On Thursday the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced a new competition to find the best technologies for document reconstruction. DARPA’s Shredder Challenge has a prize of up to $50,000 for the best solution for in-the-field reconstruction of destroyed documents.
An example puzzle piece, courtesy DARPA
Today’s troops often confiscate the remnants of destroyed documents in war zones, but reconstructing them is a daunting task. DARPA’s Shredder Challenge calls upon computer scientists, puzzle enthusiasts and anyone else who likes solving complex problems to compete for up to $50,000 by piecing together a series of shredded documents. The goal is to identify and assess potential capabilities that could be used by our warfighters operating in war zones, but might also create vulnerabilities to sensitive information that is protected through our own shredding practices throughout the U.S. national security community.
Presently, a variety of techniques exist for reconstructing shredded documents including manual assembly, fully automated (computerized) algorithms and hybrid operator-assisted approaches. DARPA hopes to gain new insight into which of these or other innovative techniques are quicker and more efficient, and, whether the wide availability of high resolution photography, communication and crowd-sourcing strategies offer unexpected advances.
“The ability to reconstruct shredded documents will potentially yield information that may save lives or offer critical information about an adversary’s plans,” said Mr. Dan Kaufman, Director of DARPA’s Information Innovation Office. “Currently, this process is much too slow and too labor-intensive, particularly if the documents are handwritten. We are looking to the Shredder Challenge to generate some leap-ahead thinking in this area.”
A Delta II rocket launches from Space Launch Complex 2 here Oct. 28, 2011. The rocket carried NASA's NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) satellite into orbit. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)
California night owls got to see an amazing streak of light zip across the sky early Friday morning.
It was a weather satellite on it’s way to space to collect data on both long-term climate change and short-term weather conditions.
Airmen at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California launched the Delta II rocket carrying NASA’s NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) satellite from Space Launch Complex-2W at 2:48 a.m. PDT today.
By Vice Adm. Adam M. Robinson Jr., MC, US Navy
Vice Adm. Adam M. Robinson Jr., MC, US Navy
I have said throughout my tenure as your 36th Surgeon General that medical research and development is crucial to future capability of our armed forces because, more often than not, our medical innovations derive from an idea or experiment in one of our laboratories. Researchers and scientists epitomize the spirit of interdisciplinary scholarship, innovation, and entrepreneurship that lead to translational advancements in critical areas.
Our global research and development arm is dedicated to enhancing the health, safety, readiness and performance of Navy and Marine Corps personnel deployed around the world through cutting edge medical research in a wide range of disciplines.
Researchers at the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies are developing and testing virtual reality assessment tools for return-to-duty decisions after brain or psychological injury. They have also been developing virtual environments for stress resiliency training and for exposure therapy to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. (U.S. Army Photo)
By Barb Ruppert,
TATRC science and technology writer for Army.mil
With the possibilities of concussion, neurotoxin exposure and post-traumatic stress disorder among service members, the need for accurate and widespread assessment of brain function is critical.
An individual’s performance on standardized cognitive tasks can reveal the extent of injury, even when other signs and symptoms are not immediately apparent. This enables healthcare staff to start treatment earlier, monitor its effectiveness more closely, and make more accurate return-to-duty decisions.
Dr. Michael Spottswood is a aerospace research engineer at the Structural Sciences Center at the Air Force Research Lab. He is the recipient of the 2010 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for his research simulating extreme environments on hypersonic vehicle structures.
Dr. Spottswood, winner of a 2010 Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering
As a civilian researcher for the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), I work on many exciting projects. It is very rewarding to have a job that allows me to continually explore new concepts in the development of aircraft technologies. Currently, I am part of the Structural Sciences Center (SSC), a small basic research group within AFRL. The objective of our group is to explore and develop methods for the simulation of hypersonic vehicle structures operating in extreme environments such as excessive temperatures, thermally-induced stresses and aeroacoustic loading. To put it simply, we would like the ability to simulate the response, material evolution and ultimately predict the useful life of these extreme-environment structures. In order to achieve this goal, the SSC conducts in-house research and experimentation, and we also have collaborative efforts with targeted groups in the aerospace industry, NASA, and the academic community.
From Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) — The top doctor for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps announced the delivery of two mobile Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) systems to Afghanistan Oct. 4-7.
CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan (Oct. 5, 2011) An MRI machine is set up at the Role 3 Medical Facility at Joint Operating Base, Bastion, Afghanistan. (Royal Air Force photo by Sgt. Mitch Moore/Released)
Navy Surgeon General Vice Adm. Adam M. Robinson Jr. said that the delivery marked the end of an unprecedented medical equipment procurement initiative to deliver a first-ever MRI capability to a combat theater.
The first mobile MRI system arrived on a mega-cargo Antonov AN 124 Russian aircraft Oct 4. Weighing more than 70,000 pounds, the MRI and its accompanying supplies were unloaded using a prime mover, two flatbeds, and a forklift to travel to its final destination at the Role 3 hospital at Camp Bastion. A second MRI was delivered to the Role 3 hospital in Kandahar Oct 7, and progress continues on both systems for final installation, prepping and testing.
“Fielding MRIs into active combat theaters is unprecedented as both logistics and clinical procedures had to be created,” said Robinson. “The fact that our team was able to design, acquire and deliver this new capability to the battlefield in less than 12 months is a testament to the commitment and creativity of the joint medical and logistics teams.”