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Archive for the ‘ISR’ Category

SOFCON: SOF CEMA 16-20 July 2018

Friday, June 15th, 2018

Warfighter Project Submission Deadline: 20 JuneSubject Matter Expert Deadline: 27 June

Speaker Call for Papers Deadline: 27 June

SOFWERX, in Tampa, FL, will host a dual track SOFCON Working Group with the theme of SOF Cyber Electro-Magnetic Activities (CEMA). The Project Track will provide an environment for SOF related technology exploration and innovative technology use based on direct interaction and feedback with Warfighters at the event. The Speaker Track will give Warfighters the opportunity to view presentations from expert speakers and select exhibitors.

Objective

Project Track

• Allow SOF operators and engineers/hackers/makers to experiment with non-standard commercial technologies in order to develop use case concepts and build a common repository of instruction sets.
• Technical training on CEMA related topics.
• Advanced capability exploration with representatives from SANS Institute. (Check back often for details as the schedule becomes finalized.)

Speaker Track

• Informative presentations from Subject Matter Experts (SME) on CEMA related topics.
• Exhibitor presentations and demonstrations on CEMA related products & services.

Focus Areas

• Cyber
• Electronic Warfare
• Signals
• Drones
• Additional Warfighter Nominated Projects

www.sofwerx.org/sofcon

Electronic Warfare Prototypes Improve Operational Understanding Against Near-Peer Threats

Saturday, May 19th, 2018

With the Army moving EW branch personnel into Cyber branch, and the creation of Cyber Electro Magnetic Activities teams, it’s almost as if they’re putting the band back together. The one they disbanded just after the turn of the century.

MCLEAN, Va. — An adversary is spotted positioning fighters along the border of an ally nation. As U.S. Army forces are quickly deployed, one unit is under special instructions: detect and survey the adversary’s electronic warfare jammers and emitters.

As vital as this information is for the commander’s situational awareness, a few months ago mapping out the electromagnetic spectrum would have been much more difficult.

Sgt. Jessie Albert, an electronic warfare specialist assigned to 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, trains on the Wolfhound Radio Direction Finding System at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, on April 11, 2018. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon)

While only a simulated experiment, the realism of this scenario reflects how the Electronic Warfare Officers of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment must operate to ensure freedom of maneuver for ground forces. To help them do this, the Army recently rolled out its initial set of EW capabilities for brigade and below, giving Soldiers at the lowest echelons operating in a contested environment the ability to detect, identify and locate targets within the electromagnetic spectrum.

Now, just a few months after the 2nd Cavalry Regiment and other Europe-based units received the integrated package of mounted, dismounted, and command and control EW capabilities, a small group of EWOs traveled to the U.S. to see the next phase of upgrades, participate in simulated scenarios based on potential real-world missions, and provide feedback on how they would fight with the new systems. The simulation experiment, or SIMEX, helps the Army evaluate the operational value of the capabilities by determining whether the operators can accomplish the mission under the scenario-based exercise.

“Prior to this fielding, there was no equipment in the Army inventory to do what we’re doing today,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael Flory, an Electronic Warfare Technician for 2nd Cavalry Regiment. “The EW community was organized around that counterinsurgency fight, and you were essentially a staff advisor for other capabilities. Now we are capable of offering the commander not just information, but decisions for him to make and assets he can deploy and control himself.”

Delivered in response to an Operational Needs Statement from U.S. Army Europe, the technologies are interim solutions designed as a bridge to enduring EW programs of record that are still in development. The Army Rapid Capabilities Office and the Project Manager for Electronic Warfare & Cyber teamed with 2nd Cavalry Regiment and other receiving units on a rapid prototyping approach to shape system design, performance, functionality and training to meet operational needs in the near- and mid-term.

“This is the short-term [solution] until something more long-term comes along,” Flory said. “So it really helps to bridge that gap. It helps the commander see the electromagnetic spectrum that he’s responsible for fighting in.”

The 2nd Cavalry Regiment EWOs came from Europe to take part in a two week-long SIMEX, designed to help improve operational understanding and effectiveness of the EW prototypes. The event played out in a MITRE lab in McLean, Virginia, which accommodates over 50 personnel representing the operational roles of “blue” or friendly forces, and “red” or enemy forces. The SIMEX lab provides the appropriate computer infrastructure to conduct simulation experiments with real military Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, or C4ISR, systems.

This experiment allowed the 2nd Cavalry Regiment EWOs to use their newly fielded capabilities in various operationally relevant scenarios in order to identify best tactics, techniques and procedures. The event brought together in one room the Soldiers who use the capabilities, the engineers who are designing them, the project manager responsible for fielding the program of record solution, and the RCO team delivering the interim prototypes.

“Development works out a lot better when you have direct user feedback,” said Capt. Kevin Voss, assistant product manager for Electronic Warfare Integration. “With the SIMEX, we can modify and tweak through constant feedback and constant interaction with the operators. We can map out what they need, based on how they use it in the field.”

One scenario required the EWOs to detect communications between enemy forces’ headquarters and insurgents, then send an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to confirm. Other scenarios involved detecting enemy jammers, networks and UAV communications; determining if a report that their network is being jammed is real or false; and intercepting, detecting, identifying and locating the source of interference that is affecting their communications.

By the end of the SIMEX, which concluded May 4, the Soldiers were becoming experts at utilizing their new kit of capabilities in order to command the electromagnetic spectrum.

“The SIMEX is not focused on the individual system,” said Nickee Abbott, who was one of the lead RCO engineers on the prototypes. “Instead, it’s about integration and operational understanding. It’s looking at the package of capabilities and how the Soldiers leverage that under realistic threat scenarios.”

With the engineers and operators working side by side, some of the suggested changes were made over lunch or by the next morning.

“This is a great way to give feedback,” said Staff Sergeant Justin Dugan, EW Non-Commissioned Officer for 2nd Cavalry Regiment. “It’s an opportunity to spend concentrated hours on the equipment in a simulated environment with the engineers that are developing it, [so we are] able to turn to the engineers or PM and say, ‘Why does it do that instead of this, or could it do this?’ And it’s incredible to see that information go straight from the operators’ thought process into the engineers’ thought process, and [they] immediately start working on it. ”

Flory agreed, adding that the experiment also provided valuable training experience.

“Sometimes there is a disconnect [between] the engineer level and the user at the tactical level,” he said. “We’re trying to help illustrate where we live and fight, versus where they come to work. It’s showing them what is most valuable to us, and they’ve been incredibly receptive.”

The Soldiers also evaluated some new capabilities their fielded prototypes currently don’t have, in order to inform whether future iterations of the EW prototypes or programs of record should include added features, such as a sensor that provides a potentially wider and clearer image of the electromagnetic environment, and improved signal identification. Some software updates to the fielded systems are already on track to be delivered this summer, with additional “Phase 2” upgrades to the prototypes expected throughout 2018 and 2019.

By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest, Army Rapid Capabilities Office

HENSOLDT Presents “TwInvis” Passive Radar for the First Time in Live Operation

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

New sensor demonstrates its capabilities during ILA in Berlin

Munich/Berlin, 25 April 2018 – HENSOLDT, the leading German sensor solutions provider, is presenting its passive radar system called “TwInvis” to the public for the first time in live operation during this year’s International Aerospace Exhibition (ILA) in Berlin. The new product name “TwInvis” is made up from “twin” + “invisible”, as neither TwInvis itself nor the targets to be detected emit any signals on their own, which means that they are “invisible”. The TwInvis system, which can be integrated into an all-terrain vehicle or a van, does not emit its own signals to monitor air traffic, but simply “passively” analyses the echoes of signals from radio or TV stations.

“Our newly developed, highly sensitive digital receivers now make it possible for a single TwInvis system to monitor up to 200 aircraft in 3D within a radius of 250 kilometres. This was unthinkable even just a few years ago,” said HENSOLDT CEO Thomas Müller. “This will open up completely new options for application in such fields as air defence, the protection of large events or air traffic control.”

Working as mere receivers, passive radar systems detect aircraft by analysing the signals that they reflect from existing third-party emissions. HENSOLDT’s TwInvis system excels with a very precise picture of the airspace covered, which is obtained by simultaneously analysing a large number of frequency bands. For example, up to 16 FM transmitters (analogue radio) plus 5 frequencies used by several DAB and DAB+ transmitters (digital radio) as well as DVB-T and DVB-T2 (digital, terrestrial television) can be simultaneously analysed for the first time. Furthermore, HENSOLDT’s new generation of software will provide unprecedented performance in terms of range and precision of detection.

In civil applications, passive radar systems make cost-effective air traffic control possible without any additional emissions and without using transmission frequencies, which are in short supply. In military applications, the system enables wide-area surveillance using networked receivers, while offering the advantage that passive radar systems cannot be located by the enemy and are very hard to jam. Moreover, no agreement is required with any other public authority, as there is no radiation, which allows the system to be quickly ready for deployment in new locations and to also be used in urban areas. This results in another advantage of the new technology: the system can be used in places where coverage was previously inadequate, in particular for example, in mountainous regions.

TwInvis has already shown what it can do in several demonstrations to military customers, air traffic control organisations and other interested parties. Two TwInvis demonstrators have already been delivered to potential customers in Europe.

Darley Defense Days 18 – InstantEye Robotics

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

The Mk 2 GEN-5-D1/D2 sUAS is InstantEye Robotics’ entry for the US Army Soldier Borne Sensor program.

It offers a fully encrypted digital signal for command (GPS or manual) as well as real-time video. The EO/IR sensors are internally gimbaled. The aircraft weighs just 8.8 oz and will fly for about 15 min per sortie. Its service ceiling is 12,000 MSL with a max Speed of 20 mph and will hold station in winds up to 20 MPH. Max video Range is 1km (LOS).

The system includes 2 aircraft, a Tactical Sensor Control, Video Display Tablet, 4 Aircraft/TSC Batteries, Battery Charger, Spares and Transport Case.

www.instanteyerobotics.com

Gold Medal Ceremony: Congress to Honor Office of Strategic Services

Monday, March 5th, 2018

WASHINGTON–On Wednesday, March 21, leaders of the U.S. House and Senate will present a Congressional Gold Medal in honor of the members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) for their historic contributions during World War II.

The OSS, America’s first strategic intelligence system implemented during World War II, is widely considered the foundation of modern day intelligence operations. Founded by General William J. Donovan, a medal of honor recipient, the OSS “organized, trained, supplied, and fought” in the war throughout Europe and Asia and played a decisive role in America’s victory over axis forces. In addition to the civilian population, each military branch contributed personnel to OSS, whose missions resulted in some of the bravest acts of the war and forever changed the course of history.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)will take part in the bipartisan, bicameral ceremony.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor the United States can bestow. In accordance with Public Law 114–269, a single gold medal has been struck to collectively honor the members of the OSS.

The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, March 21 at 3:00 p.m. ET in Emancipation Hall and will be live-streamed on speaker.gov/live. For more on the history of the Congressional Gold Medal, watch this behind-the-scenes video. For press guidance, media should contact their respective congressional media gallery.

-Speaker Ryan Press Office

Army Developing Expeditionary Cyber-Electromagnetic Teams to Support Tactical Commanders

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

FORT IRWIN, Calif. — U.S. Army Cyber Command is deploying Expeditionary Cyber-Electromagnetic Activities Teams to support tactical commanders at National Training Center rotations, and the CEMA operations have tried to replicate real-world operations support through the cyberspace domain.

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Sgt. Camille Coffey, a cyber operations specialist from the Expeditionary Cyber Support Detachment, 782nd Military Intelligence Battalion (Cyber), from Fort Gordon, Ga., provided offensive cyber operations as part of the Cyber-Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) Support to Corps and Below (CSCB) program during the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, National Training Center Rotation 18-03, Jan. 18 – 24, 2018. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Mr. Steven P Stover (INSCOM))

CEMA is an Army initiative designed to provide tactical commanders with integrated cyberspace operations, Department of Defense Information Network operations, Electronic Attack, Electronic Protection, Electronic Warfare Support, Spectrum Management Operations, Intelligence, and Information Operations support/effects.

According to Maj. Wayne Sanders, the ARCYBER CEMA Support to Corps and Below chief, success for the brigade combat team in the cyberspace domain begins at the D-180 planning conference — 180 days before the unit’s NTC rotation.

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Spc. Victorious Fuqua (at the computer), and Staff Sgt. Isaias Laureano, both cyber operations specialists from the Expeditionary Cyber Support Detachment, 782nd Military Intelligence Battalion (Cyber), from Fort Gordon, Ga., provided offensive cyber operations, while Spc. Mark Osterholt pulled security, during the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, National Training Center Rotation 18-03, Jan. 18 – 24, 2018. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Mr. Steven P Stover (INSCOM))

“The biggest thing for the D-180 are the key leader engagements,” said Sanders. “[At those conferences] we can inform the brigade commander about what types of CEMA support we can provide to help him shape conditions for his battle to be able to close with and destroy the enemy.”

Sanders said while he doesn’t foresee BCTs executing their own cyberspace operations organically, he does expect the commander and the staff to have an initial understanding of the CEMA environment and to provide their higher headquarters with a cyber effects request form. He said that if the brigade plans for an expeditionary CEMA capability to be brought out to support their operations correctly “then we can provide that for them.”

“If you’re looking at this from a real-world perspective, if they identify that they are going somewhere in the world — somewhere they would need additional capacity that they may not have coverage for — they can submit that through a CERF, as a request for forces,” said Sanders. “And the beauty of the Expeditionary CEMA Teams is their scalability and reach back.”

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Sgt. Camille Coffey (at the antenna), and Spc. Victorious Fuqua, both cyber operations specialists from the Expeditionary Cyber Support Detachment, 782nd Military Intelligence Battalion (Cyber), from Fort Gordon, Ga., provided offensive cyber operations as part of the Cyber-Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) Support to Corps and Below (CSCB) program during the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, National Training Center Rotation 18-03, Jan. 18 – 24, 2018. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Mr. Steven P Stover (INSCOM))

Sanders explained the ECT concept originated from the Chief of Staff of the Army, who directed the Cyber Support to Corps and Below Pilot in 2015. The pilot tasked ARCYBER to assess the best package of equipment, capability, authorities and personnel to support a BCT.

“That’s why, out of the DOTMLPF-P (Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel, Facilities and Policy) came the need for a force that provides the authorities, the senior and master level expeditionary cyber operators, and a quick turn cyber development capability, that doesn’t exist right now in the Army,” said Sanders. “It provides infrastructure support personnel that can provide the same thing as having people on the ground.”

Sgt. Maj. Jesse Potter, the operations sergeant major for the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber), said that although this is the ninth rotation since 2015, it has been an iterative process to best replicate real-world operations, and more is being learned each time a rotation is conducted.

“We’ve learned that we were a very large logistical burden to the rotational training units. We learned our lessons about the CEMA capability that we can provide to a rotational training unit, and at the same time we were reducing the logistical requirement to provide that capability,” said Potter.

“Eventually, we concluded that an expeditionary mindset, based on the commander’s request for cyber effects, is best fitted with a plug and play capability,” he continued. “Meaning, we need to identify the personnel that fit those requirements, ensure the teams are self-sufficient with a reach back capability to reduce the logistical footprint, in both a flyaway kit, light capability, to a more robust sustained operation, whether in a peer or near-peer environment, permissive or non-permissive environment.”

Potter also said another area ARCYBER is looking at was CEMA support at the division and corps levels. “What’s missing, what’s next, are the division and corps level exercises,” he said. “Enabling the education of the commanders [is] through the institutional arm of the Army, which is primarily the mission of the Cyber Center of Excellence. That is what the CCoE is working toward –incorporating CEMA into all aspects of the PME (Professional Military Education).”

“And then for the higher level exercises, just like we’ve done for the NTC rotations, how does the staff enable cyber based effects that supports the commander’s objectives, and what can they gain from having the cyberspace capability that they currently don’t have?” Potter continued. “Because at the same time, that education will benefit the brigade combat teams.”

Furthermore, ARCYBER is not just looking at the development of the ECT structure and incorporating that support at the division and corps levels — the command is also determining the organizational structure to command and control those ECTs.

“Regarding the ECT structure…you have individuals, put together as a team, predominantly from four separate organizations across three MACOMs (Major Commands) — ARCYBER, Intelligence and Security Command, and the Cyber Center of Excellence,” said Potter. “Moving to an organizational structure whereby the ECTs are part of a larger unit as the force structure solution means we no longer have an organization that’s made up of a hodgepodge of people, further exasperating the issues that we have with the rotational training unit.”

Potter and Sanders said that’s where they are now. Organic ECTs, all assigned to the same unit, and subordinate to ARCYBER will provide the Army with an expeditionary CEMA capability.

ARCYBER used the lessons learned from the past nine NTC rotations to determine the optimized force structure they are proposing to the Army to stand up an organization with all those separate elements that were under different commands, to fall under one command with CEMA capabilities tailored to meet the tactical commander’s objectives.

By Mr. Steven P Stover (INSCOM)

Agility Technologies Launches Revolutionary Wireless Live Streaming 360° Technical Rescue Search Camera

Monday, February 5th, 2018

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Agility Technologies Corporation (ATC) proudly announces FirstLook360 (FL360), the first wireless live streaming 360° technical rescue search camera for the Emergency Services market. FL360 captures seamless high definition live streaming 360° video with wired and wireless connectivity in a ruggedized IP68 housing. FirstLook360 is software/mobile powered containing no moving parts doing away with mechanical motors, gears, pulleys and/or belts used to articulate most of today’s search/tactical cameras. We designed the camera to increase battery life, decrease search times, and allow a multipurpose tool that can be used in various technical rescue, tactical and industrial applications including structural collapse, trench, high-angle, vehicle extrication, tactical surveillance, and industrial inspection.

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The entire FL360 camera is incredibly light, weighing just over 1lb with batteries installed. It has been designed with 360° LED illumination (6 x LED’s) and two mounting points, one at the front of the camera head and one at that rear. At the rear, you can attach the camera to the provided 10ft telescoping extension pole or using a painter’s pole adapter attach any length painters pole to extend the camera to view a 2nd floor, 3rd floor, or 4th floor window before entry. In addition, you can install an eye hook to the rear mount to lower the camera into a confined space using rope or from the roof of a building. The front mount allows you to insert a hook to pull away or remove debris blocking the cameras view (ex. false ceiling, walls, etc.). We can do this because of FL360’s wireless capability and portability.

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With FL360’s accompanying Android application, a user can record 360° video, take snapshots, transmit and receive two-way audio via the robust, multi-use camera head. Using the provided tablet, the operator is able to view an entire space by using a finger with swipe gestures or with the app’s virtual joystick feature to control the focus area and map all recorded media using integrated GPS data.

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Key features of the FL360 Application include:

• FirstLook360 spatial orientation algorithm
• Time, date and GPS data, online map overlay
• Low latency live streaming & recording
• 802.11n MIMO dual antennas Wi-Fi 2.4ghz
• Still image capture
• Sharing of videos and snapshots via Wi-Fi or LTE
• Push-To-Talk controllable Two-Way audio
• Onscreen illumination gradient control for on board ultra-bright LED’s
• Onboard Diagnostics and multiple user preference settings
• Purpose Built and Downloadable Viewer
• Wired and Wireless Operation
• Fingertip Control / Pinch to Zoom

Andy Ibbetson, one of the founders of ATC, commented that, “We set out to put Tech back into Technical Rescue.” FL360 combines advances in technology, imaging, connectivity, mobile integration, and mechanical design that will provide emergency professionals with a multi-purpose advanced camera that we believe will open the door to new methods to save time and improve outcomes.

www.agilitycorp.com

CodeMettle’s NSO Product Receives DoD JITC Certification

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

Atlanta, GA – January 9, 2018 – CodeMettle, LLC an internationally recognized leader in Advanced Data Management, is proud to announce that the DoD’s Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) has certified their Network Service Orchestrator (now branded as ConOptic), the centralized software that manages complex, hybrid, multivendor physical and virtual infrastructure as part of their Approved Product Listing (APL).

JITC, part of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), conducts the highest level of Information Assurance (IA), Interoperability (IO) and Cybersecurity (CS) testing for systems developed to operate within the DoD. These certifications are generally accepted as the gold standard for all mission critical applications in the public sector.

CodeMettle’s ConOptic framework is one of the world’s most innovative and flexible solutions. This type of data management platform automates the process of planning, setting up, and executing a mission across complex hybrid networks comprised of IP, SatCom, Radios, and more; tracking the mission events throughout mission lifecycle providing for comprehensive reporting and future analysis.

Advanced Data Management is a paradigm that supports service providers in arranging, coordinating, and managing computing and network infrastructure resources as a system of components and automated workflows that can be delivered as services to their users/customers. CodeMettle provides the COTS centralized software that simplifies the operation of complex networks, necessary in a high security situation, common within the DoD.

“CodeMettle NSO is the only data management and network orchestration software on the DISA APL making it a uniquely qualified for a multitude of defense and intelligence applications,” stated Richard Graham, CEO of CodeMettle. “As a secure commercial software, CodeMettle NSO is an excellent solution to helping with the DoD’s goal of reducing the number of applications and the greater use of COTS products across the network. CodeMettle powers the One Network concept.”