Military Embedded Systems

Noise-encrypted radar tech is being developed by U.S. Army


March 18, 2016

Mariana Iriarte

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Noise-encrypted radar tech is being developed by U.S. Army
Photo by U.S. Army

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. U.S. Army Materiel Command's Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center (CERDEC) engineers are developing the Advanced Pulse Compression Noise (APCN) - a tunable, noise-encrypted radar waveform.

The APCN waveform can be programmed in real-time to allow the soldier to optimize radar performance based on the mission. It embodies aspects from traditional and non-traditional radar waveforms.

"Techniques such as real-time re-programmable waveform synthesis and low probability of intercept/low probability of detection (LPI/LPD) provide added capability that will address the emerging electromagnetic spectrum challenges our soldiers are likely to face in the future," says Dr. Paul Zablocky, director of CERDEC's Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate.

"Encrypting our radar waveforms limits the likelihood for adversaries to intercept and exploit our emissions. Programming the waveform in real-time takes this capability even further, and ensures operational effectiveness," says Dr. Mark Govoni, a research scientist in CERDEC I2WD's Radar Division who established the theory and patented the design for the APCN waveform.

CERDEC researchers have investigated the APCN waveform’s capability to be resilient to frequency congestion. The approach theory called “cognitive radar waveform diversity" could minimize challenges with interference.

In an experiment conducted in 2012, CERDEC researches working with the Army Research Laboratory built an experimental demonstrator that served as radar system for the APCN waveform. In the experiment, researches were able to modify the existing waveform and interfere with the system using custom-designed control software. They are currently working to conduct additional experiments with advanced radar waveforms.

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