US to Develop Wearable SIGINT Tech

wearable SIGINT

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The United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has put out a request for information for a wearable SIGINT collection device as a way to assess what high-tech gear can be provided by industry.

The base requirements made by the command were for a body-worn sensor with low size weight and power (SWaP) demands and a low-profile direction-finding sensor. In addition, the request included some 87 different attributes that SOCOM would like in the sensors, some of which would seem particularly useful for commandos operating behind enemy lines who are in danger of capture.

The system, according to the report “shall have the ability to be reset to zero upon command”. In terms of signals collection, the sensor should be capable of monitoring a frequency range of 3 to 6,000 MHz. It should also be capable of scanning special frequency bands as well as focus on special Signals of Interest. Also needed are narrowband and wideband automatic signals detection. Network connectivity is also desired, including the ability to update common operating pictures used by battle command systems. But to avoid detection, the sensor should transmit over Low Probability of Interception (LPI) and Low Probability of Detection (LPD) waveforms.

The sensor should weigh no more than 5.5 kilograms, including batteries but not including the antennae. Battery life should be at least eight hours, eventually expanding to 12 hours. Data storage should be a minimum of 100 gigabytes to start, and eventually 500 gigabytes.

The SIGINT sensor will also feature a sophisticated display and interface. Signals should generate a visual or audio alert within five seconds of intercept.

SOCOM wants not just signals collection, but analysis as well. The sensor should give “the user the option to process audio in near real-time for language identification, speaker identification, gender identification, speech detection and group identification. Also audio should be available via post mission analysis using audio processing software.