EW jammers use cell phone technology

Engineers at the Computer Sciences Corp. Systems Engineering Division at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., needed a way to sense jamming signals without actually broadcasting them.

Oct 1st, 1998

Engineers at the Computer Sciences Corp. Systems Engineering Division at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., needed a way to sense jamming signals without actually broadcasting them.

Broadcasting jammed signals is unacceptable for two reasons: (1) the RF signals also would interfere with other communications, including civilian communications, and (2) for security reasons, they didn`t want anybody to know what potential threat signals they were aware of.

Their solution, for a U.S. Army system known as the Modular Covert Remote Electronic Warfare Simulator, or MCREWS, was to use a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solution from Radio Design Group Inc. of Grants Pass, Ore.

Radio Design experts connect a sensor to the antenna of each tactical radio to be tested in a simulated jamming situation. The Radio Design box would receive a beacon signal transmitted in the clear, but would then generate the stored threat signal needed for the exercise. MCREWS covers the frequency band of 30 to 450 MHz to provide EW jamming for all the Army`s principal tactical radios.

The COTS connection is Radio Design`s previous work on low-cost commercial RF products - including filters - for pagers and cell phones. These units also use beacon signals to carry signals from cell sites, and the technology was readily transferable to the MCREWS project.

Jim Hendershot, Radio Design Group president, estimates this solution cut the Army`s costs to one-fourth of what a fully militarized system would run. Cell phones also have to operate in temperature extremes, he adds. Tests of the prototype units are due to begin this month at Fort Huachuca. - J.R.

For more information about the Radio Design Group jamming simulator, contact Jim Hendershot by phone at 541-471-1100, by fax at 541-471-3489, by post at 3810 Almar Rd., Grants Pass, Ore. 97527, by e-mail at jimh@radiodesign.com, or on the World Wide Web athttp://www.radiodesign.com.

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