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Nov 22, 2017 | By Troy Carter

NSA has 6 hot technologies available to businesses

These NSA inventions are ready for product development – all they need is you.

News Article Image of NSA has 6 hot technologies available to businesses
The National Security Agency is the second-largest agency in the U.S. intelligence community and is headquartered in Fort Meade, Maryland. (NSA photo)

The National Security Agency (NSA) — the U.S. intelligence agency known for its covert work in cybersecurity and signals intelligence — has six more patented software and device technologies available to businesses, and the agency says they’re “hot.”

The NSA’s brilliant scientists and analysts continually work to decipher new codes, collect intelligence, and develop new analysis and network security tools.

The NSA Technology Transfer Program offers business and industry streamlined access to some NSA technology. In July, the agency’s tech transfer office also posted 32 open-source software projects on its GitHub page.

TechLink, the Department of Defense’s national partnership intermediary, helps the NSA to license patented technologies to small businesses for product development.

“The NSA is again showing its commitment to tech transfer,” said Sean Patten, the tech manager who facilitates licensing deals with NSA. “They’re focused on defense and national security but also being proactive in identifying opportunities to help industry partners create new products.”

The six available NSA technologies are listed below. Contact Patten to learn how your business can get them.

Measuring Software Integrity with LKIM

The Linux Kernel Integrity Measurer (LKIM) verifies that running system software has not been modified and is authorized to run on the system. Unlike other system integrity technologies, LKIM does not require a database of known malware signatures and can detect modifications resulting from previously unknown attacks. While initially designed for Linux, there are variations that extend to other operating systems (including Microsoft Windows and the Xen Hypervisor). Proper use of this technology increases confidence that running systems have not actually been compromised, making the system more trustworthy for its intended purpose.

Potential applications include measurement and attestation, system monitoring, configuration control, protecting access to network resources, and computer forensics.

Wideband Retroreflector

This wideband retroreflector provides signal retransmission with low power in a compact design. This invention can signifigantly improve communications and remote-sensing applications including air traffic control, ground-to-satellite communications, and high-rate data transfer from radio-frequency identification (RFID) sensors. The system also improves communications by enhancing signals in areas with weak wireless reception. The compact design makes it easy to deploy and maintain in remote locations. Additionally, this lower-powered technology handles high bandwidths more effectively than current systems.

Potential applications include: remote or dangerous area data collection; vehicle-to-vehicle, or vehicle-to-stationary object communication; unmanned aerial vehicle swarms; and gamification.

Modeling Single-Class Data from Multi-Class Data

This extensible technology isolates data (text, image, and voice) representing a target class from heterogeneous data representing multiple data categories of the same type. The method may be applied to identify speech from one speaker in audio containing several other speakers, and extends to language and gender identification and image and text applications. By auto-selecting data representing a particular class from multi-class data, nonessential artifacts may be removed from models trained on multi-class data, thereby enhancing detection and identification capabilities.

Potential applications include: speech applications (speaker/language recognition, gender identification), improved classification accuracy in pattern recognition, and biometric data discrimination.

SAGA: Measuring Similarity between Data Sets

This invention measures similarities between sets of data. The data could be natural-language documents or articles, product descriptions, queries, computer code, metadata, or measurements from any real-world objects or processes.

The technology can determine similarities between data sets without needing to know how they interact. Omitting duplicate pieces of data allows the technology to provide more accurate results. Additionally, this technology can provide patterns over time of the data entered. This invention takes a holistic view of the data to make recommendations that are more accurate than commonly used methods.

Potential applications include: pattern analysis for websites or applications, social network analysis, focused advertising, genetic analysis, and forensic accounting.

Improving Maritime Communications

These technologies enhance the signals and systems used for maritime communications. The first uses a demodulator to improve the Automatic Identification System (AIS) used for ship tracking, collision avoidance, and search and rescue. The demodulator can function on a signal that transmits data at a known baud rate but has an unknown carrier frequency, unknown carrier phase, and unknown preamble, reducing the risk of at-sea collisions. The second technology improves demodulating AIS signals without requiring user-specific training codes or an equalizer, which enhances favorable signal qualities and decorrelates interfering signals.

Potential applications include: ship or drone tracking and collision avoidance, water-based search and rescue, and port security.

Real-time Simultaneous Identification of Multiple Voices

This technology provides multiple speaker identification by identifying sound in a way that uniquely mimics the ear to brain interconnection through human voice identification learning and recognition training. The object is real-time or faster voice identification needling only relatively simple computing resources. This invention looks for prosody matches (spectral patterns over time periods that were trained into a software Artificial Neural Network (ANN)–based model. The Infinite Impulse Response (IIR) filter patent can be singularly applied to other uses as well.

Potential applications include: voice recognition for home automation, sound detections for security systems, assistive technology, and audio forensics.

Up next: How to license technology from defense laboratories