JED - December 2016 - 56

Regaining the Advantage -

O

By John Knowles

The Journal of Electronic Defense | December 2016

56

One of the most exciting trends in electronic warfare (EW) today is the leap
toward cognitive EW technology. Programs such as DARPA's Adaptive Radar
Countermeasures (ARC) and Behavioral
Learning for Adaptive Electronic Warfare (BLADE), as well as AFRL's Precise
Reference Sensing for Cognitive EW
(PRESENCE), are among the first examples of this new generation of cognitive EW technology that promises to
keep EW one step ahead of threat systems that are operating across wider
bandwidths and feature much better RF
agility than the previous generation of
threats. However, this emerging area
of cognitive EW can seem complex and
downright confusing at times because
everything about it is just so, well, new.
Lots of important aspects of cognitive
EW, including its label and what it actually implies, are not settled matters
within the EW community. At the same
time, as the EW community forges ahead
with cognitive EW technology development and exploring new cognitive systems concepts, it is clear that we are
just beginning to scratch the surface
of what cognitive technology will mean
not only to EW, and its inclusion within
EMS Operations (EMSO) but to all areas
of defense electronics and all operations
within the EMS.

COGNITIVE VS. ADAPTIVE
One of the most frustrating aspects
of this emerging technology area is simply trying to determine what to call it.
The two leading terms are "cognitive
EW" and "adaptive EW." Some people
think the terms are interchangeable
while others believe there are important
distinctions between these terms. Here
is what they say about them:
Josh Niedzwiecki, Director of Sensor Processing and Exploitation at BAE
Systems Electronic Systems: "The vernacular is currently being evolved in
the community, but I believe it is im-

portant to make the distinction. Adaptive EW focuses on capability that
adapts to the threat environment in
real-time and automatically changes
EW techniques based on the changing
characteristics of the threat. Cognitive EW is one step beyond this, where
the EW system not only adapts based
on what it observes but it also uses Artificial Intelligence (machine learning)
to actually learn what EW technique
is working best at any given time and
remembers that so the next time it encounters those threat characteristics
again it goes immediately to that technique. If the threat evolves, the cognitive EW system identifies changes and
tries multiple techniques until it finds
one that works best and remembers it
for next time. This is much like how
a human learns. Based on our past experiences we make our best judgment
about how to respond to a situation,
and if we do not get the desired response we try something else until we
get the response we desire. We remember this and use that knowledge next
time we encounter a similar situation.
In machine learning, this is referred
to as reinforcement learning. With our
cognitive EW technology, we use these
techniques to both adapt and learn
during the mission."
Tom Szumowski, Senior Engineer,
Advanced Technology Laboratories
(ATL), Lockheed Martin: "I do see an
important distinction between the two.
For BLADE, I think it's safe to use the
term cognitive EW. For more generic
discussion, adaptive can be fine too.
Here's my thought on the distinction:
Adaptive  means recognizing a change
in your operating environment and
modifying your behavior as a result.
Some examples: Target changes transmit bandwidth, so the system adapts receive resources to match bandwidth. It
is a shorter-timescale response and does
not necessarily require learning.

"Cognitive on the other hand not
just recognizes changes in the environment, but it also makes assessments on
the effect of those changes. Moreover,
given that assessment, it coordinates
and adjusts potentially a sequence of
responses in order to achieve a longer
term goal. Cognitive can incorporate
longer timescale planning, downstream
decision error correction, and long-term
incremental learning."
Dr. Alan Rosenwinkel, Senior Engineer, Advanced Technology Laboratories
(ATL), Lockheed Martin: "Many systems are 'adaptive,' but the adaptation
typically happens as a set of responses
codified by rules based a small set of
predefined inputs and a predetermined
set of actions. I think cognitive implies
that the system either has learned (offline) or can learn (online) some aspect



JED - December 2016

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

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Interview: Col Jeffrey N. Aldridge, USAF
Interview: US Rep. Joe Pitts
The Future of Airborne Electronic Attack
Regaining the Advantage – Cognitive Electronic Warfare
Technology Survey: Flightline and Portable EW Simulators
AOC EW Singapore Preview
New Products
Report from the 2016 EW GCC Conference
Crows in the Community
The Heat is On
EW 101
Report from the 2016 AOC CEMA Conference
2016 AOC Award Winners
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - December 2016 - cover1
JED - December 2016 - cover2
JED - December 2016 - 3
JED - December 2016 - 4
JED - December 2016 - 5
JED - December 2016 - The View From Here
JED - December 2016 - 7
JED - December 2016 - Conferences Calendar
JED - December 2016 - 9
JED - December 2016 - Courses Calendar
JED - December 2016 - 11
JED - December 2016 - From the President
JED - December 2016 - 13
JED - December 2016 - 14
JED - December 2016 - The Monitor
JED - December 2016 - insert1
JED - December 2016 - insert2
JED - December 2016 - 16
JED - December 2016 - 17
JED - December 2016 - 18
JED - December 2016 - 19
JED - December 2016 - 20
JED - December 2016 - 21
JED - December 2016 - 22
JED - December 2016 - 23
JED - December 2016 - 24
JED - December 2016 - 25
JED - December 2016 - Washington Report
JED - December 2016 - 27
JED - December 2016 - World Report
JED - December 2016 - 29
JED - December 2016 - Interview: Col Jeffrey N. Aldridge, USAF
JED - December 2016 - 31
JED - December 2016 - 32
JED - December 2016 - 33
JED - December 2016 - Interview: US Rep. Joe Pitts
JED - December 2016 - 35
JED - December 2016 - 36
JED - December 2016 - 37
JED - December 2016 - The Future of Airborne Electronic Attack
JED - December 2016 - 39
JED - December 2016 - 40
JED - December 2016 - 41
JED - December 2016 - 42
JED - December 2016 - 43
JED - December 2016 - 44
JED - December 2016 - 45
JED - December 2016 - 46
JED - December 2016 - 47
JED - December 2016 - 48
JED - December 2016 - 49
JED - December 2016 - 50
JED - December 2016 - 51
JED - December 2016 - 52
JED - December 2016 - 53
JED - December 2016 - 54
JED - December 2016 - 55
JED - December 2016 - Regaining the Advantage – Cognitive Electronic Warfare
JED - December 2016 - 57
JED - December 2016 - 58
JED - December 2016 - 59
JED - December 2016 - 60
JED - December 2016 - 61
JED - December 2016 - 62
JED - December 2016 - Technology Survey: Flightline and Portable EW Simulators
JED - December 2016 - 64
JED - December 2016 - 65
JED - December 2016 - 66
JED - December 2016 - 67
JED - December 2016 - 68
JED - December 2016 - 69
JED - December 2016 - 70
JED - December 2016 - AOC EW Singapore Preview
JED - December 2016 - 72
JED - December 2016 - 73
JED - December 2016 - New Products
JED - December 2016 - 75
JED - December 2016 - Report from the 2016 EW GCC Conference
JED - December 2016 - 77
JED - December 2016 - Crows in the Community
JED - December 2016 - 79
JED - December 2016 - The Heat is On
JED - December 2016 - 81
JED - December 2016 - 82
JED - December 2016 - 83
JED - December 2016 - 84
JED - December 2016 - 85
JED - December 2016 - EW 101
JED - December 2016 - 87
JED - December 2016 - 88
JED - December 2016 - 89
JED - December 2016 - Report from the 2016 AOC CEMA Conference
JED - December 2016 - 91
JED - December 2016 - 92
JED - December 2016 - 2016 AOC Award Winners
JED - December 2016 - 94
JED - December 2016 - 95
JED - December 2016 - 96
JED - December 2016 - 97
JED - December 2016 - 98
JED - December 2016 - 99
JED - December 2016 - AOC News
JED - December 2016 - 101
JED - December 2016 - 102
JED - December 2016 - 103
JED - December 2016 - 104
JED - December 2016 - Index of Advertisers
JED - December 2016 - JED Quick Look
JED - December 2016 - cover3
JED - December 2016 - cover4
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