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Monday News Kick Off: Mobile Government

Preparing for a Mobile Government

Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel, a former Microsoft employee and assistant to Bill Gates, is pushing to modernize government technology. According to The Washington Post, VanRoekel’s office is attempting to usher the government into the digital age by transitioning DoD and civilian employees to mobile tablets, smartphones, and their asssociated applications. More companies, such as Fixmo, TASC, and Deltek, are helping VanRoekel’s efforts by researching and designing applications, some of which are being funded by DARPA. Although many of these programs are only in the pilot stages, a more mobile government is on the horizon. 

MDA Continues Work with Canadian Defence

According to MDA’s press release, the company has signed contracts totaling $3.2 million with Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND) to provide operations for the east and west coast RADARSAT-2 ground systems. These systems support the deliverables under the Polar Epsilon project, a wide-ranging surveillance system delivered by MDA to DND in 2012. MDA will provide operational support for this contract until March 2014. 

Intelligence Professionals Day

Last week, a bipartisan group of senators proposed a bill to name July 26 United States Intelligence Professionals Day, reported The Washington Post. This date would pay homage to President Harry S. Truman’s creation of the Intelligence Community 66 years ago as part of the National Security Act of 1947. 

UAS Programs Face Uncertainty

The Dayton Business Journal reports unmanned aerial systems (UAS) programs were the main topic of discussion at a recent field hearing of the House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. Dyke Weatherington, director of unmanned warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, said budget instability will affect unmanned programs in the long-term, and may put a halt to future research. Witnesses at the subcommittee hearing said this is a critical issue given UAS programs are becoming more important to the future of national security and the Dayton-area economy.

China Launches Earth-Observing Satellite

Emirates 24/7 reports China launched a satellite April 26 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China’s Gansu Province. This satellite was sent on a Long March-2D carrier rocket, and marks the 175th launch in China’s Long March series of rockets. This satellite will obtain high-resolution data over vast terrain in order to assist fields such as disaster prevention, modern agriculture, and environmental resources. China plans to launch about six more satellites before the end of 2015 in order to build a high-resolution observation system.

Palo Alto Launches Open GIS with Google Platform

Palo Alto, Calif., launched the first open set of city GIS data by implementing Google Fusion Tables, reports Government Technology. Data sets available on the Open GIS platform include location data, road centerlines, land use, tree data, public projects, and trench plate data. Not only will Google Fusion allow the data to be more integrated, but will also provide community members with easier access to such information.