JED - October 2012 - (Page 32)

Cognition: EW Gets Brainy By Barry Manz “The desire to autonomously anticipate, find, fix, track, target, engage and assess anything, anytime, anywhere (AF2T2EA4) in spectrallydense environments will require changes to how we build, modify, and deploy radar and radio frequency systems.” 32 The Journal of Electronic Defense | October 2012 – Dr. Michael Wicks, AFRL Sensors Directorate, 2010 (1) Besides including what may be one of DOD’s most convoluted acronyms ever, this opening statement from Dr. Wicks is as good a summary as any of the future challenges for adaptability faced by defense systems and their developers. Although his paper addressed these tasks as they apply to radar, they are equally applicable to the EW environment. To successfully achieve them, in whole or in part, will rely on “cognition,” (to summarize definitions from Merriam Webster and Wikipedia), that is, conscious intellectual activity such as thinking, reasoning, remembering, imagining, or learning, and processing information, applying knowledge and changing preferences. The key word in Dr. Wicks’ sentence is “autonomously,” as these functions will be performed by machines not men, and in tiny fractions of a second. It is arguably as daunting a challenge as any the defense community has been forced to tackle. SDR AND COGNITIVE: A BIG DIFFERENCE Before going further, it’s important to recognize the difference between the terms software-defined and cognitive. A software-defined radio (SDR) is the classic example of digital components taking the place of their analog counterparts and this trend has been covered in the pages of JED before. Suffice it to say that when functions can be performed digitally they will be, eliminating components such as mixers, filters and other devices. The functions in an SDR are performed in software using digital components such as FPGAs, DSPs, high-speed memory and analog-to-digital and digitalto-analog converters. As standard-based waveforms are defined in software, and signal processing is performed digitally, an SDR can receive, transmit and switch between a large number of waveforms. One of the best-known military examples of SDR is the Joint Tactical Radio System

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - October 2012

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Pacing the Anti-Ship Missile Threat
Cognition: EW Gets Brainy
Inside IEWS
EW 101
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - October 2012