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Demonstration and Research of Effects of RF Directed Energy Weapons on Electronically Controlled Vehicles, Vessels and UAVs

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Systems Concepts and Integration

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C-UAV, Directed Energy Weapons (DEW), Engine Stopping, High-Power Electromagnetics, IEMI, Non-Lethal Weapons (NLW), Radio Frequency (RF)


This is a long standing activity under SCI panel that was initiated in 1989 as NATO research study groups under the former Defence Research Group (DRG) and the current Science and Technology Organization (STO), and has conducted research concerning the threat imposed by RF Directed Energy Weapons (RFDEW) to military as well as civilian infrastructure. Very good progress has been made to date with the most recent program of the SCI-250 Task Group (TG) entitled RFDEW in Tactical Scenarios. During the SCI-250 TG, trials were conducted and effects were demonstrated on a variety of configurations including C4I military infrastructure, UAV, and limited engine stopping. The focus of the SCI-250 TG was critical infrastructure facilities and associated electronics. The output of the SCI-250 TG will be a demonstration video, a final report, and a recommendation to produce a NATO RFDEW test standard, which will inform senior stake holders about the use and the potential that RFDEW /NLW capabilities can offer to the military operations. The main aim of this new task group is to conduct testing and analysis of RFDEW effects on electronically controlled vehicles, vessels, UAVs. This will provide NATO allies with a good appreciation of the potential capability of RFDEW for this particular non-lethal weapon application. RFDEW have the potential to non-lethally stop vehicles and vessels to provide an additional option in the escalation of force and assist in determining intent of potential threats. This capability could be employed at NATO facilities as part of a force protection package. The main thrust of the TG effort will be vehicle and vessel stopping, and UAV vehicles will lead to quantitative investigations of the effectiveness of RFDEW. For example, a quantitative investigation of the impacts of RFDEW on UAV engine controls could also be pursued. As the above investigations are carried out, the TG will also investigate the Counter-DEW issues associated with these RF effects on NATO platforms. In addition, in order to facilitate the ability of stakeholders to assess the operational effectiveness of RFDEW capabilities, it is important that consistent test procedures are utilized in the various trails that are conducted during the course of this and future TGs. Thus, this TG will also be responsible for developing a NATO RFDEW Test Standard to support testing and the evaluation of military utility.


Research, develop, test and demonstrate the utility of electromagnetic effects on mobile systems (e.g. vehicles, vessels and UAVs) with RF DEW systems. Study and increase awareness of RFDEW effectiveness, using a common set of test measurement procedures and equipment and conduct these tests and demonstrations in a representative environment against an intelligence-based (regionalized) high priority target-set. Note: Target sets may vary by region and target priority and this variation does effect the most optimum selection of the RF waveform and thus RFDEW source. Investigate the RFDEW threat, to include the detection of RFDEW attack. And investigate the possibility of countermeasures being employed to mitigate the impact of RFDEW on the studied targets. DELIVERABLES Live demonstration(s) of RFDEW effect against relevant mobile system threats, An evaluation of the NATO RFDEW Test Procedures to support testing and the evaluation of military utility, An RFDEW threat assessment with a discussion of the potential for RFDEW countermeasures Final report summarizing testing against mobile system threats to NATO operations, utility assessment for mobile system stopping support to NATO operations, and outputs of RFDEW research efforts and M&S studies. Final briefing that will discuss the output of the TG, including the RFDEW effectiveness quantitatively analyzed and demonstrated in testing, the concept of employment for their use, and a discussion of the potential and limitations of RFDEW to support military operations.


• Evaluate relevant (regionalized) mobile system threats that may be encountered during NATO operations, • Research the effect mechanism of RFDEW electronic control unit disruption, perform associated electromagnetic Modeling and Simulation (M&S) of RF coupling, examine differences in electronic vulnerability, assess different RFDEW technology classes and their application for mobile system stopping (includes using an agreed upon set of test procedures and test equipment), • Development of Concepts of Employment for RFDEW mobile systems stopping in NATO. Examine the electromagnetic spectrum management, system safety and other requirements for employment of RFDEW. Investigate impacts to NATO vehicle/vessel platforms that could potentially be used to employ RFDEW and associated collateral damage effects to NATO communications or navigation equipment on these platforms, • Investigate the RFDEW mobile system stopping design trade space between the desired military mission, the required effective radiated power, prime power and power conditioning, and thermal management requirements, optimum RF/HPM antenna and beam steering designs, and overall operational utility. • Information exchange on the RFDEW systems to enhance mutual awareness.

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