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Activity title

Cognitive EW

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Systems Concepts and Integration

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Cognitive EW, Cognitive RF, Electronic Attack, Electronic Warfare, RF Countermeasures, Spectrum Operations


The continuing evolution and proliferation of commercial and military Radio Frequency (RF) technologies to support transmission and reception of communication, radar and Electronic Warfare (EW) emissions has resulted in a highly congested and unpredictable Electromagnetic (EM) Spectrum. In both active RF emitting systems, such as radios and radars which depend on two way transmission and reception, and passive RF detection systems, such as Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) receivers this congestion and unpredictable nature of the spectrum has led toward the development of more adaptable RF system hardware and software designs based on digital signal processing, software programmability and autonomous spectrum operations. The resulting systems are capable of being modified ‘on-the-fly’ based on machine-perceived conditions, assessments and optimized responses. This autonomy in spectrum operations enables cognitive Electronic Warfare which would include autonomously assessing the current state of the spectrum, identifying spectrum users based on detected waveform intent and engaging the spectrum in real-time to most efficiently achieve mission objectives. System optimization can support both performance and/or operational objectives and may include optimization for data throughput, operational range, and/or detectability of emissions, as well as others considerations.


The ET will explore the potential impact of the application of cognitive EW techniques to future NATO operations and will include an investigation of both the potential application of cognitive EW techniques as well as the defense against cognitive EW techniques. It will provide insight into the operational application as well as the platform and system requirements associated with achieving real-time EW cognition.


• Identification of cognitive EW applications and approaches • Advantages, disadvantages and limitations of cognitive EW operations • Hardware, software and processing requirements for real-time cognitive EW operations • Scenario investigation of cognitive EW application • Approaches to countering adversary cognitive EW

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