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In uncontrolled environments, secure communications can be jeopardized by RF signals that are almost impossible to manually find and identify in real-time. New technology will identify RF signals in increasingly crowded electromagnetic spectrum environments, providing commercial or military users with greater automated situational awareness of their operating environment.

The US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has awarded BAE Systems with a $14 million contract to develop tools to decipher ever-growing number of radio frequency (RF) signals in order to quickly and accurately help secure mission-critical information.

Operating within the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, IARPA invests in research programs to tackle Intelligence Community’s challenges.

BAE Systems will advance machine learning and artificial intelligence technology and techniques to identify signals in the RF spectrum under the terms of the contract, which is part of the Securing Compartmented Information with Smart Radio Systems (SCISRS) program, according to the company announcement. Intelligence Community and Department of Defense missions require that information and data be securely generated, stored, used, transmitted, and received. This needs to be the case even when originating in unsecured and uncontrolled environments. The goal of the SCISRS program is to develop smart radio techniques to automatically understand these environments in order to enable securing the data, including detecting and characterizing complex RF anomalies and unexpected signals. 

The specific types of anomalies include hidden, altered, or mimicked signals, and abnormal unintended emissions.