technologies to use this limited
resource at the same time. The Army
is assessing how to integrate the DSA
technology into its architecture. Key
attributes under evaluation include
radio situational awareness, interference avoidance, spectrum data management and advanced networking.
Undoubtedly, high demand for spectrum leads to a congested electromagnetic environment. To resolve the virtual
traffic jam, the Army seeks to exploit
technological advances to access less-used spectrum and to apply commercial services and technologies to meet
Defense Department requirements.
One potential solution is to give systems the ability to move between frequency bands, depending upon availability, and share spectrum more readily
without creating interference for users.
For example, the Army is assessing the
possibility of incorporating adaptive
spectrum utilization techniques into
the next generation of radios. Known
as cognitive radios, these systems use
unoccupied spectrum to establish a
network, then continue to operate on
newly discovered spectrum until they
are superseded by the primary user or
the band becomes saturated.
Reliable access to an amount of
spectrum adequate enough to handle
all Army and joint force needs, which
continue to grow rapidly, will remain
a significant challenge for the foreseeable future. That means the search
for better spectrum-related tools,
processes and technologies will continue. The Army, in partnership with
the Defense Department, will keep
exploring new avenues to improve
spectrum management and defense.
At the same time, the Army needs
industry to factor spectrum use and
operations into every materiel decision.
It is looking for innovations large and
small that decrease spectrum require-
ments; incorporate frequency-sharing
and frequency-hopping capabilities into
more systems; make the basic network
architecture more flexible, adaptive and
resilient; and prevent both uninten-
tional and malicious interference. And
those are just the known possibilities.
The Army is open to more radical, par-
adigm-shifting ideas. With concerted,
combined effort between government
and industry, spectrum’s impact as a
limiting factor and vulnerability can be
minimized and maybe even erased.
Richard DeSalvo is the director of the U.S.
Army’s Spectrum Management Office.
The views expressed are his alone and do
not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S.
Army or the U.S. government.
contact: Richard DeSalvo,
A U. S. soldier launches the Raven Unmanned Aircraft System for a test reconnaissance flight.
The lightweight unmanned asset is designed for rapid deployment and mobility for military
applications requiring low-altitude surveillance and reconnaissance intelligence.