Army field-tests AI system that shields wireless network use from foes
Stars and Stripes November 22, 2023
STUTTGART, Germany — U.S. soldiers in Europe have tested artificial intelligence technology designed to help them evade enemy detection while using wireless networks in contested areas, the 7th Army Training Command said in a statement this week.
The system, known as Advanced Dynamic Spectrum Reconnaissance, was used this month by electronic warfare soldiers during drills at the Army’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels.
“Electronic warfare units within [brigades] are always looking for an edge when targeting the enemy,” 1st Lt. Brenden Shutt, a cyberwarfare officer with the 3rd Infantry Division, said in a statement Monday.
While sensors help find an enemy’s electromagnetic signature for targeting, units also need to keep their own electronic emissions hidden to avoid becoming targets themselves.
The war in Ukraine has highlighted those dangers. Russian troops during the early stages of the war made themselves easy targets by using cellphones.
In recent years, the Army has put a premium on finding ways to operate securely and protect command and control outposts, given the ability of adversaries such as Russia to detect electronic signals.
Enter the ADSR, which was developed in conjunction with Pathfinder, an Army program focused on new battlefield technology.
The ADSR, produced with help from Vanderbilt University researchers, is an AI-enabled system that allows Army wireless communications networks to sense and avoid enemy jamming and reduce radio frequency emissions that could be targeted, 7th ATC said.
The technology factored into U.S. Army Europe and Africa’s Combined Resolve exercise, held earlier this month in Hohenfels.
Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division also carried out experiments with the technology in eastern Romania while on a rotation to Europe. In April, the 101st used the AI system during a long-range air assault exercise in West Virginia.
“The real-world trial underscored the value of the Pathfinder program, and projects like ADSR, in bringing cutting-edge academic research into practical military applications,” 7th ATC said.