US Army Spectrum Analyzer, Spec A, Will Improve Situational Awareness

abstract blue digital equalizer, vector of sound wave pattern element

The U.S. Army is working on a new spectrum analyzer to improve situational awareness. The analyzer, also called a Spec A, will integrate with the Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool (EW PMT) – a command-and-control capability that allows forces to visualize the potential effects of electronic warfare in the field and plan courses of action to prevent jammed capabilities. 

The Spec A will be a portable sensor for the Army Signal Electromagnetic Spectrum Managers – also known as 25E’s – to monitor and analyze electromagnetic signals of interest and interference areas – as well as visualize their own electromagnetic signature. It is expected that the integration of the two tools will provide a better operational picture of the electromagnetic spectrum in the near future.

“The Spec A capability that we are pursuing will be a portable piece of equipment deployed in a TOC [tactical operations center] or on a mobile platform to provide situational awareness by monitoring and analyzing the electromagnetic environment,” Col. Daniel Holland, Army capability manager for electronic warfare, stated.

The Army considers the spectrum analyzer’s most important performance parameter to be its interface with the EW PMT.

“We believe that the combination of a spectrum analyzer with EW-MPT allows the commander to visualize and plan network-enabled operations in the electromagnetic spectrum,” Holland said. “This planning and visualization is critical to winning on a multidomain battlefield teeming with many low-cost, but extremely capable adversary sensors.”

The EW-MPT is a multifunctional, command and control (C2) electronic warfare planning tool, that enabled soldiers to plan their electromagnetic spectrum operations, execute electromagnetic spectrum battle management, and reprogram electromagnetic spectrum sensors and shooters in the field.

“The EW PMT is the commander’s tool to control, manage and dominate the electromagnetic spectrum,” Col. Holland emphasized. “EW PMT also provides the ability to conduct remote control and management of electronic warfare assets and enables maneuver by synchronizing electronic warfare and spectrum management operations. And for years our spectrum managers have been clamoring for a program of record spectrum analyzer. The lack of an Army-wide standard spectrum analyzer, along with institutional training, support and sustainment, prevented spectrum managers from reaching their full potential.”