Sponsored by Spectra Group
31 Jan 19. Rohde & Schwarz presents VNAs with multiport architecture for measurements from 100 kHz to 40 GHz. The new R&S ZNBT40 from Rohde & Schwarz is the first vector network analyzer (VNA) with a broad frequency range from 100 kHz to 40 GHz and up to 24 integrated test ports. Developers can use it for applications such as measurements on 5G antenna arrays. The multiport architecture is not only advantageous for tests on multiport components, but also for simultaneous testing of multiple DUTs in production to boost throughput. Rohde & Schwarz ensures specified performance on up to 24 test ports with the R&S ZNBT40. Also new is the R&S ZNBT26 for measurements up to 26.5 GHz. Thanks to its frequency range up to 40 GHz, manufacturers of active and passive components can use the new R&S ZNBT40 vector network analyzer for a wide variety of multi-antenna communications systems (MIMO, SISO, MISO), including radar systems for the A&D sector. It is perfect for measurements on frontend modules, antenna arrays and beamformer chips for 5G NR. It measures up to 24 test ports at the same time, enabling measurements on multiport components as well as simultaneous parallel measurements on multiple DUTs. The R&S ZNBT is currently the only multiport vector network analyzer that can measure in the frequency spectrum below 300 kHz, making it ideal for specification tests in accordance with various standards such as USB-C. The R&S ZNBT allows users to perform signal integrity tests in order to check crosstalk or length offset between lines or to detect faults in cables. Depending on the system to be measured, the R&S ZNBT40 is the right choice for measurements in development, service, and especially in production where substantial time and cost savings can be achieved by making up to 24 measurements in parallel.
Assured measurement characteristics on all test ports
In addition to measuring S-parameters on multiport devices, the R&S ZNBT VNAs can perform phase measurements on up to 24 signals. Rohde & Schwarz ensures specified performance on all R&S ZNBT test ports. Users can count on long-term measurement stability thanks to the instrument’s excellent raw RF data.
The new multiport vector network analyzers R&S ZNBT40 and R&S ZNBT26 are the latest members of the tried and tested R&S ZNBT family consisting of the R&S ZNBT8 (9 kHz to 8.5 GHz) and the R&S ZNBT20 (100 kHz to 20 GHz). These analyzers can also be equipped with up to 24 integrated test ports. The new 26.5 GHz R&S ZNBT26 and 40 GHz R&S ZNBT40 are available now from Rohde & Schwarz. For more information, visit www.rohde-schwarz.com/ad/press/znbt40
30 Jan 19. ADECS 2019: EW advantage at risk of being lost. Senior figures within the EW community have warned how armed forces risk ‘losing the advantage’ across the battlespace due to the development and proliferation of more advanced military technologies by near-peer adversaries. Addressing delegates at the EW Asia conference in Singapore on 29 January 2019, Association of Old Crows (AOC) president, Muddy Watters, warned: ‘We are entering an era where coalition domination on the sea, in the skies and in space can no longer be taken for granted.’
Citing emerging and mature capabilities of North Korea, China and Russia as well as violent extremist organisations and other asymmetric threats, Watters warned of rapid technology developments in ‘hyper-velocity, directed energy, swarming, undersea and space’ weapons before calling for armed forces to better organise EW, cyber and electromagnetic (EM) spectrum operations.
These requirements, Watters continued, must feature multi-domain command and control, joint and coalition operations, enhanced training, rapid integration of new capabilities, and keeping pace with threats through technology.
‘We operate and fight in the EM spectrum [and must] provide the commander the ability/option to deliver effects on the battlefield,’ he highlighted, while referencing potential employment of both kinetic and non-kinetic solutions to neutralise threats.
Watters also called for investment in ‘adaptive, cognitive, swarming and multifunction technologies’ as well as faster decision and acquisition cycles to secure and field EW equipment.
Highlighting the Asia-Pacific region in particular, he went onto call for greater levels in information sharing, freedom of the seas and coalition activities in order to deter conflict and coercion and regain the technological advantage.
‘Operations through a jamming and GPS-denied environment will be the norm. We must address security as an integral part of all systems and improve mission tasking of sea, land, air, space, cyber and EW assets to increase mission effectiveness.
‘No matter how relevant our original mission, no organisation can afford to shackle itself to the goals, programmes and operating methods year after year. The war-fighting environment will continue to change – the [EM] spectrum is our manoeuvre space and we need to own it,’ Watters concluded.
Similar sentiments were shared by Alasdair McInnes, programme leader, EW, Defence Science and Technology Group, Australian Department of Defence, who also warned how the community must ‘address challenges’ to support EW into the future.
Areas of interest include competing across an increasingly complex EM environment against more numerous, networked and EM-capable platforms. Critical challenges to future EW capabilities, he added, will include the conduct of EW as part of an integrated and networked force, where EM situation awareness would become increasingly difficult to achieve.
‘We see the environment continue to change so quickly. We are heading into a joint world although it is not necessarily seamless at the moment,’ McInnes described to delegates, before suggesting, ‘We must use artificial intelligence and machine learning to support cognitive EW, adopting that where it makes sense.’ (Source: Shephard)
29 Jan 19. ADECS 2019: Russia and China exploit the Internet of Everything. One presenter at the ADECS 2019 conference warned of the growing threat posed as the world rushes headlong towards the Internet of Everything (IoE), whereby enemies ‘can destroy countries by cyber alone’.
Prof David Stupples, director of electronic warfare systems research at City University of London, commented on the threat posed by countries such as Russia, China and North Korea ‘in an era where “information warfare” will proceed or replace “kinetic warfare”’.
This leads to the pertinent question of how countries should defend themselves, ‘including aggressive response’. In other words, perhaps oxymoronically, should you retaliate first against a potential cyberthreat?
Stupples elaborated, ‘Russia is at the forefront in information warfare in the modern age, utilising an array of organisations and strategies to spread disinformation to further national strategy…’
China is little different. Although it is not collaborating with Russia, it is following similar doctrines. ‘China has built up kinetic assets, but also in the IW realm.’
The English professor quoted a Chinese strategist named Wang Xiangsui, who said in 2015: ‘Our new threat is not to involve a direct confrontation between one country and another. Today it is no longer guns against guns, airplane against airplane or tank against tank.’
Wang said, ‘Confrontation takes many forms in many different areas, e.g. in economics, finance and the media. The object of this new kind of conflict is the same as military confrontation. It is to force the opponent to accept our rules.’
Russia, China and North Korea have advantages in that their efforts are highly centralised and easier to control.
Threat vectors available to them include, amongst others, communications network attacks, cyberespionage, cyberterrorism, cybercrime, infrastructure attacks, fake news and influencing public opinion.
Stupples warned, ‘The aim is to break the economy of nations to establish world dominance – you should be aware that it is happening around us.’
He added that the rest of the world ‘is making it easy for them,’ because there are millions of potential vectors an enemy can use as we move from the Internet of Things (IoT) to the IoE, whereby copious amounts of data and network intelligence are added to bind all the concepts together into a cohesive intelligent system. Furthermore, threat vectors for bad players are growing exponentially with the IoE.
Simply put, because everyone and everything is connected, ‘information warfare can surreptitiously get at society to influence thinking, behaviour and wellbeing’.
Stupples commented, ‘This is the dangerous bit. I think it gets scary.’ Everything from secure police systems to manufacturing processes to the energy industry are being connected. ‘Everything is available to everyone if you have the passwords.’
For instance, just imagine if just-in-time logistics was tampered with by a hostile force. It could bring various industries to a standstill as they run out of materials. Gateways between military and commercial entities are also at risk.
Big Data today may have variety, velocity and volume, but it does not necessarily have veracity. Indeed, fake news has existed from time immemorial, but in the past you would have had to read sources such as Pravda to come across it. Now, however, it spreads rapidly on social media.
Stupples stated you can secure the IoE against some things, but you can’t protect all of it. He noted that ‘security research of IoT appears to be point focused or is addressing known weak points and not understanding the issues’.
One area of research for Stupples is developing dynamic spiders with cognitive abilities that roam the IoE looking for network interference, examining and testing for patterns that are at variance with what is expected. However, such research is in its early stages.
‘If you don’t think outside the box, you just won’t do it. The typical ways that we’re protecting systems now just won’t work because we’ve always been behind the curve… What the Russians and Chinese are doing, they’re researching ahead of that and we’ll never catch up. So, therefore, what we have to do is to use these new methods.’
Huawei is much in the news nowadays, and Stupples said he believes the risk with this Chinese conglomerate is that they put malware in their software, which allows them to steal IP and other secrets from networks.
Such malware would also allow China to stop or jam networks. Referring to Huawei, Stupples declared, ‘I have a real problem with that.’ (Source: Shephard)
28 Jan 19. Lockheed Martin scores critical Army airborne electronic warfare contract. The Army has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to work on the service’s first of its kind airborne electronic warfare pod that will be used to provide brigade commanders a new jamming capability that the Army says will provide the commander a competitive advantage by denying and degrading enemy capabilities. Through a rapid prototyping contract vehicle, Lockheed Martin was awarded two sequential 18-month phased efforts for the Multi-Function Electronic Warfare (MFEW) Air Large program, a spokesman, Brandon Pollachek, from Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (IEW&S) told C4ISRNET in response to written questions. The terms of the contract have not been disclosed.
MFEW Air Large is a pod that will be mounted aboard an MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft and will provide brigade commanders two new capabilities. The first is the ability an organic electronic attack, or jamming, and the second is electronic support capabilities, which is essentially the sensing of the electromagnetic spectrum environment. Officials and members of the defense industry have also noted MFEW Air Large includes requirements to conduct cyberattacks.
For years, the Army has been intensifying a years’ long campaign to introduce both cyber and EW capability at the tactical edge. The former has not previously existed. They also want to restore EW capability at all echelons and levels of the battlefield all the way up to the strategic level in response to similar sophisticated capabilities exhibited by Russia. Given the expected ubiquity of electronic warfare in future battlefields, these new capabilities are viewed as critical.
Pollachek said the MFEW Air Large design is based on a Lockheed Martin development called Silent Crow, which was successfully demonstrated and provides a number of electronic warfare capabilities that meet the MFEW requirements.
According to Pollachek, in the first phase of the contract Lockheed will deliver one prototype system and demonstrate airborne electronic attack and electronic support capabilities aboard a surrogate aircraft.
After completion of the first phase, Lockheed Martin will deliver four systems to be integrated aboard Gray Eagles. Phase 2 is planned for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020.
Based on the success of Lockheed’s Silent Crow, Pollachek said the Army is evaluating options to accelerate the program and potentially bring the capabilities to the Army faster, as early as fourth quarter fiscal year 2019. The original MFEW program was slated to be phased over several years, first with aerial capabilities, then by adding ground vehicle capabilities and dismounted soldier capabilities. Recently, however, the Army decided to get rid of MFEW ground element in favor of a new integrated capability with the military intelligence tribe.
The Army developers working on MFEW ground realized that their intelligence brethren were developing almost an identical capability, so the two bodies decided to join forces. The new air capability, the Terrestrial Layer System, is a SIGINT/EW system projected to be fielded on vehicles to provide brigade commanders a means to deliver the electronic attack effects. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
28 Jan 19. New Russian EW battalion to cover Siberian border region. An electronic warfare (EW) battalion will be formed by the end of 2019 in Russia’s Central Military District (CMD) as part of the 41st Combined Arms Army, based in Novosibirsk, local media reports.
Its role, as described by the CMD on 23 January, is “disrupting the command and control of enemy forces and systems”. It will cover the Novosibirsk and Kemerovo regions, and the Altai and Tuva republics bordering Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Russia’s narrow western frontier with China. The unit’s equipment will reportedly include the Orlan-10 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system with an EW suite as part of the Leer-3 EW system. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
28 Jan 19. BAE Systems to undertake ‘Project Heisenberg’ of upgraded F-35 EW suite. The programme office for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) will award BAE Systems a sole-source contract to conduct flights trials of the aircraft’s future electronic warfare (EW) and countermeasures suite. The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) disclosed on 25 January that BAE Systems will conduct tests of a modified version of its AN/ASQ-239A suite aboard the CATBird surrogate test aircraft. This demonstration of elements of the EW/countermeasures suite on the modified Boeing 737 airliner known as the Cooperative Avionics Test Bed (CATBird) is referred to as Project Heisenberg.
“This effort provides risk reduction and early assessment of C2D2 [Continuous Capability Development and Delivery]/Block 4 EW capabilities, along with evaluation of the associated mission data files,” NAVAIR said, adding, “The scope of work required for this effort consists of proposing, developing, integrating, deploying, and operating a modified AN/ASQ-239A suite in a receive-only flight-test/demonstration configuration.”
This contract supports the multiple variants of the F-35, with an award anticipated for the third quarter of fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019).
As noted by BAE Systems, the AN/ASQ-239 system protects the F-35 against current and emerging threats. “Equipped with offensive and defensive electronic warfare options for the pilot and aircraft, the suite provides fully integrated radar warning, targeting support, and self-protection, to detect and defeat surface and airborne threats.”
The company added, “The system provides the pilot with maximum situational awareness, helping to identify, monitor, analyse, and respond to potential threats. Advanced avionics and sensors provide a real-time, 360° view of the battlespace, helping to maximise detection ranges and provide the pilot with options to evade, engage, counter, or jam threats.
“Always active, AN/ASQ-239 provides all-aspect, broadband protection, allowing the F-35 to reach well-defended targets and suppress enemy radars. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Jan 19. Silvus Technologies unveils enhanced MN-MIMO radio waveform. Silvus Technologies has unveiled an enhancement to its Mobile Networked-Multiple Input and Multiple Output (MN-MIMO) waveform, designed to support connectivity of forward deployed troops operating in contested environments. The Los Angeles-based communications company has designed the Mobile Ad Hoc Networking (MANET) Interference Avoidance (MAN-IA) feature to provide cognitive radio capabilities to its StreamCaster family of software-defined radios (including the SC4200 and SC4400) operating in the presence of electromagnetic interference.
Jimi Henderson, vice-president of sales at the company, told Jane’s the MAN-IA algorithm could ‘sense interference’ within a network before automatically switching to a more efficient channel to maintain connectivity.
“MAN-IA is constantly monitoring a plurality of channels or operating frequencies of all radios within the network,” Henderson said. “MAN-IA uses that sensing to assess the network quality on each channel. If MAN-IA detects the onset of electromagnetic interference in the current channel anywhere in the network, it will rapidly switch all radios in the network to a more suitable band or channel.
“This feature was designed to allow tactical users to operate through intentional or unintentional interference at operational tempo,” Henderson said. He added that the technology could also support video surveillance applications, where MAN-IA can “react sufficiently fast” to the onset of a jammer so that the network maintains a “glitch-free” video stream.
According to Silvus Technologies, the MAN-IA user interface can support an unlimited number of connected nodes across an area of operation, and the interface can support unlimited ranges in communications associated with any line-of-sight MANET. Henderson also said the technology could support the full range of gigahertz-operating frequencies.
The MAN-IA radio interface can provide a graphical representation of the network’s performance for each radio, as well as each individual MANET channel, which Henderson said enables the operator to “visualise the state of the network and provide the ability to localise the sources of interference”. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
Spectra Group Plc
Spectra has a proven record of accomplishment – with over 15 years of experience in delivering secure communications and cybersecurity solutions for governments around the globe; elite militaries; and private enterprises of all sizes.
As a dynamic, agile, security accredited organisation, Spectra can leverage this experience to deliver Cyber Advisory and secure Hosted and Managed Solutions on time, to spec and on budget, ensuring compliance with industry standards and best practices.
Spectra’s SlingShot® is a unique low SWaP system that enables in-service U/VHF tactical radios to utilise Inmarsat’s commercial satellite network for BLOS COTM. Including omnidirectional antenna for the man, vehicle, maritime and aviation platforms, the tactical net can broadcast over 1000s miles between forward units and a rear HQ, no matter how or where the deployment. Unlike many BLOS options, SlingShot maintains full COTM (Communications On The Move) capability and low size and weight
On 23 November 2017, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd announced that it had recently been listed as a Top 100 Government SME Supplier for 2015-2016 by the UK Crown Commercial Services
Spectra’s CEO, Simon Davies, was awarded 2017 BATTLESPACE Businessman of the Year by BATTLESPACE magazine and is a finalist in the inaugural British Ex-Forces In Business Awards in the Innovator Of The Year category.
Founded in 2002, the Company is based in Hereford, UK and holds ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.