Technology Blog

Shark Tank Competitors Dive Into Technology Contest

May 23, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman

A company developing networked drones for emergency disaster relief is the first finalist in an AFCEA Small Business Innovation Shark Tank competition. The finals are July 26.

Using Artificial Intelligence to Match Veterans to Jobs

April 27, 2018
Sailors stand aboard the fast-attack submarine USS Missouri prepare to pull into their new home port to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in January. SkillMil, a new venture from SRI International that harnesses artificial intelligence will help match sailors and soldiers to jobs in the civilian world, when they leave the service. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jessica O. Blackwell

Automated reasoning platform helps quantify soldiers’ skills for the civilian world.

Lab-Developed Flight Technology Ready for Takeoff

April 25, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
Technology developed under DARPA’s Vertical Lift and Takeoff Experimental Plane program has gained approval to transition to the commercial sector. Photo credit: Aurora Flight Sciences

 DARPA has approved a plan to transition electronic vertical lift and takeoff technology to the commercial sector.

Company Successfully Tests Mobile Ad Hoc Network

April 25, 2018
Posted by Julianne Simpson
During the demonstration at Fort Bragg, 320 MPU5 radios, spread across 37 multi-story buildings including basements, successfully communicated on a single radio frequency channel. Credit: Persistent Systems

Persistent Systems' MPU5 smart radio can deliver a tactical MANET network that scales beyond the Army’s requirements.

Canada Looks to Unmask Stealth in the Arctic

April 12, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Michael Reimer, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Waterloo, aligns a quantum light source at the university’s Institute for Quantum Computing. Work performed at the institute could lead to quantum radar capable of seeing through high-energy interference as well as detecting stealth aircraft.

Canada is betting that beams of quantum entangled photons could serve as advanced radar in the electronically noisy Arctic region.

Cloud-Based Architectures Offer Silver Lining

March 27, 2018
By Beverly Cooper
Traditional data centers are increasingly being engulfed by a cloud of better capabilities. Credit: Shutterstock

To be competitive, companies are starting to look to the cloud for enhancing their enterprise architectures.

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.