Raytheon BBN to provide precise timing for surgical electronic warfare jamming system

SAN DIEGO, 9 May 2010. U.S. Navy researchers needed distributed beam forming, clock synchronization, and node localization techniques for an experimental electronic warfare system able to perform surgical jamming of enemy communications and navigation. They found their solution from BBN Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon Co., in Cambridge, Mass.

May 9th, 2010

SAN DIEGO, 9 May 2010. U.S. Navy researchers needed distributed beam forming, clock synchronization, and node localization techniques for an experimental electronic warfare system able to perform surgical jamming of enemy communications and navigation. They found their solution from BBN Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon Co., in Cambridge, Mass.

Scientists at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) in San Diego are awarding Raytheon BBN Technologies an $8.3 million research contract to support the Precision Electronic Warfare (PREW) initiative, which seeks to focus electronic jamming on areas as small as a city block, and leave adjacent areas unaffected.

The PREW system is intended to jam enemy electronics by combining and focusing power inside a small area of interest, while minimizing the RF energy's coherency when operating elsewhere to limit its effects on friendly forces. PREW is intended to jam only the specific target area, but not nearby areas.

The PREW concept envisions an array of 40 or more electronic warfare nodes with synchronized clocks that align the signal from each node to focus jamming at the desired location. SPAWAR researchers would like to start deploying the PREW system in 2013.

Key technology challenges of the PREW initiative include oscillator synchronization, accurate pointing, and energy control to degrade the quality of service of the intended target, while minimizing the system's effects on collateral devices.

The recent introduction of accurate timing devices and techniques to synchronize dispersed clocks are key enablers to developing a PREW system. Precision timing should help provide the precise and coherent projection of energy onto targets, on the order of a city block corner, with minimal interference to the surrounding area.

SPAWAR's contract to Raytheon BBN Technologies includes options that could bring its cumulative value to as much as $15.2 million. Raytheon BBN experts will do the work in Arlington, Va., and should be finished by November 2011. Awarding the contract is the SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific in San Diego.

The PREW approach is different from the U.S. military's large expensive electronic warfare systems today, which deny communications and navigation services to entire region of operations -- friend and enemy alike.

For more information contact Raytheon BBN Technologies online at www.bbn.com, or the SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific at http://enterprise.spawar.navy.mil.

More in Computers