Pulse


Pulse

By GCN Staff


National Guard training center to host open-source UAV research

Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center will host a multi-agency research program designed to drive innovation and reduce costs of government unmanned vehicle technology.

The Open Source Unmanned Remote and Autonomous Vehicle Systems (OS-URAVS) program is a collaborative, public-private program to be based at Camp Shelby and administered in conjunction with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Department of Homeland Security, Defense Acquisition University and private-sector organizations, including the Open Source Software Institute (OSSI).

John Weathersby, executive director of OSSI, said the OS-URAVS program seeks to identify common open-source technologies and practices used within various agencies’ unmanned vehicle programs.

“The goal is to identify and document specific technical, economic and administrative benefits provided by open technology solutions and to share this information with government unmanned vehicle programs, commercial suppliers and open-source development communities,” he said.

As one of the nation's largest military mobilization bases, Camp Shelby maintains exclusive access to nearly 100 square miles of restricted air space and currently operates training and testing facilities for a variety of government agencies and defense contractors. The post is home to the Unmanned Aerial Systems Flight Center.

“The unfettered infrastructure is why we are exploring ways open-source software can be more readily integrated into the development and maintenance of our unmanned systems,” said Col. William “Brad” Smith, commander at the sprawling Mississippi National Guard installation located just south of Hattiesburg, Miss.

OSSI developed the OS-URAVS program as part of the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate's Homeland Open Security Technology (HOST) program. The DHS HOST program was launched in 2007 to identify open-source software solutions that support national cybersecurity objectives. The initial phase of the OS-URAVS program is scheduled to last one year.

Posted on Jan 06, 2014 at 10:33 AM3 comments


Karen Jackson named Va. secretary of technology

Virginia’s Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe announced last week he had chosen Karen Jackson to serve as secretary of technology. 

Jackson currently serves as deputy secretary of technology for the Commonwealth of Virginia, a post which she has held since 2009. She has advised the current governor on technology matters including modeling and simulation, telecommunications, telework and unmanned aerial systems. She has also been responsible for policy and legislative initiatives and has developed programs to facilitate technology innovation, collaboration, development and adoption.

Jackson serves as vice president of CIT Broadband, an initiative by Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology that offers a “holistic” supply and demand approach to “accelerate the socio-economic growth of Virginia’s rural and underserved areas through the application and use of broadband telecommunications,”  according to CIT.  Additionally, Jackson serves as the Virginia lead for the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership with New Jersey. 

Posted on Dec 16, 2013 at 9:36 AM0 comments


DARPA pushes high-res maps to troops' smartphones

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is arming troops with high-resolution digital maps that can be customized and delivered to smartphones and tablets. 

DARPA's Transformative Apps program provides digital imagery to dismounted troops through secured Android devices, but it also aims to build a library of secure military apps that are as simple to access and use as their commercial counterparts, according to a report in FCW.

Initially soldiers wanted high-resolution maps on a handheld device. However, other requirements emerged, such as heat mapping, a feature crucial to establishing improvised explosive device patterns and routing patrols around them. The capabilities troops need on the ground today continue to evolve, and the goal of DARPA's program is to be able to quickly meet those needs and get solutions into soldiers' hands. 

Read more on DARPA's Transformative Apps program at FCW. 

Posted on Dec 10, 2013 at 8:16 AM0 comments


Pentagon ponders access beyond the CAC

The Defense Department is exploring ways to build on the success of its Common Access Card (CAC) by extending identity management options to mobile devices.

For today’s DOD, mobile identity and access management depends on the CAC, which in turn is tied to the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. DEERS is the central database that DOD's Defense Manpower Data Center uses to manage the identities of roughly 42 million troops, civilians, contractors, dependents and retirees. 

DOD officials said they are exploring ways to move the department away from the bulky external card readers on which CACs rely. Officials are examining possibilities in near-field communications — the technology that allows some Android users to share data by touching phones — as well as in derived credentials employed via options such as microSD and SIM cards that are inserted into devices. Even biometric identification is on the table, according to a report in FCW

But any next-generation identity management solutions will have to clear policy and technology hurdles — and not just at the Pentagon. Read more on the challenges of two-factor mobile identification at FCW.

Posted on Dec 09, 2013 at 10:07 AM1 comments


New E-Verify security enhancement helps deter employee fraud

An enhancement to the Homeland Security Department's E-Verify program will help identify and deter fraudulent use of Social Security numbers (SSNs) for employment eligibility verification.

Using a combination of algorithms, detection reports and analysis, Citizenship and Immigration Services will identify patterns indicating fraudulent use of SSNs and then lock and flag those numbers in the E-Verify system.

E-Verify is a free Web-based service offered by the Department of Homeland Security that allows employers to quickly verify the employment eligibility of new employees. In fiscal 2013, E-Verify was used to authorize workers in the U.S. more than 25 million times, representing a nearly 20 percent increase from fiscal 2012.

The new enhancement strengthens E-Verify by using standards that have proven effective in protecting individual identity. Just like a credit card company will lock a card that appears to have been stolen, CIS may now lock SSNs in E-Verify that appear to have been used fraudulently, the agency said in a statement.

If an employee attempts to use a locked SSN, E-Verify will generate a “Tentative Nonconfirmation” (TNC). The employee receiving the TNC will have the opportunity to contest the finding at a local Social Security Administration field office. If an SSA field officer confirms the employee’s identity correctly matches the SSN, the TNC will be converted to “Employment Authorized” status in E-Verify.

Posted on Dec 06, 2013 at 8:16 AM0 comments