The U.S. Air Force Looks To Advanced Manufacturing To Keep Existing Aircraft Flying And Develop Next-Gen Capabilities

What if there were Olympic events that weren’t physical, but were focused instead on completely geeking out on super-cool breakthrough technologies for real-world aerospace and defense challenges? Even better, what if they offered prize money totaling nearly a million dollars?

Now there are just such events, thanks to the U.S. Air Force’s Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO). In fact, participants in five such Olympic “sports” (or Technical Challenges, as the RSO calls them) have already been competing over the past few months. Those competitions will culminate when the winners are announced during next week’s four-day Advanced Manufacturing Olympics. This virtual conference runs from October 20-23, and features technology demonstrations, expert speakers from both industry and the military, virtual networking opportunities, and the awarding of prized for those Technical Challenges mentioned above.

“RSO is working to revolutionize sustainment, while building an agile supply chain for the future,” said Nathan Parker, Deputy Program Executive Officer at the RSO. “Originally, we were planning to hold this inaugural event outside Salt Lake City, Utah. But then Covid hit, so we’ve taken the whole thing virtual.”

Event speakers will include military officials such as Barbara M. Barrett, Secretary of the Air Force; General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., Chief of Staff of the Air Force; and General John W. Raymond, Chief of Space Operations of the U.S. Space Force. Other speakers featured are Sebastian Thrun, founder of Google X; Dr. Mae Jemison, NASA astronaut; and Brad Kesolowski, NASCAR Cup Series driver and founder of Kesolowski Advanced Manufacturing.

The five Technical Challenges began with an

Rocket Insights Joins PathCheck Foundation’s Global Partner Program to Develop Open Source Software to Help Contain the Pandemic

BOSTON, Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Rocket Insights, part of Dept, today announced it has joined PathCheck Foundation’s global partner program, PathCheck Alliance, as a founding member. Rocket Insights is working with PathCheck Foundation to develop and implement exposure notification and digital contact tracing solutions to help contain COVID-19.

PathCheck Foundation was spun out of MIT in March 2020 to build digital solutions to contain COVID-19 and revitalize the economy, while protecting individual privacy and liberty. PathCheck supports the Google Apple Exposure Notification system and a range of other technologies to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Teams in seven U.S. states and countries are implementing PathCheck technology to create exposure notification mobile apps for their communities, including Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Cyprus.

“Early in the pandemic, our team was eager to find ways we could leverage our skills to help contain the spread of the virus,” said Ashley Streb, partner at Rocket Insights. “We were introduced to the PathCheck Foundation and jumped at the opportunity to provide product strategy, design and engineering to support the foundation’s vision of creating digital solutions to fight the pandemic.”

PathCheck partnered with Rocket Insights to design and build an app for digital contact tracing using privacy-preserving GPS data. This was followed by a second, separate app for exposure notification using the Google Apple Exposure Notification framework. This app uses Bluetooth to anonymously and securely identify when phones have been near each other and potential COVID-19 exposures have occurred (note: these capabilities are entirely optional and privacy preserving). The apps enable communities to work together to stop the spread of the virus, and complement other public health strategies, including manual contact tracing efforts.

Rocket Insights is working with PathCheck to build more features into the system to

Intel wins second phase of contract to help Pentagon develop chips

CHANDLER, Arizona – (Reuters) – Intel Corp on Friday said it has won a second-phase contract in a project aimed at helping the U.S. military make more advanced semiconductors within the United States.

Under the project, Intel will help the military develop prototypes of chips using its semiconductor packaging technology at factories in Arizona and Oregon. The packaging technology allows pieces of chips called “chiplets” from different providers to be combined into one package, helping cram more features into a smaller finished product while lowering its power consumption.

“As more and more semiconductor manufacturing has moved offshore, the (Department of Defense) is very interested in ensuring that they have advanced microelectronics for national security manufactured here in the U.S.,” Bob Swan, Intel’s chief executive, told Reuters in an interview as he toured a recently completed $7 billion factory expansion in Arizona, where Intel’s workforce totals 12,000.

“As a U.S.-based company, it’s important to us to be able to address some of the fundamental concerns that the U.S. would have about access to these critical technologies going forward,” he said.

Intel declined to disclose a dollar figure for its portion of the contract, which is being overseen by the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division. Intel won part of the first phase of the contract in 2019.

Intel’s work with the Defense Department comes as U.S. officials focus on boosting domestic semiconductor manufacturing in response to the rise of China as a strategic competitor. About 75% of the world’s chipmaking capacity is in Asia, with many of the most advanced plants in Taiwan and Korea, within the reach of the Chinese and North Korean militaries.

“I think one of the areas where we can have the most impact on China broadly is re-shoring microelectronics,” Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer,

Pittsburgh Researchers Design Computer Software That Detects Osteoarthritis Before Symptoms Develop

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — More than 3 million Americans and almost 25 percent of Pennsylvanians have osteoarthritis, a debilitating joint disease.

Currently, there is no cure. Osteoarthritis contributes to the hundreds of thousands of joint replacement surgeries performed in the U.S. each year.

Local researchers are now using artificial intelligence to identify the disease much sooner, along with a possible cure.

“This is allowing us to follow along with what the computer is seeing,” said Dr. Ken Urish, a researcher at UPMC.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University have designed computer software that detects osteoarthritis years before symptoms develop.

“The biggest lesson I have learned from my job is that people completely take for granted the ability to walk a block and not have it hurt,” said Dr. Urish.

The disease is typically diagnosed using a standard grayscale MRI. It’s only visible once the cartilage has already deteriorated.



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The new technique uses color with an MRI that visualizes good and bad cartilage.

Using this, doctors can determine pre-symptomatic joint disease in a matter of seconds and with 78 percent accuracy, according to studies.

“You’re getting these very dark areas where the arthritis is starting to develop,” said Dr. Urish as he explained how the visualizations work.

The computer software generates the images using thousands of lines of code observing each individual pixel. It’s like analyzing a single tree from an entire forest.

“Generating thousands of features that we’d never been able to understand by looking at the lines of code,” said Dr. Urish.

The doctor said knowing who is at risk may uncover an even bigger scientific breakthrough.

“If we can pick out the patients who are going to get this, the next step becomes how can we