Tag Archive | United States Department of Defense

Pentagon Lists 110 Potential Drone Bases in U.S.

by Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News, June 14th, 2012

The Department of Defense has identified 110 sites in the United States that could serve as bases for military unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones. A new report to Congress lists each of the 110 sites “and the UAS likely to fly at that location.” See “Report to Congress on Future Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training, Operations, and Sustainability,” Department of Defense, April 2012 (pp. 9-12).

For full text of the article, visit Secrecy News.

Senate: Drones Need to Operate “Freely and Routinely” In U.S.

by Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News, une 8th, 2012

The integration of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS) needs to be expedited, the Senate Armed Services Committee said in its report on the FY2013 defense authorization bill last week. … A provision of the bill would encourage greater collaboration on drone integration among the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration, and NASA. “Large number of UASs now deployed overseas may be returned to the United States as the conflict in Afghanistan and operations elsewhere wind down in coming years, and new UASs are under development.” “Without the ability to operate freely and routinely in the NAS, UAS development and training– and ultimately operational capabilities– will be severely impacted,” the Committee report said.

For full text of the article, visit: Senate: Drones Need to Operate “Freely and Routinely” In U.S. | Secrecy News.

White House touts ‘challenge’ prizes for tech solutions

by Dan Vergano, USA Today, April 10, 2012

And if the government dangles prize money in front of inventors to come up with technology solutions to common problems, it can get results just as in the private sector, suggests a White House report out today that documents its successes in offering “challenge” prizes. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) report follows passage last year of the America COMPETES Act, which streamlined federal research funding rules, and gave agencies wider latitude to solve problems by offering competitive prizes. Prizes such as 2004’s Ansari X Prize, where philanthropists awarded $10 million to the first private spacecraft to reach 62 miles high twice in two weeks, helped inspire the move. …

For full text of the report, visit White House touts ‘challenge’ prizes for tech solutions – USATODAY.com.

White House ‘Big Data’ Push Means Big Bucks for Drone Brains

White House ‘Big Data’ Push Means Big Bucks for Drone Brains

By Robert Beckhusen, Danger Room, Wired Magazine, March 29, 2012

The military has a data problem. More specifically, it has a too-much-data problem. Analysts have to sort through massive amounts of information collected by orbiting surveillance drones and satellites, or finding the data trails left behind by spies inside defense networks. Sorting through all this data is also necessary for making unmanned vehicles more autonomous. Bring on the White House’s new “big data” research initiative. Announced this morning, the plan aims to invest “more than $200 million” in six government agencies to develop systems to “extract knowledge and insights from large and complex collections of digital data,” according to a White House statement. …

For full text of the article, via White House ‘Big Data’ Push Means Big Bucks for Drone Brains | Danger Room | Wired.com.

U.S. Defense Department Develops Map of Future Climate Chaos: Scientific American

By Lisa Friedman, Scientific American, March 19, 2012

University of Texas researchers have developed a sophisticated new mapping tool showing where vulnerability to climate change and violent conflicts intersects throughout the African continent. More than a year in the making and part of a $7.6 million, five-year Department of Defense grant, the Climate Change and African Political Stability project culls data on riots, civil unrest and other violent outbursts dating back to 1996. It overlaps with information about climate-change-induced vulnerabilities like drought, as well as the type of aid that is being delivered to various parts of Africa.

For full text of the article in Scientific American, visit U.S. Defense Department Develops Map of Future Climate Chaos: Scientific American.

Congressional Testimony on LightSquared Interference Issue

Artist Interpretation of GPS satellite, image ...

Image via Wikipedia

Space-Based Positioning Navigation and Timing (PNT) National Executive Committee, PNT Website, September 8, 2011

U.S. Government officials delivered the following testimony during a hearing of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, held September 8, 2011. The hearing focused on the scientific impacts of potential GPS interference from the terrestrial 4G network planned by LightSquared Subsidiary LLC.

For links to the testimony and video broadcast, visit Science Committee Testimony on LightSquared Interference Issue.

Place-Based Policies: Think “Where” First, Not Last

To kick off a new Initiative on Place-Based Public Management, the National Academy of Public Administration hosted a forum on Friday, May 20, 2011, to explore the potential that place-based policies and geospatial capabilities hold for improving public management. Speakers included:

  • Xavier Briggs, the primary author of the 2009 White House memo on Place-Based Policy and OMB Associate Director for General Government Services
  • Raphael Bostic, Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Keith Barber, the lead for implementing DoD priorities for “whole of government” geospatial  capabilities, National Geospatial-Intelligence Administration
  • Michael Byrne, GIO, Federal Communications Commission, and lead for implementing the National Broadband Map
  • Jerry Johnston, GIO, Environmental Protection Agency, and geospatial lead for Data.gov
  • Mark Reichardt, President and CIO, Open Geospatial Consortium, a leading standards organization enabling place-based strategies

You can find more information about this initiative here.

R. Scott Fosler, who moderated the forum, summarized the key points of the discussion. First, Fosler stated, we must demonstrate “purposeful leadership.” We must identify the public purpose of geospatial technology implementation — economic development, environmental sustainability, community health, and security — at the outset. What are the expected outcomes and impacts for citizens? Second, Fosler noted that with respect to Place-Based Policies and related technologies, the Obama Administration is taking a demand-based approach, not a supply-based approach. Again, what is the impact, and how do we keep costs down? Third, Fosler asked, what are the processes and instruments that can be used to further develop and carry out place-based policies? “All these technologies are tools of management to be used in real-time and in real places,” he said. Lastly, Fosler stressed the importance of ongoing collaboration across boundaries, professions, governments, and sectors.

As we think about the future of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, Jerry Johnston reiterated that we must focus on the public policy use cases first, not on the technology. Raphael Bostic emphasized that technology does not equal policy, and stressed the need for: 1) innovation and openness; 2) simplicity and ease of use; and 3) flexibility. He also listed several challenges that we must meet, including providing leadership on governance; creating community around placed-based policy making; lifting up applied uses; and developing “playbooks” from which communities can adopt solutions. Michael Byrne quipped, “think ‘where’ first, not last,” and then closed with an important point that federal data publication and consumption should be in a single vein.

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