Electronic support (ES), previously known as electronic support measures (ESM), is considered the eyes and ears
of the EW effort, in that Electronic Support
is responsible for the detection, processing, recording and identification of
electromagnetic energy transmitted by hostile, friendly and neutral radar systems.
The main aim of Electronic Support is to
gain sufficient information about radar sensors to allow an understanding
of the radarís characteristics including its role, its method of
operation, and its strengths and weaknesses. With this information, the
Electronic Support system can identify the radar, assess
its relative threat and provide information to the operator on
how best to manage the radarís presence.
Many factors impact on
the effectiveness of Electronic Support, but all factors
can be grouped into one of the following categories:
including transmitted power, operating frequency, polarisation, signal bandwidth;
transmitting antenna characteristics
including beamwidth, sidelobe levels, and scan patterns;
environmental characteristics between the
radar and the Electronic Support equipment including atmospheric
and meteorological conditions; and
the capability of the Electronic Support equipment including the receiving antenna characteristics, and the receiver
capabilities and sensitivity.
Electronic Support is a passive activity
as the Electronic Support equipment does not transmit
any electromagnetic energy in the performance of its roles. It
is important that the adversary remains unaware of the ES
activity, because there are many tactics an adversary radar system
can employ to make the Electronic Support role
even more difficult than it is normally. Additionally, remaining passive
lessens the opportunity for the adversary radar to plant false
information into the transmissions in an attempt to corrupt or
confuse the Electronic Support effort.
Other topics in our resources on Radar related to Electronic Support include: