Southwest Research Institute to Develop Geolocation Technology

March 2, 2016

The U.S. Air Force has awarded a team led by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) a $9.4 million contract to develop a component of a novel geolocation system that will detect and locate communications and other high-frequency signals with unprecedented accuracy. The program, funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), will integrate a high-fidelity ionospheric model with a geolocation system for the first time to achieve this level of precision. Signals intelligence applications monitor high-frequency communications and other radio frequency emission, such as over-the-horizon radar, to identify strategically important signals of interest and then use direction finding and other techniques to map the source of the signal.

Phase one of IARPA’s High Frequency Geolocation (HFGeo) program examined the technology improvements needed to achieve IARPA’s goals. SwRI will collaborate with Northwest Research Associates, Lowell Digisonde International and YarCom Inc. on phases two and three of HFGeo to develop and test this new technology. Both phases will be completed by January 2018.


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