Sharon Weinberger

Sharon Weinberger
Whatever Happened to Darpa’s Cyber Range? 

It was a scientist's nightmare: an expensive test meant to study an exotic virus ruined by contamination because someone had forgotten to sterilize the equipment. And it didn't just happen once, but several times.

Except the setting wasn't a medical laboratory, it was a military cyber range in Texas. And the tests weren't from leaving old samples of Ebola in the petri dish, but a failure to cleanse and reboot infected computers used in prior tests.

Social Media Mining Software Gains Interest in Defense World
Combining open-source data mining and traditional intelligence.
U.S. Intelligence Community Going Quiet Again 

The U.S. intelligence community, the collection of 16 federal agencies chaired by the director of national intelligence, is usually loathe to talk about its budget, believing that to reveal funding specifics would provide foreign adversaries with insight into U.S. clandestine activities. But when it comes to impending budget cuts related to sequestration, America's intelligence czar has a clear message of gloom and doom.

Face To Face: Lockheed Martin’s Chief Technology Officer
Johnson decided that energy, and energy security should be a major focus of the company's activities
The Power Challenge For Small Unmanned Vehicle
Unmanned systems run into an energy limit in terms of endurance and ability to power radars, lasers and communications links.
U.S. Navy, Industry Struggle Over Sea Mines 

Iran’s threat earlier this year to close the Strait of Hormuz highlighted what many experts view as a longstanding fundamental weakness in U.S. naval strategy: the inability to effectively and economically spot and neutralize naval mines.

Such mines can cost as little as $1,000 each and are relatively easy for Iran to put in place. Finding and neutralizing them might take U.S. naval forces a month or more, essentially allowing Iran to achieve its strategic goal of blocking trade in the narrow body of water.

U.S. Navy, Industry Struggle Over Sea Mines
As with roadside bombs, the U.S. has limited means for hunting sea mines
Private Air Service Contractors Face Slowdown In Afghanistan
Three years ago, the coalition didn't have enough helicopters to move cargo and personnel around the country.
Yemen’s Arab Spring Leaves Its Air Force In Disarray
Pilots and mechanics tell our reporter in Sanaa they are frequently overruled on safety by commander.
Building the Magic Eight Ball 

Last August, a magnitude-5.9 earthquake shook Washington, toppling chimneys, cracking masonry and even damaging the National Cathedral and Washington Monument. In less than a minute, that same earthquake could be felt up the East Coast and in New York.

But for many there and elsewhere, the first tipoff that something had hit the nation's capital was not the shockwave, but the massive outpouring on Twitter.

Wanted: S&T Policy 

Policymakers have fretted over the U.S. Defense Department's science and technology (S&T) budget for decades, but with the Pentagon facing upwards of $1 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years, those concerns take on a new urgency. Because the S&T portfolio is not tied to any constituency or program, it will be in a precarious situation.

Stand And Deliver 

Franz Gayl, U.S. Marine Corps science adviser, knows the perils—and potential payoffs—of being an advocate for technological change. Gayl, a retired Marine, played a critical role in pushing the service to adopt Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles, in the process exposing official intransigence. Then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates cited media reports prompted by Gayl's concerns for bringing to his attention the urgent need for MRAPs. The vehicles ended up saving thousands of lives.

In For The Duration 

Kevin Kit Parker is not a typical traumatic brain injury (TBI) researcher. As an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Harvard University, his research interest until a few years ago was primarily cardiac cell biology and tissue engineering. But Parker, who is also a reserve officer in the U.S. Army, began to pursue a new area of research between two tours in Afghanistan. There, improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, are the No. 1 killer of U.S. and allied troops, and Parker saw firsthand the effects of TBI.

Blood Relation 

In November, Gen. Peter Chiarelli, U.S. Army vice chief of staff, took many observers by surprise when he said he'd like to see the term post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) changed to post-traumatic stress injury, making what is regarded as a mental disorder akin to a battlefield wound. While the idea is controversial, new medical studies, particularly those involving mice, may actually support this change.

The Eyes Have It 

A machine that quickly and accurately spots a liar has long been a dream of the national security community. Such a device could ferret out potential terrorists, double agents or dangerous criminals. The problem is that the polygraph, the mainstay of lie detection, is a cumbersome device whose utility is still debated.

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