• White Paper- Jamming at the Gate, Part One

    Not a reference to music but a hot topic nonetheless. This two-sided issue is often the “non-issue” or the topic professionals prefer to overlook or not discuss with clients.

    • Side one (“Offense”): the use of jamming technology to effect spectrum control and protection (active, purposeful denial or “blanking” of some or all of the communication frequencies of potential use by adversaries or Opposing Forces [OPFORS]). All systems are monitored, extensively. IT Security

    This chart, created by Cisco, illustrates their approach. Note the activities (Functions and Usage Scenarios, the outside boxes) and the integrated control functions (inside boxes). This represents an approach to an integrated monitoring and control architecture.


    • Side two (“Defense”): OPFORS’ use of jammers designed to defeat Friendly Forces’ sensors and communication subsystems and the Counter-Electronic Countermeasures used to defeat these attacks.

    This blog entry is focused on the Offense side, Part Two is focused on the Defense Side, and Part Three is focused on Risk Mitigation.

    Offense (Active Spectrum Control, Friendly).
    Most of our available discussion in the open literature focuses on either of two broad types of equipment: (a) typically lower power, limited spectrum, controlled Signal to Interference + Noise Ratio (SINR) jammers (which “blank” signals of various types) and jammers used to shut down specific probes or intercepts and (b) higher broader power spectrum denial jammers. (Symmetric Key Cryptography is applicable in both.)

    Type A. These jammers are typically operated continuously and employ status monitoring receivers – usually smart Spectrum Analyzer/Analysis (SA) tools – strategically placed in order to “listen” for probes which make it through. An example could be a depot which uses certain microwave sensor pairs to form a fence; the jammer must not interfere with the fence sensor set but must blank out communication outside the fence.

    In any case of penetration, regardless of type, the second (b) type is immediately energized.

    Type B. These higher power jammers must be operated in a manner to defeat OPFORS’ systems without defeating Friendly’s systems as well, which usually necessitates frequency selectivity and coordinated-planned hopping AND outwardly radiating antennas with very high directionality and precise Front-to-Back (F-B) Ratio (notably the MIL-STD-188-100 Series). These approaches are more expensive and the equipment more complex. Due to the expense and complexity they are often centralized, which is their primary vulnerability to OPFORS – a precision strike can render them inoperable.

    For this reason organizations have been working more and more on distributed, shared knowledge base systems – allowing data acquisition, processing, distribution and decisioning in various points around the network. This is the most exciting cutting edge of work on fixed countermeasures. KTC’s development of Airborne Laser. Learn more about Critical Infrastructure Protection(CIP) and SCADA Security.

    Notably the work now extends as well to the individual, since the individual is a “node” albeit a moving node in the larger system. We shall expand on these points later in future blogs.

    Use in Security Design and Integration.
    Customers and Integrators need to comprehensively define both perceived threats and proposed threat defeat mechanisms with an eye to threats not just to penetration by ground/air forces but spectrum control or domination threats. Top 7 Critical Considerations for Physical Security, KTC’s Infographic, KTC’s approach to physical and IT security.

    As you’ll see in Part Three of this series, there are several proven subsystems produced by several vendors which can be used in the security design to mitigate risks of the types noted above. In Part Three, we will briefly discuss some case studies in which our designs were proven out.

    In Jamming at the Gate, Part Two, we discuss the “Defensive Side”, which is the OPFORS’ use of jammers designed to defeat Friendly Forces’ sensors and communication subsystems and the Counter-Electronic Countermeasures used to defeat these attacks.

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    2 Responses
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      • Dr. C. Robert Kline says:

        Hello WillseyYon – Thanks for visiting our site and reading the Jamming at the Gate blogs. We wish you the best of luck with your neighborhood program and please let us know if you have any particular questions we can help you with. Dr. Kline may respond separately. Good Luck!