Brenda Marie Rivers

NASA’s Deep-Space Satellite Dish Goes Online

DSS-56

NASA has added another antenna to its Deep Space Network (DSN) that will handle communications with space missions including the Perseverance rover that is slated to land on Mars in Feb. 2021. NASA envisions DSS-56 to support the interplanetary switchboard network in managing navigation and communication operations for subsequent deep-space missions. 

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Former DHS Official Keith Jones Named State Department CIO

State Department

Keith Jones, former deputy chief information officer at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), has been appointed as the State Department’s new CIO. Jones will have the rank of assistant secretary of state as part of his new capacity. Most recently, Jones served as a principal consultant at government-focused management consulting firm Deep Water Point

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Gen. John Hyten: DOD Must Accelerate Joint Efforts, Public Awareness on Space-Based Threats

Gen. John Hyten

Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and two-time Wash100 Award winner, said the Department of Defense (DOD) must “go fast” in determining joint requirements to counter emerging threats. The U.S. Space Force, along with the U.S. Space Command, is gaining bipartisan support and is envisioned to continue driving efforts with the incoming Biden administration, according to Hyten.

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Air Force’s Jazmin Furtado, Chris Dylewski on Moving Beyond Service-Wide AI Innovation

F-16 Fighter Jet

U.S. Air Force officials Capt. Jazmin Furtado and Capt. Chris Dylewski have said the service branch must position itself to address emerging artificial intelligence threats to avoid lagging behind in the global competitive landscape. Furtado and Dylewski’s comments come after the Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency completed the AlphaDogfight trials which assessed the performance of AI-enabled fighter aircraft.

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Lt. Gen. Shaun Morris on AFLCMC’s Push for 5G, Digital Engineering Efforts

Lt. Gen. Shaun Morris

 Lt. Gen. Shaun Morris, commander of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), said in a recent address that the center has invested significantly in technologies like 5G to help promote efficiency across military bases. “As an Air Force, I think it is important to capitalize off what we’ve done and not lose sight of these investments,” said Morris.

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CBP Named Authorized Economic Operator Under US-UK Supply Chain Agreement; William Ferrara Quoted

William Ferrara

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has entered into an agreement with its U.K. counterpart to certify both countries’ economic operator programs in a push to accelerate supply-chain security. CBP said Thursday that the agreement validates the agency under the U.K.'s Authorised Economic Operators initiative and approves CBP participation in the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT). 

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Army Tests AI-Based Multisensor Tech for Explosives Detection

AI-Based Multisensor

The U.S. Army has demonstrated a machine learning-based sensor technology designed for fixed-wing aircraft that works with synthetic aperture radars to detect explosives from a designated safety point. Lt. Col. Mike Fuller, program manager at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, said the team used side-by-side comparisons of multiple modalities during the assessment to maximize the probability of threat detection while minimizing false alarms.

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DOE Earmarks $50M for Materials Extraction R&D Projects; Daniel Simmons Quoted

Daniel Simmons

The Department of Energy (DOE) has invested over $50 million to support 15 projects focused on materials extraction and engineering to support government initiatives aimed at mitigating supply risks in critical manufacturing efforts. Daniel Simmons, assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, said the investments are meant to fortify the U.S. industrial base by addressing gaps in the domestic supply chain.

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President Biden Tasks OMB to Lead Modernization of Federal Regulatory Reviews

White House

President Biden has issued a memo calling for a review of government policies to modernize federal regulatory procedures. The OMB director must also identify ways the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs could have “a more proactive role“ in working with agencies to promote, explore and undertake initiatives related to the regulatory process.

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Will Roper Unveils Guidance for U.S. Air Force ‘e-Series’ Digital Engineering Criteria

Will Roper

Will Roper, assistant secretary of the U.S. Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics and 2020 Wash100 Award winner, has released a guidance to help program heads achieve an “e-Series” designation for digital engineering programs. According to Roper, the Air Force's Next Generation Air Dominance program met the criteria for e-Series programs and serves as an “e-Plane” effort 

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