Department 13 Technology

Our patented technologies exploit the basic physics of radio waves to identify signals, control radio systems, and enhance data bandwidth. At Department 13, whether we are implementing new tactical systems or next-generation communication networks, our solutions provide the highest performance while achieving the best power efficiency and lowest cost.

Protocol Manipulation

Radios used to control drones employ well-defined techniques to begin communications and maintain a radio link. By adapting to the protocol used to control a drone, we can insert messages that tell the drone to exit a restricted airspace, return home, or land in a predetermined safe zone. We can simultaneously control swarms of drones that use different radio protocols.

Drone Identification and Classification

Using multiple layers of blind adaptive analysis, we identify the radio protocol and the type of drone using it. In the case of new radio protocols, the system identifies the modulation type, format, and other signal information that can be used to redirect the drone.

Distributed Software Defined Radio (SDR)

Sensing and communicating with a large number of drones quickly overloads the processing capability of a centralized system. But when the different radio processing operations are implemented in software and spread across a network, the system can dynamically add more sensors and processors to adapt to changing threat scenarios. A virtual SDR can be assigned to each target and migrate between processors and sensors in order to follow the target as it moves through the network.

Tactical Network Dominance

This technique begins with blind signal analysis to characterize signals, identify radio networks, and perform threat assessment. A tactical response includes protocol manipulations that exploit vulnerabilities in an enemy radio network to intercept messages, deny service, or penetrate the network as part of a broader system infiltration strategy.

Blue Sphere

The distributed processing techniques in Tactical Network Dominance are adapted to protect network infrastructure and users from a variety of attacks. Radio behavior analysis and RF fingerprint tracking are techniques which a hostile entity might use to track and identify users. Blue Sphere helps users anonymize these signatures to reduce the threat of attacks by outside entities. The network infrastructure is protected from infiltration and denial-of-service attacks by a distributed monitoring and authentication system modeled after the human body’s immunological functions.

LPI/LPD Communications

LPI/LPD is low probability of interception / low probability of detection, and it secures communication links against eavesdropping. Our approach breaks all the rules by using other peoples’ communication signals to carry our information, and encoding that information in signal distortions that are normally filtered out of received signals. Advanced forms of this technique are implemented in MIMO channels.

Radio Resource Sharing and Parasitic Networks

Radio spectrum is a scarce resource, particularly in the lower frequency bands which have the best propagation characteristics. A user in a first network can repurpose scheduled radio channels in a manner that avoids interfering with the first network. When a downlink channel is assigned to a cellular user, only that user device is listening on that channel. This enables the user to concurrently employ the assigned channel for other communication links. Uplink channels are repurposed by embedding a second network’s transmission protocol in the data payload of the first network’s transmission frames.

Cooperative- Multiple Input Multiple Output (C-MIMO)

Also known as Virtual MIMO, Distributed MIMO, and Network MIMO, C-MIMO solves some of the most important problems in radio communications and dramatically reduces the network operator’s OpEx and CapEx. There are two basic forms of C-MIMO: Server side and client side.

Server-side C-MIMO is employed in a distributed antenna system, such as multiple cellular base stations connected to a central processor or Cloud. The processing exploits the natural scattering environment to function like a giant lens, so buildings, hills, and trees focus radio transmissions to produce a tiny coherence zone at each client device. This allows the network to serve each client with the full spectrum instead of dividing the spectrum (and thus the data bandwidth) between users who join the network. Client-side C-MIMO can work in tandem with server-side C-MIMO so client devices can share each other’s coherence zones. This results in the unusual condition that as more users join the network, the available data bandwidth increases instead of decreases. Also, since the users become part of the network infrastructure, coverage and network capacity can dynamically adapt to demands without costly capital expenditures.

Cooperative-MIMO is expected to be the operating framework for next-generation Counter-UAS because it is a Cloud-based computing system that operates with a distributed sensor network. It enables novel capabilities that enhance Counter-UAS, such as highly localized electronic countermeasures against targets, new artificial intelligence paradigms, and effective responses to UAS swarms.

Cooperative Subspace Coding (CSC)

CSC is likely the most efficient form of Linear network Coding and improves network efficiency for all data communications – from terrestrial wireless networks, to satellite networks, and even wired networks. Published results show a 5-fold to 20-fold increase in data bandwidth. CSC also facilitates Cloud storage and channel bonding, and enables highly efficient file-sharing networks with less management overhead. CSC benefits the Counter-UAS market by enhancing the bandwidth and reliability of both fronthaul and backhaul networks which are necessary for communicating the large volumes of data in Counter-UAS sensor networks.

Single Carrier FDMA (SC-FDMA)

Using a single line of code in our software-defined radio, we reshape the transmitted signal to reduce its dynamic range. This results in many benefits, from longer battery life and less-expensive power amplifiers, to reduced interference and improved performance. This is important for drone communications and any other battery-powered wireless devices.

Coordinated Multipoint

Coordinated Multipoint is an essential part of the LTE-Advanced cellular specification. Coordinated Multipoint aspects of Cooperative-MIMO will be essential to all distributed networks, especially Counter-UAS networks.

Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN)

One of the most important elements of the 5G network architecture, C-RAN greatly reduces the network operator’s OpEx and CapEx. C-RAN provides an efficient framework for Artificial Intelligence in Counter-UAS because it efficiently partitions signal processing operations between the network edge and the core network in order to optimize processing and bandwidth resources.

Airborne Relays

This is an innovation in Cooperative radio networks which uses highly mobile airborne platforms as a distributed sensor network. This is essential for drone air-traffic control, next-generation cellular networks, and Counter-UAS. Like a swarm of birds, each UAS employs an autonomous navigation system that uses a simple rule base to avoid collisions and optimize flight patterns. This rule base is adapted to optimize radio channels, detect target UAVs, and perform electronic countermeasures. Airborne relays are deployed quickly, and when used to provide wireless network services, the CapEx and OpEx are a fraction of the cost of traditional networks.