News

FAA resets plane separation standards based on new findings

Volpe, the Transportation Department's National Transportation Systems Center, has been working with the Federal Aviation Administration on the recategorization, or RECAT, of wake turbulence – turbulence created by a plane rather than air conditions. It's studying data points of several aircraft design characteristics, rather than only aircraft certificated takeoff weight, to set new safety standards.

DARPA seeks tiny implantable devices to regulate nervous system, treat diseases

DARPA's Electrical Prescriptions, or ElectRx, program is working on new, implantable, high-precision and minimally invasive technologies for adjusting nerve circuits to restore and maintain human health.

VA to issue RFP for commercial scheduling system to help improve vet care

The request for proposals for the Medical Appointment Scheduling System will go out next month, and vendors will have 30 days to respond. A draft will likely be issued beforehand, though, to give interested companies more time to prepare responses.

NIST converts lab into 'intelligent' office building to study energy reduction

The mock office building is being built in a 1,000-sqare-foot lab where researchers will study whether the artificial intelligence tools used in search engines, robots, and routing and scheduling programs can work together to optimize a building's energy performance.

DoD ready to receive bids for electronic health record modernization program

The Defense Department Aug. 25 officially issued a final, highly anticipated solicitation for a potential $11 billion program to modernize its electronic health record system.

Internal audit finds 'significant' security problems in NOAA's weather satellite ground system

An internal investigation recently found "signficant security concerns" with a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration next-generation environmental satellite program's ground system.

Audit finds USPS isn't backing up essential data in separate hardware

An internal investigation found that the U.S. Postal Service isn't backing up data in separate hardware following the recent loss of a database that kept track of computer incidents.

IG: USPS needs to fine-tune geo-fencing technology being tested to improve mail delivery

The U.S. Postal Service needs to adjust a geo-fencing application that's currently being tested with mail carriers to improve delivery service, the agency's inspector general said recently.

Decade-long national labs project seeks climate change answers with advanced supercomputers

Researchers from more than a dozen government, academic and private organizations are combining forces to use high-performance computers to address major climate change issues in an ambitious, decade-long project.

FBI digitizes millions of records, drastically cutting fingerprint matching time

More than 30 million records and about 83 million fingerprint cards were converted to digital form in the bureau's Next Generation Identification, or NGI, system, a state-of-the-art digital platform of biometric and other types of identity data.

NASA challenges public to develop applications using climate change data

Amid a White House report that outlined the negative economic consequences of delaying action that would stem climate change, NASA has announced a second public challenge to develop innovative applications using climate data.

NIST wants input on user experiences with cybersecurity framework

The National Institute of Standards and Technology said Aug. 22 that it wants the public to weigh in on a voluntary approach designed to help organizations develop, evaluate and improve their cybersecurity plans for critical infrastructure.

NSF greenlights 'Chameleon' and 'CloudLab' for innovative cloud computing research

The National Science Foundation said it's funding academic research to develop and experiment with innovative cloud computing architectures. It announced Aug. 20 two $10 million projects to create cloud testbeds - one called "Chameleon" and the other, "CloudLab."

Navy nearing implementation of 'first-of-its-kind' automated inventory information system

The system, called the Mission Package Automated Inventory Information System, or MPAIIS, is a radio-frequency identification system that operates inside metal tool cabinets and doesn't require any modification.

IG finds NRC systems hacked into three times in three years, agency says proper action taken

An internal probe found that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's computer systems were hacked into three times - including twice by foreign entities - within the past three years

DARPA: Armor not the answer to strengthening combat vehicles

DARPA launched the Ground X-Vehicle Technology, or GXV-T, program to investigate revolutionary ground-vehicle technologies that would improve the mobility and survivability of vehicles through means other than adding more armor. Such a vehicle would let ground forces more efficiently and cost-effectively operate in unpredictable combat situations

Advanced simulator lets DOT test drivers' reactions to virtual hazards to improve real-world safety

The custom-made $250,000 system features five 55-inch screens that wrap 180 degrees around users, creating a view akin to real driving experiences. Users can build virtual scenarios that include freeways, country roads and urban streets, and imitate how various vehicles would perform in different weather and lighting conditions.

Group files complaint, charging that US companies are violating EU citizens' privacy

A consumer privacy group is alleging that 30 U.S. companies, including Adobe, AOL and Salesforce.com, are collecting personal data on European Union citizens without their consent or knowledge, violating an international framework.

IG memo to FAA: Eliminate risks to air traffic control automation system deployment, rein in rising costs

The Transportation Department's inspector general recently said the implementation of an advanced system to help manage air traffic — which the watchdog warned in a previous report could fall short of capabilities, go over budget and over schedule — is still at risk.

National Science Foundation funds research into 'catching the brain in action'

Recipients of the 36 Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research, or EAGER, grants will develop conceptual and physical tools, such as real-time whole brain imaging, new theories of neural networks, and next-generation optogenetics