Common Operational Specific Emitter Identification (SEI) functionality for sustained Electronic Warfare (EW) systems
ABSTRACT: This SBIR develops and evaluates innovative Specific Emitter Feature (SEF) techniques using multiple algorithms for"Operational Specific Emitter Identification (SEI)", aka Specific Emitter Tracking (SET) or Combat Identification (CID), to provide a common functionality for sustained Electronic Warfare (EW) systems. The effort leverages RAS multi-technique extraction and fusion algorithms addressing modern emitters and the Multi-Technique SEI Test-bed (FPGAs and C/C++) developed for AFRL. In Phase I, existing and new government and RAS concepts are investigated and performance assessed in resolving ambiguities among emitters of the same type operating at the same RF, Mode and"beam". Automatic, adaptive feature extraction, match algorithm selection, and provisional library updates minimize operator interaction and provide high confidence reports. Representative, stressing conventional, very narrow, long pulse width and intentionally modulated signals are investigated and characterized. A demonstration concept for assessing the feasibility of implementing SEI technology into current EW systems is formulated. In Phase II an SEI/SEF enhanced subsystem prototype is developed, integrated with a candidate EW system, and demonstrated in a laboratory environment using real-world emitter data to show increased identification performance. After Phase II, RAS will work with platform primes and the government to provide a technology demonstration on an operational tactical platform. BENEFIT: The key benefit provided to the government by this SBIR is improved situational awareness, thereby providing enhanced survivability, of which several cases can envisioned. Examples include ambiguity resolution between emitters of the same type at the same RF, PW and PRI; enhanced threat warning and self-protection against radar-guided airborne and ground-based threats; reduction in lost and fragmented tracks; friendly signal interference recognition and mitigation; proper correlation of RF agile emitters; and proper assessment of raid count thereby providing more efficient allocation of resources to counter the threat. Other possible benefits include tracking specific platforms suspected of carrying contraband, WMD or supporting GWOT, enhanced spectrum management, identifying particular platforms (air and surface) from day-to-day in theater enhancing real-time EOB and PIN update accuracy, and finally in supporting kill removal, damage assessment and EOB updates when a particular signal is no longer observed over time. Improved Emitter ID is obtained with the proposed approach as automatic intentional modulation on pulse (IMOP) measurements, shown on other programs to reduce emitter ID ambiguity, is inherently provided (more robust emitter features are selected based on modulation type). Automatic processing and machine learning reduce operator workload, essential in today"s reduced manpower military. This provides real-time capability for use in today"s fast paced changing net-worked battle space supporting modern con-ops by providing interoperable SEI /SET reports, using RAS automatic receiver equalization developed on AFRL research projects, with confidence levels and geo-location information. Specific benefits of the RAS technical approach are discussed in the proposal. The concepts to be demonstrated during this effort have numerous military and commercial applications. They can be employed in a wide variety of operating environments for both tactical and strategic missions encompassing Electronic Attack or Countermeasures (EA/ECM), Electronic Support Measures (ES/ESM), Radar Warning Receivers (RWR), Electronics Intelligence (ELINT) systems and missions where multiple same type signals must be intercepted, characterized and responded to rapidly. The initial military commercialization application to be addressed under this topic is tactical airborne platforms, primarily the USAF F-22 and F-35 (JSF). Another potential AF application is the AF B-2 Defense Management System (DMS). Other possibilities include the NAVY F-18E/F digital receiver upgrade ALR-67(v3) and NAVY surface/sub-surface applications. RAS is concurrently working a NAVY (NUWC) Phase II SBIR Unique Emitter ID program, with AN/BLQ-10 (V) EW Modernization applications, of which many aspects of this SBIR will be leveraged. Another example is the NAVSEA Surface EW Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block II with COTS NDI hardware and FPGA based digital receiver and precision measurement requirements. Although there may be unique emitter functions on board, algorithms from this SBIR would have application in future upgrades. RAS will explore, with the COTR, applications to these programs as well as others recommended by the government to transition Phase II technology into a Phase III. Potential applications in the private sector include passive tracking of RF devices such as cell phones, wireless waveform characterization, fidelity assessment and classification and RF identification verification as well as spectrum assessment and (re)allocation. These will be explored in more detail in Phase I and Phase II.
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Vice President of Defense
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