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Electronic Threat Detection for Countermeasure Support

Description:

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Advanced Computing and Software

 

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

 

OBJECTIVE: Demonstrate a technology capable of extracting actionable information from in real-time and wideband electronic threats including low-probability-of-intercept (LPI)/low-probability-of-detection (LPD) transmissions to support electronic attack countermeasures. For this technology, develop a set of performance metrics to identify which threats may be identified, and what information may be extracted from the detected threat.

 

DESCRIPTION: Knowledge of the electromagnetic battlefield is imperative for any situational awareness (SA) system. Monitoring persistent threats allows for appropriate countermeasures and the development of effective tactics to neutralize or exploit them. Such threats may include unauthorized communication signals in our networks or red force communications, radar emissions, and other forms of electronic warfare signals. These SA systems must be able to identify threats quickly and accurately in dynamic operational environments to provide meaningful information to an operator or Electronic Warfare (EW) system. These environments may include adverse conditions such as dense, irrelevant signals density (a “noisy environment”), weak signals with low-signal-to-noise ratios, LPI/LPD transmissions, heavy cosite interference, and jamming. LPI/LPI threats can include waveforms that employ fast frequency hopping or Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum techniques (DSSS).

 

Proposals must define a detailed path to an experimental demonstration of the proposed threat detection mechanisms during the Phase I period and an expanded plan for demonstrating a functional prototype platform before the end of the Phase II period. Phase I should include a detailed synopsis of the technology’s threat information extraction capabilities, its limitations, a roadmap to overcome these limitations, and a feasible proposed platform for Phase II execution. A successful Phase II should include a non-hardened prototype capable of ingesting real-time data and characterize the prototype in terms of the performance metrics defined in Phase I. It is anticipated that the hardware elements sufficient to develop, test, and demonstrate electronic threat detection already exist. Therefore, the proposed effort should utilize Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) hardware as much as practical.

 

Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. owned and operated with no foreign influence as defined by 32 U.S.C. § 2004.20 et seq., National Industrial Security Program Executive Agent and Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been implemented and approved by the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) formerly Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances. This will allow contractor personnel to perform on advanced phases of this project as set forth by DCSA and NAVAIR in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material during the advanced phases of this contract IAW the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM), which can be found at Title 32, Part 2004.20 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

 

PHASE I: Demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed wideband threat detection mechanisms of countermeasure support functionality. The threshold and objective performance of wideband threat waveform are 1 GHz and 2 GHz respectively. A successful Phase I should include a detailed synopsis of the technology’s threat information extraction capabilities, its limitations, a roadmap to overcome these limitations, and a feasible proposed platform for Phase II execution. Prepare a preliminary Phase II plan that describes how to scale the performance metrics explored within the Phase I feasibility study. The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.

 

PHASE II: Develop a prototype system that can demonstrate the threat information extraction performed in Phase I. Include a non-hardened prototype capable of ingesting real-time data and characterize the prototype in terms of the performance metrics defined in Phase I. Phase II shall overcome the technical limitations outlined in Phase I, and further quantify which limitations are insurmountable and therefore bound the scope of system capabilities.

 

Work in Phase II may become classified. Please see note in Description paragraph.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Include the demonstrated prototype in an end-to-end receiver demonstration for a classified program.

The importance of encrypted communications has become obvious to many industries after their demonstration by the criminal world. If the signals are hard to detect, the pressure on the robustness of password keys is sharply reduced.

 

REFERENCES:

  1. Elmasry, G. F. “Tactical wireless communications and networks: Design concepts and challenges.” John Wiley & Sons, 2012. https://www.worldcat.org/title/860533972
  2. Yochim, J. A. “The vulnerabilities of unmanned aircraft system common data links to electronic attack [Master’s thesis, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.” Defense Technical Information Center, 2010. https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/ADA525301.pdf
  3. Zohuri, B. “Electronic countermeasure and electronic counter-countermeasure.” Radar Energy Warfare and the Challenges of Stealth Technology, 2020, pp. 111-145. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-40619-6_2
  4. “National Industrial Security Program Executive Agent and Operating Manual (NISP), 32 U.S.C. § 2004.20 et seq. 1993”. https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-32/subtitle-B/chapter-XX/part-2004

 

KEYWORDS: Low-probability-of-detection; low-probability-of-interception; situational awareness; EW counter-measures; threat recognition; digital signal processing

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