The Air Force is soliciting input for technologies available in the next five years for a new or enhanced electromagnetic battle management capability.
In a post listed on the FedBizOpps website, the Air Force desires capabilities that will provide situational awareness and command and control of the electromagnetic spectrum.
"Electromagnetic Battle Management is the dynamic monitoring, assessing, planning, and directing of joint electromagnetic spectrum operations in support of the commander's scheme of maneuver," Maj. Matthew Miller, a spokesman with Strategic Command, told C4ISRNET. "It integrates electromagnetic spectrum operations (EMSO), combining capabilities to protect, exploit, and attack in and through the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS). The coordination of EMSO effects with other operations enables freedom of action across all domains and joint functions. Joint forces integrate EMSO using EMBM to achieve EMS superiority."
EMBM (Electromagnetic Battle Management) consists of three components — situational awareness, decision support and command and control — which are all linked by a common architecture, standards and data, he added.
According to Miller, situational awareness in this context refers to real-time awareness of the current electromagnetic operational environment as well as knowledge of available resources as a fundamental requirement for electromagnetic spectrum operations decisions-making.
"An EMBM user-defined operating picture fuses all sources of information to depict the EMOE throughout all phases of operations, displaying geographic lay down, parametric analysis, system status, support assets, planned routes, EMS availability/use and anticipated mission effectiveness," he said.
Moreover, decision support involves assessing electromagnetic spectrum-enabled capabilities and predicts the effectiveness of proposed courses of action. These include tools that can enable operations and missions to optimize and deconflict EMS access as well as refine tactics, techniques and procedures.
Lastly, command and control involves the ability to integrate and direct EMS-enabled assets at all levels of command.
Offensive operations in this space such as electronic attack require integration into joint fires processes such as targeting and fire support, Miller said, adding that use of EMS for communications requires prioritizing and coordination with others in order to optimize bandwidth usage for support or intelligence collection.
The notice lists real-time, policy-based spectrum management, advanced electronic order-of-battle presentation, and state-of-the-art modeling, simulation and course-of-action analysis as desired technologies.
The Air Force was clear that no contracts will come from this specific notice but rather the "intent of this EMBM capabilities request for information is to identify technologies and evaluate them against notional EMBM functional requirements to identify capability gaps in industry/government and major cost/schedule drivers."
Solutions should cover all domains of warfare — air, land, maritime, space and cyber — focusing on war fighting functions of electromagnetic battle management across all phases of conflict.
The Army is bringing a similar capability online called the Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool. The tool will provide an initial integrated Electronic Warfare System capability by coordinating and synchronizing operations across the intelligence and information staff sections within the command post from the joint task force level down to the battalion.
Key tasks the tool provides the force include capabilities to plan, coordinate, manage, and deconflict electronic warfare and spectrum management operations; integration of electronic attack in the targeting process to ensure electronic attack can meet the commanders' desired effect; and synchronization of electronic warfare and spectrum operations within the cyber and electromagnetic activity cell.
Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.