New Threats Cause Electronic Warfare to Evolve

radarThe weapons and technologies of war are constantly evolving – changing more rapidly year to year in the 21st Century.

Bob Schena, CEO of Rajant Corp. in Malvern, PA, notes, “Spectrum dominance is the new high ground; all weapons systems today are highly reliant on communications of one sort or another, whether global positioning system (GPS) or internal communications. If someone can distort GPS or disable onboard systems, you’re toast. On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s a 12. We are so reliant on communications in our style of fighting that it is absolutely critical and will get even more critical. If you’re at a communications disadvantage, I don’t see how you can last very long.”

As the lines tend to blur between EW, cyber warfare, and signals intelligence (SIGINT) tending to blur, EW itself is changing as well.

U.S. Army, says Maj. Rich-ard Michel, Cyber & EW Operations Troop Commander within the Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) at Fort Meade, MD, notes, “As a result of our better understanding of multi-domain battle and our use of EW, cyber, and space ops as they continue to evolve, we will continue to experience a more advanced and capable Army than has ever been seen in history. AWG’s job is to look at the decision-making process, how that will change doctrine and organizations. New technologies give commanders better options on how to employ that capability. That is an inevitability and an absolute positive for the Army, with greater capabilities and technologies empowering us to accomplish our goals.”

Experts note that they will witness even greater speed and evolutionary technologies in the next decade and beyond that few can even partially predict. One that is on everyone’s list, however, is artificial intelligence (AI), which is likely to play a major role in the future of EW as advances in technology are occurring at a record pace.

Marc Couture, senior product manager for digital signal processing at the Curtiss-Wright Corp. Defense Solutions Division in Ashburn, VA, notes, “In EW, you need to convert everything to ones and zeros with analog-to-digital converters. In terms of capturing the EM spectrum in an RF microwave sense, we have some products that capture data at 25 gigasamples per second, which is a huge amount and fairly unique,” Couture says; 1 gigasample is one billion samples. “What’s been very instrumental with the A/D converters is the speed of gigasamples per second is getting faster and faster and with greater resolution. With an EW system, then, you can keep an eye on more of the spectrum at the same time, Ten years ago, technology would not have been able to pick out all the signals deep in the noise. But this also means the data becomes a bigger fire hose, so you will need multiple high-power processing to sort it all out.”

While evolving technologies advance at a record pace, artificial intelligence is likely to play a major role in EW. Couture also notes that, “In the past in EW, you had a classified list of target signatures, but now there are more and more new threats and to counter some of them – especially if you are in theater in combat and seeing something for the first time – you have cognitive systems, a neural net AI, sometimes called deep learning or machine learning, to do this on the fly,” Couture says. “It’s in the toddler phase now, but these cognitive techniques will begin deploying in the next decade. This will require a lot more processing power than a decade ago. It used to be megaflops, now gigaflops, and becoming teraflops.”

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The Applied Technology Institute (ATI) offers a wide variety of up-to-date and in-depth courses in Radars, Missiles, and Defense.

Report – Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 20, 2015) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) fires a Standard Missile 2 (SM-2) during a live-fire test of the ship's Aegis weapons system Oct. 20, 2015. The Sullivans is participating in At Sea Demonstration 2015 (ASD 15), an exercise testing network interoperability between NATO and allied forces. (U.S. Navy photo by Information Specialist 1st Class Steven Martel/Released) 151020-N-XX999-001 Join the conversation:

Issues for Congress regarding the Aegis BMD program include the following:

1.  required numbers of BMD-capable Aegis ships versus available numbers of BMD-capable Aegis ships;
2.  a proposed reduction in planned procurement quantities of SM-3 Block IB and IIA missiles under the FY2018 budget submission, compared to planned quantities under the FY2017 budget submission;
3.  whether the Aegis test facility in Hawaii should be converted into an operational Aegis Ashore site to provide additional BMD capability for defending Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast;
4.  burden sharing—how European naval contributions to European BMD capabilities and operations compare to U.S. naval contributions to European BMD capabilities and operations;
5.  the potential for ship-based lasers, electromagnetic railguns (EMRGs), and hypervelocity projectiles (HVPs) to contribute in coming years to Navy terminal phase BMD operations and the impact this might eventually have on required numbers of ship-based BMD interceptor missiles;
6.  technical risk and test and evaluation issues in the Aegis BMD program; and
7.  the lack of a target for simulating the endo-atmospheric (i.e., final) phase of flight of China’s DF-21 anti-ship ballistic missile.

Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program Congressional Research Service
Continue reading Report – Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Albert Einstein’s Prediction Was Realized


CBS and many other news outlets and technical publications reported that two neutron stars, one exceeding the mass of the sun by 1.6 times, collided with a smaller, but a still, significant star, collided “producing a so-called “kilonova” explosion that seeded the local environment with a flood of heavy elements ranging from gold and platinum to uranium and beyond, scientists said Monday.” These neutron stars were formed in supernova explosions approximately 2 billion years after the big bang.

After crashing together at nearly the speed of light, “radiating gravitational waves and a torrent of electromagnetic radiation that reached Earth at roughly the same moment 130 million years after the fact.”

This collision is “an astronomical gold mine of sorts” as supernova explosions create heavy metals, that cannot alone “explain the observed abundances of gold, platinum, uranium and other heavy elements.”

“Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916 in his general theory of relativity. The equations indicated that massive bodies under acceleration, like two merging black holes, neutron stars or the collapsing cores of huge stars in the death throes of supernova explosions, would radiate gravitational energy in the form of waves distorting the fabric of spacetime.”

For more information, visit:

The Applied Technology Institute provides a broad range of Space- and Satellite-related short courses.  For a listing of available courses see:

The U.S. Military Needs to Be Ready to Wage 3 Very Different Types of Wars

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jonathan Kluck, Commander of the 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment (1–68 Armor), 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team (3rd ABCT), 4th Infantry Division (4th ID), prepares to dismount his M1A2 Abrams tank after a Combined Arms Live Fire at the 7th Army Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, July 31, 2017. (U.S. Army photo by Visual Information Specialist Gertrud Zach)
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jonathan Kluck, Commander of the 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment (1–68 Armor), 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team (3rd ABCT), 4th Infantry Division (4th ID), prepares to dismount his M1A2 Abrams tank after a Combined Arms Live Fire at the 7th Army Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, July 31, 2017. (U.S. Army photo by Visual Information Specialist Gertrud Zach)

In an article published by The National interest in Oct. 2017, Dave Majumdar cites that, “As rival powers rise to challenge the United States, the Pentagon is faced with the problem of how to face down a spectrum of challenges that range from nuclear deterrence to high-end conventional wars to the low-end counterinsurgency fights.”  How will the Pentagon address all three at the same time? Secretary of Defense, John Mattis, defines it as the Pentagon;s “Problem Statement.” Speaking to an audience at the Association of the U.S. Army Exposition on Oct. 9th, Mattis indicated that “the Defense Department is taking a three-pronged approach to the problem.”

To read more about this approach, visit:

The Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers many short courses on the topics of Radar, Missiles, and Defense, including the following upcoming open enrollments:

See a list of all Radar, Missiles, and Defense courses that ATI offers as open enrollment or on-site.

Examples Of Before and After Imagery That Can Assist In Response Recovery and Rebuilding Operation Planning and Assessment.

As Hurricane Irma churned through the Caribbean and up Florida’s coast,   satellites have been capturing high-resolution images of the storm’s damage. Imaging in the Caribbean became possible over the weekend as the clouds moved out of the area.

Before-and-after imagery taken between Friday, Sept. 8 and Sept. 11 of several places in the Caribbean: Tortola, Turks and Caicos, St Maarten, Necker Island, Barbuda and Saint Martin. The “after” images were taken by Digital Globe’s WorldView-3, WorldView-2 and GeoEye-1 satellites.

Digital Globe has also publicly released pre- and post-event satellite imagery of the areas affected by Hurricane Irma through our Open Data Program, which provides imagery to support recovery efforts in the wake of large-scale natural disasters. Humanitarian Open Street Map Team (HOT) set up mapping tasks for Irma using Digital Globe imagery in preparation for the storm. Additional tasks will be established once more post-event imagery is available, as will a Tomnod crowd sourcing campaign.


Port Barbuda PortBarbudaPost StMaartenPreStMaartenPostPhotos credit to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce.

Cyberwarfare: US Launched DDoS Attacks Against North Korean Spy Agency

Applied Technology Institute offers a variety of courses on Cyber warfare and Cyber Security.

  1. Cyber Leader Course (CLC)
  2. Cyber Security – Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)- D124
  3. Cyber Warfare – Global Trends- D131

We think the news below would be of interested to our readers.

The United States has reportedly been engaged in offensive cyber attacks against North Korea, but with no destructive results. According to a report by the Washington Post, President Donald Trump signed a directive earlier this year of putting pressure on North Korea that involved several diplomatic and cyber-military actions, including using cyber activities against the country.

The United States Cyber Command, which was elevated to a Unified Combatant Command by the President earlier this year, targeted North Korea’s military spy agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau. The attack was a distributed denial of service (DDoS) campaign with an aim to flood North Korean spy agency’s servers with traffic, crippling its access to the internet.

“The elevation of United States Cyber Command demonstrates our increased resolve against cyberspace threats and will help reassure our allies and partners and deter our adversaries,” the White House had said when the President had elevated its status to a combatant unit. “Through United States Cyber Command, we will tackle our cyberspace challenges in coordination with like-minded allies and partners as we strive to respond rapidly to evolving cyberspace security threats and opportunities globally.”

It is unclear when exactly the DDoS attack was launched and how long it lasted, but the Post said that the operation “was due to end” on September 30. The overall campaign – that included a diplomatic campaign to push other countries to sever all ties with Pyongyang – was started in March, this year.

The officials in the US believe that the campaign wasn’t destructive and was merely designed to put pressure on the country. “Nonetheless, some North Korean hackers griped that lack of access to the Internet was interfering with their work,” WaPo reported citing an official. While North Korea isn’t going to find any vocal allies, the latest DDoS attack does make a point that the United States is capable of crippling an adversary’s cyberwar capabilities, even if temporarily.

Russia started providing a second internet route for North Korea, that showed up on Dyn Research according to Security Week. “In effect, it went live with a stable link between Russia and North Korea shortly after the US Cyber Command action finished,” the report adds. Analysts believe that with the DDoS attacks, the US could have had two goals: send a warning to the country and push it to reveal its other channels of internet access or use those that are potentially being monitored.

Some, however, worry that the operation – while not destructive when looked through the US officials’ eyes – might be taken as an act of war by the North Korean administration that could retaliate against the United States using its critical infrastructure that some believe has already been compromised.

Photography Contest for the Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy

ATI is a supporter and follower of the United States Naval Academy USNA. Several of our instructors are Naval Academy graduates.

The USNA held a photography contest for the midshipmen to highlight their summer training activities around the globe. These are some of the best images. It shows a diversity of places the USNA midshipmen go over their working summer.

Remote Sensing Before and After Hurricane Harvey

800px-Harvey_2017-08-25_2231ZThe value of remote sensing is shown again with images of before and after Hurricane Harvey. Wow – Take a look!

The Ny times featured Digital Globe images of the areas of Texas that were severely hit by Hurricane Harvey. There are also street level photographs to show the local spots before and after Harvey.

If you are interested in learning more about remote sensing from satellites the Applied Technology Institute (ATIcourses) has in-depth technical training programs.

The Washington Post has great images of the the rainfall rate relative to historic averages. The claim is that some Texas areas had a rainfall rate that is a 0.1% chance flood event in a year or 1 in 1000 in a year.

“A new analysis from the University of Wisconsin’s Space Science and
Engineering Center has determined that Harvey is a 1-in-1,000-year flood
event that has overwhelmed an enormous section of Southeast Texas
equivalent in size to New Jersey.”

Harvey released 40 inches to 45 inches of rain in a few days over areas of Texas or about 24.5 trillion gallons of water. Huge amount! – that is 3.5 ft in some areas.

The prediction of the frequency of strong flooding is tricky. The definitions and methods matter and can be slanted to make the author’s point. See the many comments to the above article.

By some measures this is the third 500 year flood in 3 years for Houston.

Please update this post with useful articles about the analysis of the Harvey rainfall and flooding in comparison to other major US flood events.


Government-ShutdownApplied Technology Institute (ATICourses) provides a variety of technical training courses on Space, Satellite, Radar, Defense, Engineering, Systems Engineering, and Sonar.  Now is the time to plan your training!

This updates an 8/18/2017 post. Unfortunately, the shutdown risk has grown!

This is a good article about the economic cost of a federal shutdown. It provides many detailed examples of the costs of the shutdown caused by the failure of the federal government to act in a timely way due to the shutdown.
Jeff Neal was the chief human capital officer at the Homeland Security Department and the chief human resources officer at the Defense Logistics Agency.

Planning training and travel for FY 2018 could be tricky if there is a government shutdown of unknown duration. Many of the people that ATI has talked to have “no remaining FY 2017 training funds and have no idea what training budget will be in the FY 2018”.

The last government shutdown occurred in 2013. The 16-day-long shutdown of October 2013 was the third-longest government shutdown in U.S. history, after the 18-day shutdown in 1978 and the 21-day 1995–96 shutdown. ATI was conducting training in 1995-1996. The 1995 shut-down was chaos.

The last time sequestration kicked in 2013, it forced many federal agencies to furlough employees, costing them up to 20 percent of their salary during the furlough period.  Fortunately, all the government employees were eventually paid their full salary. Paying employees to not work and then rush to catch-up is a wasteful government practice. Many had to struggle until the late salary pay was received.

Standard & Poor’s estimated that the 2013 shutdown took $24 billion out of the U.S. economy, and reduced projected fourth-quarter GDP growth from 3 percent to 2.4 percent.

Even after the shutdown was over there was confusion for several months as employees talked about the shutdown and tried to get all the affected programs back on track. Small businesses and tourist locations lost money that was never recovered. Training and travel funds were devastated for most of the year in 1995 and 2013.

Congress must pass a new government funding bill by Sept. 30 to prevent a shutdown on Oct. 1, which is when fiscal 2018 begins. In previous years, because of the limited amount of time on Capitol Hill in September, lawmakers have been forced to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government running for a few more months.

This year could be different. “Build that wall,” Mr. Trump said. “Now the obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it. But believe me, if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall.”

We’re months away from agreeing on the annual budget, and if Congress and President Trump fail to appropriate funds, government departments won’t be able to spend money. This means contractors won’t get paid.

“If the budget debate gets ugly, which is a clear possibility, we could see the stock shares weaken in September, and then potentially rebound fairly quickly with the conclusion of (or lack of) any shutdown, as was the case in 2013,” Wells Fargo analyst Ed Caso wrote in a Thursday note.

See this link for continuing news updates on the potential 2017 shutdown.

What Could Happen?

During the federal shutdown of 2013, contractor stocks fell as much as 6 percent, while annual revenue and earnings per share were estimated to average a 1- to 1.5-percent hit, according to Wells Fargo. IFCI also lowered guidance.

But this year’s shocks could be amplified.

“We should note that in 2013 the defense sector was at through EV/EBITDA (enterprise value to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) multiples, while now they are in the upper quartile suggesting the potential for more volatility,” Caso wrote.

But How Worried Should We Be?

Given the current political climate, Caso considers a one-day shutdown possible and a multi-day shutdown modestly likely. Still, the caprice of the Trump administration merits preparation.

“The political calculus, in our view, is even more unstable than in 2013, so uncertainty going into GFY end (September) should only be higher even with the memory that no one gained politically from the 2013 shutdown,” he wrote.

Additionally, the drastic budget changes proposed could sustain debate more contentious than that driving the previous 16-day shutdown. Government agencies and employees do not know how to plan training and travel. Confusion will result for several months.

Army Chief of Staff Orders a Review of EW Shortfalls


Breaking Defense reports that “Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley, has ordered a review of service’s longstanding shortfalls in electronic warfare, officers told me in an exclusive interview. The ultimate goal: give commanders from platoon to corps the ability to shut down enemy radio and radar as readily as they now call in airstrikes and artillery. It’s a critical part of the Army’s plan to hit future enemies from all possible angles at once, a concept called Multi-Domain Battle.”

Col. Mark Dotson noted that an already apparent issue is the problem that the Army’s current plan to rebuild EW “focuses on combat brigades and neglects higher-level formations, like divisions and corps.”

Col. Chris Walls, a cyber/EW expert on the Army staff, notes that the Army wishes to do the same with the invisible artillery of electronic and cyber warfare that it did, since World War II, “when [they had] mortars, artillery, rockets, attack aviation if I had it, all firing at the target at the same time… to force them to face multiple dilemmas simultaneously.”

ATI offers a variety of EW and EW-related courses, some of which are offered at the end of September 2017. These include:

ELINT Interception and Analysis
September 11–14 2017 in Dayton, OH

Rockets and Launch Vehicles: Selection and Design
September 18–21 2017 in Columbia, MD

C4ISR Requirements, Principles, and Systems
September 19–21 2017 in Columbia, MD

Electronic Warfare Against the New Threat Environment
November 13–16 in Columbia, MD

Radar Systems Fundamentals
November 14–16 in Columbia, MD