Software enables advances in electronic warfare, simulation

Software enables advances in electronic warfare, simulation

Ackerman, Robert K

Two key Defense Department programs involving electronic warfare are benefiting from software innovations. The Raven miniature laser warning system is designed to outfit Navy ships and aircraft with detectors that can warn of a broad spectrum of lasers (SIGNAL, August 1997, page 25). The joint modeling and simulation system (JMASS), designed to serve engineering and engagement level simulation needs, can be applied as a vital element in electronic warfare modeling (SIGNAL, July 1997, page 43).

Raven features software, developed by CACI, Arlington, Virginia, that can collect input from two laser sensors and a global positioning system. This software can filter false alarms and calculate the signal’s pulse repetition frequency, angle of arrival, wavelength, and amplitude. It also can report the sensor heartbeat message that contains the operational status of the sensor.

Tests using helicopter- and aircraft-mounted pod systems demonstrate Raven’s ability to detect and suppress reflected pulses in a full 360-degree field. The system also proved its capability to be integrated with a dedicated coprocessor board for the AN/ALE-47 missile warning system.

Subsequent development added functionality to the software and rehosted it to a specialized Tracor Aerospace Incorporated, LWS coprocessor. This unit effectively is a Motorola C-30-based embedded computer that installs into the spare slot of the AN/ALE-47 processor. As a result, Raven software is now compatible with Intel 486/586-type processors, the Intel 68332 processor and the Motorola C30 processor. CACI expects to rehost the software to other platforms as well.

JMASS, developed by Boeing/McDonnell Douglas, provides analysis programs necessary for supporting all phases of weapon system development. It uses both C++ and Ada for simulation execution but includes a personal-computer-based application as well. The system employs structured, reusable software objects to develop models, assembling the objects into players and weapon systems, and configuring and executing simulations.

This enables JMASS to simulate electronic warfare systems at the beginning of the acquisition cycle. The same techniques can be applied during the system life cycle, when it can be impractical or too expensive to put upgrades through an extensive testing regimen. Employing Defense Department standardized languages and tools allows an accelerated upgrade process.

CACI is involved with development of the JMASS distributed architecture and communication backplane; the physical environment model; and the tools to support and automate the model development, scenario generation and simulation analysis process. -RKA

Copyright Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Jul 1998

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