June Spectrum SitRep

Thurbon CEMA Screenshot
MASS’ THURBON CEMA electronic warfare and intelligence mission data management system can hold and manage a mind-bending array of data related to electromagnetic emitters and their users. The software offers clear benefits not only for the military, but also for the intelligence and law enforcement communities.

Armada’s monthly round-up of all the latest electronic warfare news in the product, programme and operational domains.

THURBON enhancements

MASS has unveiled further enhancements to the company’s THURBON electronic warfare and intelligence mission data management system. The company revealed it has developed a new iteration of the software known as THURBON CEMA (Cyber and Electromagnetic Activities).

THURBON CEMA significantly increases the system’s capabilities regarding blue and red force electromagnetic emitters across sea, land and air domains. THURBON presents the battlespace in a cartographic form covering the area of operations. Blue and red force assets such as bases, sensors, weapons systems, platforms and even individuals can be populated with an array of electromagnetic information. This data includes everything from the radars used by a surface-to-air missile battery to the cell phone of an individual. In fact, all the communications systems used by an individual can be matched to the person and depicted. As with the legacy THURBON architecture, THURBON CEMA users can easily see all the electromagnetic information associated with a blue or red force asset by clicking onto the asset and extracting the information you want to see. Alternatively, assets in the operational area can be filtered.

For example, a user may want to see all white force (neutral) assets in the operational area using satellite phones. This information can be easily retrieved and presented. As relevant intelligence is collected it can be entered into THURBON CEMA to populate the relevant assets. The CEMA enhancements to the THURBON software allows the user to not only see the red force Electronic Order-of-Battle (EOB), the blue force EOB can also be presented. The latter is invaluable during blue force electromagnetic planning and command and control, ensuring that a convoy’s communications coverage is uninterrupted, for example. Interruptions could arise from red force jamming, but also be due to natural causes like rugged terrain interrupting communications lines of sight.

Additional useful information like taboo frequencies can be loaded into THURBON CEMA and presented. Likewise, intelligence concerning Remote-Controlled Improvised Explosive Devices (RCIED) can be processed and presented. RCIED intelligence can include the types of radio system used to detonate roadside bombs. Alongside THURBON CEMA’s applicability to the military domain, the software can be employed to support intelligence gathering and law enforcement.

PLATH NEMO COMINT System on German Army Vehicle
PLATH’s NEMO COMINT system is shown here equipping a Heer (German Army) General Dynamics/MOWAG Duro wheeled vehicle. The Heer acquired three NEMO systems as technology demonstrators in 2014. PLATH ‘s SDI Core is being developed to provide additional COMINT processing to networked NEMO systems.

Core business

This year’s PLATH Intelligence Workshop took place on 13th May in the town of Lillestrøm, southeast Norway. The company presented its SDI (Software Defined Intelligence) Core which is designed to provide a remotely accessible software core that can support Communications Intelligence (COMINT) analysis. The SDI Core is designed to work with the company’s NEMO COMINT systems family.

Company representatives said that some COMINT can often be unclear or corrupted. Such signals may eclipse the processing capabilities of NEMO. NEMO users can send ambiguous or unclear signals to the SDI Core which performs additional signals analysis. The SDI Core accommodates a host of software applications which can execute this additional analysis in near real time. The results of this additional analysis can then be shared with the NEMO users, or with third parties.

Company representatives said that the SDI Core is at the experimental stage and currently at between Technology Readiness Levels Three and Four (TRL-3/4). According to European Union definitions, TRL-3 denotes the demonstration of a technology’s experimental proof of concept. TRL-4 denotes that the technology has been demonstrated in a laboratory environment. PLATH representatives continued that the SDI should reach TRL-5, when the technology is demonstrated in a relevant environment over the next year.

Dual Band Decoy
BAE Systems’ new Dual Band Decoy is being developed to outfit the US Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fleet. It is expected to enter service in circa 2027.

Dual is cool

On 15th May BAE Systems announced its selection by the US Navy to develop a new Dual Band Decoy (DBD) to equip the service’s combat aircraft. A press release announcing the news said the decoy will be used to help protect aircraft from radar-guided threats. The release continued that the DBD will build on the work the company has already performed vis-à-vis its AN/ALE-55 fibre-optic towed decoy. Like the AN/ALE-55, the DBD will outfit the US Navy’s Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet planes. Don Davidson, BAE Systems’ advanced compact electronic warfare solutions director, told Armada that the company cannot specify what wavelengths and frequencies the DBD will be effective against. However, Mr. Davidson did state that the initial operational capability for the DBD is expected to be declared in circa 2027.

by Dr. Thomas Withington