Technology

DHS, NASA Demo First Responder Location Tracker

First Responder Tracker

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have conducted initial field tests of a technology designed to locate first responders during emergency response missions even when they are inside a burning building. The POINTER technology is intended to use magnetoquasistatic fields and generate 3D-based location data to help first responders find an injured or lost team member.

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Oki Mek Promoted to HHS Chief AI Officer

Artificial Intelligence

Oki Mek, a senior adviser to the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) chief information officer, has been elevated to the position of chief artificial intelligence officer. In his more recent capacity, Mek helped the HHS CIO office drive digital transformation and collaborative innovation efforts aimed to improve the health and well-being of people in the U.S.

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Victoria Coleman: DARPA Eyes Tech Incubator, ‘Storefront’ to Connect With Innovative Startups

Victoria Coleman

Victoria Coleman, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, said DARPA wants to establish a storefront and considers launching a tech accelerator to connect with new companies with innovative technologies. For the storefront, Coleman said she wants it to be a “very casual, informal kind of space” where “people can begin to understand better what our work is, what the opportunities are for them for working with us.”

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Space Force to Establish Two-Part Intelligence Center This Year; Maj. Gen. Leah Lauderback Quoted

Maj. Gen. Leah Lauderback

The U.S. Space Force (USSF) plans to establish its own intelligence center that would represent the service branch in the intelligence community starting this year. USSF intends to stand up the National Space Intelligence Center over the year and develop a pair of corresponding analysis squadrons. The space and counter-space analysis squadrons will make up the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, the core component of NSIC.

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Army Partners With Industry, Academia to Develop ML Algorithms for Battlefield Decision Making

U.S. Army

The U.S. Army and its partners have created machine learning algorithms designed to help soldiers make decisions in difficult combat situations. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) partnered with IBM, the University College London and the U.K.'s defense science and technology laboratory to develop the algorithms. These algorithms consider response time, resource availability and other factors in making decisions.

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AFRL Tests Collaborative Semi-Autonomous Bombs

Collaborative Small

Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), on Dec. 15 at Eglin AF Base, test-flew a new technology designed to enable semi-autonomous collaboration between multiple weapon units. An F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft carried then dropped two Collaborative Small Diameter Bombs that communicated with one another to detect targets, the U.S. Air Force said Thursday.

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NASA Picks Four Concept Studies for ‘Pioneers’ Astrophysics Research Program

Space

NASA has unveiled four astrophysics research proposals for the agency’s Pioneers program that will receive funding to support agency efforts to explore topic areas such as exoplanets, galaxy evolution, neutron star merging and high-energy neutrinos. Paul Hertz, director of the astrophysics division at NASA, said the agency received more than 20 proposals from NASA centers, research laboratories and universities for the program.

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Vice Adm. Nancy Norton on DISA’s Cloud-Based Threat Isolation Effort

Vice Adm. Nancy Norton

Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and Wash100 awardee, has said the agency is working to “isolate” suspicious activities in a cloud environment to support remote work operations, DOD News reported Thursday. "Our primary goal is to preserve and protect the ability of our workforce to conduct mission central operations that we support on national defense and current worldwide military missions," she said.

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DOT Releases SBIR Presolicitation for FY 2021; Elaine Chao Quoted

Elaine Chao

The Department of Transportation has previewed the subject areas for the Small Business Innovation Research program in fiscal year 2021, covering areas such as materials, infrastructure and safety across DOT's operating administrations. "This small business innovation research program will help small companies in the transportation sector to build the transportation system of the future," said Elaine Chao, secretary of DOT.

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Mike Pompeo OKs State Department’s Cyberspace Security and Emerging Tech Bureau

Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo, secretary of the Department of State, has approved plans to establish a bureau aimed at ensuring the security of U.S. emerging technologies and cyberspace capabilities. The Bureau of Cyberspace Security and Emerging Technologies will spearhead U.S. efforts to foster international partnerships and drive the discussion on technology and cyber policy issues.

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