Three new military technology research programs are showing us two things.
First, the term “spectrum warfare” is evolving quickly well-understood mainstream usage, and second, spectrum warfare rapidly is taking its place as a top U.S. military priority.
For the uninitiated, spectrum warfare is an umbrella term that comprises the hitherto separate military disciplines of electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and navigation warfare.
Of these separate components that are morphing into a spectrum warfare whole, electronic warfare (EW) probably is best known. EW involves controlling the radio frequency (RF) spectrum to enable the U.S. and its allies freely to operate RF systems like radio communications and radar, and denying this ability to adversaries.
EW involves encompasses technologies and applications that involve RF jamming, signals intelligence, electronic intelligence, and other disciplines to control and deny use of the RF spectrum.
Cyber warfare involves computer hacking, introducing malicious computer viruses without the recipient’s knowledge, theft of computer passwords, and spying on data flowing over sensitive networks. Cyber also involves information security and cyber security technologies designed to protect sensitive government and business networks and computers from hackers.
Optical warfare is similar to EW, except that it involves light instead of radio waves. Optical warfare involves simple applications like surveillance with visible-light cameras and infrared sensors, to laser targeting, laser-based defenses against infrared-guided missiles, and high-energy laser weapons to defend against rockets, mortars, and artillery shells.
Navigation warfare the use and denial of satellite navigation technologies like the Global Positioning System. It describes the free use by the U.S. and its allies of GPS technologies for navigating ships, vehicles, and aircraft to and from their destinations, as well as for guiding smart munitions to their targets.
The Latest on: Spectrum warfare
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The Latest on: Spectrum warfare
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