NewsBrief July 23, 2021

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: July 23, 2021

AFRL conducts 1,300 experiments on record-breaking satellite

(Air Force Materiel Command) KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N. M. (AFRL) – The Air Force Research Laboratory is celebrating the completion of the Demonstration and Science Experiments (DSX) satellite mission, and processing a treasure trove of valuable data that will be studied by scientists for many years to come. The spacecraft was launched June 25, 2019 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station after 16 years of development, integration, and testing. “Most of the spacecraft developed at AFRL are primarily focused on technology development and demonstration,” said Dr. Robert Johnston, the team’s lead science investigator. “However, as its name indicates, DSX also built as a platform for science experiments.” Read More

Army Research Lab’s new ‘autonomy stack’ speeds up self-driving tech development

(fedscoop) The Army Research Lab has begun using its own new “autonomy stack” to speed up the development of its autonomous vehicles program during a one-year sprint. By owning its autonomy tech stack — all the layers of technology that support applications and development — rather than depending on a contractor for it, ARL now has more control over its Scalable, Adaptive and Resilient Autonomy (SARA) program to improve how robots drive themselves, researchers told FedScoop. Namely, it gave the lab more flexibility to assign research roles to partners to be more deliberate about what groups do and how they use the tech stack to fuse their efforts. Read More

National Reconnaissance Office wants a more distributed architecture

(C4ISRNET) WASHINGTON — Sixty years after its founding, the National Reconnaissance Office is working to adapt to a changing space environment. The Department of Defense has been consistent in its messaging in recent years: Space is now a war-fighting domain, and America’s adversaries are developing counterspace weapons to undermine U.S. space supremacy. Partly in response, the nation started both the U.S. Space Force and Space Command, reorganizing its military to maintain a competitive edge in space. The National Reconnaissance Office is adjusting to these changes as well, according to the agency’s director. NRO is the intelligence agency charged with developing, launching and operating America’s fleet of spy satellites, supplementing its own capabilities with new commercial services. Read More

Data trust and connectivity challenge Army network innovators

(FCW) The Army is taking cues from blockchain technology to help make battlefield data more trustworthy for commanding officers. Researchers have been testing technology that uses some of the properties of blockchain to make the data commanding officers’ receive “immutable” as part of a nearly three month experiment called the Network Modernization Experiment (NetModX) at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. “Our primary focus on this effort is to allow the warfighters to trust their information better…really give them a mathematical, verifiable way of vetting their data from sensor to shooter, from the producer to consumer,” said Humza Shahid, a computer engineer with the Army’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center, which is part of Army Future Command’s Combat Capabilities Development Command and, based in Aberdeen, Md. Read More

How Cities are Using Data to Tackle Key Challenges

(Route Fifty) Cities are using data more effectively to make operational, programmatic and policy decisions, and residents are reaping benefits—from improved services to greater visibility into how their local governments work, according to a report from the Monitor Institute by Deloitte. Deloitte analyzed localities in the What Works Cities community, which is a national network for data-driven localities. The cities reported using data to address a wide range of critical challenges in public safety, health and human services, housing and homelessness, equity and workforce development. Read More

With Machine Learning, More Business Processes Will be Automated

(AI Trends) Machine learning has the potential to automate many more business processes than are currently automated in enterprise software, based on all the previous generations of software development methods. That is a suggestion put forward by Claus Jepsen, chief technology officer at Unit4, an ERP software supplier based in Denmark. “Based on my experience, typically less than 20% of business processes are automated in enterprise software. I believe that in as little as two to three years, we could see up to 80% of routine business processes automated by ML,” Jepsen stated in a recent account in Forbes. Read More

Novel techniques extract more accurate data from images degraded by environmental factors

(ScienceDaily) Computer vision technology is increasingly used in areas such as automatic surveillance systems, self-driving cars, facial recognition, healthcare and social distancing tools. Users require accurate and reliable visual information to fully harness the benefits of video analytics applications but the quality of the video data is often affected by environmental factors such as rain, night-time conditions or crowds (where there are multiple images of people overlapping with each other in a scene). Using computer vision and deep learning, a team of researchers led by Yale-NUS College Associate Professor of Science (Computer Science) Robby Tan, who is also from the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Faculty of Engineering, has developed novel approaches that resolve the problem of low-level vision in videos caused by rain and night-time conditions, as well as improve the accuracy of 3D human pose estimation in videos. Read More