BAE Systems has developed a new lightweight, handheld tactical sensor that can quickly detect and identify jammers or enemy communication signals for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
The soldiers can easily carry the handheld tactical sensor and use it to better understand radio frequency (RF) signals for enhanced situational awareness, the company said in a statement Wednesday.
By using cognitive processing algorithms, this handheld electronic warfare (EW) technology can quickly detect and identify multiple interfering signals across a wide spectrum and in changing and challenging environments.
The new capability can be leveraged across multiple platforms and can integrate into a variety of EW, SIGINT, and signal receiver and communication systems, both large and small.
“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.” Niedzwiecki added.
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.
Using advanced signal processing algorithms, BAE Systems radically reduced the time and the computing power needed to process detected signals to such an extent that the new system uses only one low-power chip. The result is a 10-times 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.