NewsBrief August 14, 2020

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: August 14, 2020

Army Cost Estimates on Next-Generation Vehicle Programs Need Work, GAO Finds

( U.S. Army modernization officials can do a better job of reducing risk and estimating costs in two efforts under the service’s Next Generation Ground Combat Vehicle (NGCV) priority, according to a new Government Accountability Office report. Nearly three years ago, the service launched an ambitious modernization effort designed to replace its major armored combat vehicles, helicopters, long-range fires and air defense capabilities, as well as update its tactical network and improve soldier lethality. The effort included standing up Army Future Command and relying on a flexible acquisition strategy that focuses on early rapid prototyping to speed up program completion. Read More

ADF Force Design team wins ICEAA award

(Australian Defense Magazine) The ADF Force Design Team has been announced as the winner of the 2020 International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association (ICEAA) Team Achievement Award. The awards recognise the ‘the outstanding contributions of members to improve cost estimating and analysis in government, industry, and academia.’ Excerpts of the team’s citation are as follows: “The accomplishments of the ADF Design team demonstrate an impressive convergence of talented individuals and powerful predictive analytic cost solutions, tempered by significant amounts of determination and grit. Read More

Achieving gains in government IT performance with DevSecOps

(FCW) Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin, demonstrated the value of interchangeable parts in 1801 to the U.S. Congress, President John Adams and President-elect Thomas Jefferson. Whitney proved the viability and the military value of interchangeable parts by stripping down several muskets, then reassembling a functional musket from random parts from the disassembled muskets. Today, we take for granted that parts are interchangeable — from the bolt carrier of a rifle to the alternator on a transport vehicle, we assume that one is as good as another. But, as with information systems developed today, muskets of that era were bespoke artisanal creations. Read More

New ‘color of money’ for DOD software gaining traction, Lord says

(fedscoop) The Defense Department‘s continued push to change the way the military buys software with a new “color of money” is gaining traction across the acquisition workforce and earning support from lawmakers, its top acquisition official said Thursday. Undersecretary for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord said she is currently establishing pilot programs to test the idea, which would allow contracting officers to purchase software under its own “budget activity,” BA-8, designed for an agile procurement process rather than conforming to existing regulations on spending established for hardware purchases. Read More

AFRL breaks ground on new directed energy facility

(Space War) The Air Force Research Laboratory broke ground Monday, on a new 10,000 sq. ft. facility addition, to study and advance Directed Energy capabilities for the U.S. Warfighter. Dr. Kelly Hammett, Director of AFRL’s Directed Energy Directorate, joined other leaders for the ceremonial first dig. “This new facility will allow for greater collaboration as we advance our High Power Microwave Directed Energy technologies,” said Hammett. “We have the nation’s brightest innovators working at AFRL, and this state-of-the-art facility will give them the infrastructure they deserve.” Read More

AF ‘Olympics’ Seeks To Speed 3D Printing Capabilities

(Breaking Defense) WASHINGTON: Not a lot of money is at stake in the Air Force’s Advanced Manufacturing Olympics (AMO) competition in October, but the winners will secure ground-floor spots in the service’s high-priority drive to revolutionize aircraft maintenance. Advanced manufacturing, including 3D printing, has the potential to “change the way we operate,” Lt. Gen. Robert McMurry, head of Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), explained in a webinar today to preview the AMO technical challenges being held virtually Oct. 20-23. “It will make our operations more efficient; it’ll give us opportunities we never had,” he added. Read More

Beck teams up with NASA and AI for ‘Hyperspace’ visual album experience

( Grammy award-winning artist Beck took an ethereal journey to the stars for his 2019 record “Hyperspace.” Now, he has taken this cosmic journey a giant leap forward in a collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and artificial intelligence creatives OSK. The result: A visual album experience titled “Hyperspace: A.I. Exploration.” The new visual album, unveiled today (Aug. 12), is an “interstellar journey combining publicly available NASA mission images, curated with assistance from NASA JPL, visualizations, animations and data with revolutionary Artificial Intelligence tech,” with Hyperspace’s songs as the soundtrack,” according to a Beck statement. Read More