December 05, 2007

Tool for a Crowded Spectrum

http://www.military-information-technology.com/

To combat interference in vital communications, the Army CERDEC has been developing the Coalition Joint Spectrum Management Planning Tool.
By Michael Burnett


Clear battlefield communications depend on the ability of friendly forces to transmit messages back and forth among blue force units. But on today’s battlefields in Southwest Asia, a lot of electronic devices are competing for the airspace through which radio frequencies travel, sometimes creating interference in vital communications.
To combat that problem, the Army Communications Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) has been developing the Coalition Joint Spectrum Management Planning Tool (CJSMPT). The CERDEC Space and Terrestrial Communication Directorate is working on CJSMPT, a joint capabilities technology demonstration program, with the goal of deploying some capability for avoiding potential electronic inference early next year.

“CJSMPT is a modeling and simulation-based analysis tool that can be used for emission planning to analyze and determine the spectrum impacts of a particular mission in a particular area of operations,” explained Frank Loso, CJSMPT program manager and chief engineer of the directorate’s Antennas and Spectrum Analysis Division.

“One specific focus is on determining potential interference due to electronic warfare operations on the blue force communications spectrum,” Loso said. “In addition to identifying potential interference, CJSMPT provides a spectrum deconfliction capability that nominates frequency assignments for blue force communications systems in a way that mitigates that potential interference.”

Development of CJSMPT is divided into two phases. In the first phase, CERDEC is focused on deconflicting terrestrial emitters on the battlefield. In the second phase, the agency will expand CJSMPT capabilities to include airborne emitters and satellite communications.

The first phase of the program has focused on combating interference from active and passive radio frequency emitters on the ground, Loso elaborated. Those emitters include not only communications systems but also sensor systems and electronic warfare systems. Active emitters also may produce intended and unintended emissions, complicating the effort to avoid conflict with their emissions.

CJSMPT takes a look at emissions from those various devices and determines the potential impact of any interference they may generate. One potential source of interference that took precedence for CJSMPT engineers were jammers intended to counter IEDs.

IED Priority
Since many insurgents in Iraq use radio transmitters to trigger IEDs, the Department of Defense has been developing devices that can jam those radio transmissions. Those jammers, however, may also interfere with blue force communications as an unintended side effect.

“The top priority for those jamming systems is to counter the threat,” Loso remarked. “However, we are concerned with the potential impact of that sort of emission on force communications. That’s one of the things that CJSMPT does.”

Deconflicting potential interference from counter-IED jammers became a major goal of CJSMPT once the depth of the problem was understood, added Mahbub Hoque, chief scientist and division chief of the Antenna and Spectrum Analysis Division

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

The program doesn't work! It has been and continues to be a waste of tax payers money! The data it provides is incorrect, false and suspect. I've seen what the program can do and other than provide a pretty picture at times the data within the program is useless. They can't even demo it at conferences it's so bad.

Anonymous said...

Never in my life have I seen a program that is supposed to provide and accomplish so much for the warfighter do so little. DoD should be ashamed they continue to spend time and money on this program that provides nothing.

Anonymous said...

I heard that it went to Iraq a couple months ago for an assessment and failed! Then they just went back in front of JIEDDO and got another 5 million!!! WHY???

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the program work? Is it a lack of SME support on staff, bad communications data, bad CREW data,bad loadset data, no understanding of how the CREW systems work, bad map data, no DTED data, bad force structure data, no understanding of DoD spectrum management or a combination of everything?

Anonymous said...

From the above article it seems that Phase II would be harder to nail down that Phase I. If they can't get Phase I correct how in the world are they going to accomplish Phase II?

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a "good news story" I guess I was wrong :(

Anonymous said...

They didn't give any time lines in the article on when Phase II would be complete, has any one heard when it would be complete and in theater doing what it was intended to do?

Anonymous said...

Wow! I have heard many articles about this "supposedly" awesome program, but it sounds as if some experts (I assume military users) are not so happy with what they have seen so far. I would only think the Department of Defense is planning on squashing this "thing". If not, I hope someone can provide me with the hotline number to the waste fraud and abuse center. I am a tax paying citizen and hope that the very, very limited budget of our great armed forces is being used for success and not for "science projects" that do not even come close to working.

From what I have read here, it appears that no one is providing leadership or management to this program.

I believe I read somewhere this program is the lead-in for GEMSIS??? If this is true someone must be smoking something "not-so-legal".

Whoever posted this info please keep the info coming!

Anonymous said...

I heard they have dumped 32 million dollars so far into this POS program and nothing works on it. Where is Tom Brokaw when you need him?

Anonymous said...

If this program is as bad as everyone is saying what doesn't someone with knowledge of the program contact their political representives? In an election year I'm sure some congressmen or senator would like to gain some more support from their districts.

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a great idea!

Anonymous said...

I showed my buddy this article who just returned from theater. He said they had good communications because of the advances in the CREW loadsets and new filters. He didn't see a reason to use this program and people must be going by old information.

Anonymous said...

regardless of the last posting if the data is bad what good is it to anyone?

Anonymous said...

I bet that people are getting ready to retire or take another command and they are just pushing it along so they don't get associated with a failed program.

Anonymous said...

After strolling through a few blogs, I found this blog and began to read the comments posted. I then began to do some research. I found there was a couple of information articles published that verified the comments posted. There were a couple of articles addressing what CJSMPT was supposed to do, but supposed to do and doing are two different things. You cannot stop there, I told myself. I researched the Major commands and government agencies to find more information. I found that the briefings on CJSMPT were much more enticing at the higher levels. I found information from a field assessment and it verified there was something very fishy smelling with this tool. In matter of fact, the difference in presentations from the lower level to the upper level presentations was overwhelmingly different. A PACOM brief suggested CJSMPT did blue on blue and CREW on CREW. The conference was months ago. The assessment from the field a couple of months ago annotated that it could do neither. Not only could it do neither, the data to support the program was reported as being wrong on emitters and CREW. How does a tool do “blue on blue” and “CREW on CREW” if the data is not correct. This is only one thing. I have read the 14 messages posted concerning this product. I have researched the information. I have to say that the anonymous poster is being very reasonable. Thank you for your postings. I will continue to monitor.

Anonymous said...

I hope the author is still tracking this article. Has any reporters done further research in to the "validity" of the comments made here? It has been months now, I am assuming some progress has been made. I really hope some resolution comes to this and our citizens are told what is going on with the money spent here.