New DoD Project Developing a “Science of Cyberspace”

Dr. Carl Hunt is the project manager for a DoD project developing "The Science of Cyberspace". (Courtesy photo)

Dr. Carl Hunt is the project manager for a DoD project developing "The Science of Cyberspace". (Courtesy photo)

Dr. Carl Hunt is the Senior Research Director for Information Operations for Arlington, VA-based Directed Technologies, Inc., and is the Project Manager for SENDS. Dr. Hunt is a retired Army officer with extensive experience in network-based operations and defense.

Change happens at the speed of communication and nothing changes human behavior like open communication. The Internet and development of the World Wide Web has changed the way people communicate, it has changed the way they conduct commerce, it has changed the way they live their lives. Cyberspace has not changed any of the physical laws of the universe, but it has brought a new dimension and, as Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn says, for the Dept. of Defense it has brought a new domain. Now, the challenge is learning to maneuver in this new domain.

DoD’s Director of Defense Research and Engineering’s Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO) has been working with the US Air Force Institute of Technology’s Center for Cyberspace Research (CCR) on a project called, “Science Enhanced Networked Domains and Secure Social Spaces” (SENDS). RRTO and CCR have supported this project since late 2009 and SENDS has recently begun posting progress on its work in a new blog called SENDS & The Science of Cyberspace.

A formal SENDS Pilot Project has been underway since June, 2010, and consists of several primary tasks that are highlighted in the blogs. One of the major tasks deals with a sophisticated modeling and simulation effort called SENDSim, which will serve as the primary experimentation environment for the project. Another significant task explores the feasibility of developing a Center for the Science of Cyberspace that will help refine future studies and experiments in cyberspace science and exploration.

An important third task of SENDS is to examine cyberspace educational curricula within DoD and other areas to assess content and form of these critically needed academic assets and suggest synergies for improving their value to the DoD and the nation.

DoD Seal SENDS is supported by a small but diverse informal consortium of advisors who meet twice a year to help shape the direction of the project. The Pilot is also testing a collaboration environment it calls the SENDS Substrate to determine useful ways to develop a “Science of Cyberspace” in the most open forum possible: “Open Source Science” as the SENDS Project labels it.

The project posts publically accessible information about the Pilot through the SENDS blog. There are also some publically accessible portions of the SENDS Substrate intended to demonstrate the value of doing open source science.

We intend to post periodic updates on the SENDS Pilot through the Armed with Science forum and look forward to interaction from its readers.

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  • Jaltpete

    Cyberspace has already become a pressing issue regarding privacy and I can only imagine how much it will progress in the future. It is great to see the DOD focusing on cyberspace research because the world is so dependent on it, which is not necessarily a good thing. It is really important to analyze the security of our technology systems in order to protect ourselves from hackers. In addition, international agreements are needed to protect our country from hackers who could potentially see our nation’s classified documents.