Signal Exploitation

Image: Signal Exploitation
Image: Signal Exploitation

The Signal Exploitation Section in the Defense and Intelligence Solutions Division at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) provides advanced signal processing algorithms and systems for the automated intercept, recognition, analysis, demodulation, and location of communications signals.

The Signal Exploitation Section applies signal processing techniques to detect, acquire, locate and exploit non-cooperative signal transmissions. Section members are heavily involved in developing, implementing and testing custom signal classifiers (recognizers), demodulators and decoders.

Nearly half the section members hold Ph.D.s in electrical engineering, which allows the section to lead state-of-the-art research in various signal processing areas as well as support current system algorithm and system requirements.

Bradley C. Brown, Manager

Signal Exploitation Technical Strengths

  • Adaptive filtering
  • Advanced detection techniques
  • Advanced spectral estimation techniques
  • Geolocation net analysis and design
  • Image processing
  • Interference mitigation
  • N-channel systems and techniques
  • Protocol analysis
  • Signal analysis workstations
  • Signal recognition/demodulation
  • SEI techniques
  • Super-resolution DF technique
  • Data mining

Examples of efforts staff members are involved in include a signal analysis tool called TassGui. TassGui provides a user friendly method for an operator/analyst to visual potential signals of interest, make signal measurements, and perform automated or manual demodulation operations. The GUI will accept many signal file type inputs, display the signal in various formats (FFT, time series, etc.)

Signal Exploitation section staff members also contribute to the division’s ongoing development of direction finding (DF) and geolocation techniques. The plot above shows the capabilities of a novel SwRI developed test system. The system relies on N-channel technology to perform DF on all energy present in a wideband spectrum at a high rate. The color overlay on the right half of the figure indicates direction of arrival results for at a specific frequency over a very short time period.

This result is useful by itself in helping operators understand the spectral environment they are observing, but it can also be used to enhance new energy detection algorithms using spatial coherency as a qualifying parameter.

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Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.