Benefits of networked multichannel radio systems in strategic COMINT scenarios

January 20, 2021 // By Carsten Watolla, Department Manager Spectral Data Analysis “SDA”
Benefits of networked multichannel radio systems in strategic COMINT scenarios
Novator Solutions has partnered with RFEL to provide a modern software defined radio receiver solution that can handle a record number of 1024 narrowband signals with a single receiver.

In strategic communication intelligence (COMINT) scenarios one of the main tasks is to gather as much information as possible. Ideally the cost should be proportional to the value the gathered information provides. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to value the information at the time it is gathered. Information might become valuable first after two or three years. Therefore, the cost is typically bound by given budgets. Today, we see a continuously growing number of communication radio signals in the spectrum. At the same time wireless communication standards are increasingly diverse. More and more information has to be acquired and processed while the budgets typically don’t increase proportional to the increased amount of gathered information.

Using conventional methods for strategic communication surveillance would increase the cost almost proportionally to the growing amount of communication signals. New cost efficient solutions are needed which effectively acquire, monitor, and process communication signals. In the following section we explore how networked multichannel radio systems reduce both capital and operating expenses (CAPEX and OPEX).


Multichannel radio systems

Conventional methods typically required one analog narrowband receiver for one signal. With the increasing number of signals this not only increases the capital expenses proportionally to the number of signals, but it requires a lot of physical space, too. Maintaining the aging equipment including repair and obsolescence management becomes more and more costly.

Figure 1: Conventional scenario.

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