Signal Exploitation Processing Using Distributed Generic Computers, 16-9374

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Principal Investigator
Robert W. Robison

Inclusive Dates: 01/01/03 - Current

Background - The majority of Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) systems that are currently in use rely on expensive and specialized hardware components. Systems that have been recently developed have often used proprietary, custom hardware in order to meet the processing requirements of the specific system design. It is time consuming and costly to migrate these customized designs to newer hardware to take advantage of advances in technology.

The processing and memory available in typical desktop computers that are now so ubiquitous rival that which was only available with custom hardware even a few years ago. High-end desktop machines now have the potential of handling the number crunching and Input/Output (I/O) requirements of SIGINT systems.

Approach - The primary objective of this program is the investigation of the suitability of high-speed general-purpose computers in modern-signal exploitation systems. The goal of this investigation is to demonstrate that there are significant portions of a SIGINT system that can be successfully implemented in low-cost hardware. In particular, this program is focusing on the "channelization" process that takes a high-sample rate, wideband-input data stream, and performs the filtering and decimation necessary to produce many narrowband data streams for signal analysis. The narrowband data streams are typically 3-25 kHz of bandwidth and are used for selecting individual signals out of the many signals present in the original wideband data stream.

Accomplishments - A detailed design has been done for implementation of the software-based channelizer. This design phase has produced Use Case Diagrams and Sequence Diagrams using Rational Rose. The channelizer is being implemented in C++ and will provide a CORBA interface to other parts of a typical SIGINT system. ACE TAO (CORBA 2.5 compliant) interfaces were created for tasking the channelizer and for receiving data.

A Wideband Data Handler class has been developed and currently is capable of providing simulated data to test the rest of the channelizer as it is developed. Additionally, some testing has been performed using a Firewire interface board and a wideband data source. This will be the primary mechanism for accessing true wideband data in a typical signal exploitation system.

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