, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
To improve resiliency, the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Center is leveraging commercial satellite communications technology for its next series of Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellites on the WGS11+ platform. Pictured is the Boeing-built WGS-9 satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida in 2017. Photo Courtesy of the United Launch Alliance

The military satellite communications platform is leveraging commercial technology to increase resiliency.

Navy Students Told to Plunge Into Artificial Intelligence

December 13, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Students at the Naval War College are told that broad adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) will be the key to future operational success. (U.S. Navy photo)

The head of the Defense Department's Joint AI Center tells Naval War College students that they must help bring a full complement of AI aspects to the fore in the U.S. military.

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