Technology Blog

Technology Changes Outpace Perspectives

March 9, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman

The rapid pace of change has overtaken the ability of humans to anticipate the future consequences of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Lifesaving SATCOM Migrates to New U.S. Army Network

March 16, 2017
By James Christophersen
Soldiers with the 4th Battalion, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and the Alabama Army National Guard assemble a VSAT, similar to the one Army Medical Command personnel rely upon for telemedicine support when forward-deployed. , U.S. soldiers assemble a Very Small Aperture Satellite Terminal  (VSAT ) similar to the one Army Medical Command personnel rely upon for telemedicine support when forward-deployed., The Army has replaced a satellite network with an improved one that lets Army Medical Command personnel worldwide to do  a number of telemedical services.

During the final days of November, managers for the Joint Telemedicine Network powered down the central teleport facility in Landstuhl, Germany, officially closing the network that had provided a dedicated worldwide SATCOM network to U.S. Army medical personnel treating wounded soldiers at field hospitals and forward operating bases in combat zones. Rest assured, the shuttering did not leave doctors, corpsmen and troops without a reliable SATCOM network. 

A Successful Rest of 2017 Should Include 4 IT Resolutions

February 28, 2017
by Phil O'Reilly
U.S. Navy personnel learn about the Office of Naval Research's suite of information technology tools designed to improve fleet operations.

As we near the end of the first quarter of this new year, it seems like a perfect time to introduce and discuss four new "resolutions," if you will, for federal information technology managers and what a new action plan for progress might look like. Phil O'Reilly from Brocade Federal spells them out.

U.S. Air Force Saves Millions With Data-Toting Bags

February 24, 2017
Maryann Lawlor
Complete electronic flight bags have been under development since 2010; however, U.S. Air Force personnel like Capt. Brett Pierson, USAF, have been using tablets as early as 2011 during preflight checks aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft bound for refueling missions in Afghanistan., An electronic flight bag (center) replaces the paper flight manuals and products that can weigh nearly 120 pounds.

All Air Mobility Command wings are now approved to use electronic flight bags. The portable electronic devices consolidate nearly 120 pounds of paper products into a single tablet and will save the command nearly $3.8 million annually.

Women Help Each Other to Make Gains in STEM, Cyber Careers

February 23, 2017
By Monique Attar
Women share stories of hurdles and triumphs at the Women in Cyber panel at West 2017. Photo by Mike Carpenter

Career and educational hurdles still exist for girls and women entering the world of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, commonly called STEM, despite it being the 21st century, panelists shared during AFCEA International’s Women in Cyber discussion, presented Wednesday at West 2017, a premier naval conference held this week in San Diego. 

Nuclear Materials Training with a Virtual Twist

February 14, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
Tam Le (l) and Todd Noel, computer scientists at Sandia National Laboratories, demonstrate how augmented reality assists in nuclear material protection training.

Sandia National Laboratories scientists have adapted serious gaming technology and methods to enhance nuclear materials physical security training. Using prerelease stand-alone augmented reality headsets, the approach could revolutionize nuclear security engineering training.

Researchers Advance Liquid Metals for Futuristic Electronics

February 10, 2017
An Air Force Research Laboratory scientist examines liquid metal nanoparticles. Researchers are exploring potential applications for liquid metals by examining their microscopic properties.

A collaborative, multidisciplinary team of U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory researchers recently demonstrated that nontoxic liquid metals can create multifunctional, reconfigurable electronics and flexible power connections for nontraditional electronics.

Automation Provides for Efficient, Secure Data Center Optimization

February 8, 2017
By Bill Lemons

For the past several years, U.S. federal agencies have undergone a concerted effort to consolidate and streamline their data centers. As such, they’ve ramped up initiatives to drive application requirements to the cloud, used virtualization services whenever possible to improve efficiencies and deployed sensors to monitor power consumption.

Livermore's Advanced Laser System Reaches Major Milestone

February 2, 2017
Lawrence Livermore’s High-Repetition-Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System recently demonstrated continuous operation of an all-diode-pumped, high-energy femtosecond petawatt laser system.

The High-Repetition-Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System (HAPLS) being developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently completed a significant milestone: demonstration of continuous operation of an all-diode-pumped, high-energy femtosecond petawatt laser system.

DIUx Already Is a Successful Technology Initiative

February 2, 2017
By David E. Meadows

A new security approach offered by a small business illustrates the potential of the Defense Department's Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, or DIUx.

Flash in the Enterprise Data Center

February 2, 2017

Organizations constantly are seeking new ways to address workload-specific storage demands in terms of performance and capacity while also meeting service-level agreements, response-time objectives and recovery-point objectives.

Behind the Science: The Science That Binds

February 13, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Sandia scientists Marlene and George Bachand show off their new method for encrypting and storing sensitive information in DNA. Digital data storage degrades and can become obsolete, and old-school books and paper require lots of space. (Photo by Lonnie Anderson)

Just in time for Valentine's: a science love story. George and Marlene Bachand, a married couple working at Sandia National Laboratories, have partnered on more science projects than they can recall.

U.S. Military Successfully Demonstrates Microdrone Swarm

January 9, 2017
Perdix microdrones launched from F/A-18 Super Hornets demonstrate advanced swarming capabilities, including collective decision making, adaptive formation flying and self-healing.

The U.S. Defense Department announced that in October 2016 it successfully demonstrated one of the world’s largest microdrone swarms at China Lake, California.

BYU Wins Award to Develop Cybersecurity Technology

December 21, 2016
By Julianne Simpson

Thanks to an award from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, Brigham Young University is developing a web middleware tool that will improve the Internet website authentication process and online security.

Codebreakers Report: NIST Needs Solutions for Looming Quantum Computer Threat

December 21, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

Calling all codebreakers. The National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, needs the public's help to head off what officials say is a looming threat to information security: quantum computers.

Sluggish Apps Foil and Frustrate Federal Employees, Study Reveals

December 13, 2016

Federal employees are frustrated by slow and unreliable applications, a quandary they say impedes them from getting their work done and diminishes confidence in information technology modernization efforts, according to survey results released today by Riverbed Technology, an application performance company.

Maintaining Warfighter Morale with High-Speed Internet

December 8, 2016
By Tony Bardo
A U.S. soldier talks with his wife on Facebook at an Internet cafe set up at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.

Keeping the U.S. military ready to fight takes more than hard work and training. Troops need a work-life balance as much as civilians, which means enjoying time spent with family and friends. High-speed Internet connectivity ranks high on a list of priorities because little boosts morale more than staying connected with loved ones, particularly when serving thousands of miles away, writes blogger Tony Bardo.

DARPA Creates Space Robotics Consortium

November 29, 2016

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has kicked off the Consortium for Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing Operations (CONFERS) to tackle the lack of clear, widely accepted technical and safety standards for responsible performance of on-orbit activities involving commercial satellites.

New Measurement System Can Help Navy Conserve Energy

November 29, 2016
By Julianne Simpson
With support from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have designed a portable measurement system to monitor the amount of electricity used by individual household appliances, lighting fixtures and electronic devices.

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, with support from the Office of Naval Research, have developed a portable measurement system to precisely and inexpensively monitor the amount the electricity used by individual household appliances, lighting fixtures and electronic devices.

Why Migrating to the Cloud is Great for Government IT Security

November 29, 2016
By Joe Kim

While it’s clear the cloud is the future of government IT, concerns surrounding cloud security continue to abound. Some agency IT personnel remain skittish about handing over data to cloud service providers and skeptical that the data will remain out of the hands of bad actors. As a result, they’re more comfortable housing information in legacy IT systems, even if those systems are, in some cases, decades old and prone to security vulnerabilities, writes SolarWinds blogger Joe Kim.

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