Electronic Weapons: Making Radar Signals Dance

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March 29, 2016: Electronic warfare is often all about developing a new technology and putting it to use before the enemy can. One such breakthrough is a recent patent for APCN (Advanced Pulse Compression Noise). This is a technique which allows the user to not only encrypt radar signals (to make them harder to identify and jam) but also to rapidly modify the nature of the radar signal to adapt to local climactic conditions and geography. This not only further improves security but makes radar equipment far more effective. The big question now is how soon will APCN be ready for the combat zone. In the past the answer would have been “years if not longer” but another new technology (since the 1980s) is RAD (Rapid Application Development). This was first created for faster creation of useful new software. But the concept quickly spread to other complex systems.

RAD makes a big difference. In the past these new technologies take decades to mature. For example the basis of security and reliability in modern military communications is encryption (to prevent the enemy from listening in and understanding your messages) and frequency hopping (to reduce the impact of jamming and eavesdropping.) One of the earliest patents for frequency hopping was granted during World War II and one of the two inventors of movie actress Heddy Lamar. But the Lamar method was only the beginning and it took decades of development and refinement to achieve what we have today.

 


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