By Erdem Coşkun, Project Manager at ASELSAN Inc.
ASELSAN is a global defense and advanced electronics Technology Company that designs, develops, manufactures, integrates and supports state-of-the-art products, systems and services for governmental and commercial customers.
Since its establishment in 1975, ASELSAN has grown steadily to become one of the largest defense companies in the region. ASELSAN’s expertise covers a wide range of applications, including radar, electronic warfare, military & professional communications, electro-optics, navigation & avionics, C4ISR, homeland security, naval systems and weapon systems. With a steadily increasing annual turnover approaching the billion dollar benchmark in 2014, ASELSAN has earned itself a sustainable place in the “Top 100 Defense Companies” listings published by prestigious journals.
ASELSAN’s focus on innovation and R&D has significantly helped to strengthen its position in the international arena. ASELSAN allocates on average 7% of its yearly sales to R&D expenditures with dedicated teams of R&D scientists and engineers, empowering its priorities of indigenous design.
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are widely used by terrorist organisations in their terrorist activities and unconventional warfare environment in order to distract, disrupt or delay an opposing force facilitating the attack or to destroy military/civilian personnel and VIPs.
ASELSAN has been working on Electronic Warfare Systems since 1984 and on countering the IEDs since 2004 and has gained an accumulated knowledge and outstanding experience in the design, engineering, production and integration of manpack and vehicle type active and reactive RF jamming systems for the purpose of protection against Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Devices (RCIEDs). ASELSAN RF jamming systems are being actively used in the field and being continuously developed with user feedback and with the contribution of lessons learned from Turkey’s unique geo-strategic location surrounded by asymmetric threats.
Apart from jammer systems, ASELSAN has been investing a great amount of its resources on Research and Development activities of other C-IED Systems such as:
- High Power Electromagnetics (HPEM),
- Tactical Signal Emulator (RF Pre-detonation System),
- Active/Passive Detection Technologies,
◦ THz Active Target Detection Technology,
◦ Non-Linear Junction Detection Technology (Harmonic Radar),
◦ Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) and Raman Spectroscopy Technologies,
◦Microorganism Based Explosive Substance Detection Technology (Bio-detection of explosives).
Besides its system-level design and manufacturing capabilities, ASELSAN is also capable of designing and manufacturing sub-modules of its RCIED Jammer Systems such as DDS-Based FPGA-Controlled Signal Generators, RF Power Amplifiers, Manpack & Vehicle Type Antennas, Ultrafast Wideband Tuners and High Power T/R Switches.
As a company advanced in research and development activities to provide successful Transfer of Technology Solutions (ToT), the company policy of ASELSAN, is based on ToT agreements with its technological background, cumulative experience and developed know-how. In addition to its structural capability, ASELSAN has developed great experience in carrying out ToT activities with many countries throughout the last decade.
ACTIVE/REACTIVE RF JAMMING SYSTEMS
Hundreds of ASELSAN Jammers have been delivered to domestic and foreign customers since 2005. Concurrent to the developing technologies, the jammers have been continuously improved generation by generation, and now can be considered as a jammer family. The state-of-the-art products of the jammer family include; GERGEDANTM Vehicle- Type Active RCIED Jammer, KiRPiTM Manpack RCIED Jammer, and SAPANTM Active/Reactive RCIED Jammer.
ASELSAN’s RCIED Jammer Systems GERGEDANTM, KiRPiTM and SAPANTM are Software Defined Jammers (SDJ) utilising the technique called “DDS-based FPGA-controlled Swept Jamming” covering the whole threat band. With their built-in and in-theater-programming capabilities, GERGEDANTM, KiRPiTM and SAPANTM can be easily configured to serve customer scenarios and needs by programming the systems and creating “jamming profiles” via a standard laptop computer. Mentioned programmability features provide the user with the utmost customisation flexibility to specific operational and tactical requirements.
GERGEDANTM Vehicle-Type Active RCIED Jammer is used to protect convoys and VIP vehicles in motion against the utilisation of RCIEDs with vehicle specific and portable (vehicle independent) integration options. Having a very compact architecture when compared to similar systems, the system can be integrated on every type of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs). It can also be configured for Static Infrastructure (Facility/Building/Checkpoint) Protection applications.
KiRPiTM Manpack Active RCIED Jammer is used to protect patrols and can also be configured for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team Protection, VIP Vehicle Protection and Static Infrastructure (Facility/ Building/Checkpoint) Protection applications.
SAPANTM Active/Reactive RCIED Jammer is used for convoy protection purposes. Utilising the Reactive Jammer Technology, it can instantly survey the whole frequency spectrum and quickly react on the threat signals. The effective protection range of a reactive jammer is much greater than that of an active jammer with the same output power. An active jammer has to radiate approximately 1000 times more RF power in order to achieve the same protection range. Today, a limited number of firms in the world have this sophisticated reactive jamming technology.
EJDERHA HIGH POWER
ELECTROMAGNETICS (HPEM) SYSTEM
EJDERHA High Power Electromagnetics (HPEM) System generates high-frequency high-power electromagnetic waves by releasing instantaneous (in nsecs) high amounts of energy (up to kJ) in specific frequencies. EJDERHA has effects such as suppression, pre-detonation, resetting the control system, durable blocking, stopping the operation on potential targets such as electronic circuits of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), surveillance systems, computers, IT components, automotive electronics (vehicle engines), etc. The system can be integrated:
- on Vehicles for route clearance, car stopping applications,
- at Checkpoints/base/building for car stopping applications,
- on Unmanned Ground Vehicles for EOD Team use and/or Route Clearance applications,
- in Portable Form (tripod and suitcase versions) for protection against eavesdropping devices (covert listening devices) by clearance of bugs in offices, meeting rooms, embassies, behind walls, inside furniture.
CHAMELEON TACTICAL SIGNAL EMULATOR SYSTEM (RF PRE-DETONATION SYSTEM)
CHAMELEON Tactical Signal Emulator System radiates signals in radio frequency (RF) communication bands by programming the parameters such as channel spacing, modulation type, tone/code (CTCSS, DCS, DTMF, etc.), RF output power level. It generates both Electronic Warfare waveforms and civilian communication waveforms with a single waveform generator. It can be used in route clearance applications and by utilising its smart algorithms, it has the capability to cause RCIEDs to trigger at the time and place of the warfighter’s choosing. In addition to that, taking over the control of mini unmanned air vehicles (mini UAVs) is another application.
ACTIVE/PASSIVE DETECTION TECHNOLOGIES
THz Active Target Detection System
Metal, plastic, ceramic, organic dielectric materials, explosive substances exhibit distinctive reactions to THz waves. THz Active Target Detection System directs THz waves on possible targets suspected packages, briefcases, IED threats on the road and is used for Detection and Identification of these materials analysing the distinctive reflected waves. One of the main application areas for the system is suicide bomber detection.
Non-Linear Junction Detection System (Harmonic Radar)
Non-Linear Junction Detection System is used for detection of circuitry of IEDs in Route Clearance Operations applying semiconductor junction detection technology (via detecting and analysing harmonics of the reflected signals (harmonic radar) combining with optimised frequency set according to the IED scenarios, special algorithms and database for target selectivity.
It can be integrated with High Power Electromagnetics Systems to cooperate for combining Detect & Attack operations on a single system.
Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) and Raman Spectroscopy Technologies
ASELSAN has been continuing its R&D activities on LIBS and Raman Spectroscopy Technologies which are used to detect explosive substances such as RDX, TNT and ANFO from a safe distance; focusing on element/molecule analysis, analysis on wavelengths of reflecting laser waves and shifts in molecular vibration frequencies of explosive substances. The experiments are being held in the lab and in the field.
Microorganism Based Explosive Substance Detection Technology
ASELSAN’s R&D activities on Microorganism Based Explosive Substance Detection Technology aim to develop technologies for production of microorganisms that are capable of creating a sign in the case of existence of explosive substances, utilising ASELSAN’s research efforts on microarray, bioinformatics, synthetic biology. Sprayed over a field and allowed to contact the explosive residues that may be present around an IED, fluorescent protein producing bacteria become detectable. ■
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erdem Coşkun’s professional experience consists of project management of high technology electronic warfare system development and mass production projects as well as international/ domestic business development and strategic positioning. He joined Aselsan in August 2011 as a Project Engineer and become a Project Manager in 2013.