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March 2011 Issue

NRL Launches Nanosatellite Experimental Platforms
Two Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) nanosatellites were launched in December to evaluate nanosatellites as a platform for experimentation and technological development.

Known as the CubeSat Experiment, the two 3U (30 by 10 by 10 centimeters) CubeSat buses were built by Pumpkin Inc. (San Francisco, California) and provided to the NRL by the National Reconnaissance Office’s Colony Program Office. The satellites were launched as secondary payloads on a Space Exploration Technologies Inc. Falcon 9 launch vehicle. This is the first flight of the Pumpkin-built Colony I spacecraft bus.


Two DARPA Programs Work To Combat Cyber Threat in Unique Ways
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently introduced two programs to fight cybersecurity threats, CRASH and PROCEED.

CRASH, the Clean-Slate Design of Resilient, Adaptive, Secure Hosts program, takes cues from biology, seeking to build new computer systems resistant to cyber attacks that can also adapt, learn from and repair themselves after successful attacks.

The program evolved from a DARPA workshop earlier this year that pulled together cybersecurity and operating-system experts and infectious-disease biologists. The idea is to rethink the structure of computers, taking elements from biology that make bodies resistant to and able to fight disease. One biological defense that the program seeks to integrate into computer systems is diversity—since organisms are genetically diverse, viruses or bacteria that infect one body will not necessarily infect others. The program’s goal is to create more robust hardware architecture that would incorporate this type of diversity into computer systems to make them less vulnerable to attack.

The second DARPA program, PROCEED, or Programming Computation on Encrypted Data, is focused on improving the efficiency of working with encrypted data to avoid the inherent vulnerability of decryption.

Both programs are aligned with the government’s increasing focus on cybersecurity, as seen by the creation of the U.S. Cyber Command in May and the recent cybersecurity agreement between the Defense and Homeland Security departments.


Future USS William P. Lawrence Completes Super Trials, Delivered to Navy
The future USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) successfully completed combined super trials January 21 while underway in the Gulf of Mexico, and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding (Pascagoula, Mississippi) delivered the vessel to the U.S. Navy on February 23.

The Navy said that due to the maturity of the DDG 51 class, it holds only one round of trials on each ship prior to delivery, instead of separate builder’s and acceptance trials.

Throughout the three days underway, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey tested several ship components, including the communications and propulsion systems.

A full-power run was conducted successfully and the communications suite performed exceptionally well, fully supporting all sea trial events, the Navy said. Overall, DDG 110 exhibited significant improvements in the level of completion, final finish and performance compared to previous ships of the class, the service continued.

William P. Lawrence’s combat and weapons system also underwent testing and evaluation, and the Aegis combat system was demonstrated successfully. While underway, the ship completed all planned trial evolutions. The ship is named in honor of VAdm. William P. Lawrence, who spent six years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.


Ohio-Class Submarine Replacement Program Receives Milestone A Authority
The U.S. Navy’s Ohio-class submarine replacement program recently achieved “Milestone A” and is approved to enter the technology development phase of the Department of Defense’s life cycle management system as of January 10, the Navy announced in February.

The milestone was met following the endorsement of the Defense Acquisition Board on December 9. The board had previously endorsed replacing the current 14 Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines with 12 replacement submarines.

Design, prototyping, and technology development efforts will continue to ensure sufficient technological maturity for lead ship procurement in 2019, the Navy said.

2012:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC
2011:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

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