Cognitive Electronic Warfare System Identifies Multiple Interfering Signals
The Engineer posted on September 29, 2016 |
(Image courtesy of BAE Systems.)
(Image courtesy of BAE Systems.)
Through a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), BAE Systems has developed a new handheld tactical sensor designed to enhance soldiers’ understanding of radio frequency (RF) signals for improved situational awareness.

By using cognitive processing algorithms, this electronic warfare (EW) technology can quickly detect and identify multiple interfering signals, such as jammers or enemy communication signals, across a wide spectrum and in changing and challenging environments.

The new capability is designed to be leveraged across multiple platforms and can integrate, for example, into a variety of EW, SIGINT and signal receiver and communication systems.

“By drastically reducing the size, weight, and power of this new cognitive EW system, we’re making it easier for our warfighters to be aware of, classify and manage a wide range of signals in the battlespace, which is crucial for tactical situational awareness,” said Joshua Niedzwiecki, director of sensor processing and exploitation at BAE Systems. “Better situational awareness on the battlefield means superior protection for our troops and a greater ability to defeat hostile threats.”

The technology was developed under DARPA’s Computational Leverage Against Surveillance Systems (CLASS) program and the Cognitive radio Low-energy signal Analysis Sensor ICs (CLASIC) program. The goal was to improve on today’s portable spectrum analyzers, which are often bulky, power hungry and unable to handle interference or classify the signals they detect.

Using advanced signal processing algorithms, BAE Systems states that it was able to reduce the time and computing power needed to process detected signals to such an extent that the new system uses only one low-power chip. The result is an order of magnitude reduction in size, weight and power compared to conventional spectrum analyzers.

During recent field tests, the new technology successfully detected and identified more than 10 signal types across a wide bandwidth in the presence of interference. The company expects to continue to mature this technology for eventual deployment within its EW, SIGINT, and tactical communications portfolios.

For more technology aimed at helping soldiers on the battlefield, read about this army uniform that neutralizes chemical agents.

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