NewsBrief: June 24, 2022

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: June 24, 2022


DARPA adding ‘common sense’ to battlefield robots

(Defense News) As the Pentagon turns to artificial intelligence to aid operations, researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said they are closer to giving robots the “common sense” they need to survive the battlefield. While AI has seen massive advances during the past decade, modern machine systems are mostly designed to tackle highly specific problems. Current AI models lack the intuition — or common sense — distinct to humans. “They don’t understand a great deal that all of us sort of just know,” said Howard Shrobe, the program manager for DARPA’s Machine Common Sense project, in an interview. Read More

Navy’s data-driven approach to sustainment finds huge room for improvement in ship maintenance

(Federal News Network) The Navy is taking several steps to shorten the time it takes to get its vessels in and out of maintenance at its shipyards, including with a huge, multiyear and multibillion dollar program to modernize the yards’ outdated infrastructure. But as officials dug into the problem of maintenance delays and broader logistics issues, they found at least one other massive contributor that’s arguably easier to fix: getting the parts the Navy’s tradesmen need to do their work at the jobsite at the time the projects begin. Fixing that problem alone could go a long way toward making sure ships’ maintenance availabilities are finished on time. Read More

The Pentagon Should Keep Better Tabs on IT Cybersecurity, Supply Chain Risks, GAO Says

(NextGov) “The Defense Department should keep better track of its cybersecurity and supply chain risk management plans, according to a recent watchdog report.
The Government Accountability Office found that of the 25 DOD major IT programs it reviewed, only 15 of those programs had department-approved cybersecurity strategy and just 10 had and submitted a system security plan for information and communications technology supply chain risk management. The GAO also found that most of DOD’s major IT business programs experienced cost or schedule changes between fiscal years 2020 and 2022, ranging from $100,000 to nearly $11 billion. According to a report released June 14, 19 of the 25 programs evaluated “”did not fully report progress on their operational performance””” Read More

House advances bill to train Australian submariners alongside US counterparts

(Breaking Defense) As initial trilateral discussions continue between the AUKUS signatories, House lawmakers have moved to establish a “joint training pipeline” for submarine officers between the US and Royal Australian navies. The legislation, dubbed the Australia-U.S. Submarine Officer Pipeline Act, was introduced last week by Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., and included as an amendment to this year’s defense policy bill, which was favorably voted out of the House Armed Services Committee early this morning. Read More

New intel program will tap AI to help personnel ‘walk through’ unfamiliar areas before they arrive

(FedScoop) The intelligence community’s primary research arm launched a new program to develop software algorithm-based systems that will fuse imagery captured from various altitudes and angles — including from traffic cameras, drones, satellites and other platforms — to build immersive, photorealistic virtual environments of unfamiliar locations across the globe. Through its new Walk-Through Rendering Images of Varying Altitudes (WRIVA) program, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) will foster technology to acquaint government officials with potentially dangerous places before they deploy there. Read More

Six Big Government Success Stories of the Last Two Decades

(Government Executive) At the dawn of the 21st century, Paul C. Light, a public administration scholar, published a study assessing government’s biggest accomplishments of the previous 50 years. “Looking back from the edge of a new millennium,” he wrote in Government Executive, “it is difficult not to be proud of what the federal government has tried to achieve in the past half century. Name a significant domestic or foreign problem, and the federal government made some effort to solve it. If a nation’s greatness is measured in part by what its national government succeeds in doing, the United States measures up very well, indeed.” Read More

Scientists find remains of cannibalized baby planets in Jupiter’s cloud-covered belly

( Jupiter’s innards are full of the remains of baby planets that the gas giant gobbled up as it expanded to become the behemoth we see today, scientists have found. The findings come from the first clear view of the chemistry beneath the planet’s cloudy outer atmosphere. Despite being the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter has divulged very little about its inner workings. Telescopes have captured thousands of images of the swirling vortex clouds in the gas giant’s upper atmosphere, but these Van Gogh-esque storms also act as a barrier blocking our view of what’s below. Read More

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