U.S. Navy Runs Interference on Signals Conflict

By: Sandra Jontz, SIGNAL Magazine

“Advances in a plethora of military communication and situational awareness platforms have created unintended repercussions for the U.S. Navy, from the “forest of antennas” that can consume a ship’s deck to the debilitating effects of radio interference that clog airwaves and impede critical links to vessels, aircraft, drones and even satellites. Navy engineers are toiling on a handful of projects to ensure effective and secure communication links, which are so fundamental to military operations.

Modern fleets rely heavily on communication, especially as the military grows its network-centric environment, says Andrew Robertson, a physicist for the System Integration and Instrumentation Group at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), who highlights several key projects underway.

He begins by relating details of the Navy’s Integrated Topside (InTop) communications platform, a collaborative research effort with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to reduce the number of radio frequency (RF) and microwave antennas aboard ships.”

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