JED - June 2011 - (Page 68)
Spectrum Warfare – Part 2
By Dave Adamy
The Journal of Electronic Defense | June 2011
ast month, we discussed the impact of location on the application of (or defense against) kinetic weapons. This concept requires that distributed assets be networked – which requires connectivity. Because of our dependence on connectivity in our daily lives and business, an enemy can also cause us real damage by attacking the connectivity itself. Consider the economic impact of having our banking system, our rail infrastructure or our air transportation capability shut down. All of these, along with many more aspects of our modern economic and military capabilities, are so dependant on connectivity that a radio frequency or cyber attack could cause significant physical damage, loss of military capability or devastating disruption of economic activity. Before discussing attacks on connectivity in more detail, it will be useful to discuss the nature of connectivity from a technical point of view. Connectivity can be thought of as any technique for the movement of information from one location or “player” to another. The medium can be wire, radio propagation, optical propagation or audio propagation. We must also consider the most basic connectivity; Between two people, two devices (e.g., computers) or between devices and people.
All of the simplest techniques share the advantages of simplicity of implementation and robustness. It is very hard to “jam” this kind of connectivity. It also requires that an enemy be relatively close to intercept transmitted information. That said, security requires diligent measures to prevent an enemy from successfully employing techniques like hidden microphones or cameras, or even monitoring reflections from lasers bounced off windows. However, all of these simple connectivity techniques have the immense disadvantage of short range. Increasing the range requires sending a messenger or relaying the information. Both techniques cause significant increase in complexity, reduce security against interception and reduce the reliability and confidence in the accuracy of the information passed. Thus, it becomes advantageous, even necessary, to employ technical transmission paths and techniques to extend the range – perhaps by a few kilometers or perhaps to some significantly different part of the Earth.
Regardless of which connectivity technique is employed, from the simplest to the most complex, the requirements
The most basic connectivity
In its simplest form, connectivity can be one person talking (or yelling over a distance) to another person, or optically transmitting information. Examples of person-to-person optical transmission are writing on a surface for others to read, holding up a sign, code with a steady or flashing light and use of signaling flags (or perhaps smoke). All are, in fact used to some extent in almost all of the most sophisticated military and civilian systems. Even when more technical transmission techniques are used, the input of information from humans is by voice or physical input of data from a keyboard or other touch device. Getting the information to another human being can only be done through the senses of hearing, vision or touch.
Optical Information BW ~ 375 GHz 24 pictures/sec
Audible Information BW ~ 15 kHz ~ 240 words/min
Figure 1: Human connectivity is limited by physical bandwidth and data format factors.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - June 2011
JED - June 2011
The View From Here
From the President
The World’s SIGINT Aircraf
Upgrading Fighter Aircraft
Country Profi le: France’s EW Programs
Technology Survey: Airborne Dispensers and IR Expendables
2011 AOC Election Guide
AOC Membership Page
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - June 2011