BAE Systems to develop new battlefield sensors

America’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has selected BAE Systems to develop miniaturised, unattended ground sensors capable of detecting, identifying and jamming communications and radar signals.

America’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected BAE Systems to develop miniaturised, unattended ground sensors capable of detecting, identifying and jamming communications and radar threat signals for the WolfPack program.

BAE Systems Information & Electronic Warfare Systems (IEWS), Nashua, New Hampshire, received a two-year, $22.8 million award from DARPA’s Advanced Technology Office on March 25.

The WolfPack program, estimated to cost more than $40 million, will provide technologies that help the military monitor and disrupt enemy communications and radar signals, while protecting friendly communications.

In statement released in February 2001, DAPRA stated that the WolfPack program would incorporate high-efficiency, sub-resonant antenna design (20 megahertz to 2.5 gigahertz); low-power, wide-band signal collection (300 gigahertz per second at 40 watts average power) and processing capabilities.

The program would also incorporate ad-hoc networking solutions (with no fixed infrastructure or base-stations) and high-performance routing algorithms operating at fewer than 100 microseconds of latency; and distributed algorithms for detection, geo-location, and identification of radio-frequency emissions to rapidly classify the radio-frequency environment.

Ultimately, WolfPack will consist of small, unattended sensors that can be placed at areas of interest by a variety of methods. Once deployed, individual ‘wolves’ (sensors), self-organize into ‘packs’ to determine optimum detection and jamming strategies. In each ‘pack,’ gateway nodes provide data to users, and the system can detect and jam many threat signals.

WolfPack will use BAE Systems’ Signal Intelligence Diamond Software Architecture and will be interoperable with the Adaptive Joint C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, and Computer, Intelligence and Reconnaissance) program, which IEWS is also developing for DARPA.

Aaron Penkacik, vice president of IEWS Advanced Systems and Technology organization, said, ‘This critical future capability is important to the military. It is likely to change the way our forces prosecute electronic warfare missions such as surveillance and electronic countermeasures.’

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