Processing Signals In High Density Electromagnetic Environments
Navy SBIR FY2008.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2008.2
Topic No.: N08-165
Topic Title: Processing Signals In High Density Electromagnetic Environments
Proposal No.: N082-165-0004
Firm: Research Associates of Syracuse
6780 Northern Blvd
Ste 100
East Syracuse, New York 13057
Contact: Skip Mansur
Phone: (315) 339-4800
Web Site:
Abstract: Signal detection and measurement of signals of interest in the presence of high power in-band emissions from own-ship emitters using a multi-pronged system approach is proposed versus using one single technique. Due to the large signal levels of on-board emitters and resulting large dynamic range under which low-level signals must be detected while maintaining spectral coverage, RAS proposes a suite of techniques starting with the Electronic Support system front-end to mitigate RF component saturation through the customized signal detection and processing paths. Adaptive signal suppression is incorporated with RF selectable filtering, attenuation, and/or limiting. Signal processing techniques include time-frequency excision of large signals, pulse interference detection and characterization and ICA. Existing RAS FPGA designs and expertise for real-time parameter measurements, advanced techniques for characterizing intentional modulation on pulse, precision parameter measurement, Fourier transforms, and Wigner-Ville / Hough processing will be leveraged. Automatic resource management and knowledge and use of own-ship radar transmission parameters and timing will be included based on SEWIP Block 2 architectures. Requirements and the system architecture will be developed and algorithms characterized using a MATLABTM model. The hardware feasibility study will establish a baseline for Phase II development in open architecture COTS hardware.
Benefits: The output of this program will be a robust approach providing the ES system the capability to work within large onboard signal interference. Key benefits include increased electromagnetic monitoring under stressing, simultaneous, own-ship conditions, thereby improving situational awareness and ultimately platform survivability. Wider instantaneous frequency coverage may now be employed with much larger dynamic range than currently deployed systems as the impacts of interfering signals can be mitigated. This will provide the Navy an increased ability to utilize the spectrum where it chooses. Another benefit of the combined approach is the ability to detect low-level pulse signals in the presence of large pulses with one technique and low-level CW pulses with a second technique while still providing detection of high-level desired pulses in the presence of either simultaneous CW or pulsed interference. Our top-level corporate commercialization strategy to develop key algorithms and processes instantiated in FPGA cores and/or software modules will enable a more rapid transition to operational use. The proposed program builds on proven FPGA development, algorithm development, and testing expertise. The use of common non-proprietary design tools and COTS or non-developmental hardware to host the FPGA cores and software modules eliminates the need for custom hardware. Our plan to work with a prime contractor early in the program as a partner will provide access to their electronic warfare tools, prototype systems, and expertise as well as support during Phase II for development, integration, and transition planning. For the prototype, we propose to use the same types of COTS hardware identified for the SEWIP ES suites. This commonality coupled with the open architecture concept and established contractor relationship will enable rapid transition to the fleet. Specifically, the techniques developed for this effort are initially targeted for the SEWIP Block II (NAVSEA Surface EW Improvement Program). During the Phase I time frame, RAS will, with the SBIR COTR, explore applications to this and other various Navy programs and develop a suitable transition plan for technology insertion. We have initiated discussions with Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors (LM M2S) and received an endorsement letter supporting this effort for SEWIP applications. Another potential candidate application for this SBIR technology is the SPAWAR PMW-180 Ship's Signals Exploitation Equipment Increment F and G (SSEE). We believe there are potential applications to the new HGHS system program (NAVSEA Crane) based on our recent discussions with LM M2S. We expect the techniques will have numerous other military and commercial applications and can be employed in a variety of other Electronic Warfare (EW), RADAR, COMINT, or MASINT programs. RAS will work with NAVSEA but also contact AFRL, NAVAIR; I2WD; the Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC), and other DoD agencies for applications to transition the Phase II technology to Phase III programs. Another potential program that could utilize an interference mitigation capability is the AMRDEC Common ESM for Air Defense (CESAD) Program being developed by Lockheed Martin Systems Integration and supported by Research Associates of Syracuse. A second program insertion opportunity is the AFRL Multi-Bandwidth Adaptive Time / Frequency (MBAT) Processor Military Intelligence Program (FY08 start) which incorporates a robust wideband capability suitable for processing wideband and LPI signals for airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). We have had discussions with General Dynamics (Surface EW Improvement Program), Raytheon (MFEW Program for SEWIP insertion) and L3-Communications (Future Airborne ISR and ELINT 2010) on SBIR transition and will continue discussions of these SBIR concepts as candidates for transition to their developmental systems. The interference reduction, detection, and mitigation techniques proposed have applications to both commercial and military communications. The software techniques could be transitioned to software defined radios, such as the JTRS radio family products, for product improvement. This will enable systems (smart radios) to more quickly and more accurately sense and adapt to the ever increasingly crowded electromagnetic environment so spectrum control can be maintained.