Streamlight Stinger 2020

Archive for the ‘Digitization’ Category

Army to Host Tactical Assault Kit Virtual Workshop for Industry, Federal Agencies

Thursday, September 24th, 2020

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Sept. 23, 2020) — The U.S. Army is hosting a virtual workshop to expedite the development and integration of situational awareness tools Sept. 29 – Oct. 2.

The Tactical Assault Kit (TAK) is a map-based software application that enables coordination among thousands of users with features such as a position data, chat, mission planning and shared overlays. It is compatible with Android, Apple iOS and Windows.

The Tactical Assault Kit virtual offsite will offer stakeholders from across the Department of Defense (DoD), federal agencies and industry an opportunity to exchange information and identify critical needs. The event will offer tracks for software development, programmatic updates and training on TAK platforms.

“The intent of these sessions is to learn from issues that may have arisen in the past year, produce innovative capabilities and reduce duplicative efforts,” said Josh Sterling, director of the TAK Product Center at the The Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center – a component of Army Futures Command’s Combat Capabilities Development Command.

“Any time we can get more feedback and lessons learned, it’s a data point we can use to improve the platform. I think this is a great way to generate cross-team collaboration that will spur both the development cycle and integration as we continue to push and facilitate a more universal type TAK operation.”

As the central software development hub for all TAK efforts, including 15 DoD programs of record, the C5ISR Center’s TAK Product Center provides software updates and testing for an enhanced user experience.

To foster innovation, the TAK Product Center approved the public release of a non-military variant for federal and government agencies – known as the Android Team Awareness Kit-Civilian (ATAK-CIV) application – on Google Play and the open-source Standard ATAK Software Development Kit on TAKmaps.com.

“TAK is an extensible platform, meaning that we give you a baseline and based on your mission requirements you can build on that baseline to bridge capability gaps,” said Mark Roberts, deputy director for the TAK Product Center.

“Anyone who has a job requirement to display point location information – the military, DoD and federal agencies, state and local authorities, firefighters and emergency responders – will benefit from these sessions. This is a great opportunity to give them a peek at what’s being done around the TAK community,” he said.

Registration for the offsite is available at tak.gov/offsite until Sept. 28.

By CCDC C5ISR Center Public Affairs

USAF and Microsoft Partner to Empower Airmen with Modern IT

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

The U.S. Air Force is breaking the glass as a leader in harnessing the power of cloud, rapidly rolling out modern services to enable airmen to advance the mission through more effective collaboration. As part of their digital transformation journey to achieve global access, persistence, and awareness for the 21st century, the U.S. Air Force is deploying targeted workloads that allow airmen to focus on their missions rather than spending time managing IT infrastructure.

Mission focus and efficiency

A key part of their digital transformation strategy is leveraging the technology industry’s capabilities for cloud infrastructure, allowing the U.S. Air Force to re-tool and refocus their resources. As part of our collaboration with the U.S. Air Force, we’re deeply aligned on a joint mission to drive IT enhancements that enable airmen to be more efficient and effective. Building out the capabilities for this targeted mission focus started with planning for how the organization will manage their data in the future, deploying core functions such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive and other capabilities delivered through the Microsoft 365 suite of productivity applications.

Improved total cost of ownership

The rapid deployment of cloud tools at this scale is made possible by the U.S. Air Force’s leadership in building the multi-cloud factory Cloud One, a migration center of excellence designed as a foundation for future innovation. Leapfrogging more traditional cloud migration strategies with a Platform as a service (PaaS)-first approach and secure systems boundary, Cloud One enables the U.S. Air Force to rapidly transform legacy systems into modern apps and exploit the agility, scale and global presence afforded by the cloud.

William Marion, U.S. Air Force Deputy Chief Information Officer, says that Cloud One is the U.S. Air Force’s “path to the cloud, but further it is fundamental to the Digital Air Force and the future of Multi-Domain Operations. It enables our teams to achieve unprecedented cost efficiencies and productivity through automation, agile software development at scale, and a streamlined process for moving applications to production.”

Cloud One has recalibrated what internal teams expect from a cloud migration, providing all the foundational cloud capabilities including networking, monitoring, access control and identity. In addition, apps deployed to Azure Government inherit the platform’s security controls by design, further reducing operational costs and freeing up resources to focus on the mission.

Focus on security and compliance

The U.S. Air Force understands the importance of a dynamic, foundational risk management framework that can react quickly to cyber-attacks and changes in the threat landscape. With Microsoft 365 Government and Azure Government, they can obtain the scale and performance of modern cloud tools while maintaining compliance with the strict compliance requirements of the Department of Defense (DoD), including DoD Impact Level 5.

Next-generation collaboration

One of the primary goals of the U.S. Air Force is to empower airmen to collaborate and execute their missions with modern technology best practices. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Enterprise IT and Cyber Infrastructure Division (AFLCMC/HNI) at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts has planned, tested and started deployment of Microsoft Teams to improve project management and teamwork. With geographically separated organizations, Teams will streamline collaboration and communication between airmen across the globe.

The massive scale of this U.S. Air Force organization – wide rollout requires massive change management – so we’ve developed a joint plan with focused training, deployment and service adoption to drive mission-focused use cases. The plan includes learning events with modern modalities, creating consumable resources to enable airmen to learn more about how Teams can work for their unit. This includes product immersion events, ask-me-anything events, and video content so airmen can learn efficiently from wherever they are in the world.

These advances in productivity, cloud acceleration, and collaboration are a result of ongoing teamwork across the 16th Air Force, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, and the Defense Information Systems Agency. As thought leaders and innovators, these organization have planned, built and deployed modern IT experiences at massive scale using Microsoft 365 Government and Azure Government, enabling airmen to continue to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace.

By Leigh Madden – Microsoft General Manager, National Security

Photo – US Air Force

Tobyhanna Army Depot Expands NETT Warrior Support, Improves Soldier Experience

Monday, September 14th, 2020

Tobyhanna Army Depot, PA —

Tobyhanna Army Depot now fabricates a new type of cable that furthers its support of a critical Soldier communication system.

The depot recently stood up capability for production of flat cables for the Nett Warrior program. Nett Warrior is a smartphone-based system that provides situational awareness to dismounted Soldiers during combat operations. The program arrived at the depot in 2012 and, since then, engineers have designed more than 70 cables to support the system. Because the system is worn by Soldiers in the battlefield, ergonomics is key.

“The flat design of this cable will make the system more comfortable for Soldiers when they use Nett Warrior,” said Stanley Czock, lead engineer for the program. “The new cables also eliminate the likelihood of snagging in the field by holding more tightly to the vest. Both of these improvements directly benefit Soldiers.”

Production of the flat cables is aided by two new machines, a computer numerical control (CNC) sewing machine and a laser cutting machine. The machines allow for tighter stitching and the fabrication of scalloped tabs, which slide into the MOLLE system on the system’s Modular Scalable Vest and allow for a 90 degree bend in the cable without performance problems – another significant improvement for the end user. The equipment also allows for fabrication of conformal battery pouches and antenna mast holders, items used extensively by Soldiers when wearing Nett Warrior.

Acquisition of the new equipment is part of a larger effort to expand capability in the depot’s Systems Integration and Support directorate. The effort stems from Tobyhanna’s long-range strategic initiative, Toby 2028.

“Modernizing the shops with newer technology allows us to explore previously unreachable opportunities for customer and product support with the added benefit of remaining competitive.  Anywhere there is an opportunity to improve our capabilities, we have a Toby 2028 team looking into it and how it will shape our future,” said Michael Vivlemore, Lead for the Toby 2028 line of effort focused on technology impacts.

Depot personnel also worked closely with engineers from the U.S Army Sustainment Command’s Packaging, Storage and Containerization Center to perform extensive testing on the new cable prior to launch. They say this proactive approach is crucial to ensuring project success.

“Upfront testing allows us to ensure our product will meet warfighter requirements. It also allows us to address any potential defects before the product reaches the battlefield,” Czock said. “All in all, we’re thrilled to support a project that helps make life easier for the warfighter.”

Personnel from the Production Management directorate’s Sustainment Planning Division (SPD) say this new capability may also lead to additional workload for the depot.

“The addition of the CNC and laser-cutting machine greatly enhance the depot’s ability to adapt and support evolving Soldier requirements. We have seen interest from customers for new workload as a direct result of this new capability,” said Tracy Kraftchisin, a Logistics Management Specialist (LMS) in SPD. Fellow LMS Michelle Reese agreed.

“Right now, we are working on a Public Private Partnership (P3) with Microsoft in support of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS). Under this P3, we have the potential to fabricate different types of cables for IVAS, a workload that falls under the Army Futures Command and represents an exciting opportunity for Team Tobyhanna.”

Depot personnel say the Nett Warrior program is planned through 2025 and will result in more than 200,000 cables for service members.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna’s Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C5ISR provider of choice for all branches of the Armed Forces and industry partners.

Tobyhanna’s unparalleled capabilities include full-spectrum logistics support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, post production software support, technology insertion, modification, foreign military sales and global field support to our joint warfighters.

About 4,000 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the command’s mission is to empower the Soldier with winning C5ISR capabilities.

Story by Ms. Danielle E. Weinschenk

Photos by Thomas Robbins

SOFWERX – Automated Analytics Virtual Tech Sprint

Friday, August 28th, 2020

SOFWERX in conjunction with the USSOCOM Joint Acquisition Task Force (JATF) will host an Automated Analytics Virtual Tech Sprint 19 October-13 November 2020.

The event aims to identify technologies that are relevant to assist with automated analytics during Phase 0 Irregular Warfare (IW) operations. Phase 0 shapes the environment both globally and in theater. This phase involves those joint, interagency and multinational activities conducted in an ongoing, routine basis to assure or solidify friendly relationships and alliances and/or deter potential adversaries. Employment of cyber, irregular capability, space capability, and information operations are activities that are initiated in Phase 0 and continue up through all phases of conflict. This phase relies heavily on collecting and assessing information at the edge.

Generally, although the needed information is collected foreward, the actual integrating, analyzing, and interpreting the data to produce usable information is frequently the job of analysts who sit far from the tactical edge.

To speed things up, USSOCOM seeks to take advantage of the capabilities of artificial intelligence running on edge computing platforms to provide SOF teams with the organic capacity to distill mission-relevant information from operator-born sensor data.

Interested parties must submit NLT 25 September 11:59 PM ET.

To learn more and register, go here.

Savage’s Launches Virtual Training Tools for 2020 Fall Season

Friday, August 21st, 2020

WESTFIELD, Massachusetts – August 19, 2020 – In light of the exceptional circumstances facing traditional sales and distribution channels, Savage Arms has developed the 2020 Fall Sales Training video series to help educate retailers and customers. The informational content highlights Savage’s technological advancements and will serve as an introduction to new products.

“We were hoping we’d be back to business as usual by now,” said Rob Gates, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Savage. “While we won’t be able to see many of our customers face-to-face, we can still keep everyone informed on what’s happening here at Savage—and that starts with our 2020 Fall Sales Training videos.”

The 2020 Fall Sales Training curriculum will cover a range of subjects. Introductory topics will help new customers build a comprehensive overview of the brand and its innovations. The breadth of the catalog will be broken out into segments dedicated to Savage’s centerfire rifles, rimfires, and shotguns. In addition to announcing new products, these videos will help facilitate person to person training sessions and can be passed along to dealer and retailer store staff.

To access the training videos, please contact your local Savage sales representative. Topics include:

1 Why Savage?

2 Savage Technology                  

3 2020 New Products

4 Centerfire Product Information

5 Rimfire Products Information

6 Shotgun Product Information

7 Marketing Overview and Tools

The 2020 Fall Training series is available now through your local Savage representative. In addition, Savage reps will be available for virtual appointments with customers and buy groups.

Email [email protected] to contact your local sales representative.

Safran Optics 1 ECOTI

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

The Enhanced Clip-On Thermal Imager or ECOTI from Safran Optics 1 adds a thermal overlay to the image intensified (I2) NVD scene without modification of existing hardware. It also offers HUD (Heads Up Display) capability that provides real-time, geo-referenced navigation/route execution. When used with Android devices, the NVD becomes a remote display for identifying teammates, targets and route points.

www.optics1.com/products/ecoti-enhanced-clip-on-thermal-imager

Quantum Chip Fabrication Paves Way for Scalable Processors, Producing the Largest Quantum Chip of its Type Using Diamond-Based Qubits and Quantum Photonics

Sunday, August 2nd, 2020

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — An Army-funded project marks a turning point in the field of scalable quantum processors, producing the largest quantum chip of its type using diamond-based qubits and quantum photonics.

Millions of quantum processors will be needed to build quantum computers, and new research at MIT and Sandia National Laboratories, funded and managed in part by the U.S. Army Combat Capability Development’s Command’s Army Research Laboratory’s Center for Distributed Quantum Information, demonstrates a viable way to scale-up processor production.

“Building large scale quantum devices will entail both the assembly of large numbers of high-quality qubits and the creation of reliable circuits for transmitting and manipulating quantum information between them,” said Dr. Fredrik Fatemi, Army researcher and CDQI co-manager. “Here, the research team has demonstrated exceptional progress toward reliably manufacturing complex quantum chips with both critical elements.”

Unlike classical computers, which process and store information using bits represented by either 0s and 1s, quantum computers operate using quantum bits, or qubits, which can represent 0, 1, or both at the same time. This strange property allows quantum computers to simultaneously perform multiple calculations, solving problems that would be intractable for classical computers.

The qubits in the new chip are artificial atoms made from defects in the diamond, which can be prodded with visible light and microwaves to emit photons that carry quantum information. The process, which the researchers describe in the peer-reviewed journal Nature, is a hybrid approach, in which carefully selected quantum micro-chiplets containing multiple diamond-based qubits are placed on an aluminum nitride photonic integrated circuit.

“In the past 20 years of quantum engineering, it has been the ultimate vision to manufacture such artificial qubit systems at volumes comparable to integrated electronics,” said Dirk Englund, an associate professor in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “Although there has been remarkable progress in this very active area of research, fabrication and materials complications have thus far yielded just two to three emitters per photonic system.”

Using their hybrid method, the researchers were able to build a 128-qubit system — the largest integrated artificial atom-photonics chip yet.

The artificial atoms in the chiplets consist of color centers in diamonds, defects in diamond’s carbon lattice where adjacent carbon atoms are missing, with their spaces either filled by a different element or left vacant. In the chiplets, the replacement elements are germanium and silicon. Each center functions as an atom-like emitter whose spin states can form a qubit. The artificial atoms emit colored particles of light, or photons, that carry the quantum information represented by the qubit.

Diamond color centers make good solid-state qubits, but “the bottleneck with this platform is actually building a system and device architecture that can scale to thousands and millions of qubits,” said Noel Wan, MIT research and the paper’s coauthor. “Artificial atoms are in a solid crystal, and unwanted contamination can affect important quantum properties such as coherence times. Furthermore, variations within the crystal can cause the qubits to be different from one another, and that makes it difficult to scale these systems.”

Instead of trying to build a large quantum chip entirely in diamond, the researchers decided to take a modular and hybrid approach.

“We use semiconductor fabrication techniques to make these small chiplets of diamond, from which we select only the highest quality qubit modules,” Wan said. “Then we integrate those chiplets piece-by-piece into another chip that wires the chiplets together into a larger device.”

The integration takes place on a photonic integrated circuit, which is analogous to an electronic integrated circuit but uses photons rather than electrons to carry information. Photonics provides the underlying architecture to route and switch photons between modules in the circuit with low loss. The circuit platform is aluminum nitride, rather than the traditional silicon of some integrated circuits.

Using this hybrid approach of photonic circuits and diamond chiplets, the researchers were able to connect 128 qubits on one platform. The qubits are stable and long-lived, and their emissions can be tuned within the circuit to produce spectrally indistinguishable photons, according to the researchers.

While the platform offers a scalable process to produce artificial atom-photonics chips, the next step will be to test its processing skills.

“This is a proof of concept that solid-state qubit emitters are very scalable quantum technologies,” Wan said. “In order to process quantum information, the next step would be to control these large numbers of qubits and also induce interactions between them.”

The qubits in this type of chip design wouldn’t necessarily have to be these particular diamond color centers. Other chip designers might choose other types of diamond color centers, atomic defects in other semiconductor crystals like silicon carbide, certain semiconductor quantum dots, or rare-earth ions in crystals.

“Because the integration technique is hybrid and modular, we can choose the best material suitable for each component, rather than relying on natural properties of only one material, thus allowing us to combine the best properties of each disparate material into one system,” said Tsung-Ju Lu, MIT researcher and the paper’s co-author.

Finding a way to automate the process and demonstrate further integration with optoelectronic components such as modulators and detectors will be necessary to build even bigger chips necessary for modular quantum computers and multichannel quantum repeaters that transport qubits over long distances, the researchers said.

“The team has made an incredible advance toward the large-scale integration of artificial atoms and photonics and, looking forward, we are very excited for increasingly complex testing of the devices,” said Dr. Sara Gamble, program manager at the Army Research Office, an element of CCDC ARL, and CDQI co-manager. “The modular approach so far successfully demonstrated by the team has enormous promise for the future quantum computers and quantum networks of high interest to the Army.”

By U.S. Army CCDC Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs

*Adapted with permission from an article by Becky Ham, MIT News.

Quantico Tactical Showcases ATAK Enabled Gear from Safran Optics 1

Friday, July 10th, 2020

Aberdeen, North Carolina – July 9, 2020– Quantico Tactical®, the largest North Carolina based federal contractor, is proud to showcase ATAK enabled devices for the dismounted soldier.

Quantico Tactical® has been a longstanding partner with Safran Optics 1. Together these two companies are teaming to offer the latest in Android Tactical Assault Kit, ATAK, enabled devices. ATAK is an app-based technology that identifies and views teammates, targets, and route points. Operators can also see points of interest, such as terrain, topographical elements, and even weather.

The Optics 1 Enhanced Clip-On Thermal Imager, ECOTI, provides unmatched detection capability and situational awareness by adding a long wave infrared thermal overlay on the user’s night vision device, NVD. The ECOTI is a low power consuming thermal sensor that mounts to existing NVD’s.  The ECOTI has a Heads Up Display, HUD, that provides real-time, geo-referenced navigation information.  When combined with an Android device, the NVD becomes a remote display for identifying teammates, targets, and route points.

The Optics 1 Enhanced Clip-On SWIR Imager, ECOSI, is bears the same physical design as the ECOTI, yet provides short-wave infrared, SWIR overlay on to the user’s NVD.  It helps see out-of-band short-wave infrared items like strobes, markers, beacons, and other devices. The ECOSI also integrates augmented reality through the use of ATAK.

“ATAK is a game-changer for properly relaying information,” said Rett Vandenberg, C4ISR Category Manager for Quantico Tactical. “Having the right devices that connect via ATAK can dramatically change the battlefield.”

The Pocket Laser Rangefinder, PLRF25C, is a reconnaissance, surveillance, and targeting device, also by Optics 1 that provides accurate distance and angle measurement. The PLRF25C is a small, lightweight, and ruggedized laser rangefinder that connects via Bluetooth® to wirelessly transmit distance, azimuth, inclination, horizontal distance and vertical distance to a target. The ATAK unit will automatically populate the target location information on the ATAK map.