DARPA is looking for ways to deal effectively with electromagnetic fields, especially in the case of nuclear weapons, the Pentagon’s director said Thursday.
“We’ve been able to work on it and do it well, but there are certain things that we want to make sure that we can get through the military chain of command,” Adm.
James Stavridis said.
“One of those is to find a way to do it in a way that doesn’t kill us or do things that could be detrimental to us.
And so I would like to see an answer to that, so we can figure out what those are.”
Stavridises comments came at the International Electromagnetic Fields Association’s (IEMFA) annual conference in Washington, D.C. The agency is a nonprofit organization that promotes the development and implementation of the electromagnetic field control technology needed to counter military and civilian electromagnetic fields.
This year, IEMFA presented a report called “Electromagnetic field control in the 21st century,” which outlines a roadmap to develop technologies to fight electromagnetic warfare.
A recent report by the Pentagon and IEMAA showed that by 2020, military and intelligence agencies need a new type of field control system that can withstand electromagnetic interference.
IEMAA’s report calls for a “digital electromagnetic defense,” which would allow for a computer-controlled field system that would be able to intercept and counter an electromagnetic field.
Stivridises remarks come at a time when military forces are increasingly deploying and testing a variety of electromagnetic weapons.
Last month, the Navy announced plans to deploy an electromagnetic sensor called the P-2C to track the movements of ships in the Indian Ocean.
Meanwhile, the Air Force has deployed the Advanced Electromechanical System (AES) to track targets, including nuclear weapons.
The AES will be capable of tracking both radio and microwave signals and would be capable to track a target’s position and speed as well as its velocity.
Military officials also said the Navy will soon be able test the use of the Advanced Electronic Warfare System to jam electronic warfare.
The Navy’s AES would also have the ability to “jam” radio and microwaves and “jam,” meaning disrupt the signals, according to a Navy official.
In a similar manner, the Army will soon test the deployment of the Electronic Warfare Systems System (EWS) to jam communications, according Army officials.
These systems will provide the Army the ability “to track, jam and disrupt electronic threats,” the Army said in a statement.
But there are still plenty of questions unanswered about the use and deployment of these technologies, according for example, to IEMSA’s recent report.
According to the report, the IEMMA’s current electronic warfare system, known as the Integrated Electromagnetics Capability (IEC) is not currently robust enough to deal adequately with electromagnetic signals from the electromagnetic pulse, or EMP.
It also noted that the current EMP response is too slow and too dependent on the physical properties of the target, including “the amount of energy being emitted from a given source.”
The report also noted there is a lack of clarity on the use, maintenance and deployment practices of these electronic warfare systems.
Despite this, IemAA and other members of the International Committee of the Red Cross are optimistic that the electromagnetic warfare technologies will be able “to be employed effectively in the field of electromagnetic warfare.”