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Dec 04. Navy wants sharks’ electric sensors. Sharks produce – and pick up – tiny electric fields, to hunt their prey. Navy researchers are looking to pull off the same trick, so they can spot underwater mines. Inside sharks’ heads are jelly-filled canals called “the ampullae of Lorenzini,” which the predators use to detect the itty-bitty electrical charges a fish makes when it flexes its muscles, or swims counter to the earth’s natural magnetic fields. It’s a real-live sixth sense. And it’s way more accurate the sharks’ eyesight.
The Navy is hoping the kind of sensors work better than sonar, too. Acoustic mine detectors have a hard time operating in the crowded, shallow waters near the coasts. There’s too much happening there to get a clear signal. But an electrical charge, there’s a chance to could be noticed, instead. So the Navy is asking for proposals on how to build a set of Lorenzini’s ampullae for people.
Navy seeks wireless input The Navy’s chief information officer asked industry officials today to help him find new technologies and advise on policies so the service’s personnel can work more securely and more widely use wireless networks. Navy officials need identity management guidelines because of the military’s emerging network-centric warfare doctrine and increasing reliance on biometrics, Common Access Cards (CACs) and radio frequency identification tags.
“People have to securely collaborate and share information,” Navy CIO Dave Wennergren said. He spoke this afternoon at FCW Events’ Homeland Security and Information Assurance Conference and Exhibition.

21 Dec 04. The U.S. Air Force and Northrop Grumman Corporation successfully demonstrated an airborne capability to collaborate real time via Internet ‘chat rooms’, e-mail, and the Web, all within a secure, classified environment. Known as ICAN, or Interim Capability for Airborne Networking, the new approach allows personnel on board the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) aircraft to “talk” to units and command centers on the ground. The ICAN system achieves this communication by routing data through existing Joint STARS radios into the Department of Defense’s Secret Internet Protocol Router Network. Northrop Grumman and the Air Force completed the ICAN proof of concept phase on an E-8C Joint STARS aircraft during recent exercises at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. ICAN is a follow-on to the company’s successful Dial-up Rate IP over Existing Radios (DRIER) demonstration on Joint STARS a year ago.

Dec 04. ScanEagle, a long-endurance fully autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle developed by Boeing and The Insitu Group, successfully demonstrated high-speed wireless communications relay during a recent flight at the Boeing Boardman test range. Enabled by Harris Corporation’s National Security Agency-approved Type 1 classified SecNet-11 ® Plus technology in ScanEagle’s avionics bay, streaming video and voice-over IP communication was sent from a ground control station over a secure high-bandwidth network to ScanEagle 18 miles away. The data was then instantaneously relayed to ground personnel six miles from the UAV. Boeing received a contract from the U.S. Marine Corps in July to deploy two ScanEagle “mobile deployment units” for use with the First Marine Expeditionary Force in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since ScanEagle was first deployed in Iraq this summer, the UAV has provided critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) information to tactical commanders. ScanEagle recently surpassed 1,400 flight hours during operations in Iraq. The Marines have relied heavily on the system due to its long-endurance capability, unique ISR value and ability to operate in a harsh weather environment.

21 Dec 04. Oshkosh Truck Corporation has teamed with Rockwell Collins to develop Oshkosh’s second-generation, self-navigating robotic TerraMax(TM) vehi

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