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APL - National Security Agency (NSA) Tech Partnering Event with Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO)
(October 31, 2007)

Selected Abstracts and Technical Information

  • APL Success Story:   QT Viewer LIDAR-Scan-Alignment Plug-in
    Kristin Gray
    The goal at Applied Imagery is to deliver powerful 3-D visualization tools to skilled LiDAR and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) surveying professionals as well as those users who incorporate LiDAR and SAR into their normal work as researchers, GIS professionals, engineers, hydrologists, etc. Users of LiDAR data require modeling speed, ease of use, data fidelity, toolset versatility and interoperability with GIS and CAD software - all qualities the Quick Terrain Modeler and Quick Terrain Reader deliver. Applied Imagery continues to refine their core product by listening to feedback from our government, commercial and academic customers and partners. We welcome your suggestions. The Quick Terrain Modeler and Quick Terrain Reader are based on a tool created at the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab (APL). The original name for the software was the QT Viewer. Applied Imagery is an APL startup company focused on expanding the capabilities and applications of 3-D software. Since the Quick Terrain Modeler Quick Terrain Reader were developed specifically for airborne LiDAR and SAR survey visualization, they are uniquely suited to addressing LiDAR and SAR's challenges: the enormous file size of the surveys, the time it takes to build and view models, the need to distribute geospatial models to a broad array of users, the need for absolute accuracy, and the cost of high performance hardware and software.

    Presentation


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  • Three Dimensional Scanner for Objects and Artifacts
    Daniel Hahn
    (DEMO)


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    An APL technology that combines the analysis of photometric stereo and structured-light data for superior determination and recording of an object’s exact, detailed shape. Other technologies fail to match the capability of this scanner to quickly and quietly deliver  very high-resolution, color images. Potential users include those requiring accurate, detailed, indelible and versatile representations of three-dimensional items, such as those needed for research, insurance, education, archival and law enforcement purposes.
    Executive Summary

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  • Social and Contextual Navigation and Analysis of Email Archives
    Christopher Diehl
    Investigators face many challenges when navigating and analyzing large e-mail archives. They are interested in two basic questions: 1) who is talking with whom? and 2) what are they talking about? Typically, the email collection is viewed as a document collection to be searched using standard information retrieval techniques. Investigators generally specify a series of keywords to capture their interests and emails are returned that match some or all of the keywords. Such a process allows the investigator to identify emails that may be relevant topically, but it provides little insight into the answer to the first question. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory have envisioned a tool that provides the investigator with two main views. First, after entering a query, a message panel lists email messages sorted by relevance. This allows the investigator to scan based on subject lines and senders if he/she desires. At the same time, a graph panel displays one or more groups of people that appear to have discussed the subject matter of interest to the investigator. This allows the investigator to easily obtain a view of people who are talking about a topic over possibly one or more email threads as opposed to a single email. At the same time, the grouping might be done with respect to a given time interval, allowing the investigator to look for active group discussion over a time period of interest. By clicking on the groups or specific individuals in each group, the investigator can look at email threads specific to that group. The goal of this tool overall is to make it much simpler for the investigator to identify social relationships that are topically relevant to the investigator.
    Executive Summary
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  • Graph Query Language Syntax and Functionality for Efficient and Iterative Querying of Data Graphs
    David Silberberg
    (DEMO)
    The subject technology provides an approach to queries on data that is organized using a graph data model, as opposed to traditional relational databases and their associated query languages. The technology integrates multiple approaches to graph queries into a seamless language and returns results in a graph data format, more easily enabling subsequent iterative queries. Graph data models and related querying technologies offer significant advantages to discovering relationships in large data sets and are the basis for many of the new capabilities anticipated for the next generation Semantic Web. Despite the significant potential represented by this capability, the current market for graph data querying is very small. This is due in part to the fact that most data is not yet being stored in this format and there are significant data conversion costs. Additionally, with regard to the subject technology, software languages are typically in the domain of standards, while applications built using these languages are the resulting commercializable products.
    Executive Summary
    Presentation

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  • CollabSpace - An Advanced Geospatial Collaboration Environment
    Nigel Tzeng
    (DEMO)
    An Advanced Geospatial Collaboration Environment with the following capabilities:
    Basic text chat based on the Jabber/XMPP protocol; and Geospatial whiteboarding where users can draw lines, polygons, points and other objects on the geographic display and exchange them with other users in a shared workshop. Whiteboarding information is shared to all users in a chat session. Information is exchanged using the Jabber/XMPP protocol.
    Executive Summary
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  • Capability Based Planning Methodology and Tool
    J. Bacon
    (DEMO)
    The methodology provides a systematic way to map local jurisdiction, regional and/or state needs (hazards and risks) to the public safety groups responsible for preparing for and responding to those needs, and to the operational capabilities that those groups require to address those needs. The methodology also enables the jurisdictions to review federal recommendations for guidance on specifying capability enhancements for specific hazards and public safety groups. The tool developed to facilitate the application of the methodology facilitates the manipulation of large amounts of information to produce a logically-organized list of actions needed to close the capability gaps, and outputs that list in a format consistent with local and state improvement plans. The tool output allows the user to prioritize and assign action items, and to monitor the status of those action items. It also provides a unified/uniform mechanism for jurisdictions to report up to their regional coordinators and up to the state level.
    Executive Summary
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  • Computational Model of a 5th Percentile Male Torso
    Emily Ward
    (DEMO)
    To support efforts to understand and provide protection from ballistic impact, APL has developed a finite element model of the human thorax complete with musculoskeletal structure (ribs, sternum, vertebral column, intercostal muscles and skin) and internal organs including the heart, liver, lungs, stomach and kidneys. Using LS-DYNA software, the model can be manipulated to accurately demonstrate the body's response to impact events including the precise effect on each organ. This model could be used to evaluate the design and efficacy of products developed to prevent injuries, such as body armor, sports equipment, seat belts and air bags. The model could also assist in the medical field and combat and martial arts training.
    Executive Summary
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  • High Temperature Light Guide
    Leo Gauthier
    (DEMO)
    Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) have created a high-temperature optical fiber assembly for sensing applications within harsh or high-temperature environments. These pressure-sealing and chemically resistant light guides have been made using both quartz and borosilicate glass. The fiber assemblies can be made to a specified length with varying bundle sizes up to 0.040 inches in diameter. Over 100 of these assemblies have been reliably produced by a commercial manufacturer and APL is currently seeking a licensing partner to bring the technology to market. The light guides are made by bonding bundles of fine optical fibers together with high-temperature epoxy through a proprietary manufacturing process. The polished distal tip is housed within a pressure-sealing high-temperature connector that attaches to the user’s threaded bulkhead with a jam nut; a shoulder provides a stop to accommodate bulkheads of varying thickness. The proximal end is fitted with a standard SMA connector (or other type) that attaches to a remote detector or spectrometer.
    Executive Summary
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  • Swarming Network for Intruder Detection
    Jerry Krill
    The invention is an automated means to monitor a security zone in a manner that is very difficult to counter and yet is highly automated and relatively inexpensive. The concept involves placement of a number of wide transmit bean millimeter ban transmitters and receivers in the secure area. The receivers are connected via wire or wireless to a read out and alarm system. As an intruder enters the zone the person will cast a millimeter band shadow blocking certain of the receivers from their transmitters.
    Executive Summary
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  • Remotely Directed Vehicle Inspection System
    Protagoras Cutchis
    (DEMO)


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    A system to inspect a vehicle from a safe distance. The system contains a sensing station which is a hand held portable unit to be used by the occupants of the vehicle and a remote readout panel which is remotely located in the checkpoint. The security officer directs the occupant to use the hand held unit in a thorough inspection of the vehicle. The hand held unit contains a video camera, remote controlled lighting, microphone, and speaker. It can also contain chemical, biological and radiological sensors. The hand held unit has built in physiological sensors such as pulse oximetry or galvanic skin response built into the handle allowing covert sensing of the user's stress level.
    Executive Summary
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  • Ultra-Thin Microelectronics
    Charles Banda (NSA) and Harry Charles (APL)
    This technology is an advanced process to produce thin, flexible microelectronic assemblies that are 100-μm (0.004 inch) thick, only slightly thinker than the diameter of a human hair. This process is highly reliable, high yielding, low cost, and highly manufacturable flip-chip assemblies. The resultant ultra-thin microelectronic assemblies are rugged, lightweight, compact, conformable, and have low power consumption. The latest advances can now produce these ultra-thin, flexible microelectronics assemblies with thicknesses of only 30-μm.
    Executive Summary
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  • Information Visualization Software System to Manage Resource Access Control Policies
    Jaime Montemayor
    (DEMO)
    This is a graphical user interface tool for administrators to create, manage, and analyze the data from any system that contains resources (e.g. a document on a disk drive), subjects (e.g. a user of a computer that has access to this disk drive), and permissions (e.g. user A can read document X, but user B cannot). The software uses several visualization techniques to depict resource access control data so that the resource administrator can 1) generate machine-understandable policies for policy (permission) enforcement; 2) gain both overall awareness of the effects of the policies as well as detailed information about specific relationships among the subjects, resources and policies; and 3) perform forensic activities to identify specific access control entries, reason about potential conflicts and inconsistencies in the policies. This software provides a graphical representation of access control data in the following novel ways:
    1) It allows the administrator to incrementally explore and discover only the data that is wanted, instead of overwhelming them with the entire data set.
    2) It offers various complementary views, or perspectives, of the data.
    3) It offers dynamic filtering of the data so that the administrator can focus or find the relevant information.
    4) It automatically infers the appropriate permissions based on the underlying model’s ability for aggregation (grouping) of similar data.
    5) Its graphical depiction of the relationships among subjects, permissions, and resources can immediately reveal potential problems in the data set (e.g. conflicts between two permission statements, where one grants and the other denies access)
    Executive Summary
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  • Trusted Ring: A Security Enhancing Software Architecture
    Michael DiRossi
    Based on the frequency at which critical security updates must be applied, commodity operating systems (i.e. Microsoft Windows, Linux) have demonstrated they are inherently insecure and can not serve as the foundation of trust for a high assurance computing platform. The Trusted Ring Framework is a security enhancing software architecture that defines a framework to execute security service modules in a protected execution domain that is independent of and isolated from a commodity operating system. An example security service module could implement a self-healing capability that would detect modification to the commodity operating system and restore it to a known good state. A prototype implementation of the Trusted Ring Framework has been developed for the Fedora Core 1 Linux operating system. Initial steps have been taken to formally verify the design of the Trusted Ring Framework and develop the self-healing security service module.
    Executive Summary
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  • Towards Higher Assurance Software Construction via Aspects
    Thomas Llanso
    (DEMO)
    Security evaluations for software systems can be time consuming and expensive endeavors. The introduction of "aspects" is a fairly recent advance in programming language design. Unfortunately, the matching predicates that aspect languages provide can be difficult to author with precision. This is especially true for matching on places where critical security functionality is to be integrated. The JHU/APL solution is to set aside traditional aspect predicate expressions in favor of an alternate approach based on metadata. Many mainstream programming languages, such as Java and C#, support the notion of metadata whereby developers can attach annotations to various language-level constructs, such as classes, methods, and instance variables. The label can be an arbitrary value; in particular, the label could uniquely identify an aspect that should be “woven” into the method by the aspect facility. Such labels provide the required accuracy without endangering the ability of developers to choose names for methods that make the most sense in the application domain. Additionally a tool is provided to maintain mappings and a configuration repository to house related artifacts in a trusted fashion. The mapping tool helps create and track mappings from security requirements to aspects and from aspects to application code. The tool also provides various views of the mapping to ascertain with precision that all security requirements are met and where the requirements are met in the system. Finally, the tool provides a “quick labeling” capability to allow developers to rapidly label methods with the assistance of search wizards. The trusted configuration repository is helpful to maintain a separation of duties between security developers and application developers. Either should be prohibited from modifying the code from the other, and the tool can help maintain that prohibition.
    Executive Summary
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