MRAP on Patrol in Afghanistan. (Photo: Sgt. Justin Howe)
This blog post was shared by the Reliability Information Analysis Center (RIAC). It is the 17th in our 22-part series produced by the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC).
Because that’s what it says in the owner’s manual. But, how much could you save if you waited until 6,000 miles [provided of course you didn’t damage your engine]? It’s questions like this that RIAC engineers, scientists and subject matter experts (SMEs) are dealing with every day on weapons platforms from tanks, to planes, to helicopters, and even submarines.
RIAC engineers not only study the maintenance requirements in the owner’s manuals, but they also spend hours researching failure rates and explore various data sets related to maintenance events. This is a highly structured and very effective process called Reliability Centered Maintenance.
A Reliability Centered Maintenance analysis starts with detailed systems drawings. From the drawings, every component is analyzed for ways that it could possibly fail and then analyzed to see how severe that failure could be to the system. Next, engineers review the actual field failure data or use one of the databases on failures developed over the past 45 years at RIAC. Then, RIAC engineers look at the maintenance currently performed and analyze whether or not certain activities could be eliminated or reduced. Any activity that’s been identified for elimination or reduction must be explored further to ensure the overall system remains safe and reliable. If the overall system remains safe, there’s an opportunity for cost savings to come into play.
The National Institute of Justice's new ensemble standard meets the special needs of law enforcement officers. (Photo: DOJ)
This is a guest post from Debra Stoe, program manager for the National Institute of Justice’s Body Armor and Standards and Testing programs within the Office of Science and Technology. Her areas of interest include development of standards, certifications programs, test methodologies, and Indian Country research. Maureen McGough & Matt Acocella also contributed to the post.
Here at the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ) Office of Science and Technology, we are tasked with establishing and maintaining performance standards for law enforcement technologies. Recently, we developed a standard for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) protective ensembles used by law enforcement. This standard establishes a minimum level of protection for law enforcement when dealing with CBRN hazards. CBRN hazards are very serious, and include chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, biological agents, and radiological and nuclear particulate hazards that may inflict bodily harm, incapacitation, or even death.
The new CBRN protective ensemble standard will be a tremendous boon to the law enforcement community, allowing them to more effectively perform their mission in CBRN environments. Previous standards for CBRN protective ensembles were geared towards firefighters, who have vastly different needs than law enforcement officers. As a result, the old standards did not address the unique needs of law enforcement officers within the first responder community such as stealth movement, manual dexterity, and physical combat. NIJ recognized that a performance standard addressing law enforcement needs was essential to ensure officer safety.
Is it April 21st already?
DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge participants have until May 1st, 2011, to receive a 20 percent bonus points on all exercise submissions.
Bonus points are calculated based on your team’s grade for each exercise submission and the submission date. Any team’s initial submission is the FINAL submission for that specific Challenge. Check out the official 2011 DC3 Challenge rules for all the details.
According to a recent Digital Forensics Challenge Status Report, participation has jumped to 716 teams from 43 countries. The challenge has also added a significant group of sponsors and prizes this year.
The DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge is a public, online, and international Challenge held annually by the Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Crime Center (DC3). The Challenge is a call to the digital forensics community to pioneer new investigative tools, techniques, and methodologies.
This blog post was shared with us by the Data & Analysis Center for Software (DACS). It is the 15th entry in our 22-part series produced by the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC).
In the early 80s, Xerox began experiencing fierce competition from both U.S. and Japanese competitors. New entrants from overseas were rapidly gaining market share. David Kearns, then CEO, stepped up and began a corporate push for lower manufacturing cost, and increased quality control. His program, known as “Leadership Through Quality” not only helped turn Xerox around, but it also gave birth to what we know as modern-day “benchmarking.”
But what exactly is benchmarking?
Benchmarking is a process for finding the world-class standards for a product, service, or system and then adjusting one’s own products, services, and systems to exceed those standards. When properly applied, benchmarking can force an organization to take a hard look at its own performance compared to that of its peers. It forces an organization to look at best practices within their particular industry and determine whether there is room for internal organizational improvement.
Today, we often hear the term benchmarking in the information technology and software industry, but oddly enough, its roots can be traced to the shoemaking industry. In the nineteenth century, cobblers would measure a client’s feet for handmade shoes. The cobbler would place a client’s foot on a “bench” and “mark” it out to make the pattern for the shoes. This pattern became a reference point for the cobbler and helped ensure a better fit. From benchmarking shoes to benchmarking software, this process has helped improve countless organizations.
Attention DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge participants! There are less than 30 days left to receive 20 percent Bonus Points on all submissions.
With the DC3 Challenge’s new Bonus Points System, the solution submitted for each exercise (e.g. 101, 204, 302, etc.) is eligible for the bonus award based on the time it is submitted. Remember, the team’s initial submission is the FINAL submission for that specific exercise. Get your submissions in by May 1 to quality for the Bonus Points.
The DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge is a public, online, and international Challenge held annually by the Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Crime Center (DC3). The Challenge is a call to the digital forensics community to pioneer new investigative tools, techniques, and methodologies. It encourages innovation from a broad range of individuals, teams, and institutions to provide technical solutions for computer forensic examiners in the lab as well as in the field. The Challenge ends November 2, 2011!
Today’s warfighters possess the ability to meet the dynamic demands of the battlefield by relying on their knowledge and training to make the right decisions in demanding complex situations. In contrast, unmanned systems and electronic devices, while able to collect and process information, are limited in their efficiency and flexibility, and current computer systems can only process information according to their programming.
What if warfighters could access an entirely new class of electronic systems that can meet the demands of dynamic environments?
DARPA’s Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) program aims to fundamentally alter conventional designs by developing biological-scale neuromorphic electronic systems that mimic important functions of a human brain. Applications for neuromorphic electronics include robotic and manned systems, and sensory and integration applications such as image processing.
The goal of SyNAPSE is to create electronic systems, inspired by the human brain, that can understand, adapt, and respond to information in fundamentally different ways than traditional computers. While current computers are organized into distinct processor and memory units that function in accordance with their programming, the brain is organized as an intimate and distributed web of very simple processors (neurons) and memory (synapses) that spontaneously communicate and learn their functions.
Using knowledge of the brain’s organization as a platform, SyNAPSE is developing integrated circuits with high densities of electronic devices and integrated communication networks that approximate the function and connectivity of neurons and synapses. This program has also developed tools to support this specific area of hardware development such as circuit design tools, large-scale computer simulations of hardware function, and virtual training environments that can test and benchmark these systems.
The X-51A Waverider is designed to ride on its own shockwavem and accelerate to about Mach 6. (Air Force)
This blog post was shared with us by the Chemical Propulsion Information Analysis Center (CPIAC). It is the 14th entry in our 22-part series produced by the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC).
Improving efficiency and expediency when resources are scarce is hardly a new concept. In fact, pick any point in history, and you’ll hear people talking about how they’ve faced similar constraints. Striving for efficiencies in the face of constraints may be an age-old concept, but it’s as important today as it ever was. Reflecting on past successes can remind us of what we can achieve and allow for us to take a fresh look at why we were able to do so.
In the rocket propulsion community, one of our greatest successes is a continuing drive for joint agency collaboration. This is especially true in the development and fielding of new technologies. Why is joint agency collaboration so important you may ask? Because there are few among us who haven’t had that moment in their career when we finally realized that someone else, somewhere out there, was working on the same problem we were – and if we were lucky, they had already solved it, and if very lucky, that they were willing to share. In a time when resources are scarce, joint agency collaboration connects people by tearing down walls and allows for the transition from “silo” to “community.”
However, collaboration is not without its challenges. How do you find others working on the same problem as you? How do you convince them to share? Here lies one of those frustrating intersections of engineering, organizational structure, and cultural sociology. Despite all the frustration, the rocket propulsion community has greatly benefited from those willing to set aside their differences and work together for the betterment of the community.