Electromagnetic emissions are everywhere on the battlefield, from HQ and individual communications systems to radars and jammers. This equipment provides an important role in delivering battlefield intelligence and security. However, the electromagnetic emissions from these same “essential” bits of equipment can make it possible for the enemy to detect, identify and locate friendly forces. This spectrum information can enable the enemy to deploy the most appropriate jamming techniques to optimally degrade/deny equipment or launch an attack on the location.
In addition, electromagnetic emissions can also cause interference with other friendly forces. Knowing what your digital battlefield signature looks like can safeguard locations and troop movements from compromise and prevent inadvertent interference with friendly force equipment.
How spectrum monitoring can help
CRFS solutions can help deliver a clearer battlefield picture to ensure you know exactly what item of friendly force equipment is emitting RF transmissions and how you would appear to any potential enemy. A network of CRFS intelligent receivers (either fixed or man portable) can pick up RF transmissions over a wide bandwidth and from many kilometers away. This information can then be displayed and classified to give signal type and location on a map. So, when EMCON is in force, you can be sure your team is 100% dark.
As well as delivering information on your own RF transmissions, the CRFS systems can help detect sources of jamming or interference. When forces from different units or countries work together, often their equipment can negatively impact other friendly forces. This inadvertent jamming may arise from electromagnetic compatibility issues or multiple users on the same section of radio spectrum.
Effective spectrum monitoring and management can help, but, when interference does occur, it is essential that the source of the interference is located as quickly as possible. CRFS systems can quickly and accurately detect and geolocate the source of interference.
In the case of non-accidental interference, i.e. a deliberate attack to degrade or deny communication and navigation systems, you can use the same CRFS system to give you the who, what and where intelligence needed to avoid continued disruption. Once you have this information, you can then take steps to neutralize the source or change your procedures.