EW 101: A First Course in Electronic Warfare

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EW 101: A First Course in Electronic Warfare

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Author(s): Michael J. Ryan
No pages: 1
Year: 2003
Article ID: 6-1-7
Keywords: book review, electronic warfare, radar
Format: Electronic (PDF)

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Abstract: Electronic warfare (EW) is commonly, and often deliberately, shrouded in complexity and secrecy. It is therefore probably not surprising that there are few top-level, comprehensible descriptions of the field that are accessible to the uninitiated. EW 101: A First Course in Electronic Warfare is one of the few books available that is targeted at non-experts and is intended to be easy to read without glossing over important technical details. The book is based on Dave Adamy's popular series of articles published in the Journal of Electronic Defense (JED) since October 1994 (for those interested in traceability, Appendix A maps the JED articles into the book chapters). Dave holds BSEE and MSEE degrees in communication theory and is very active in EW-related fields having been an EW professional in and out of uniform for almost 40 years. In addition to the EW 101 columns, he has published seven books. He provides EW-related courses around the world and is a regular consultant to defence and defence industry. Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the field and introduces a simple taxonomy for the field of EW. While the chapter makes the distinction between communications and non-communications EW, the majority of the book is about non-communications EW. Although some general references are given at the end of the introductory chapter and others are provided throughout the text, more-detailed references at the end of each chapter would have enhanced the book's position as an ideal jumping-off point for those interested in learning more about EW. Additionally, although the taxonomy of EW is introduced in Chapter 1, a novice would appreciate the author placing the techniques discussed in each chapter within the accepted framework of electronic support, electronic attack, and electronic protection. While the reader does not get drawn into complex mathematics in EW 101, some understanding of algebra and trigonometry is required. Chapter 2 covers the basic mathematics (decibels, and spherical trigonometry) that underpin the EW concepts introduced in later chapters. In addition, basic propagation is discussed and elementary link equations are presented. Adamy's premise is, quite rightly, that a good understanding of propagation is key to understanding EW principles. Chapters 3 to 9 cover the various major aspects of EW. Chapter 3 covers some definitions, the parameters and common applications of various EW antennas as a guide to the use of antennas in EW roles. Some simple formulas are presented to enable the trade-off of various antenna parameters within different applications. Chapter 4 describes EW receivers and their various roles. Simple explanations are given of the operation of crystal video, instantaneous frequency measurement (IFM, tuned radio frequency (TRF), superheterodyne, fixed-tuned, channelised, Bragg cell, compressive, and digital receivers. The chapter also examines the calculation of receiver sensitivity for various types of receivers and describes systems in which multiple receivers are used for a single application. EW processing is discussed in Chapter 5. Processing tasks are described within the categories of threat identification, signal association, emitter identification, emitter location, sensor control, countermeasure control, sensor cueing, man-machine interface, data fusion. Discussion focuses on non-communications processing applications. Chapter 6 discusses EW search techniques through which the presence of threat signals are detected. Parameters such as probability of intercept (POI) are defined and search trade-offs, types of search receiver, and search strategies are described. Search for communications receivers is briefly described before discussion centres on radar signal search.