spectrum management

December 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
U.S. Marines conduct a routine check up on an AN/TPS-59 radar. New agile spectrum efforts by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) aim to allow more efficient spectrum use on the battlefield while sharing spectrum with civilian bandwidth users. Credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. John Hall, USMC

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is leading three different efforts that are working toward agile electromagnetic spectrum operations. While one focuses largely on improved spectrum usage by the military, the main focal point is to share bandwidth with civilian users in a way that does not inhibit either military operations or public bandwidth uses.

These three efforts were discussed by experts at TechNet Cyber 2020, AFCEA’s virtual event being held December 1-3. Leading officials with DISA and industry are outlining challenges and opportunities beckoning the defense communications community.

October 30, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Defense Department's new electromagnetic spectrum strategy looks to bolster the nation's associated operational environment and security. Credit: Shutterstock/Fouad A. Saad

The U.S. is facing an increasingly congested, constrained and contested electromagnetic spectrum. Adversaries are challenging the United State’s dominance across the air, land, sea, space and cyberspace domains, which threatens our reliance on the spectrum. And because the United States depends on electromagnetic spectrum for much more than warfighting purposes, our nation’s economic wellbeing is at stake, says Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

May 7, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Dana Deasy, chief information officer, U.S. Defense Department, pictured speaking at the Pentagon last August, testified before the Senate as to the risks to GPS of allowing Ligado to operate in a nearby spectrum. Credit: DOD photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew Carroll

On May 6, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing, “Department of Defense Spectrum Policy and the Impact of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) Ligado Decision on National Security,” to discuss the security risks of the FCC granting the company a license modification to commence terrestrial wireless operations. Taking that action presents a great risk to the military’s Global Positioning System (GPS) operations, now run by the U.S.

March 1, 2020
By Shaun Waterman
Hardware for 5G networks largely comes from non-U.S. firms. Samsung technology provides the foundation for Sprint Mobile’s 5G network in Chicago. Credit: Samsung

The much-hyped 5G has begun to arrive, but in the United States, the truly transformative elements of these next-generation cellular networks are probably still four or five years off. Although improvements such as 100-times-faster speeds will enable more life-and-death type services, including remote surgery or self-driving cars, they also employ a more compromised hardware supply chain and offer a larger attack surface than current networks, federal officials warn.

“The anxiety from governments and regulators about the security issues [arising from 5G] and possible nation-state interference is at a fever pitch right now,” Robert Mayer, senior vice president for cybersecurity, USTelecom, says.

March 8, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Artificial intelligence-enabled radio technology developed with DARPA funding, could help manage scarce spectrum resources. Credit: Photo illustration created with images by geralt/Pixabay

A U.S. military-funded artificial intelligence (AI) contest that wraps up later this year may result in radio devices capable of autonomously and collaboratively sharing radio frequency spectrum for the next generation of mobile devices.

Fifth-generation (5G) cellular services are widely expected to hail a new era of greater speed, reduced latency and the ability to connect many more devices—think smart cities and the Internet of Things—and move vastly more data. The wireless revolution is fueling a voracious global demand for access to the radio frequency spectrum, but managing that increasing demand in a way that avoids interference is a challenge.

August 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Marines with Black Sea Rotational Force 18.1 conduct a patrolling exercise in May at the U.S. Army’s Novo Selo Forward Operating Site in Bulgaria. RadioMap technology, developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and transitioning to the Marine Corps, will offer radio-frequency situational awareness to such warfighters on the move. Photo by Lance Cpl. Angel Travis, USMC.

The U.S. military is moving an advanced radio-frequency mapping capability from the laboratory into the hands of warfighters. Developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the technology will give land-based forces vital situational awareness of the radio spectrum as they fight on an increasingly digitized battlefield.

Facing daily threats in an ever-changing operating environment, warfighters need a quick way to assess the digital topography. And for modern-day soldiers and Marines fighting in dense urban environments, this means having a read on the spectrum.

March 7, 2018
By Maryann Lawlor
Brig. Gen. (P) Brian J. Mennes, USA, director of force management, HQDA, deputy chief of staff, G-3/7, describes the operational environment at the AFCEA Army Signal Conference in Springfield, Virginia.

The U.S. Army is overhauling its relationship with technology providers to incorporate a new class of capabilities that will enable survivable, protected, intuitive, standards-based, interoperable, sustainable and, above all, highly mobile networks. To obtain these types of technologies, the service plans to assume a position where it is articulating its intent, a process that’s being described as “adapt and buy.”

November 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Defense Department researchers are testing cognitive electronic warfare technologies that within the next decade could autonomously counter adversary systems without preprogramming. The capability may allow the military to eclipse its adversaries in the electronic warfare domain.

Three closely related Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) programs apply artificial intelligence to the electromagnetic spectrum and will likely result in electronic warfare (EW) systems with unprecedented autonomy. The first two—Adaptive Radar Countermeasures (ARC) and Behavioral Learning for Adaptive Electronic Warfare (BLADE) are considered sister programs. Both apply artificial intelligence, or AI, to EW systems.

August 1, 2017
By Marc Couture

Recent breakthroughs in multichannel signal analysis deliver a significant boost in electromagnetic spectrum coverage for airborne electronic warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance applications. These advances make an impossible dream a reality: a cost-effective, open standards approach enabling coverage of far greater swaths of the electromagnetic spectrum, combined with the ability to analyze and act upon data in real time.

May 24, 2017
By Julianne Simpson

Managing spectrum, much like other national resources such as water, natural gas and land, is a growing issue due to the number of users. Now more than ever, with growing cybersecurity threats, it's important to outline a national approach to spectrum utilization for both the U.S. economy and the federal government.

May 25, 2017
By Julianne Simpson
Paul Tilghman, program manager, Microsystems Office, DARPA, speaks at the AFCEA/GMU Critical Issues in C4I Symposium.

The world of spectrum is exploding and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants in. Paul Tilghman, program manager, Microsystems Office, DARPA, believes that collaborative use of spectrum can make this scarce resource available to everybody but many challenges exist.

“We are not nimble right now with spectrum. We need to move away from worrying about spectrum availability and think about how we can automate it,” Tilghman said during his morning keynote address at the AFCEA/GMU Critical Issues in C4I Symposium.

July 20, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
DARPA's Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2) aims to ensure that the exponentially growing population of military and civilian wireless devices will have full access to the increasingly crowded electromagnetic spectrum.

The Defense Department’s futuristic research agency has finalized its contest plans—backed by nearly $4 million in prizes—for the creation of a radio that can withstand wireless congestion.

It’s an ambitious competition led by the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) to expand the communications capacity of the electromagnetic spectrum, especially at a time when the explosion of wireless devices and the dawning of the Internet of Things era has placed such a heavy demand for access to such a finite resource.

September 23, 2015

Equilateral Technologies (ETI), was awarded a maximum $12 million sole-source, firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for ETI Spectrum Management Engine software licenses for Army Program Manager Warfighter Information Networks-Tactical program. This contract has a one year base period and two one-year option periods. Work will be performed at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland with an estimated completion date of Sept. 20, 2016. The solicitation was issued pursuant to the authority of 10 U.S.

July 1, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
An Army electromagnetic spectrum manager uses a joint spectrum-management planning tool to track mission progress in the field from inside the headquarters tactical operations center as part of Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) in 2014.

In its ongoing balancing act to apportion coveted access to the increasingly crowded electromagnetic spectrum, the Defense Department is aiming its attention at software-based solutions and management tools.

The federal government’s continuous struggle has been punctuated by burgeoning demands from the commercial communication sector. Recently, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) announced a search among industry partners for a technology-based panacea to better manage the fading finite resource, and it has put out a call for software to issue frequencies dynamically in a spectrum-sharing environment.

March 27, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

Defense Spectrum Organization

U.S. federal agencies signed an agreement that sets the charter for the National Advanced Spectrum and Communications Test Network to create a collaborative framework with an eventual goal of facilitating access to a wide range of testing that supports the sharing of the finite spectrum resource.

June 22, 2011
By George Seffers

NASA has modified a letter contract with ASRC Research and Technology Solutions of Greenbelt, Maryland, for Spectrum Management, Engineering Services and Programmatic Resource Management Support. This contract has a base value of about $36 million with a maximum task order value of an additional $10 million. ASRC will perform required technical support and engineering studies in support of NASA's requirements for spectrum allocations and assignments and support the coordination of national and international spectrum management organizations related to the agency's mission needs, as well as its support of the U.S. commercial space communications industry.