FW: *ICN - New Tools Emerge For InfoWar Battle
- New Tools Emerge For InfoWar Battle
BY: ROBERT WALL AND DAVID A. FULGHUM
In a bid to aid efforts to make information warfare more operationally
relevant, researchers are devising new ways to conduct various forms of
cyber, electronic and psychological warfare.
But developing the technology to make information warfare effective is only
part of the solution. Getting the proper people to conduct these missions,
particularly in the emerging cyberwarfare arena, is proving as much of a
challenge as the technology is.
Several organizations have sprung up to help address various aspects of the
information warfare challenge. Among them is the Air Force's Information
Warfare Battlelab which, since its inception in 1997, has examined more than
270 concepts. It now has 37 projects under investigation.
While many of the projects are unclassified, some of the most promising
involve closely guarded secrets. Two of the latter are ''Coordinated Noise''
Both are information warfare tools using directed energy technology and are
supposed to provide an ability to strike a target with extreme precision.
While Coordinated Noise is seen as relying on microwave energy, the Aimpoint
project could use either high-power microwaves or laser technology. The
projects are sponsored by an array of organizations, including the U.S. Air
Forces Europe, Special Operations Command, the Air Force Research Laboratory
and Air Combat Command.
The battlelab initiatives span many technologies, which are reflective of
the disparate fields that fall under the umbrella term of information
operations. Almost half of the battlelab efforts fall into a category called
information-in-warfare, an area encompassing intelligence, surveillance,
reconnaissance, navigation, weather and other activities. About 30% of the
projects are in the general category of electronic warfare, with about 8% of
initiatives associated with psychological operations.
EACH OF THE INITIATIVES is supposed to lead to a demonstration within 18
months. Most of them, about 70%, are proposed by industry, although a
considerable number emanate from the Air Force.
The psychological warfare area has yielded one of battlelab's latest
successes, a new leaflet bomb. The Air Force has been using the 200-lb. M129
leaflet bomb. But those canisters are aging and the inventory is being
rapidly depleted. However, the battlelab realized that older cluster
munitions were being phased-out of operational use, freeing up thousands of
SUU-30 dispensers that could be modified to deliver leaflets.
Using the SUU-30 had several advantages, said Lt. Col. Dan Radcliff, deputy
at the battlelab. For one, the weapon can actually carry about 1,000
leaflets, which is more than can be packed into the M129. Furthermore,
because the weapon has already undergone stores separation testing, what the
Air Force calls Seek Eagle, it can be fielded quickly.
The new device, designated the LBU-30, for leaflet bomb unit, recently
completed flight testing at Eglin AFB, Fla. The weapon was successfully
dropped from an F-16 flying at 20,000 ft. Several customers have already
signed up for the system, said Col. Mark J. Nichols, the battlelab's
ANOTHER PROJECT UNDERTAKEN at the lab was the Raytheon-built Microglider, a
22-in. long, 8-lb. vehicle that can carry a 4-lb. imaging payload for battle
damage assessment. The system would be dispensed from a tactical fighter and
fly 9-10 min. with a 10:1 glide ratio. The aircraft would fly to its target
at about 100-kt. speed, guided by GPS coordinates, said Lt. Jeremy Haas, of
In an operational configuration, the battle damage video would be relayed to
an RC-135 Rivet Joint or transmitted through another unmanned aircraft, like
Predator, or through satellites to an operations center.
On the navigation warfare front, the battlelab successfully demonstrated a
small GPS jammer. It was built to deny an adversary access to GPS signals.
The Air Force has retained the gear, which it is keeping ready for potential
operational use or to employ in exercises.
Another tool the Air Force has developed to aid its information attack
capability is called Sensor Harvest, which is built and managed by the Air
Force Information Warfare Center's IW Target Analysis Program. The system
essentially provides a repository of data on potential adversary countries
to determine how best to launch information warfare attacks. It can be used
to create ''target nomination files'' that war planners can draw on.
Constructing and maintaining a country file is time and personnel intensive,
however, which is the main reason Sensor Harvest only supports about 10
active countries at one time. On average, it takes about eight people seven
months to build a country file, using 500-1,000 data points from classified
and unclassified sources. Another 2-3 people are needed to maintain a
country. The tool also can be used against transnational threats, said one
Air Force official, although that field is still deemed relatively new.
On the defensive IW front, Defense Dept. officials are trying to ensure they
don't create possible vulnerabilities in systems they introduce. That's why
the Joint Information Operation Center (JIOC), also located here, has set up
a field demonstration team to do vulnerability analyses of the Pentagon's
Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations. These demos are devised to use
existing hardware to field new capabilities quickly.
Furthermore, the group is used to support exercises and emulate different IW
threats in the field, said Navy Lt. Jeff Garcia, who oversees the team. This
includes jamming which could be provided by a potential enemy. One feature
of the unit is that is uses exclusively off-the-shelf gear any adversary can
obtain. For instance, the hobby shop-like operation has been able to mount
effective direction-finding and signals intercept gear in a sport utility
and a recreational vehicle to clandestinely collect information on
On another front, USAF and other information warfare planners are attempting
to address a serious personnel shortfall problem. Shortages of uniformed
cyberwarfare experts has caused the Defense Dept. to rely, to some extent,
more on contractors. As a result ''our contractor costs have gone up,'' said
another JIOC official.
One strategy being pursued is that of wooing more civilian software
developers, said Army Col. David C. Kirk, deputy commander of the Joint
Information Operations Center. The organization has had some success
enticing software engineers looking for a more steady lifestyle than the
highly competitive pace of Silicon Valley. But that in itself isn't enough
to fill the military's demands, Kirk acknowledged.
Another effort is to make sure all computer talent in the military is
properly exploited. ''We found Washington Air National Guard Microsoft
software employees working on diesel generators,'' said Maj. Gen. Bruce
Wright, commander of the Air Intelligence Agency. They now have been
reassigned and are instead supporting the Air Force's computer aggressor
squadron. Similar initiatives are underway with the Texas, Vermont and
Kentucky Air National Guards, Wright said.
THE PERSONNEL CRUNCH is being felt not only in the cyberwarfare realm. ''We
are literally short of people much worse than we are of money right now,''
added Col. James C. Massaro, commander of the 67th Information Operations
Wing. One area where the wing always is struggling to fill slots is in
linguists, who fill critical listening positions on, for instance, the
RC-135 Rivet Joint signals intercept aircraft. There are some areas where
there are only two or three speakers of a language in the Air Force, which
means they have to be deployed often and are difficult to keep in the
service, Massaro noted.
Aviation Week & Space Technology
February 26, 2001
Det. Robert W. Miller
Colorado Internet Crimes Against
Children Task Force
Pueblo High Tech. Crime Unit
Pueblo County Sheriff's Office
320 S. Joe Martinez Blvd.
Pueblo West, CO. 81007
PGP key available at: http://pgpkeys.mit.edu:11371/
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