Working in partnership with the UK MOD
Identification has also improved said Ventress who is now Head of Strategy and Product Policy at Thales.
“We are trying to get to the nirvana of 100% of identification automatically without a person being in the loop but that is extremely difficult to do because there are so many people accessing the spectrum.
“Currently, we have radars that can analyse about five million pulses per second, which gives you some understanding of the density of the signal environment that we are dealing with and the amount of processing power that is needed,” he said.
In 2012 Thales UK accepted a contract with the UK MOD to upgrade the surface fleet of the Royal Navy with a new Fully Digital Radar Electronic Support Measures (RESM) system, VIGILE-D featuring a unique digital antenna.
The six-year, multi-million pound research programme resulted in the development of radio frequency sampling and wideband digital receiver technology – which means a complete digital solution from antenna to console.
Digitising the radio frequency signal at the antenna, means that the majority of the receiver functionality is implemented using software and firmware algorithms.
This enables Thales to utilise commercial off-the-shelf hardware, which is cheaper to purchase and easier to maintain, alongside world leading EW support and emitter identification software.
Remaining one step ahead
Thales’ system, VIGILE-D, which has been awarded world patent rights, provides excellent performance in the dense radar environment, with the capability to manage multiple, simultaneous signals.
This makes it the most cost effective, technology advanced RESM solution available and enables customers to benefit from greater situational awareness, threat identification and intelligence gathering capability.
Ventress, said: “If you imagine, even in the early 2000s, we were still all watching football on our analogue TV sets and on a foggy night in Wigan, you could barely make out the white lines on the pitch. That is where we were. Now, we can see the sweat on Harry Kane’s brow through our HD televisions. That is the leap we have made. We have gone from analogue, to wide band, to digital wideband.”
Other countries like America are making the move to digital, however, they are working in a different way by taking lots of little narrowband 500 megahertz digital receivers and stacking them on top of each other to make 16 gigahertz. However, the amount of equipment needed for this approach means that the systems are big, heavy, hot, power hungry and costly.
By comparison, Thales has managed to define the spectrum purely in software, which means that its technology is small, lightweight and relatively inexpensive for the vast capabilities of the product.
This has helped to ensure that Thales’ customers are able to remain one step ahead of the rapidly evolving operational environment and can make better, more informed decisions.
For more information on our Electronic Warfare capabilities visit our webpage or contact:
Electronic Warfare UK Contact
Electronic Warfare International Contact