Tech

January 11, 2013

Army assesses electromagnetic vulnerabilities

army-electromagnetic2The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate’s state-of-the-art Electromagnetic Vulnerability Assessment Facility here is used to conduct experiments that address the electromagnetic vulnerability requirements of the U.S. Army Weapon and Communication-Electronics Systems.

Electromagnetic vulnerability is the characteristics of a system that cause it to suffer a definite degradation (incapability to perform the designated mission) as a result of having been subjected to a certain level of electromagnetic environmental effects, also called EMV.

The Electromagnetic Vulnerability Assessment Facility, or EMVAF, is used to sustain Army Research Laboratory’s, or ARL’s, ongoing mission to evaluate Army weapon systems’ survivability against the full spectrum of electromagnetic energy threats on the battlefield and in operations other than war. This includes the means to determine weapon systems’ survivability against radio-frequency directed energy weapons, electronic warfare jamming and unintentional interference.

The EMVAF is a secure electromagnetic spectrum research facility that houses two double-shielded anechoic chambers, each of which enable precise controlled measurements. The main shielded anechoic chamber is 100 ft. x 70 ft. x 40 ft., and has a turntable capable of supporting 100-ton test vehicles. It is the largest of its type in the Army.

An anechoic chamber is designed to reduce all spurious radio frequency, or RF, energy to a minimum. In so doing, experiments can be performed in an RF environment with the minimum number of variables making the RF engineers analysis faster and more definitive.

At the EMVAF, two methods of reducing the spurious RF energy are the 100-decibel isolation that each layer of the shielding system provides and the radar absorbing material, or RAM, ability to absorb RF energy that is generated within the chamber.

In simple terms, the RF shielding is the fully seam welded steel structure surrounding the chamber that includes RF tight doors. This is also known as a Faraday cage, which guarantees that RF energy generated outside the shield stays out of the chamber environment.

Likewise, RF energy that is generated inside the shield stays inside the chamber. The modern world RF environment is very noisy. Keeping the noisy world outside of the chamber reduces the number of accidental interference or variables for an experiment. Keeping the signals generated inside the chamber and within the chamber offers a level of security to a system developer depending on the classification of signals they may be generating.

The RAM that lines the inside of the chamber is designed to absorb the RF energy that is generated during an experiment. This is critical since each chamber is in essence a huge metal box, which would otherwise allow the RF to bounce off the walls and back to the item under investigation.

By absorbing the RF energy at the boundaries, the engineer can strictly control and thus identify what energy is specifically occurring between the item under investigation and the receive antenna in the chamber.

With the high level of control of the RF energy in the chamber, engineers can perform a wide range of RF tests within the chambers. These tests can include radiated emissions as well as radiated interference tests. In the first case, the engineer is looking at what the test item is radiating and in the second what RF energy will cause problems for the system.

The EMVAF, and more specifically the Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate, or SLAD, has available a wide range of personnel expertise that can be brought to bear on any given experiment. If a specific project at the EMVAF requires expertise in electronic warfare, computer network operations, counter-improvised explosive device, laser and optics or infrared, all can be supported with local expertise in the area.

If specific radio communications expertise is required that cannot be fulfilled locally, then experts within SLAD at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., can be brought in to support the requirement. In short, SLAD has the ability to supply the expertise required to make certain projects supported at the EMVAF receive the high quality data needed to move forward.

In addition to the chambers, the EMVAF includes control rooms, laboratory and office space. It is the Army’s premiere facility for performing controlled measurements for RF and microwave survivability/lethality/vulnerability of electronic systems.

Expertise in electronic warfare, counter IED, computer network operations, and modeling and simulation can all be brought in from local SLAD resources to meet specific requirements of a given customer. In so doing, the experiment design can be closely tailored to meet the exacting requirements of the given program.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines January 23, 2015

News: Two Marines identified in deadly California helo crash - Two Marine Corps officers killed when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise in the Southern California desert were remembered Jan. 25 as talented pilots. Greek F-16 crashes in Spain during NATO exercise - Ten people died Jan. 26 after a Greek air force F-16 jet crashed...
 
 

News Briefs January 26, 2015

Navy wants to increase use of sonar-emitting buoys The U.S. Navy is seeking permits to expand sonar and other training exercises off the Pacific Coast, a proposal raising concerns from animal advocates who say that more sonar-emitting buoys would harm whales. The Navy now wants to deploy up to 720 sonobuoys about 12 miles off...
 
 
Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards

ANG conducts air refueling training with NATO allies in Germany

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards A NATO E-3A AWACS aircraft approaches a Utah Air National Guard KC-135R Stratotanker for air refueling during a training flight over Germany on Jan. 13, 2015. Nearly 30 airme...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales

Ramstein Airmen train with French air force

Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales Two U.S. Air Force pilots and a French air force navigator discuss the route to the drop zone during a simulated low-level drop Jan. 21, 2015, at Orleans – Bricy Air...
 
 

Marines receive first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant

The first F-35C Lightning II, carrier variant, for the U.S. Marine Corps touched-down on the flight line at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 13, from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin training in support of carrier-based operations. U.S. Marine Lt. Col. J.T. Ryan, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501 detachment commander...
 
 

VA announces single regional framework under MyVA initiative

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Jan. 26 that it is taking the first steps under the MyVA initiative to realign its many organizational maps into one map with five regions to better serve Veterans. The new regions under the MyVA alignment will allow VA to begin the process of integrating disparate organizational boundaries into...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>