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Details emerge on DoD waveform resiliency initiative

Handheld radios prior to a TSM waveform exercise in February 2020. (US Army)

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is launching a new development initiative geared towards improving waveform resiliency for its growing arsenal of software-defined radios (SDRs), according to a recent departmental solicitation to industry.

Led by the DoD's Joint Tactical Networking Center (JTNC) and managed by the US Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR), details of the waveform resiliency programme have largely been kept under wraps. However, details on the general scope and overall goals of the effort have emerged in recently released JTNC and NAVWAR documents to industry.

The programme, as defined, will drill down into “resilient waveforms and associated technologies” either already in use within the military sector or at a high technology maturity level and explore integration options into current and future networked communication systems, according to the initial request for information (RFI).

“The purpose is to provide ready access to resilient waveform information retrievable in a timely manner to aid [US armed forces] ... in planning future network architectures in support of resilient and interoperable joint communications,” the RFI added.

However, in recent responses to industry queries, programme officials noted the advanced waveform resiliency capabilities developed under the effort would extend beyond interoperable joint communications. The data from industry proposals will also assist efforts by the Pentagon's Fully Networked Command, Control, and Communications (FNC3) directorate in autonomous weapons development.

“It is recognised that autonomous weapons need to operate ‘machine-to-machine' at much faster time windows, with high volumes of information, and under highly stressed conditions,” programme officials wrote in an 18 May response to industry queries.

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