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IEEE Standards Association Launches a Platform for Open Source Collaboration

The platform is for developers who want to create and test their code

2 min read
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Illustration: iStockphoto

THE INSTITUTE After adopting a new visual identity last year to signal its growth beyond standards development, the IEEE Standards Association recently introduced a platform for new technical communities to collaborate on open-source projects. Called IEEE SA Open, the platform enables independent software developers, startups, industry, academic institutions, and others to create, test, manage, and deploy innovative projects in a collaborative, safe, and responsible environment.

The neutral platform is available to anyone developing open-source projects. It also will help developers increase their project’s visibility, drive adoption, and grow their community.

Many IEEE members from several technical societies and standards groups have already expressed interest in pursuing open-source collaboration within the organization.

WHY IEEE?

Today, much of the world’s infrastructure is run by software, and that software needs to comply with standards in communications networking, electrical grids, agriculture, and the like, IEEE Fellow Robert Fish, IEEE SA president, said during a recent interview with Radio Kan.

“A lot of standardization work winds up standardizing technologies that are implemented through software,” he said. “Our idea is that the next stage of standardization might include not just producing the documents that have the technical specifications in them, but also the software that implements it.”

As software becomes increasingly prevalent in the world today, ethical alignment, reliability, transparency, and democratic governance become must-haves. IEEE is uniquely positioned to endow open-source projects with these attributes. Indeed, with the addition of the new platform, the IEEE SA provides developers with proven mechanisms throughout the life cycle of incubating promising technologies—including research, open source development, standardization, and go-to-market services. The platform also exposes earlier-stage technology research from academia to industry for potential capitalization opportunities.

IEEE SA Open programs provide exceptional opportunities to all IEEE communities, especially to those members who are working on advanced solutions. It is a platform that exposes earlier stage technology research from academia to industry for potential capitalization opportunities.

To learn more, visit the IEEE SA Open page.

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Economics Drives Ray-Gun Resurgence

Laser weapons, cheaper by the shot, should work well against drones and cruise missiles

4 min read
In an artist’s rendering, a truck is shown with five sets of wheels—two sets for the cab, the rest for the trailer—and a box on the top of the trailer, from which a red ray is projected on an angle, upward, ending in the silhouette of an airplane, which is being destroyed

Lockheed Martin's laser packs up to 300 kilowatts—enough to fry a drone or a plane.

Lockheed Martin

The technical challenge of missile defense has been compared with that of hitting a bullet with a bullet. Then there is the still tougher economic challenge of using an expensive interceptor to kill a cheaper target—like hitting a lead bullet with a golden one.

Maybe trouble and money could be saved by shooting down such targets with a laser. Once the system was designed, built, and paid for, the cost per shot would be low. Such considerations led planners at the Pentagon to seek a solution from Lockheed Martin, which has just delivered a 300-kilowatt laser to the U.S. Army. The new weapon combines the output of a large bundle of fiber lasers of varying frequencies to form a single beam of white light. This laser has been undergoing tests in the lab, and it should see its first field trials sometime in 2023. General Atomics, a military contractor in San Diego, is also developing a laser of this power for the Army based on what’s known as the distributed-gain design, which has a single aperture.

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