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Diplomacy in Action

Innovation in Arms Control Challenge

What Information Technology Tools and Concepts Can Support Future Arms Control Inspections?

Date: 2012 Description: Logo: Innovation in Arms Control Challenge - State Dept Image

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance is pleased to announce the winner of the 2013 Innovation in Arms Control Challenge. This challenge asked the general public for proposals on what information technology tools and concepts can support future arms control inspections. For arms control treaties, on-site inspections are critical to bolstering confidence and increasing transparency among partners, but current methods may be enhanced by newer inspection tools and processes. For example, U.S. inspectors are exploring the possibility of using RFID technology to improve tracking capabilities during inspections.

For the 2013 Innovation in Arms Control Challenge, we received interest from more than 200 potential solvers around the United States. One solver was awarded for his proposal to use visible light communications (VLC) to improve and expedite arms control inspections. Mr. Michael A. Ricciardi is awarded the prize of $10,000. Mr. Ricciardi’s proposal described using VLC for indoor navigation within a facility where the data is fed to fixed lighting sources in each room, section, or compartment of a facility so that wherever the inspectors go they will have access to instant continuous navigation data.

The Innovation in Arms Control Challenges demonstrates one way the U.S. Department of State is exploring new ideas to shape its understanding of modern capabilities that can support diplomacy in the 21st century.


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