Navy to develop next-generation JCREW 3.3 IED detection and electronic warfare technologies

Nov. 17, 2009
ARLINGTON, Va., 17 Nov. 2009. U.S. Navy researchers are kicking off a program to develop the next-generation Joint Counter Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (JCREW) 3.3 system to detect and jam enemy improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Posted by John Keller

ARLINGTON, Va., 17 Nov. 2009. U.S. Navy researchers are kicking off a program to develop the next-generation Joint Counter Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (JCREW) 3.3 system to detect and jam enemy improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Arlington, Va., is issuing a broad agency announcement (BAA 10-003) for the JCREW 3.3 science and technology (S&T) program to improve existing JCREW IED detection and electronic warfare system hardware, software, techniques, and technologies.

First off, ONR scientists are interested in improved JCREW antennas. These should be lightweight, rugged, broadband mid-LF to mid-EHF antennas for vehicles and foot soldiers that make the most of bandwidth and keep reflected transmitted energy to a minimum.

These antennas must be able to transmit and receive simultaneously, handle hundreds of Watts of power for vehicle applications, tens of Watts for foot soldier applications, and provide communications and electronic warfare capabilities, direction finding, and geolocation of RF emission sources.

New JCREW software defined radio receivers and transmitters must be small, lightweight, low-power software-defined radio transceivers that operate from mid-LF to mid-EHF frequencies with wide instantaneous bandwidth, high dynamic range, and small-resolution bandwidths.

These transceivers must be instantaneous bandwidth on the order of 500 MHz per channel, dynamic range of more than 10 bits, and resolution bandwidth of 1 to 20 kHz. The transceivers must be able to operate in the presence of out-of-band, high-power transmissions with co-located transmit and receive and antennas.

These transceiver components must be able to support more than 100 MHz per channel instantaneous bandwidth, efficiencies of more than 40 percent.

Signal-generation equipment for JCREW 3.3 must be able to generate several simultaneous and coherent jamming waveforms with low noise in response to detected RF emissions.

Jamming responses will require high-speed activation up to GHz bandwidths and digitally controllable parameters and waveform selection to ease integration into closed-loop architectures. Waveform generations must be able to switch between waveforms at nanosecond speeds to support on-demand signal delivery for transmitters.

Of particular interest to ONR scientists are direct digital synthesizers (DDS), arbitrary waveform generators (AWG), and digital radio frequency memory (DRFM) technologies, or some hybrid of these technologies. Also of major interest are software-defined radio (SDR) approaches that support electronic warfare and communications waveforms from a common waveform generator

The JCREW 3.3 IED detection and electronic warfare system must be able to map the RF environment rapidly to provide real-time RF situational awareness for signal-processing tools, quickly discriminate between hostile RF trigger signals from background RF noise, and locate threats to focus jamming efforts.

In addition, ONR scientists are interested in multisensor fusion capability to blend JCREW systems with nearby infrared and other electro-optical sensors, as well as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance sensors over a network.

ONR scientists also want advanced packaging and cooling techniques, scalable open architectures, electronics and photonics techniques to eliminate the need to blank the receiver when transmitting and receiving from one aperture, and any other technologies that would improve existing JCREW systems.

This job is potentially worth $12.5 million over two years to the successful bidder in federal fiscal years 2010 and 20110.

Northrop Grumman Information Systems in San Diego is the prime contractor for the current JCREW program. Other companies involved include ITT Defense Electronics & Services segment in McLean, Va. and Sierra Nevada Corp. in Sparks, Nev.

For technical questions on the JCREW 3.3 S&T program, contact David Tremper at ONR by e-mail at [email protected], Lee Mastroianni at [email protected]. For business questions, contact Jennifer Williams at [email protected], or Vera Carroll at [email protected].

White papers are due by 3 p.m. eastern time 4 Jan. 2010, and full proposals are due by 3 p.m. 2 Feb. 2010. White papers must be submitted only by e-mail to David Tremper and Lee Mastroianni at Lee Mastroianni. Failure to submit a white paper renders a company ineligible to submit a proposal.

More information is available online at


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