NewsBrief February 18, 2022

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: February 18, 2022

AI-driven operations forecasting in data-light environments

(McKinsey & Company) What do internal functions as diverse as risk assessment, capital-expenditure planning, and workforce planning have in common? Each is fundamentally about understanding demand—making demand forecasting an essential analytical process. Amid rising pressure to increase forecasting accuracy, more companies have come to rely on AI algorithms, which have become increasingly sophisticated in learning from historical patterns. AI models have clear advantages over traditional spreadsheet-based analytic methods. Read More

JAIC piloting artificial intelligence education for DOD

(fedscoop) The Department of Defense’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center recently launched new AI education pilots for thousands of DOD employees that range from executive education for general officers to in-depth coding bootcamps. The most recent cohort of participants started taking an “AI 101” course in early February through a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology while another recently entered an AI coding bootcamp. The range of educational offerings from the AI-accelerator is designed to eventually be transitioned to other DOD institutions for tens or even hundreds of thousands of people to learn about AI, Greg Allen, the JAIC’s head of policy and strategy, told FedScoop. Read More

Five digital and analytics battlegrounds for B2B aftermarket growth

(McKinsey & Company) Growth in aftermarket products and services remains one of the most significant untapped revenue streams for industrial-equipment companies. From software and spare parts to additional services and extended-warranty programs, these industrial aftermarket opportunities potentially represent billions of dollars in unlocked revenues in many industries. Read More

Companies Are Making Serious Money With AI

(MITSloan) With the start of each year come predictions, plans, and surveys from consulting firms. When it comes to artificial intelligence, multiple recent surveys indicate that companies aren’t just planning on spending serious money on AI in 2022 — they are already making good money from the technology. A bit of context might be helpful. Despite some AI successes, one of the challenges in recent years has been that projects involving the technology have frequently lacked sufficient economic returns. Read More

Air Force Research Lab Events Focus on Energy Weapons, Space Domain Awareness Tech

(ExecutiveGov) The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory recently held two separate events in New Mexico to advance directed energy and kinetic energy capabilities and space domain awareness. Pilots and officers virtually tested DE and KE systems during the Directed Energy and Kinetic Energy Directed Energy Utility Concept Experiment while defense leaders and researchers talked about SDA-related challenges and technologies during the 9th Annual Space Domain Awareness Leadership Workshop, AFRL said. Read More

Air Force Research Lab building momentum on cislunar projects

(C4ISRNET) WASHINGTON — The Air Force Research Laboratory could award a contract as soon as this summer for a new experiment on cislunar space domain awareness to help the U.S. military observe and track objects that reside between geostationary orbit and the moon. AFRL plans to issue a solicitation by March for the Cislunar Highway Patrol System, or CHPS, the director of the lab’s Space Vehicles Directorate, Col. Eric Felt, told C4ISRNET in a recent interview. Using the Space Force’s Space Enterprise Consortium contracting vehicle, Felt expects to make an award this summer and is eyeing a 2025 launch date. Read More

DoD needs to improve how it tests cyber weapons architecture, weapons tester says

(C4ISRNET) WASHINGTON — The way U.S. Cyber Command procures and tests new capabilities for cyber operations lacks a test and evaluation strategy as well the proper authority and resources to manage new tools, which the Pentagon’s weapons tester has said could result in fielding capabilities without demonstrating or understanding their effectiveness, suitability or survivability. Cyber Command created the Joint Cyber Warfighting Architecture, or JCWA, in 2019 as a means of guiding capability development. When the command was initially created, it lacked resources and capabilities, thus having to rely upon systems used by the National Security Agency. Read More

Agencies Need to Measure Improvements to Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, Report Says

(Government Executive) As critical infrastructure sectors adopt federal cybersecurity guidelines, a group of federal agencies tasked with cyber risk management aren’t measuring and assessing security improvements, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. A 2013 presidential directive that was enshrined into law in the 2021 defense policy bill assigns responsibility for risk management across 16 critical infrastructure sectors to nine federal agencies. Read More

New Sun Missions to Help NASA Better Understand Earth-Sun Environment

(NASA) NASA has selected two science missions – the Multi-slit Solar Explorer (MUSE) and HelioSwarm – to help improve our understanding of the dynamics of the Sun, the Sun-Earth connection, and the constantly changing space environment. These missions will provide deeper insights into our universe and offer critical information to help protect astronauts, satellites, and communications signals such as GPS. Read More

NASA probe snaps stunning photos of crescent Jupiter and its moon Ganymede

( Data captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft is revealing incredible new images of Jupiter and its moon Ganymede. In a blog post on Monday (Feb. 14), Juno mission team members shared images of a huge crater on Ganymede as well as a backlit picture of Jupiter that the spacecraft captured during its dips in and out of Jupiter’s radiation-filled environment. Read More