Article | July 18, 2019

Highs And Lows Of Electronic Warfare

Source: dB Control
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By Mike Lee, Director of Sales and Marketing, dB Control

EW-Specialist-Staff-Sgt.-Joseph-Baumgartner-US-Army-photo-by-Staff-Sgt.-Felicia-Jagdatt-200x300

For the US Army, the next chapter of electronic warfare (EW) is all about precision and low visibility. In a statement last month, Col. Mark Dotson said the Army’s new EW strategy is centered on, “using low power to affect the signal and to affect it in such a way that it may not even be detectable that you’re interfering with what they’re doing.”

Electronic warfare is unique because it makes room for lower power strategies like this, as well as higher power strategies. Both are important pieces of the same puzzle. The discrete EW solution in development by the Army is just one approach that the US Armed Forces can use in a multi-domain task force. At the other end of the spectrum, the industry continues to see an insatiable thirst for high-power amplifiers and high-voltage power supplies to meet additional EW needs like jamming.

Even with new strategies at play, integrated EW and signals intelligence platforms will need products that support wider frequency bandwidths. Likewise, these products must support frequency ranges from UHF-VHF bands to the upper edges of millimeter-wave to ensure accurate, early detection of electronic attack.

dB Control has a long history of developing millimeter-wave high-power amplifier (HPA) solutions to support customers with higher power EW needs. For example – when a UAV is 80,000 feet above sea level and experiencing tumultuous conditions, this environment lends favorably to the high voltage requirements in millimeter wave HPAs. Other ECM, EW, radar, datalink and satcom platforms fare well with the millimeter-wave HPAs too. Here are some solutions from dB Control:

  • dB-3860 Rack Mount TWTA: 34.5-35.5 GHz, 750 Watts peak, 10% duty cycle, rack-mount configuration. Applications: Radars, test/measurement, antenna pattern and radar cross-section measurements, EW simulation
  • dB-3861 Rack Mount TWTA: 32-36 GHz, 400 Watts peak, 25% duty cycle, rack-mount configuration. Applications: Radars, test/measurement, antenna pattern and radar cross-section measurements, EW simulation
  • dB-3709i Hub Mount TWTA: 34.5-35.5 GHz, 700 Watts peak, 10% duty cycle, hub-mount configuration. Applications: Radars, test/measurement, antenna pattern and radar cross-section measurements, EW simulation

 Photo: Staff Sgt. Joseph Baumgartner, an electronic warfare specialist with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, fixes his equipment on top of his high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle, which is one part of the overall modernized equipment. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Felicia Jagdatt)