DARPA sets out plan for adaptive countermeasures development
By Richard Scott
The US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has set out its goals for a breakthrough in airborne electronic warfare (EW) technology and techniques under an Adaptive Radar Countermeasures (ARC) programme.
Faced with a new breed of air-to-air and surface-to-air phased array radars employing waveforms and behaviours that are new, unknown, or ambiguous, the ARC effort is focused on enabling EW systems to automatically generate effective countermeasures in real time without prior knowledge of the threat radar characteristics.
Historically, EW systems have relied on an understanding of the threat radar, comparing received signal parameters against a radar database. If a match is found, the EW system can identify the threat and apply a pre-programmed countermeasures response.
However, as radars evolve from fixed analogue systems to digitally programmable variants with unknown behaviours and agile waveform characteristics, identifying radar systems is becoming increasingly challenging. Future radars present an even greater challenge because they are expected to have the ability to sense their environment and adapt their transmission characteristics and pulse processing algorithms to maximise performance and mitigate interference effects.179 of 710 words
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