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NASA explores new uses for video teleconferencing

NASA is one of the federal pioneers of video teleconferencing systems (remember the first broadcasts from space?)ůso it's no surprise that this agency's program managers continue to rely on video conference technology to meet its daily demands for high-quality audio and visual communication among diverse public and private sector communities. "At NASA, teams at varied locations need a way to engage in timely, technical conversations and collaborate remotely to meet mission-critical goals," said NASA's Deputy Chief Information Officer Deborah Diaz. NASA -- both Headquarters and its major centers around the country -- uses video teleconferencing for everything from meetings, seminars, major international conferences and face-to-face meetings to quick conversations on pressing issues. The payoff is obvious: more cost-efficient and -effective operations, with savings on facilities as well as meeting planning and logistics. At an Open Government Summit hosted by NASA in the fall of 2010, nearly 60 percent of the participants used electronic tools to "virtually attend" the summit. Organizers faced twin challenges of being efficient but also inclusive, while juggling video streaming, cooperative note-taking, online teleconferencing and adapting conversational practices in the room, to bridge the gap between physical and virtual participants. What are they using? NASA Headquarters maintains video teleconferencing systems (ViTS) in multiple configurations, with equipment from vendors including Tandberg, Polycom and LifeSize. The typical ViTS stack includes the ViTS components themselves, additional recording units, PCs and in some cases SmartBoard capability. NASA is in the process of migrating all of its ViTS to have High Definition, digital sign control, and MP3 audio recording capabilities Latest capability improvements include Flash and Windows Media Video streaming via the Web. Users who have a small portable streaming system can view transmissions via computer from anywhere in the world. Some configurations offer MP3 recording capability that lets NASA burn CDs to distribute audio recordings; in others, NASA can use full audiovisual recording capability to capture entire events on Digital Video Disc (DVD) or Blu-Ray. NASA has begun implementing a Voice-Over-IP (VOIP) phone system, too. That will speed the delivery of IP-based desktop video conferencing as the agency phases out ISDN-based systems and will increase ViTS availability to NASA employees while reducing overall costs associated with equipment maintenance, operations, and logistics typical of larger ViTS facilities. "Technology enables and supports one to thousands of conversations," said NASA's Chief Technology Officer for IT, Chris Kemp. "We're finding that if we don't stand in the way of that conversation, incredible things can happen."

Tags: technology , Video Teleconferencing Center , telework , cisco , TANDBERG , Deborah Diaz , Chris Kemp , Judy Bradt

Monday - 12/27/2010, 10:47am EST

P.W. robotics team competes in NASA challenge

Collaborating via virtual communication, Prince William County robotics students across the area explored, experimented and engineered a winning design which took them to the finals at the 2010 ZERO Robotics competition this week.

Tags: robotics , MIT , SuperNOVA

Friday - 12/17/2010, 02:16pm EST

Lessons from NASA's Nebula cloud platform

Chris Kemp, CTO for IT at NASA, joins host John Gilroy to discuss the agency's Nebula Cloud Platform.
December 14, 2010

Tags: cloud computing , open government , Chris Kemp , NASA Ames Research Center , Nebula , technology , IT , data center consolidation , John Gilroy , Federal Tech Talk

Tuesday - 12/14/2010, 04:28pm EST
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NASA tasked with new cybersecurity reporting

NASA has a mandate to manage computer risks in real time.

Tags: Federal Drive , technology , Cybersecurity Update , cybersecurity ,

Monday - 12/13/2010, 09:30am EST

NASA's 'booth babe' spreads the SEWP

At one conference, the Government Contract Management Conference, we learn about plans for a NEW conference from NASA's Joanne Woytek.

Tags: Federal Drive , NCMA 2010 , NCMA , GCMC , SEWP , contracting , acquisition , management , procurement , Joanne Woytek

Thursday - 12/09/2010, 11:01am EST
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NASA masters the science of social media

It's not rocket science, but when it comes to social media, NASA is in its own stratosphere.

Tags: Federal Drive , technology , George Washington University School of Business , Doug Guthrie

Monday - 11/29/2010, 09:31am EST
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NASA dashboard tracks open gov goals

NASA's online dashboard tracks the agency's open government goals.

Tags: Nick Skytland , open government , dashboard , technology , Gov 2.0 , Dorobek Insider

Monday - 11/22/2010, 04:26pm EST
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Colony on Mars? Not yet

Learn more about a NASA plans to clear hurdles for deep space travel

Tags: Federal Drive , technology , propulsion system , Michael Hecker

Monday - 11/22/2010, 10:31am EST
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NASA challenge: Directing IT security

NASA's inspector general designated information technology security as one of eight top management and performance challenges the space agency faces.

Tags: Federal Drive , Cybersecurity Update , management , technology , security , cybersecurity , CIO , inspector general ,

Thursday - 11/18/2010, 08:30am EST

NASA Software Leads to Fuel Savings For Airlines

Software developed at NASA's Ames Research Center is enabling fuel savings for airlines while also increasing their planes' environmental efficiency.

The Ames Direct-To software is a product of NASA aeronautics research in air traffic management. It enables airlines to save fuel and reduce emissions by automatically identifying flight shortcuts that are wind-favorable and acceptable to air traffic controllers.

It's already been adopted by the Boeing Company for commercial use. Their offering a new air traffic efficiency service that uses the software.

Project directors say they've estimated a potential combined savings of about 900 flying minutes per day for all aircraft using the software. That means a potential savings of tens of thousands of flight minutes per year for a medium-sized airline.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology , Scott Carr

Monday - 11/08/2010, 12:41pm EST
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