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Software-defined technology is 'democratising' electronic warfare, says DARPA official

27th October 2022 - 16:00 GMT | by David Isby in Washington DC

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Future software-defined radar and jamming technology will be cheap to develop and difficult to identify by passive sensors using traditional databases, so DARPA is working on cognitive alternatives. (Photo: US Army)

Software-defined jammers and radars are reducing the cost of development to thousands of dollars and could force a pace of change that makes threat libraries obsolete.

Software-defined electronics 'have massively democratised the EW game', Dr Kevin 'Taz' Plaks, director of the Adaptive Capabilities Office (ACO) within DARPA said, speaking at the annual AOC convention in Washington DC on 25 October . 

'When, for a few thousand dollars, anyone can build a jammer, how are you going to use the electromagnetic spectrum?', was the question he posed. Similarly, software-defined radars can be 'super-affordable compared to traditional radars. I could build transceivers for a couple of thousand dollars. Because everything is software-defined, it can be changed very rapidly.' 

For current passive sensors to recognise such radars by reference to

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David Isby

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David Isby


David Isby is a Washington-based attorney and consultant on national security issues. He has experience …

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