NewsBrief July 16, 2021

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: July 16, 2021

GAO focused on upskilling workforce to handle ‘audits of tomorrow’

(Federal News Network) The Government Accountability Office, under its data strategy, is upskilling its analyst workforce as part and looking to elevate the overall data literacy of its workforce. GAO, which turns 100 years old this month, estimates every dollar Congress invests in its budget flags about $114 in potential cost savings. But in order to maintain this return on investment, the watchdog is looking at ways to make its workforce more familiar with data analytics and artificial intelligence tools. Taka Ariga, GAO’s first chief data scientist and the director of its Innovation Lab, said GAO’s data strategy will ensure the agency has the skills necessary to conduct the “audits of tomorrow.” Read More

MDA Deploys Tiny Satellites with Potential Big Impact on Missile Defense Development

(Missile Defense Agency) The Missile Defense Agency deployed two tiny satellites to space June 30 that successfully began communicating with ground stations over the Fourth of July weekend, the first step on the way to an experiment that will eventually see them communicate with each other, a feat that could play a major role in the development of U.S. missile defense technology. The CubeSat Networked Communications Experiment (CNCE) Block 1, part of MDA’s Nanosat Testbed Initiative (NTI), uses small, low-cost satellites to demonstrate networked radio communications between nanosatellites while in orbit. Read More

NNSA leads national collaboration to drive next-generation in AI for nonproliferation

( DOE and NNSA’s 17 National Laboratories are renowned for their successful application of high-risk technologies to solve the world’s problems. Technological achievements in this area have continued to rely on crosscutting partnerships with U.S. Government agencies, industry, and academia. Within NNSA, the Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development (DNN R&D) is spearheading collaborative efforts to drive advances in the science of artificial intelligence (AI), and accelerate the adoption of AI-enabled technologies to solve difficult and pressing nuclear nonproliferation and national security challenges. Read More

How the DOD plans to approach cloud differently outside of the U.S.

(fedscoop) The Department of Defense wants cloud computing to support everything from back-office tasks to battlefield operations. But how it gets cloud in regions outside of the continental U.S. comes with significant extra barriers. The DOD’s process for addressing those barriers was outlined in a new strategy published in May. The department shed new light to FedScoop on how exactly it will execute the technical and resource-intensive hurdles involved in getting cloud at the so-called “tactical edge.” Read More

Air Force Academy will soon start using mixed reality for hands-on learning

(Federal News Network) The military has employed mixed reality technologies to better its training for the past few years, but now military schools are hoping to do the same thing when giving students a hands-on learning experience. The Air Force Academy is changing the way students work with different substances in introduction chemistry classes by using mixed and extended reality goggles. “The mixed reality headset creates a paradigm where you can see all the people around you in the real world and then you superimpose content into that world. So using holographic content, we can simulate the components that you would need to put together a chemistry laboratory experiment,” David King Lassman, CEO of GIGXR , the company providing the technology, told Federal News Network.. Read More

Air Force personnel, manpower applications fully migrated to cloud

(US Air Force) The Air Force Digital Transformation Activity culminated a three-year effort when it closed its Data Center July 9. This effort resulted in the migration of all applications, services, equipment and manpower to a virtual cloud provider. The migration to the cloud hosting services saves money, replaces outdated hardware, increases information security and reduces system vulnerabilities, preventing data loss to unauthorized entities. Applications such as Air Force Promotions System, Virtual Military Personnel Flight, AFPC Secure, etc., are all now hosted completely on the cloud. Cli Read More

US Air Force tests embedding software coders with industry

(C4ISRNET) WASHINGTON — In the high-intensity world of cyberspace, rapid and secure software development is crucial to stay ahead of quickly evolving threats. The U.S. government and military traditionally relied on industry for much of the software development, but in recent years, the armed services have trained software developers to build tools for operators. Now, an Air Force cyberspace wing is testing a hybrid approach by embedding developers at commercial production spaces — an idea the wing calls software factory as a service. Read More

Computer-assisted biology: Decoding noisy data to predict cell growth

(ScienceDaily) Scientists from The University of Tokyo Institute of Industrial Science have designed a machine learning algorithm to predict the size of an individual cell as it grows and divides. By using an artificial neural network that does not impose the assumptions commonly employed in biology, the computer was able to make more complex and accurate forecasts than previously possible. This work may help advance the field of quantitative biology as well as improve the industrial production of medications or fermented products. Read More

How One State Used Technology and Data to Improve Traffic and Reduce Emissions

(Route Fifty) The transportation industry is responsible for one-third of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States—the largest of any sector. While experts agree there must be large-scale reform efforts made to halt the effects of climate change, there are many ways that local government leaders can work with the innovation and technology sectors to reduce the transportation sector’s carbon footprint and improve environmental outcomes. For instance, Hawaii’s Department of Transportation added new technology across major roads and intersections that reduced traffic by seven minutes per person per day, which significantly impacted Hawaii’s air quality—even during a lower-than-usual travel season for the state. Read More

The Data Science Management Process

(MITSloan) It is increasingly clear that companies and government agencies do not know how to manage data science at the enterprise level. Many are still stuck doing pilots. Some take on projects that are beyond their capabilities. And too often, excellent work dies on the vine during implementation. Companies must take action to address the structural and process issues that hold them back. In an earlier article, we pointed out the major structural flaw hindering many data science programs — the inherent conflict between data science groups (which we termed the lab) and business operations (termed the factory). Read More