NewsBrief: April 15, 2022

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: April 15, 2022

How the Pentagon’s bad inflation math made a hollow budget

(Breaking Defense) While consumers are feeling the pinch of inflation in everyday life, the US military is feeling it to the tune of billions of dollars in spending power. In the op-ed below, AEI’s John Ferrari argues the military should’ve seen it coming, and now Congress must act to rescue a defense budget based on flawed economic assumptions. A staggering 8.5%. This is the US government’s March inflation rate in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), released today. Read More

How industrial and aerospace and defense OEMs can win the obsolescence challenge

(McKinsey & Company) Manufacturers of highly advanced, complex equipment—such as aerospace and defense (A&D) companies or heavy-equipment OEMs—face a recurring challenge. Their products have extremely long life cycles of 30 years or more, during which they need to provide legacy-parts support. But the internal components for those systems, including semiconductors, electronic boards, and mechanical parts, have much shorter life cycles, in some cases less than five years. Because of this disparity—what we call the “two speed” challenge—components can become harder to source over time and even grow obsolete as suppliers struggle to source the raw materials or stop manufacturing them altogether. Read More

NORTHCOM wants millions more for AI and data handling

(C4ISRNET) U.S. Northern Command has asked Congress for an additional $29.8 million to buy information technology equipment and to optimize infrastructure for artificial intelligence and machine learning at its joint operations center with the North American Aerospace Defense Command. The upgrades would buttress efforts to ingest, process and aggregate data across the Department of Defense’s cloud-computing environment and share intel with forces across all domains, also known as the “information dominance enabling capability,” according to a fiscal year 2023 unfunded priority list obtained by Defense News. Read More

Engineering team develops new AI algorithms for high accuracy and cost effective medical image diagnostics

(ScienceDaily) Medical imaging is an important part of modern healthcare, enhancing both the precision, reliability and development of treatment for various diseases. Artificial intelligence has also been widely used to further enhance the process. However, conventional medical image diagnosis employing AI algorithms require large amounts of annotations as supervision signals for model training. To acquire accurate labels for the AI algorithms — radiologists, as part of the clinical routine, prepare radiology reports for each of their patients, followed by annotation staff extracting and confirming structured labels from those reports using human-defined rules and existing natural language processing (NLP) tools. The ultimate accuracy of extracted labels hinges on the quality of human work and various NLP tools. Read More

‘Don’t suffer in silence,’ federal IT leaders say on DevSecOps implementation

(Federal News Network) Federal IT shops are hungry for best practices on implementing DevSecOps, a practice and culture that has been around for years but was elevated to the surface as attention on network and access security heightened. A common refrain among agencies embracing DevSecOps is its potential to enhance cross agency communication but also customer experience and a sense of ownership around the IT security at every stage of a product’s lifecycle. Read More

DoD to Build Project Pele Mobile Microreactor and Perform Demonstration at Idaho National Laboratory

(U.S. Department of Defense) The Department of Defense’s Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) released a Record of Decision (ROD) for Project Pele, a program intended to design, build, and demonstrate a mobile microreactor. SCO will construct an inherently safe by design nuclear microreactor capable of being transported by the DoD and able to deliver 1-5 MegaWatts of electrical power for a minimum of three years of full power operation. Read More

Leonardo CEO is bullish on Europe’s defense market

(DefenseNews) The head of Italy’s defense giant Leonardo has said there is a “great willingness” in Europe to bring countries together to launch joint defense programs as funding multiplies in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo predicted jointly planned and produced systems were increasingly in demand on the continent after years in which countries duplicated designs, leading to massive wastes of funding. Read More

Jet Operators Feel Pain at the Pump

(AINonline) Jet fuel prices continue to spike as a result of crude oil supply disruptions brought on by the Russia-Ukraine war. In fact, jet-A reached what is believed to be a record U.S. high of $12.16 per gallon today at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport, according to current retail pricing data from AirNav. “The New York-New England jet [fuel] market has jumped up dramatically to the tune of over $2 a gallon today,” noted Avfuel v-p of sales Joel Hirst. “You’re well over $7 just on the traded cost of fuel in the New York market. There’s no transportation, no into-plane fees, that’s just the raw cost.” Read More

What’s tougher: Moon landing or retiring from government?

(Federal News Network) Getting to and from the Moon is a big deal! While not in the same league, so is retiring from the federal government. NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong did it (the Moon) in 1969. And the other, two years later, when he retired after decades of military-federal service. In fact, at the time of his retirement, former fighter pilot Armstrong had been with NASA for 24 years. At the time of his giant step for mankind he was a GS-16, step 7 civil servant earning $30,054 per year. Short answer: Both require considerable thought, if you want to wind up in the best, safest place possible! Read More

When will we explore Enceladus to find alien life?

(Planetary Society) Saturn’s small icy moon Enceladus captured the imaginations of people worldwide when NASA’s Cassini spacecraft saw it spewing plumes of water into space. This water comes from a global, liquid ocean concealed beneath Enceladus’ fissured crust. The water isn’t liquid because of the Sun’s heat but rather because of warming caused by friction between parts of the moon’s interior as it is tugged by Saturn’s gravity. Read More

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