NASA is building new satellite technology that should dramatically improve forecasting for hurricanes and tropical storms.
NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) consists of eight microsatellites that will allow scientists to better measure wind speeds near the inner core of a hurricane from space, using both direct and reflected signals from GPS satellites.
As the CYGNSS and GPS satellites circle Earth, their interaction will provide a new image of wind speeds over the entire tropics. The combination of CYGNSS and GPS satellites will allow NASA to collect images of wind speed every few hours, which will improve the forecasting and tracking of hurricanes, typhoons and tropical cyclones. Before CYGNSS, NASA used a single satellite that delivered a new image only every few days.
The CYGNSS passed two critical NASA reviews, and now the microsatellites are being tested and prepared for flight. The mission is scheduled to launch late next year, with operations beginning during the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.
Posted on Aug 26, 2015 at 10:59 AM0 comments
Technology leaders across the public sector are looking to shift from legacy systems to cloud-based platforms to support data-driven citizen-friendly services, according to a recent survey of 500 public sector technology officials by Socrata, a digital government solutions provider.
Many, however, are still working with systems installed on local networks. At the county level, 47 percent of all technology is almost entirely installed on local machines or internal networks, the study found. The story is similar at other levels of government as well -- 40 percent of all respondents said their software is "mostly" running locally, while 39 percent said nearly all their systems were running that way.
Nevertheless, 75 percent of technology officials said they are open to moving toward cloud-based software to deliver better service to government and citizen stakeholders with less effort.
According to Socrata, cloud-based data-driven solutions will help the public sector better meet increasing demands for transparency, mobility and citizen service.
Socrata has worked with Indiana on a management performance hub, Detroit and Utah on open data portals, Seattle and with King County, Wash., on an elections app.
Posted on Aug 20, 2015 at 11:19 AM0 comments
The FBI on Aug. 11 dedicated its 360,000-square-foot Biometric Technology Center -- a brand-new facility built to support ongoing collaboration between the FBI’s Biometric Center of Excellence and the Department of Defense’s Forensics and Biometrics Agency.
Located on the campus of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division in Clarksburg, W.Va., the BTC will enable the Bureau’s CJIS Division, which has the largest centralized collection of biometric information in the world, and DOD, with its military biometrics database systems, to collaborate on advances in a wide variety of identification technologies. According to the FBI’s announcement, these include DNA analysis, iris recognition, voice patterns, facial patterns and palm prints.
The joint research also will help move biometric technologies and tools more quickly from the laboratory into the field. In addition to research, the BTC will focus on biometrics product certification, training, standards development, privacy rights and research into emerging technologies.
Posted on Aug 13, 2015 at 1:51 PM0 comments
Lockheed Martin, the defense contracting giant, has been accredited as a Commercial Service Provider under the Department of Homeland Security’s Enhanced Cybersecurity Services.
ECS is a voluntary information sharing program intended to help U.S.-based public and private organizations with network improvements and other protections that defend against unauthorized access, exploitation or data exfiltration. DHS works with cybersecurity organizations from across the federal government to gain access to a broad range of sensitive and classified cyber threat information. It then shares cyber threat indicators developed through ECS with qualified Commercial Service Providers so they can better protect their customers.
With the accreditation, Lockheed will now be able to receive sensitive information from DHS to support public and private network defense.
Based on DHS-supplied cyber threat intelligence, Lockheed’s ECS system will quarantine compromised email as well as block malicious activity, according to the company’s statement.
Posted on Aug 12, 2015 at 1:39 PM0 comments
Eight mid-sized cities will get expert help with their government innovation efforts, thanks to the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities program.
Launched earlier this year, the program received applications from 112 cities across 40 states. Running through 2017, What Works Cities will give a total of 100 cities support and peer-to-peer learning opportunities in an effort to make their governments more effective and use open data to engage citizens and improve services.
The winning cities are Chattanooga, Tenn.; Jackson, Miss.; Kansas City, Mo.; Louisville, Ky.; Mesa, Ariz.; New Orleans; Seattle; and Tulsa, Okla.
Jackson and Mesa will implement open data practices for the first time, while Chattanooga, Kansas City, Louisville, New Orleans, Seattle, and Tulsa will strengthen their existing open data practices.
Jackson and Tulsa will implement a citywide, mayoral-led performance management program for the first time. New Orleans and Louisville will develop the capacity to conduct low-cost, real time program evaluations. And Seattle will focus on integrating data and evidence into its contracts to achieve better results.
The $42 million initiative will provide cities with support from Results for America, the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, the Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Sunlight Foundation and the Behavioral Insights Team.
“Making better use of data is one of the best opportunities cities have to solve problems and deliver better results for their citizens,” Michael R. Bloomberg said the announcement. "The first group of cities in the What Works Cities program represent the range of local leaders across the country who are committed to using data and evidence to improve people’s everyday lives."
Posted on Aug 11, 2015 at 12:11 PM0 comments