Defense forces rely on electromagnetic dominance for command, control, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and related applications that use the electromagnetic spectrum. Similarly, spectrum use by our adversaries, coupled with extensive commercial use, yields an increasingly congested space, time and frequency environment. Competition among spectrum demands significant adaptivity and flexibility of our communications systems to ensure uninterrupted communications and achieve mission goals.
The Communications Under Extreme RF Spectrum Conditions (CommEx) program is developing signal detection and reasoning technology that allows radios to recognize interference and jamming, and adapt to maintain communications — even in the presence of severe and/or adaptive jamming and interference sources. CommEx is a fundamentally new approach to anti-jam, interference-resilient communications. The technologies being developed under CommEx bring new approaches to detecting and characterizing interference properties and selecting mitigation strategies that will suppress the corresponding interference. Mitigation techniques may be used in combination to ensure resilience to changes in interference properties. CommEx utilizes uses advanced interference recognition, a broad multi-layer mitigation technique toolbox, and a cognitive strategy-optimization engine that dynamically configures the communications system to maintain operation in demanding environments. Currently, the CommEx technology is being implemented within the Link-16 radio architecture.
Core technologies for operation in highly dynamic and/or high jamming-to-signal environments are being developed to include: automated jamming waveform forensics; local environment assessment (time, space, frequency, polarization); technologies for addressing known attack strategies and interference properties; and antenna, signal processing, modulation, and network optimization technologies. Based on predictions of the level of communication success compared to mission communication requirements, the cognitive radio will choose mitigation techniques that best achieve mission objectives. The cognitive radio will include the capability to analyze and select optimal frequency, waveform, and network configurations during all aspects of a mission. The design effort will lead to new radio communication architectures, more robust communications networking, and better understanding of optimization amongst interference-avoidance and interference-suppression strategies. This program will enable communication among distributed emitters and receivers to provide a capacity multiplier for both locating emitters and assessing the effectiveness of an electronic attack. Technologies developed in this program will transition to the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.
CommEx's technical objective is to develop innovative technologies that make best use of all available domains for adaptive interference suppression. This technology development phase will establish relevant technologies appropriate for the constraints and typical missions of our tactical platforms.
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