The inspiration behind new technologies comes from an assortment of variables including nature, science fiction, and product demand, to name a few. More specifically innovations and developments found in aerospace and defense often trickle down to the commercial market as products and new capabilities for big data and IoT.

Dr. Mike Barrett, manager of the Power and Propulsion Element effort at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, echoed these sentiments.

“In the early days of the Apollo flights we built most of the technology that was needed for space ourselves,” said Barrett. “But now we prefer for our commercial partners to do most of the innovations and development. In return, our industry partners are able to leverage these new technologies into breakthrough commercial applications for other markets.”

SEE: Internet of Things policy (Tech Pro Research)

Below shows six examples of new technology developments coming out of NASA and the Department of Defense (DoD) that you should keep an eye on in 2019.

1. Real-time data cleaning

With IoT, the ETL (extract, transform, and load) process that IT laboriously executes to clean big data could radically change. As an example, drones in military operations are programmed with machine and deep learning algorithms that enable it to determine, which pieces of data are critical to a mission, and which are not. During the in-flight, real-time data collection process, these drones assess all incoming data and automatically discard irrelevant data, dramatically shrinking data payloads.

2. Hardened sensors

In both the Lunar Lander and Mars projects, NASA wants hardened sensors that can withstand extreme heat, cold, high radiation levels, and other harsh environmental conditions found in space. These new hardened sensors are more reliable than what companies presently use in their IoT and will go far in preventing IoT sensor failures in space and elsewhere.

SEE: Artificial intelligence: Trends, obstacles, and potential wins (Tech Pro Research)

3. Machine learning and AI

In military operations, commercial sector contractors and DoD are working on self-healing formations of drones, where each drone executes its own machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) as it flies a mission. Using this machine learning and AI, a drone fleet on a mission can detect when a member has failed, and then communicate with other drones to regroup and continue the mission without interruption.

This type of self-healing failover can easily be used on manufacturing assembly lines, with machines interoperating and communicating together –and devising alternate production paths if a single machine fails.

4. Symbiotic man-machine work processes

In military operations, a technology that symbiotically teams humans and drones on missions is designed so an unmanned vehicle can fly as a teammate with a manned aircraft.

“Effective manned/unmanned teaming can reduce the high cognitive workload, allowing warfighters to more exclusively focus on mission planning and management,” said Mark Cole, business strategy and development, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) programs, at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, a DoD contractor.

This man-machine symbiosis can work just as well for a logistics provider with a 1,000 vehicle fleet.

5. Solar power

In NASA’s Lunar Lander project the energy source of choice is solar, which is limitless in space and does not require transport. NASA plans to take advantage of the limitless space solar supply by applying logistics to its vehicle lunar orbits. The plan includes keeping an orbiting craft away from the dark side of the moon, so that the craft can continuously replenish its fuel supplies because it is always exposed to the sun’s solar energy.

Look for data centers to also seek out ways to maximize their energy use through logistics as well as through technology.

SEE: IT leader’s guide to deep learning (Tech Pro Research)

6. Legacy systems

In space and defense and in the private sector, there is a desire to keep legacy systems in place that continue to perform well. Substantial investments has already been made in these legacy platforms, and no one wants to waste them.

Accordingly, vendors working on military projects are asked to develop technologies that are backwardly compatible with existing technology bases. This is exactly what enterprise IT wants.

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