Pulse


Pulse

By GCN Staff


1940s motion simulator rehabbed for tech testing at sea

The Navy is repurposing a piece of training equipment from World War II and converting it into a facility for testing and simulating how radar and other tactical communication systems would operate at sea. 

The 96,000 pound “motion table” platform, rechristened the Ship Motion System (SMS), was originally used in the 1940s to simulate ship motion for training machine gun operators for action at sea.

Now the Naval Research Lab and the Office of Naval Research are mounting an effort to restore the system to test how radar, tactical electronic warfare, communications, optical sciences and remote sensing would operate with rolling and pitching on the deck of a Navy ship maneuvering at sea.

To use the SMS with today’s high precision systems, NRL will upgrade its control and monitoring systems. The foundation and two main decks will be reused. The hardware will be replaced with state-of-the-art equipment including motion control and monitoring, according to a Navy notice.

NRL engineers Richard Perlut and Chuck Hilterbrick are leading the effort to refurbish the system at the NRL Chesapeake Bay Detachment, on the shore of the Chesapeake in Calvert County, Md. 

The NRL uses the site for research in radar, electronic warfare, optical devices, materials, communications and fire research. It says the facility is ideal for the SMS project, as well as for experiments involving simulating targets of aircraft and ships. 

Posted on Jan 17, 2014 at 8:55 AM0 comments


Texas opts for General Dynamics CloudBroker services

The Texas Department of Information Resources has picked General Dynamics Information Technology as the state’s cloud services broker. General Dynamics’ CloudBroker portal is now available to all state and local agencies and public education institutions – in Texas and other states – seeking a single point of contact to procure, manage and integrate public, private and hybrid cloud services.

The company’s CloudBroker online portal has been used by large commercial clients that must balance requirements for security with the need for an agile IT environment, including global financial services and manufacturing companies, General Dynamics said in a statement. 

The brokerage platform is based on Gravitant, Inc.’s cloudMatrix platform.

The portal enables agencies to compare cloud offerings, estimate charges, govern acquisitions, manage costs and capacity across multiple cloud providers. Additionally, General Dynamics facilitates contract negotiations between agencies and cloud providers and provides government-specific workflow tools that automate purchase approval, including  cost estimation and consolidated billing.

General Dynamics helps agencies identify preferred providers and execute orders online. In addition, it has a nationwide workforce that’s available to help agencies from states, counties and municipalities use the Texas contract to provision and manage their own cloud services. 

Posted on Jan 16, 2014 at 1:38 PM0 comments


First software-as-a-service platform gets FedRAMP OK

Concurrent Technologies Corp. has been granted approval by the Federal Risk Authorization and Management Program (FedRAMP) to operate the firm’s virtual desktop software-as-a-service solution.

CTC’s Unclassified Remote Hosted Desktop (URHD) platform gives government agencies the ability to access applications and data through a user-definable virtual workspace, full virtual desktop, mobile cloud or light-weight clients including PCs, tablets and smartphones.

Originally developed for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, URHD is the first SaaS solution to be granted a provisional authority to operate (PTO) by FedRAMP, the first to deliver a virtual desktop environment and the first to have an agency sponsor.

CTC used Autonomic Resources ARC-P infrastructure-as-a-service for a portion of its offering, demonstrating “the ability of cloud service providers to partner and enhance service offerings to the federal government, while also saving time and money by leveraging a previously authorized provider's environment," Matthew Goodrich, program manager for FedRAMP at the General Services Administration, said in a CTC statement

CTC partnered with FedRAMP-approved Autonomic Resources for IaaS delivery. Knowledge Consulting Group, a FedRAMP-accredited third party assessor, independently verified that the URHD met FedRAMP requirements.

Posted on Jan 10, 2014 at 10:07 AM0 comments


NIST seeks comments on crypto management system

The National Institutes for Standards and Technology is requesting comments on its Draft Special Publication (SP) 800-152, A Profile for U.S. Federal Cryptographic Key Management Systems. SP 800-152 contains requirements for the design, implementation, procurement, installation, configuration, management, operation, and use of Cryptographic Key Management Systems (CKMS) by federal organizations.

CKMS includes the computers, software, modules, communication, and roles assumed by one or more authorized individuals when managing and using cryptographic key management services.

This draft profile specifies topics that should be considered by a CKMS designer when selecting capabilities that a CKMS will have and the cryptographic key management services it will support.

This profile replicates all of the requirements that must be satisfied in a CKMS and its design documentation, and it includes information about installing, configuring, operating and maintaining a federal CKMS.

Comments should be sent to FederalCKMSProfile@nist.gov by March 5, 2014, with “Comments on SP 800-152” on the subject line.

Posted on Jan 09, 2014 at 12:10 PM0 comments


FDA cures data-entry backlog with digital scanning, crowdsourcing

The Food and Drug Administration tapped a Web-based digital scanning service to repair a monthslong backlog of reports submitted to its drug safety database.

The FDA last June notified the public that “unforeseen issues in its data entry operations” had slowed its ability to record reports submitted to the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS), a database of dangerous drug interactions and other accidents.

The FDA receives about 900,000 adverse drug event reports annually, of which 90 percent are electronic and 10 percent are submitted on paper.

In order to accelerate data entry, the FDA announced a deal with Captricity, a digital optical character recognition scanning service, to speed its paper-reports processing.

Captricity used both its OCR scanning technology and manual data entry by workers supplied by Amazon Mechanical Turk to digitize the paper reports. Amazon Mechanical Turk is an electronic service that solicits individuals via the Internet for digital freelance work.

Captricity, which is a product of the Code for America Accelerator program, offers a software-as-a-service scanning application that gives customers a high degree of control and choice over what content to extract from a document.

The content is presented in a machine readable format. An application programming interface is also available for use by developers. The company has said its solution is as accurate as manual data entry for the FDA, but eight times cheaper and 50 times faster.

Using the service, the FDA was able to reduce its “backlog to zero” in a matter of weeks, the company’s CEO Kuang Chen told CivSource

The company has also received authority to operate within the FDA based on FedRAMP moderate security protocols. Captricity’s user data is also stored on Amazon’s FedRAMP compliant clouds.

Posted on Jan 08, 2014 at 11:49 AM0 comments