Join NORAD to track Santa's journey across the globe!
Dr. John Ohab is a new technology strategist at the Department of Defense Public Web Program.
Scientists, engineers, and US. government officials are working to help Santa prepare for his annual global journey.
The Federal Aviation Administration just approved his sleigh, outfitted with new satellite-based NextGen technology. The sleigh’s onboard systems will allow Santa One to maintain cruising altitude for as long as possible before making a continuous descent into cities and towns around the world. While maneuvering on rooftops, an advanced, onboard runway safety system will help reduce the risk of incursions between the sleigh and chimneys.
“Children around the world will get their gifts on time, regardless of the weather, thanks to NextGen,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We’re proud to say NextGen is bringing Santa Claus to town.”
According to the American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), Elf Soen Firr, chief Santa suit engineer, confirmed that Santa’s red suit has also been weatherproofed and tested to ensure Santa will stay warm and dry in any type of weather. No further details of the suit’s material or capabilities were released. You can track Santa’s flight this Christmas Eve on NORAD’s website, Google Earth, Twitter, Facebook, and Picasa.
Students at the Science Center of Pinellas Country, FL, interact with fellow adult learners and practitioner instructors from industry. (Photo: Mr. Joseph Cuenco, Center Director)
by Carl W. Hunt, Ph.D., Directed Technologies, Inc., and Richard Raines, Ph.D., U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology, 6 December 2010
Technology has provided humanity more connectivity than most people dreamed possible even 25 years ago. In countries like America, technological progress often outpaces our understanding of what this progress does to us and what it offers to us as the future unfolds. Fortunately, science can often help give us a better context as to how new technology ultimately affects us.
Gaining contextual understanding of people living, learning and working in cyberspace is the core objective of Science Enhanced Network Domains and Secure Social Spaces (SENDS). The SENDS Pilot Project tasks described in last month’s blog give us an enabling framework for that understanding to emerge through the study of what we are calling a Science of Cyberspace. We think of this new science as “open-source science,” loosely derived from a Scientific American article a couple of years ago, by Mitch Waldrop on the topic of what he called “Science 2.0.”
As it is open source science, we are looking for maximum participation in all walks of life, particularly from the people who actually use cyberspace today and in the future. One of the most exciting prospective user groups is today’s students. SENDS has partnered with a variety of organizations in its informal SENDS Consortium, and one of our very innovative educational groups is the Science Center of Pinellas County, FL.
Portable Electronic Maintenance Aid in use during MH-60R maintenance. (Photo: US Navy)
Matthew Morgan is a Systems Engineer at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) in Lakehurst, NJ. He serves as technical lead in the acquisition of support equipment systems for Navy and Marine Corps aircraft maintenance applications. Currently, Matthew is performing this function for the Portable Electronic Maintenace Aid program.
I get to break stuff. While that may be an oversimplication of my job description, getting to drop, shock, dunk, and bake military systems can be a rewarding task following long months spent analysing requirements. With an impetus to adopt cost-effective commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components and systems, it’s important that DoD systems engineers build strict performance specifications to ensure COTS gear can withstand the rigors of military service.
My system, the Portable Electronic Maintenance Aid (PEMA), faces the particularly tough challenge of surviving in the harsh environment of Naval surface ships. PEMAs are ruggedized commercial laptops used by maintenance crews to host a variety of interactive electronic technical manuals (IETMs) and diagnostic applications necessary for aircraft repair. As a piece of common support equipment, PEMAs are used around the world by many different customers, each with a different set of requirements.
Mitch Kowalski, contractor from Ryan Electric in Rome, N.Y, runs power cables used to power Playstation 3 consoles used for research. (Photo: USAF/Master Sgt. Jack Braden)
By Ian Graham
Emerging Media, Defense Media Activity
Video games have advanced by leaps and bounds in the past few years. What once was a big black box with a bad video version of ping-pong is now a sleek, motion-capturing, high-resolution computer system capable of networking around the world.
Mark Barnell, director of high-performance computing and the Condor Cluster project at the Air Force Research Laboratory, has used that technology to create a new supercomputer.
The Condor Cluster, a heterogeneous supercomputer built from off-the-shelf commercial components — including 1,716 Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles — could change the supercomputing landscape, Barnell said yesterday in a DODLive Bloggers Roundtable.
Listen to the roundtable or read the transcript.
Defense Acquisition University's new casual gaming site offers 13 mini games for the acquisition workforce.
About the author: Dr. Alicia Sanchez serves as Defense Acquisition University’s Games Czar. Since her appointment in 2007, she has created an award winning games initiative for the University.
Defense Acquisition University (DAU) proudly announces the launch of the first ever Department of Defense casual games site. The DAU games site launches today, December 1st, 2010 with, 13 mini games designed specifically to enhance Acquisition workforce education.
DAU’s Global Learning Technologies Center became determined to launch a site of this nature when it was realized that DAU students were similar in demographic to users of other casual games sites. The rationale behind the site was to serve as a place where professionals in the Acquisition workforce could go to play games that were related to the “core competencies” that are central to Acquisition. The result was a game site that mirrors some of the functionalities that most sites use today, including the ability to create a login to store, rate, and comment on games as well as collect badges for achievements in play.
It is day three at the 2010 Army Science Conference. This morning’s opening session and topical panel were devoted to the brain: behavioral decision making, human-computer interaction and neuroscience. Joining us to discuss his organization’s cognitive research efforts is Dan O’Neill, a computer scientist with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communications-electronics center (CERDEC). Dan works in the CERDEC Command & Control Directorate (C2D), where he is the technical lead for the Tactical Human Integration of Networked Knowledge (THINK) Army Technology Objective (ATO).
All of us have experienced degrees of anxiety, if not degrees of panic, as we struggle to perform complex or detailed tasks under pressure and deadline: the last-minute income tax return, the white-knuckle drive to catch an early morning flight, or having to brief someone else’s project to higher-ups on short notice. How could those stressful times be made easier? Would clearer instructions help the tax filer? Would better planning help the traveler get to the airport on time? Would a concise summary of what’s really important enable you to better brief slides you didn’t create?
Army commanders face analogous challenges, albeit the issues they encounter are much more serious, and the stress is much more pronounced. They must quickly analyze overwhelming amounts of incomplete data and make decisions that will have immediate impact on mission success; generally this must be done in hostile environments, where creature comforts and sleep are minimal, with complex equipment and systems that sometimes don’t interoperate, and with a network infrastructure that needs to be more robust.
One of our research efforts to address these challenges is the THINK ATO, where we have set up a cognitive research and prototyping/simulation/experimentation capability to help us investigate how best to bring “networked knowledge” to the commander. We’re conducting overlapping cognitive science, social science and computer science research in an attempt to develop technologies that will augment a commander’s ability to develop situational awareness and make decisions in complex, dynamic environments that are “less than ideal” for a network.