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Archive for the ‘CEMA’ Category

ARDRONIS Locate Compact Fully SAPIENT Compliant

Monday, November 6th, 2023

Rohde & Schwarz successfully prove ARDRONIS Locate Compact fully compliant with new SAPIENT standard protocol for use in counter UAS missions, as part of NATO Technical Interoperability Exercise.

Munich, October 2023 — Rohde & Schwarz has proven its new ARDRONIS Locate Compact system for use in counter unmanned aerial systems (C-UAS) missions. Integrated through the new SAPIENT standard protocol and tested at the NATO Technical Interoperability Exercise (TIE) event at Vredepeel in the Netherlands, the solution automatically detects and identifies drones based on their broadband video radio signals.

The NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) organized exercise C-UAS TIE 23 that brought together civilian and military specialists, as well as over 60 industry participants. This exercise tested counter-drone technologies to make sure different systems could communicate and work together instantly.

Rohde & Schwarz is committed to supporting the standardization system of NATO and is SAPIENT compliant. The company is working to simplify the integration of its system into larger systems. The SAPIENT protocol allows data from sensors, effectors, and cyber to be converted into a common language and shared across networks supporting the CUAV mission.

Anne Stephan, Vice President Critical Infrastructure & Network, Rohde & Schwarz, said, “We are excited to launch ARDRONIS Locate Compact in November. We are committed to advancing and testing the SAPIENT interface and supporting the standardization system of NATO. Our goal is to simplify the integration of our system into larger systems.”

ARDRONIS Locate Compact from Rohde & Schwarz is designed to be cost-effective and can be used to monitor large areas that require a greater number of antennas and radio direction finders. It is suitable for fixed installations such as airports, large industrial or military facilities, as well as for semi-transportable systems that can be set up and operated by a single person for short-term area surveillance, such as protecting political VIPs during public appearances or military positions.

The Ghost Robotics Vision-60 As ISR Platform

Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

A lot has been made of the weaponization of ground robots. Much of it is is due to our fascination with science fiction. No sooner is an image shared online like the one above of a robot armed with a machine gun than the comments about “Skynet” and “Terminators” kick in. But what is lost on most is why we developed robots in the first place. It wasn’t to deliver a lethal effect; there are lots of ways to make that happen. Robots were created as helpers, in order to remove humans from environments which might endanger them.

We’ve also got to accept a truth which is lost on many. The robot isn’t the capability, it’s the vehicle which delivers the capability. We desire effect and that requires various capabilities which come in the form of payloads. What makes various types of robots more desirable over others is how they deliver the payload to the right place, at the right time, to have the right effect. We use robots to reduce risk, particularly to humans.

Take for instance this image from last week’s DSEI show in London. We see a Ghost Robotics Vision 60 Quadraped – Unmanned Ground Vehicle carrying another robot, in this case an unmanned aerial system configured for an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance role. This combination may be perfect, depending on the operational environment. It may be highly lethal to humans and require close access to the target of the surveillance.

To be sure, there are definite reasons to weaponize ground robots. They can be used in overwatch for example, or to guard perimeters. But in each case, they are desirable in these roles because they take a human out of a threat environment. Recently, the US Army stated that it wants to place a Next Generation Squad Weapon XM7 rifle, firing the new 6.8mm cartridge on a Vision 60 Q-UGV. There are technical challenges which a couple of commercial companies have worked through, but it can be done. The question is, “why?” What effect do they believe it will provide? Is it the right payload for that platform?

During the Robotics track of next week’s NDIA sponsored Future Forces Capabilities event in Huntsville, Alabama, you’ll see a lot of talk of various means to weaponize robots. It makes sense considering the event evolved from annual small arms and armaments meetings. However, we need more participation from the ISR community in this event.

The air side of unmanned systems has taken the opposite path. Long dominated by collection activities, they’ve only more recently integrated kinetic weapons delivery to their repertoire.

I believe the best use of at least the smaller classes of ground robots is as platforms for various sensors, including ISR, CBRN and as comms relay nodes for these and others. Persistent access to items of intelligence value puts operators at risk. What’s more, the task is time consuming and boring. a human’s efforts are best spent elsewhere, like considering how to use the data being vacuumed by a multitude of robots fitted witg various collection payloads.

As a former SIGINTer and Intelligence officer I’ve been thinking a lot about how to use ground robots for ISR. There is a lot of synergy to be had between the air, subsurface (maritime), and ground robotics communities when it comes to payloads. We need more interest from the developers of sensors in utilizing ground robots of various classes as platforms and cross talk between the various warfighter communities.

Robots are coming to the battlespace. It’s up to us to determine how to best use them. Some will be armed and some will conduct ISR. Others will serve as logistics enablers and communications nodes.

We need to brainstorm ways to get the most out of our investment in ground-based unmanned systems. Soon, I’ll share a concept I’ve come up with to use Vision 60 Q-UGVs to access challenging terrain and environments to conduct Multi-Int persistent ground surveillance.

-Eric Graves

Editor

Army Announces Terrestrial Layer System – Brigade Combat Team (TLS BCT) Manpack Prototype OTA Agreement

Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, MD – After more than six months of competitive white papers and technical evaluations for the Terrestrial Layer System – Brigade Combat Team (TLS BCT) Manpack, the U.S. Army entered into an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreement through the Consortium for Command, Control, and Communications in Cyberspace (C5) with Mastodon Design, LLC to support Phase 1 – Prototype Build and Demonstration. The agreement totals $1,521,490 for a 9-month Period of Performance.

The TLS BCT Manpack system will be a tailorable, modular, terrestrial capability that allows the integration of Signals Intelligence and Electromagnetic Warfare collection, processing, exploitation, reporting, and effects capabilities for SIGINT Collection Team and Electromagnetic Warfare Team elements. TLS BCT Manpack will provide the Brigade Combat Team commander a tactical advantage with agility and improved intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting in Multi-Domain Operations.

“The TLS BCT Manpack compliments the TLS BCT and TLS Echelons Above Brigade (TLS EAB) family of systems with a shared and open systems approach that creates the flexibility and efficiencies needed against a highly adaptive threat,” said Kenneth Strayer, Project Manager, Electronic Warfare and Cyber (PM EW&C). PM EW&C plans to transition the TLS BCT Manpack from prototyping to production in FY2024.

SPX CommTech Launches Latest Transportable Tactical COMINT 953 RF Receiver

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023

• New Communications Intelligence (COMINT) Radio Frequency Receiver delivers superior threat analysis at a time of heightened electronic warfare activity.

• 953 COMINT Radio Frequency Receiver will be exhibited for the first time at DSEI 2023.

Wappenham, UK, 22 August 2023  – SPX CommTech, formed by TCI and ECS, today launches its next generation 953 Communications Intelligence (COMINT) Radio Frequency (RF) Receiver for superior identification, direction-finding, and tracking of hostile RF signals to support COMINT and Counter-UAS tactical operations. It will be exhibited for the first time at DSEI, Excel London, on stand H2-874, between 12-15 September 2023. 

The new 953 COMINT RF Receiver builds on the success of its predecessor and now boasts reduced size and weight, but with greater power. This makes the device portable for dismounted operations and easily mounted on a vehicle to support mobility operations. For example, it can be carried to an elevated position in a dismounted role, such as a tactical position only accessible on foot or on top of a high-rise building, to ensure the antenna is situated at height for optimum signal detection and increased range.

The 953 COMINT RF Receiver performs continuous, unmanned, remote, and real-time signal collection up to 80MHz bandwidth across a frequency of up to 40GHz for signal monitoring, collection, and direction-finding. This bandwidth delivers a sweet spot between monitoring sufficient signal breadth and amplitude to ensure quality and accuracy in identifying threats.

The 953 COMINT RF Receiver is powered with removable hot-swappable batteries for round-the-clock use. The new compact chassis is IP-67 rated to withstand temperatures up to 50°C to deliver full operational capability in extreme hostile climatic environments. It also boasts increased removable storage of up to 2 TB for enhanced data capture. 

“All around the world, heightened political, military and societal tension, and the growing use of electronic warfare, demonstrates the unparalleled importance of managing and understanding the RF spectrum today. Threat analysis and response are critical to global security, so we are excited to welcome the next generation product of our successful RF range, currently used across 20 countries,” says Graeme Forsyth, Counter-UAS Product Manager at SPX CommTech.

The 953 COMINT RF Receiver is powered by SPX CommTech’s well-renowned Blackbird software application, which detects, identifies, direction-finds and tracks signals of interest to support, find, fix and strike operations, and mitigate electronic warfare threats. It also tracks the RF emission of UAVs and their controllers or Data Links to support counter-responses. Blackbird can record the signal environment for look-back analysis without interrupting the current mission. It simplifies the collection task and can trigger automated actions and support unattended operations.

Utilising part of the 953 COMINT RF Receiver, Blackbird also uses geolocation to enable defence teams to visualise the location of the frequencies for improved intelligence-gathering and threat management. Blackbird’s intuitive point-and-click user experience suits all skill levels and is an evolution of the proven intuitive interface in previous models. This ensures minimal training requirements for existing customers while enabling new users to master the system quickly.

The new 953 COMINT RF Receiver is backwards compatible with previous COMINT versions and other technologies from SPX CommTech, for cost avoidance, uninterrupted service and seamless scalability for our users. It can also be integrated with open-source or customer-supplied mapping and other integrations.

The 953 COMINT RF Receiver is available today, and current COMINT models in service with customers will continue to be supported by SPX CommTech. 

For more information, visit www.tcibr.com. Book a time to discuss your COMINT needs with us at DSEI (Excel London, 12-15 September 2023) by emailing [email protected].

MDM 23 – S R Technologies Next Generation Tactical Chassis

Thursday, June 29th, 2023

S R Technologies displayed a form factor model for the Marine Corps’ upcoming Expeditionary Dismount Backpack solution for EW/SIGINT missions. It incorporates two swappable payload slots, active cooling fans, and an advanced thermal cold wall design. It’s powered by two swappable BA-5590 batteries or can be attached to vehicle or shore power.

It utilizes Sensor Open System Architecture which relies on the use of cards inserted into a chassis to configure Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) systems rather than building a completely new system every time it needs to be modernized.

Rohde & Schwarz Presents Next Generation EW Solutions at SOFINS

Thursday, March 30th, 2023

As a systems partner and integrator for enhanced situational awareness and network monitoring, Rohde & Schwarz will present its latest and innovative portfolios of cutting-edge electronic warfare (EW) solutions for spectrum dominance and mission success.

Camp de Souge, France March 28, 2023 – Rohde & Schwarz supports missions with scalable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) systems that can be integrated in various platforms. Exchangeable sensor subsystems are available and can be used in manual or automated EW. This year’s Special Operations Forces Innovation Network Seminar (SOFINS) will be held at the Camp de Souge military base in France’s Gironde Department from March 28 to 30, 2023 and Rohde & Schwarz will showcase their next generation EW system components.

One core system component is the new R&S UMS400 lightweight universal monitoring system. It is a core COMINT component and a good fit for any platform thanks to its brilliant radio performance and reduced size, weight and power (SWaP). The R&S UMS400 is crucial for gathering actionable intelligence, creating situational awareness and participating in larger ISR multi sensor missions. It is also used for operations focusing on force protection and small-scale emitter hunting.

The R&S PR200 portable monitoring receiver is indispensable when searching for and analyzing known and unknown radio emissions and localizing signal sources. The R&S PR200 can handle typical mobile spectrum monitoring, spectrum clearance, interference hunting and site testing tasks in both indoor and outdoor environments. The receiver is compact, battery-powered and easy-to-operate. It can help measure network performance for on-site signals in the frequency and time domain, analyze online signals in combination with PC based signal analysis software in COMINT applications or detect and locate miniature transmitters indoors with a differential spectrum.

The R&S EM200 digital compact receiver has a wide frequency range that supports spectrum monitoring and direction finding with minimal SWaP will also be on display. The R&S EM200 is an ideal I/Q source for continuous wideband data collection, effective radio reconnaissance and situational awareness. The R&S TSMA6 autonomous mobile network scanner, an integrated solution for high speed LTE-5G NR testing, will also be showcased.

Rohde & Schwarz is a key partner to the armed forces, law enforcement, government authorities as well as domestic and international security organizations. The company produces high technology solutions at company-owned sites with a deep industrial value chains and vertical integration. The sensor, antenna and software portfolios provide cutting-edge EW solutions for spectrum dominance and situational awareness. They can also monitor congested RF spectra for improved spectrum awareness, interference hunting and coverage and occupancy measurements.

First-Ever Multi-Domain Effects Crews Increase Readiness at Fort Huachuca

Thursday, March 2nd, 2023

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. — Senior leaders from across the Army converged on Fort Huachuca on Feb. 13, to observe a new development in Army Modernization: the successful conclusion of the 1st Multi-Domain Effects Battalion’s inaugural exercise, conducted on the newly built 1st Lt. John R. Fox Multi-Domain Operations Non-Kinetic Range Complex.

Throughout the day, the 1st MDEB demonstrated a wide array of non-kinetic effects, highlighting the significance of this milestone in the 1st Multi-Domain Task Force’s path to become fully operationally capable.

The Multi-Domain Effects Battalion, assigned to the 1st Multi-Domain Task Force, has the mission of employing non-kinetic effects to deter adversary aggression in the Pacific.

The commander of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca, Maj. Gen. Anthony Hale, hosted the visiting party, consisting of almost 50 general officers and senior leaders, to demonstrate the effects of a collaborative effort to create realistic training and to test Army crews on using technologies and hardware that no military on earth has ever before fielded.

“This is a great opportunity for Fort Huachuca to show our unique capabilities in the electromagnetic spectrum on the 1st Lt. John R. Fox range,” said Hale. “We have 700 acres of training area, we have 1,500 square miles of restricted airspace, and since we are surrounded by mountains, we can keep the electrons in our range complex. And this really allows the MDEB to come out here and really test their capabilities to train on their systems that they are going to deploy with into theater.”

Completion of this range complex marks the culmination of two years of collaborative effort, starting when the Chief of Staff of the Army approved Fort Huachuca for a planning task to develop the first multi-domain operations-capable range.

“We have been testing equipment for the Army and for the joint force for over 70 years now we are bringing this training capability, not only to the Army, but to the joint force,” said Hale. “The MDEB is training their teams on their equipment that they will deploy with into theater and use. As we do that in the joint environment, that makes everybody better in our warfighting capabilities.”

Soldiers training on this new range complex emerged with an enhanced understanding of multi-domain operations and their important role in the Pacific region, ultimately to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“This will certainly be a key component of our training program as we move forward,” said Brig. Gen. Bernard Harrington, commander of the 1st Multi-Domain Task Force. “As our Soldiers go through this training, they are rehearsing their individual and small unit tasks in preparation to deploy forward in theater and operate in a real-world environment.”

This exercise is a major milestone, and a critical part of a massive Department of Defense effort to modernize the force and prevent future conflicts.

“The Army and the Department of Defense is taking on the largest modernization effort in the last four decades,” said Peter Don, Senior Technical Advisor for USAICoE and Fort Huachuca. “We realized that as we modernized our kit, our capabilities, and our formation, our ranges were not keeping pace and would not allow us to work through the next generation of weapon systems, collection systems, and also have us work through our warfighting functions and concepts. So, we wanted to create an environment and a range and a training area that would allow us to train and certify our Soldiers on their weapon systems, but also explore and expose different technology that will allow us to adjust how we need to fight.”

Story by LTC Derek Wamsley, 1st Multi-Domain Task Force

Photos by SFC Henrique De Holleben

Department of the Air Force to Conduct Hackathon

Monday, February 6th, 2023

WASHINGTON (AFNS) —

The Department of the Air Force will conduct its next “BRAVO” hackathon March 20 – 24, 2023, this time at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

Any American citizen may apply, regardless of whether they currently work for the Department of the Air Force. Applicants are required to apply online here. Applicants should apply by Feb. 15.

Attendees are not required to hold a security clearance. However, certain spaces, use cases, and datasets may require a U.S. secret security clearance or higher. Organizers may request additional information for clearances that applicants possess. Applicants may apply as an employee for the U.S. government, a U.S. government contractor, or a U.S. citizen either affiliated or unaffiliated with a company.

A hackathon is an innovation event commonly employed by technology companies in which teams develop prototypes working around the clock in response to enterprise challenges associated with data. Prior BRAVO projects have produced multiple prototypes and inventions influencing major Defense Department programs.

Federal government employees and federal contractors representing federal organizations are encouraged to share sponsoring use cases, data, or infrastructure relevant to the primary mission of the Department of Defense for use at this event by contacting [email protected].

“Across the previous hackathons, we have honed methods to build and fight with classified and protected data of increasingly larger size and varied origin,” said Stuart Wagner, chief digital transformation officer for the U.S. Department of the Air Force and hackathon organizer. “Hurlburt Field will prototype joint use cases, data and software infrastructures from combatant commands and various military departments.”

In January 2022, the department ran BRAVO 0, its first department-wide classified innovation hackathon with Air Force weapons system data at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. BRAVO 1 Canary Release grew the effort when in July 2022, the department ran its second hackathon simultaneously at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; Patrick Space Force Base, Florida; and Eglin AFB, Florida, with about 300 hackers.

BRAVO allows participants to rapidly commingle and run open-source software and data otherwise unapproved for production with classified or protected data.

“BRAVO moves from the traditional DoD development model operating at the unclassified level where we push code up to protected environments, to a permissive development model on protected data, which we refer to as ‘Dev High,’” Wagner said. “This enables developers to build weapons’ capabilities and calibrations directly with the data at lower cost compared to traditional prototyping pipelines and at a rate faster than an adversary is likely to build countering capability. This event will test how ‘Dev High’ scales to joint multi-domain use cases.”

Applicants looking to participate may do so in one of three roles. The “Hacker” role is open to all applicants and expects project builders with varying skill sets and experience, including software development, data science, machine learning, design and user interface/user design, data visualization, product management or warfighter subject matter expertise.

The “Subject Matter Expert” role is open only to government and government contractors and supports multiple teams with specific expertise or knowledge about a use case or dataset offered at the event. Any federal organization is eligible to supply a use case or dataset for consideration.

The “Supporter” role is open only to government and government contractors and provides administrative support to the event by running security, facilitating supplies delivery, organizing social events, and facilitating the delivery of science fair materials and attendee check-in.

Organizations providing infrastructure support include the “STITCHES” Warfighter Application Team, the Navy Project Overmatch program, Project Arc, Office of the Secretary of Defense Advana Edge and Air Force Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office. All five U.S. military services and U.S. Special Operations Command provide use cases and data.

The BRAVO hackathon series is named after “Project B,” a 1921 series of joint Army-Navy target exercises based on Army Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell’s then-controversial claim that bombers sink battleships. Also styled after Project B, BRAVO hackathons are designed to allow government, academia, industry and citizens to test and validate bold ideas using real DoD data, Wagner said.

Story by Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Photo by TSgt Tabatha Arellano