NewsBrief September 13, 2019

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: September 13, 2019

Air Force Uses Cloud-Based Visualization Tech to Manage Mission Infrastructure

(ExecutiveGov) The Air Force Installation and Mission Support Innovation Office integrated a cloud-based visualization tool into a data platform in an effort to monitor the status of infrastructure assets across the service branch. USAF said Thursday its Chief Data Office collaborated with the center to produce Installation Health Assessments using Tableau Software’s technology that runs on the Air Force’s Visible, Accessible, Understandable, Linked and Trusted system, or VAULT. Read More

Administration Projects Agencies Will Spend $1 Billion on Artificial Intelligence Next Year

(Nextgov)The federal government plans to spend almost $1 billion in nondefense artificial intelligence research and development in fiscal 2020, according to a supplemental report to the president’s budget request. “The U.S. has pushed the boundaries for computational power, we have given our innovators the freedom to thrive, and today we can proudly say America continues to be the leader in artificial intelligence,” federal Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios said Tuesday at a Center for Data Innovation event. “This new supplement report demonstrates just how diverse and extensive our efforts are.” Read More

What does state-of-the-art cybersecurity look like to the Pentagon?

(Fifth Domain) The Department of Defense wants to hear from industry leaders about the Pentagon’s proposal to grade contractors on their cybersecurity. The Defense Department is focusing on the cybersecurity of its suppliers. According to experts, while DoD requires compliance with certain standards released in 2017 from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, many companies blew past those deadlines and requirements. Read More

DOD Will Require Vendor Cybersecurity Certifications By This Time Next Year

(nextgov) The government has stringent processes for verifying the IT products and services it uses comply with relevant cybersecurity standards, such as authorities to operate for cloud services and supply chain regulations for hardware products. But those standards and processes don’t cover the vendors. For the Defense Department, this is a critical issue, as doing business with industry requires the department to share sensitive information, even at the earliest steps of the process. Read More

Senate bill includes $1B in new money for hypersonics

(C4ISRNET) A spending bill making its way through the Senate includes at least $1 billion more for hypersonics and hypersonics defense than what the Pentagon requested in March. While the formal language for the legislation, which was passed by the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on defense Sept. 10., has yet to be released, a summary distributed by the subcommittee claims that the bill sets aside extra funding to several hypersonic-related programs across the Department of Defense. Read More

Raytheon anticipates international boom in counterdrone sales

(DefenseNews) LONDON — Raytheon is expecting a boom in international sales of its counter-UAS system already battle-tested with the U.S. Army. The Howler system — which includes a Ku-band Radio Frequency Sensor, a command-and-control system, and a Coyote unmanned aircraft system designed to take out enemy drones — could soon see an abundance of buyers. The system could also include a high-energy laser defeat solution and a high-powered microwave capability to provide a non-kinetic approach to knocking drone threats out of commission, according to company officials. Read More

NASA Invites Media to Northrop Grumman’s Space Station Launch from Virginia

(NASA) Media accreditation is open for the launch of Northrop Grumman’s 12th commercial resupply services mission aboard its Cygnus spacecraft to deliver NASA science investigations, supplies, and equipment to the International Space Station. Northrop Grumman is targeting liftoff of its Antares rocket for no earlier than 2:39 p.m. EDT Oct. 21 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island in Virginia. This is the first mission under Northrop’s Commercial Resupply Services-2 contract with NASA. Read More

Acquiring the right mindset: How GSA is changing government buying

(Federal Times) The General Services Administration and its components manage a significant portfolio of the government’s spending, delivering the best value on goods and services for government, among other integral functions. As GSA administrator and the commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service, respectively, Emily Murphy and Alan Thomas have worked closely to spearhead a period of significant procurement reform, including combining the two-dozen multiple award schedules into one and experimenting with a government online shopping portal. Federal Times sat down with Murphy and Thomas to discuss how the change has been a team effort and their vision for the future of the agency. Read More

UK’s Warrior fleet upgrade about 18 months away from kickoff

(nextgov) LONDON — Negotiations are underway on a production contract to update the British Army’s fleet of Warrior infantry fighting vehicles, according to the Ministry of Defence official running the program. “We are now talking about how we go forward on production,” Marcus Bruton, the MoD’s Warrior upgrade director said during an interview at the DSEI show Sept. 10. Bruton said the two sides were probably 18 months away from a contract allowing Lockheed Martin and its supply chain to start upgrading the Warrior. Read More

Why does blockchain make people so mad?

(fedscoop) There’s nothing that unites civic technologists quite like the blockchain. Among many members of this community, any mention of the use of blockchain technology for government can elicit a negative response — anything from an eye roll to an irate Twitter thread. More than any other emerging technology, perhaps, blockchain is the butt of so many jokes. It’s a poster child for hype, shiny object syndrome and government tech solutionism.Read More