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Advanced Software Defined Radio Capabilities and Information Dominance


OBJECTIVE: Investigate and validate Software Defined Radio (SDR) based, multi-function portable network sensing and intrusion detection algorithms suitable for small dismounted radio platforms. DoD military SDRs in the battlefield will be in close proximity to hostile foreign networks and have the potential to be cognizant of their surrounding Radio Frequency (RF) environment. Applications need to be investigated that utilize the SDR"s ability to sense the presence of other wireless networks, monitor those networks and detect hostile intrusion attempts. The multi-function capability will support Command and Control (C2) standard sensor interfaces carried in the field and sensor data exfiltration. DESCRIPTION: Dismounted and Special Forces personnel have to rapidly adapt to hostile environments and need to acquire relevant operational information as quickly as possible. SDRs are poised to deliver a paradigm shift in operational awareness on the battlefield as a platform that can sense the surrounding RF environment. The ability to sense the electromagnetic spectrum, along with onboard computing capabilities provides a platform that can quickly deliver electronic information not previously available to the operator. To realize the full potential benefits of an RF cognizant, mobile computing device (or SDR), dynamic network sensing and discovery techniques, as well as defensive algorithms will be required. This effort will focus on the discovery and engagement of local area wireless communications networks encountered in the battlefield, utilizing the unique capabilities of SDRs such as the JTRS Man Pack and Rifleman Radio. The access shall include, as mission requirements dictate, a capability to join IEEE standard 802.11/16 wireless networks, Automatic Identification System (AIS), low bandwidth links, SATCOM and/or cellular; e.g. Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks, in addition to military communications systems. There are many challenges presented by this research, among them is how to adapt the newest Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology, board level and software/firmware design, with control logic that is agile, survivable and cost effective. Significant consideration must also be given to Size, Weight and Power (SWAP) and Electromagnetic Interference/Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMI/EMC) packaging, and hardware/software integration. PHASE I: Propose algorithms and develop a system design that can protect forward deployed Internet Protocol (IP) based, networked radios that encounter hostile RF environments and defend against potential network threats. Provide a design and define the cost/performance trade space based on state of the art networking, RF and SDR technology roadmaps. PHASE II: Demonstrate state of the art algorithms that sense the presence of wireless networks and detect network intrusion attempts by first utilizing Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) wireless equipment. Immediately following the network intrusion detection algorithm proof-of-concept, implement the software in an SDR radio such as the JTRS Manpack and/or Handheld type platforms. Substantiate the trade space by models and simulations and documented industry projections. PHASE III: Utilizing feedback from end users, conduct additional real life testing in various operational environments. Identify other DoD and Federal programs that will benefit from small tactical SDRs capable of sensing wireless networks and preventing network intrusions. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL USE APPLICATION: SDR technology is rapidly being adopted by the military as well as civilian first responders. In the near future all users of radio equipment, industry wide will demand adaptable, re-configurable, software defined radios. The performer on this effort will be well poised to answer the demand for better security strategies and intrusion detection software.
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