was built since the fall of the Berlin Wall, an action he characterized as embodying NATO’s democratic values.
NATO must invest in defense, his report states. It noted
that European defense spending continued to decline last
year, following a pattern extending back to 1990, and the
report called for spending a minimum of 2 percent of gross
domestic product as outlined in the Wales Summit last year.
NATO is stepping up its cooperation with the European
Union, and the alliance is setting up NATO command and
control units in six eastern allies.
NATO Nations Extending
Air Command and Control
Senior representatives from nine territorial host nations
recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the
NATO Communication and Information (NCI) Agency,
allowing it to act as procurement agent for a software extension of the Air Command and Control System (ACCS).
Albania, Estonia, Croatia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia signed the agreement, with Bulgaria expected to follow suit.
Under the agreement, the host nations will cooperate
with NATO on the planning and execution of their ACCS
Software Based Extension (ASBE) projects. The agency will
procure and install deliverables and provision services and
support management, subject to allocation of appropriate
resources by the financial authorities.
The ACCS is one of NATO’s largest common-funded
projects. The new ACCS will become operational this year,
initially in two NATO command structure units, one static
and one deployable, along with three validation nations—
Belgium, Italy and France. The ACCS then will be replicated
in 11 other NATO nations, followed by the NATO ASBE
nations. The final ACCS will be implemented through the
completion of the additional NATO command structure
sites contained in a recently approved addendum.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Scientists and medical professionals now can track disease outbreaks better with the aid of a new online resource.
The Biosurveillance Gateway, now in operation at Los Alamos National Laboratory, serves as a centralized portal for
news and resources about global disease surveillance.
Biosurveillance is an emerging field of importance for
national security, according to Los Alamos laboratory officials. This new site offers several tools developed at the laboratory that can be used for sequence databases, contextualizing disease outbreaks and advanced bioinformatics. Users
can access laboratory-developed resources, information
about biosurveillance research and capabilities, and biosurveillance presentations and publications.
Los Alamos officials plan to expand the site’s content to
U.S. Army experts with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command are looking to place digital sensors away from sol- diers’ eyes so users can view video images on
what they call a “decoupled” display.
“The current image intensifier sits right in front
of the soldier’s eye, and it can’t be moved,” says Dan
Hosek, general engineer and leader of the low-light
level sensor program (LLLS). “With this sensor, you
can put it wherever you need. You can put it on the
outside of a vehicle and pipe the video inside. The
person viewing it doesn’t have to be exposed. It also
allows the option to separately save pictures and send
them to other people because it’s digital.”
A goal of the technological development is to
improve soldiers’ situational awareness during low-
light conditions, and the device demonstrated better
low-light performance compared with traditional
for Night-Vision Devices
Dan Hosek, a general engineer with the U. S. Army Communi-cations-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering
Center, uses a NightVista M611 camera that employs an Electron Bombarded Active Pixel Sensor at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
include additional tools from the Los Alamos laboratory as
well as those from national and international sources.
Chemical Coating That Protects
Military Vehicles Now Saving ... Art
U.S. Army scientists from the Army Research Lab (ARL),
working with the National Gallery of Art, think they have
found a way to use paint that protects military assets from
chemical warfare to also protect national treasures from
The resistant coatings used on ground vehicles and aircraft
also can protect classical art. The same substance has been
applied to pieces in the gallery’s sculpture garden.
“This ARL invention challenged all leading researchers
working in polyurethane chemistry and undermined traditional thinking dating back to the 1940s original development
of urethanes,” says the ARL’s John Escarsega.