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U.S. Army is working on encrypted radar that enemies can’t detect

Encrypted Radar

Always looking to push the technological envelope, the U.S. army is working on a new and innovative technology designed to shield radar emissions from detection.

According to reports, the U.S. Army Communications, Research, Development and Engineering Center (CRDEC), an organization based out of Maryland, has been busy developing an encrypted form of radar that enemy combatants in a war or combat setting would be unable to pick up on. Such a system would represent an important strategic advantage as soldiers in battle often need to use radar-based systems without letting adversaries know that they are operating in a given area.

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What the Army has come up with is a noise-encrypted waveform it calls Advanced Pulse Compression Noise (APCN), development of which has been ongoing since 2012.

APCN, according to the Army, utilizes “both traditional and non-traditional radar waveforms, and can be programmed in real-time to allow the system user (the Soldier) to optimize radar performance based on the particular scenario.”

As a result, APCN emits a radar waveform that’s constantly changing and never repeats itself. In turn, radar detection systems interpret the waveform as being nothing more than noise to be ignored. In practice, the benefits on the battlefield are clear as soldiers on the ground can significantly reduce the possibility of adversaries discovering and sabotaging a mission in-progress.

“The battlespace is continually evolving, and with that, comes the need to change the way we think about radar design,” Dr. Paul Zablocky of the CERDEC explained. “Techniques such as real-time re-programmable waveform synthesis and low probability of intercept/low probability of detection (LPI/LPD) provide added capability that will address the emerging electromagnetic spectrum challenges our Soldiers are likely to face in the future.”

Of course, the technology could see applications in law enforcement settings as well, with police using the technology to skirt around radar detectors being one obvious example.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.