JED - June 2016 - 33

TECHNOLOGY SURVEY

A SAMPLING OF COMMUNICATIONS JAMMERS AND RCIED JAMMERS
By Ollie Holt

RF memory (DFRM). By using DFRM, techniques were
devised that allow the RF spectrum to be shared between tactical communications systems and RCIED
jammers. As RCIEDs became more sophisticated,
however, moving from simple remote phones to cell
phones, jammers also moved to these technologies
using digital sampling and signal processing techniques to detect possible RCIED signals and jam or
block these signals, while allowing normal communication to continue.
Both communication and RCIED jammers come in
two varieties: either a broadband jammer that denies
any communication, or a selective jammer that first
detects the signal to be jammed and then generates
the desired code to disrupt or deny the transfer of
any useful information. This survey looks at both
types of systems.
Some of the important characteristics to look for
in a communication or RCIED jammer are frequency
coverage, technique capability and generation, mode
of operation (barrage jamming or selective), and output power. The frequency coverage should cover at
least the frequency range of the signals of interest.
The mode of operation is important if you desire to
allow selective communication but deny others. If
you use a barrage jamming system, you will likely
interfere with all friend and foe communications
covered by the frequency range of the jammer. Barrage jamming may be more desirable than selective
jamming in RCIED jamming, however. In the case of
an RCIED, it is easier and more reliable to deny all
communications as opposed to trying to intercept
and jam the signal, because a rapid response time
is required to prevent RCIED triggering. If selective
jamming is important, you must also determine how
quickly you need to detect the signal and start jamming. The user must also decide if the jammer is able
to generate the techniques needed to deny successful communication on the communication links in
the battle area.
Next month, we will look at airborne radar
jammers.

The Journal of Electronic Defense | June 2016

T

his month's technology survey looks
at communications jammers and radiocontrolled improvised explosive device
(RCIED) jammers. This introduction will
focus primarily on RCIED jammers, as
RCIEDs have continued to evolve and
continue to pose a significant threat. Their widespread use has led to many new RCIED jammer offerings, which we will cover in this survey.
RCIEDs are on-command explosive devices triggered by an RF signal that usually has a code embedded in the signal. When an RCIED receiver detects
the correct frequency, it must also receive the correct code on that signal to trigger the device. If the
RCIED were merely triggered by an RF signal at a select frequency (and no specific code was needed),
it could be triggered with any RF transmission and
could therefore trigger at the wrong time. A triggering device only responds to an RF signal with a selection modulation pattern to prevent this inadvertent
triggering. Many different radio control devices exist to perform the transmitter and receiver triggering function. Most of these devices are very simple,
cost little and are available in your home for controlling household items (i.e., cell phones and garage
door openers). The most typical method of countering these devices is to prevent the triggering device
from detecting the signal with an RCIED jammer.
The RCIED jammer provides RF interference that
disrupts or denies the triggering process within the
receiver. One of the side effects of using RCIED jammers, though, is that they also disrupt communication in those frequency bands, which potentially
puts the warfighter at additional risk.
The simplest method of preventing RCIEDs from
triggering is jamming with high-power wideband
noise to prevent any RF signal from being received
by the RCIED. Many RCIED jammers have evolved
from wideband noise to a chirped waveform designed
to put energy into specific channels that the RCIED
operates on, and thus prevent largescale disruption
of communication.
After the chirped waveform design, the next
step in RCIED jammer designs was to use a digital

33



JED - June 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - June 2016

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Advances in COMINT/ DF Systems
Technology Survey: Communications and IED Jammers
SIGINT History
EW 101
Report from the 45th Annual Collaborative EW Symposium
AOC News
2016 AOC International Election Guide
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - June 2016 - cover1
JED - June 2016 - cover2
JED - June 2016 - 3
JED - June 2016 - 4
JED - June 2016 - 5
JED - June 2016 - The View From Here
JED - June 2016 - 7
JED - June 2016 - Conferences Calendar
JED - June 2016 - 9
JED - June 2016 - Courses Calendar
JED - June 2016 - 11
JED - June 2016 - From the President
JED - June 2016 - 13
JED - June 2016 - 14
JED - June 2016 - The Monitor
JED - June 2016 - 16
JED - June 2016 - 17
JED - June 2016 - 18
JED - June 2016 - 19
JED - June 2016 - 20
JED - June 2016 - 21
JED - June 2016 - Washington Report
JED - June 2016 - 23
JED - June 2016 - World Report
JED - June 2016 - 25
JED - June 2016 - Advances in COMINT/ DF Systems
JED - June 2016 - 27
JED - June 2016 - 28
JED - June 2016 - 29
JED - June 2016 - 30
JED - June 2016 - 31
JED - June 2016 - 32
JED - June 2016 - Technology Survey: Communications and IED Jammers
JED - June 2016 - 34
JED - June 2016 - 35
JED - June 2016 - 36
JED - June 2016 - 37
JED - June 2016 - 38
JED - June 2016 - 39
JED - June 2016 - 40
JED - June 2016 - 41
JED - June 2016 - 42
JED - June 2016 - SIGINT History
JED - June 2016 - 44
JED - June 2016 - 45
JED - June 2016 - EW 101
JED - June 2016 - 47
JED - June 2016 - Report from the 45th Annual Collaborative EW Symposium
JED - June 2016 - 49
JED - June 2016 - AOC News
JED - June 2016 - 2016 AOC International Election Guide
JED - June 2016 - 52
JED - June 2016 - 53
JED - June 2016 - 54
JED - June 2016 - 55
JED - June 2016 - 56
JED - June 2016 - Index of Advertisers
JED - June 2016 - JED Quick Look
JED - June 2016 - cover3
JED - June 2016 - cover4
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