NewsBrief: July 8, 2022

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: July 8, 2022


Air Force Research Lab begins integration, testing for experimental navigation satellite

(C4ISRNET) Integration and testing activities for an experimental navigation satellite are ramping up at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate as the U.S. Space Force prepares to launch its first major positioning, navigation and timing demonstration in nearly 50 years. The lab is on track to launch in late 2023 the third Navigation Technology Satellite, or NTS-3, built by prime contractor L3Harris Technologies. The effort will showcase advanced capabilities that could improve future GPS satellites or inform a new program to augment today’s constellation. Those technologies include steerable beams to provide regional coverage, a reprogrammable payload that can receive upgrades on orbit and protections against signal jamming. Read More

Latest GMU Center for Government Contracting Paper Discusses AI, Predictive Maintenance Military Usage; GovCon Expert Jerry McGinn Quoted

(ExecutiveGov) GovCon Expert Jerry McGinn, a two-time Wash100 Award winner, has revealed the publication of the newest white paper from George Mason University’s Center for Government Contracting. Entitled, “Don’t Get Ahead of the Data: Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Maintenance in United States Department of Defense,” the study explores the advantages and adjustments that come with applying AI technologies in military settings, McGinn explained in a LinkedIn post on Tuesday. “The trajectory is promising, but the complexity and heterogeneity of maintenance data and numerous other factors make it clear that the utilization of AI/ML techniques in this area requires continued iteration and user feedback,” GovCon Expert McGinn elaborated. Read More

Air Force CIO: ‘We’re not waiting’ for JWCC

(FedScoop) While the Department of Defense hopes to award contracts to cloud providers later this year for its enterprisewide Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC), the Air Force is planning to continue building out its Cloud One platform as its cloud environment of choice. “The short story is we’re not waiting, we haven’t waited, we will continue to not wait for anybody else to come and provide us with capability,” Air Force CIO Lauren Knausenberger told FedScoop during an interview for the Let’s Talk About IT podcast when asked about the service’s plans for cloud adoption with JWCC awards looming. “We’re moving forward, we’re moving out, we’re continuing to improve” Cloud One, she added. Read More

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Solicits Comments on Draft AI Strategic Plan

(ExecutiveGov) The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has begun seeking feedback on its draft Artificial Intelligence Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2023 through 2027. NRC drafted the AI Strategic Plan as part of efforts to ensure its readiness in reviewing the use of AI in agency-regulated activities, according to a Federal Register notice published Tuesday. The draft document comes with five strategic goals and these are ensuring NRC readiness for regulatory decision-making, creating an organizational framework to review AI applications, strengthening and expanding AI partnerships, cultivating an AI proficient workforce and pursuing use cases to establish an AI foundation across the agency. Read More

US Navy collecting tactical training data it once shunned

(Defense News) When the U.S. Navy hosted its first advanced tactical training event for surface ships in 2016, it purposely avoided collecting much data: The ships didn’t need another assessment, the thinking went; instead, they needed rigorous training ahead of linking up with the rest of the carrier strike group. Six years later, that is changing. The commander of the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center told Defense News the organization wants to do a better job collecting information to identify trends that could improve future advanced training events and improve other commands’ training in the work-up cycle. Read More

CDO Council pilot fights wildfires using interagency data to target fuel sources

(Federal News Network) Fighting increasingly dangerous wildfires falls on federal, state and local government agencies — each with their own fire mitigation projects and data. But the Federal Chief Data Officers Council is developing ways to use this interagency data to reduce the spread and severity of wildfires. That includes removing some trees, shrubs and grasses before they have a chance to burn. Roshelle Pederson, the chief data officer for Wildland Fire, said reducing fuel sources can help reduce the severity of wildfires. Read More

Unlocking the potential of public-sector IT projects

(McKinsey & Company) Digital transformation has been an often elusive goal for many public-sector organizations. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has both underscored its importance and diminished many barriers to digitalization, creating new momentum for governments to invest in their digital futures. In many countries, public-sector IT transformations are now progressing swiftly and are supported by an unprecedented amount of government funding. Germany allocated more than €3 billion to its Online Access Act and the modernization of public registers, France plans to spend €1.5 billion on modernizing its public information systems, and the European Union has budgeted €143.4 billion for “single market, innovation, and digital” initiatives. Read More

Fake’ Data Gets Robots to Learn New Stuff Faster

(Nextgov) In a step toward robots that can learn on the fly like humans do, a new approach expands training data sets for robots that work with soft objects like ropes and fabrics, or in cluttered environments. It could cut learning time for new materials and environments down to a few hours rather than a week or two. In simulations, the expanded training data set improved the success rate of a robot looping a rope around an engine block by more than 40% and nearly doubled the successes of a physical robot for a similar task. Read More

DOD rings in Independence Day with bug bounties

(FCW) The Department of Defense is offering $110,000 in bug bounties for flaws in its public-facing systems through July 11. The effort is part of the Hack the Pentagon’s vulnerability disclosure program managed by HackerOne. The company announced on its website that findings of high- and critical severity- level vulnerabilities are eligible for cash payouts. HackerOne describes the weeklong effort as “experimental” and notes that the program is “intended to give security researchers terms and conditions for conducting vulnerability discovery activities directed at [public-facing DOD] information systems, including web properties, and submitting discovered vulnerabilities to DOD.” Read More

Rare, elliptical craters reveal new clues about strange Saturn moons Tethys and Dione

( Rare, elliptical craters spotted on two of Saturn’s moons reveal new clues about the satellites’ age and formation, a new study shows. Using data from NASA’s Cassini mission, researchers from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) measured elliptical craters on Saturn’s moons Tethys and Dione. Whereas circular craters are fairly common and form under various impact conditions, elliptical craters are rarer and are believed to form from slow and shallow impacts, according to a statement from the SwRI. Read More

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