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AFRL Initiates Human-Centered Data Analytics Development Effort

The Air Force Research Laboratory has begun development of a human-centered data analytics environment through use of squadron innovation funds. The analytical environment would be intended to manage and process large amounts of data, and address the speed lags of raw human analysis, AFRL said Monday. AFRL's 711th Human Performance Wing received $250K in fiscal year 2018 funds from $64M distributed across the U.S. Air Force under a squadron innovation effort.

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Michael Griffin: DoD Eyes Boost-Glide Hypersonics to Counter Adversaries

Michael Griffin, undersecretary for research and engineering at the Department of Defense, has said the Pentagon has begun to ramp up efforts to build hypersonic weapons as Russia and China advance development work on the technology, DoD News reported Thursday. Griffin said Thursday at a National Defense Industrial Association-sponsored event in Washington that DoD considers developing boost-glide, air-breathing hypersonic platforms.

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Watchdog: Air Force May Spend $300M Per Jet for Next-Gen Fighter Fleet

A new report by the Congressional Budget Office predicts the U.S. Air Force might spend nearly $300M per aircraft for a new fleet of next-generation air superiority jets, Defense News reported Saturday. The service plans to buy the new Penetrating Counter Air jets to replace its existing F-15C/Ds and F-22s. The CBO said each PCA would cost more than three times that of an average F-35A jet that currently costs nearly $94M. The report states the Air Force needs 414 PCAs to update its aircraft inventory.

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Blockchain-AI Tool to Help HSS Collect Live Acquisition Data

The Department of Health and Human Services received approval to use blockchain and artificial intelligence based tools to collect data from the contracting systems to provide live acquisition information, Federal News Network reported FridayHHS Accelerate received the authority to operate on Monday and is expected to immediately start gathering data from five federal contract-writing systems with nearly 100K contracts worth nearly $25B.

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NGA Eyes Artificial Intelligence to Help Analysts Explore the ‘Unknown’

The head of analysis at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency wants to utilize artificial intelligence to help analysts review satellite imagery and observe unknown locations and activities. Susan Kalweit, director of analysis at NGA, said AI could take over tasks to analyze images of places human analysts are familiar with, which would then allow them to focus on “unknown” areas, according to a statement DoD said Friday.

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Federal CIO Kent: Gov’t Setting New IT Modernization Goals for 2019

Suzette Kent, Federal Chief Information Officer, announced the government plans to release its draft policy to update the Trusted Internet Connections program in the coming week, Federal News Network reported Thursday. She said the TIC policy would provide federal agencies with a streamlined process to move to multi-cloud environments as part of the government’s ongoing information technology modernization program.

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DHS S&T Competition Seeks New Escape Respirators

The Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate is inviting scientists to take part in a competition seeking respirators to protect individuals from aerosolized chemical, biological and radiological threats. Participants of the $250K Escape Respirator Challenge would submit concepts for the technology that addresses the limits of existing escape hoods, DHS said Thursday.

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Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron 147 Gets Certification to Fly F-35Cs

The U.S. Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron 147 has achieved certification to operate the F-35C Lightning II aircraft following the completion of qualification tests aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The safe-for-flight operations certification that VFA 147 “Argonauts” received Wednesday comes as the Navy expects to achieve initial operating capability status for the F-35C program by the end of February, the service said Wednesday.
 

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Report: HHS Obtains Authority to Operate AI, Blockchain-Based Acquisition Tool

The Department of Health and Human Services received a full “authority to operate” certification for its ReImagine HHS Accelerate initiative that seeks to improve the department’s acquisition procedures, Fedscoop.com reported Tuesday. The HHS tested the platform with static acquisition data sets to assess its capability to use automation, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology to develop microservices that cut acquisition times, create better-designed contracts and reduce costs.

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House Panel: 11 Federal Agencies Show Progress in Latest FITARA Scorecard

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has issued the seventh iteration of its Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act scorecard, which shows that 11 agencies saw improvement in their letter grades. Thirteen federal agencies maintained their scores, according to the biannual scorecard released by the House panel.
 

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