The 37th Annual DRS-Signal Solutions SIGINT Tech Expo
For the second year in a row, the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation (NCMF) participated in DRS-Signal Solutions' annual DRS SIGINT TECH EXPO. The 37th Annual Expo, was held at the BWI Airport Marriott Gallery in Linthicum Heights, Maryland on 10 September 2014. The NCMF was honored to participate in the Expo and is grateful to DRS-Signal Solutions for their valuable partnership and for their generosity in donating to the NCMF's building fund.
The NCMF Display & New Possibilities for Education and Partnership
NCMF representatives presented a well-received display at the Expo that featured information about NCMF membership, plans for the new Cyber Center for Education and Innovation & Home of the New National Cryptologic Museum, information about the NCMF's efforts to educate the public through in-house and visiting presentations, and exciting reasons to visit the National Cryptologic Museum now and in the future. DRS-Signal Solutions staff and their guests were especially impressed with the NCMF's goals for the new cyber center and museum, including the large auditorium planned for the new museum building.
During the event, NCMF representatives spoke with guests interested in bringing groups of scientifically-minded students to tour the museum. The NCMF/NCM encourages exactly these types of visits and also offered to eventually establish a visiting program and bring the presentation to the classroom level.
Another valuable development was the NCMF's offer to arrange for team visits of staff from DRS-Signal Solutions to the National Cryptologic Museum with the goal of increasing understanding about how their products have assisted NSA in its functional operations over the decades this company has been in operation. DRS-Signal Solutions' management was very receptive to this offer. DRS staff and guests were also invited to the NCMF's upcoming 16th General Membership Meeting & Annual Symposium on 15 October 2014. Those new to the NCMF were appreciative of our offer to include a one-year complimentary NCMF membership with registration to the October event.
The Appeal of the Engima
As often occurs, the Enigma was the hit of the NCMF's display. This year the Enigma was paired with the Kryha cipher machine. It was easy to point out the parallel development of both devices in the same time frame (1920s) to serve a commercial purpose and show how one (the Kryha), while efficiently marketed and promoted, failed to catch on due to the inefficiencies in cryptologic protection. The Enigma, on the other hand, clearly had significant additional capabilities. German scientists felt fully confident of the protection afforded by that device and recommended adoption for use throughout the German war-making and diplomatic establishments. Visitors to the display had the opportunity to hands-on "test" both devices, and it was clear that the lesson was understood. We also impressed upon that understanding and compared it to current-day disappointments which impacted adversely in national interests by the Snowden exposures.
DRS Supports the NCMF's Building Fund
The President of DRS-Signal Solutions, Jim Shea, and his Vice President, Sales and Business Development, Steve Robillard, clearly saw the benefit of the NCMF's presence at the Expo, and the partnership afforded to both resulting from this effort. The company presented the NCMF with a second annual donation - a check for $2500.00, made out to the Foundation's building program. (See photo above.) We would like to extend a heartfelt "thank you" for this very generous donation. The Foundation provides significant support to the Museum, enabling the purchase of valuable artifacts, books and papers that help tell the story of the Agency’s valuable contributions to our Nation’s security. It is organizations such as DRS that make a visit to the Museum an unforgettable experience for the tens of thousands of visitors who come to learn about Cryptology and the Cryptologic Mission.
The Expo's Overall Theme & Guest Speaker, Dr. Edward Lu
This year's theme, "Detect. Collect. Defend.," provided a forum for professionals to network and discuss current and future threats to our homeland, as well as capabilities for addressing those challenges. While DRS demonstrated capabilities for protecting our homeland, guest speaker, astronaut Dr. Edward Lu, Ph.D., discussed initiatives for defending our homeland from a different threat: asteroid invasions. Dr. Lu is an American physicist and former NASA astronaut. A respected scientist, techologist, consultant, and speaker, he is currently the Chief of Innovative Applications at Liquid Robotics, an ocean data services company. He is also Chief Executive Officer of B612 Foundation, a nonprofit with a mission to predict and prevent catastrophic asteroid impacts on Earth. For more about Dr. Lu, visit www.edlu.com or www.b612foundation.org. Learn more about DRS Techologies.