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Initiatives in Force Development:  

The Army Reprogramming Analysis Team

 

by Joseph T. Ingrao and    James A. Holland II  

The division responsible for the development and modernization of Army intelligence systems for tactical and strategic use is the Department of the Army (DA) Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Planning (DCSOPS) Intelligence Electronic Warfare and Command and Control Countermeasures Di- vision (IEW/C2CM). During the past decade, this division has pro- vided oversight and Army staff coordination for the development and modernization of the sys- tems and databases that provide critical information for today’s commanders. These include the following items and more:

The Division serves as the Army Staff point of contact for intelligence systems, their deployment, and their operational status world- wide. In this oversight role, the Division recognized that a void existed between the development of systems whose primary mission functions are based on embedded intelligence data, and the operational support of these systems with current and accurate intelligence information when fielded.

To provide a bridge between the development and subsequent employment of these “smart” weapons and sensors, the IEW/C2CM Division has funded a unique Army program, the Army Reprogram- ming Analysis Team (ARAT). This article describes the ARAT effort and its impact on force develop- ment, modernization, and oper- ational support to the combat commander.

ARAT History

The ARAT effort traces its origins back as far as 1986, with the conclusions of an Army Science Board report recommending that the software in all sensors used to detect and classify target or threat signatures be reprogrammable. This software reprogrammability allows the updating of sensors to accommodate changes in the battlefield signature environment. These changes may be due to modifications to existing systems, detection of previously unknown modes of operation (also known as wartime reserve modes (WARM)), or the introduction of new systems in a theater of operations.

In 1988, the IEW/C2CM Division and U.S. Army Communications- Electronics Command (CECOM) began participating in the U.S. Air Force electronic combat Serene Byte reprogramming exercises. Their intent was providing updated embedded software libraries for Army aircraft and air defense (AD) systems. By 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait, the Army had an informal working capability for analysis and assessment of signature changes. The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) centers and schools for aviation and AD, Program Executive Officer (PEO) Aviation and its Program Manager for Aviation Electronic Combat, and several CECOM offices and activities all provided personnel for this effort.

During Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, the task for this informal organization was to monitor intelligence data and produce signature infor- mation needed to update the databases on numerous aircraft and AD systems deployed to the theater. However, several weaknesses became apparent in the Army’s capability to rapidly develop and install the new software. New threat and target information for aircraft-mounted Radar Signal Detection Sets (RSDS)—called mission data sets (MDS)—were ready by late September 1990, but the field units had no way to install the software locally. Contact teams with special equipment had to travel from the United States into the theater, and physically visit each system. In some cases, they could not install the changes before the start of ground operations.

At the conclusion of Operations DESERT SHIELD and STORM, the Division formally recom- mended that the Army initiate a quick response program. The objective of this effort was to address shortfalls in Army capability to detect changes in the battlefield signature environment, and to de- velop better capabilities to repro- gram, distribute, and install soft- ware in the timeframes necessary to be operationally effective. The U.S. Army created the ARAT Project to develop and field solutions to meet these requirements.

ARAT Project Mission and Roles

The ARAT Project has operated from the CECOM Software Engineering Center (SEC) since the signing of the ARAT implementation order by the DA DCSOPS in the fall of 1991. The ARAT effort provides signature analysis and software reprogramming, testing, distribution, and installation solutions in two major mission areas. These are ARAT support to the combat commander and fielded reprogrammable sensors and target sensing systems (TSS), and support to sensor and TSS development efforts.

To meet the requirements of these mission areas, the ARAT Project developed an Army TSS reprogramming process and in- frastructure concept. The joint electronic warfare (EW) reprogramming community accepted the Army-developed process so widely that the Joint Services have adopted it, and it has been incorporated into the Joint Chiefs’ of Staff (JCS) documents.

Support to Combat Forces

After defining the processes and infrastructure required to support Army operational requirements, the ARAT Project concentrated on providing urgently needed support for operational forces. In its first 24 months of operation, the ARAT Project focused on the organization, staffing, and equipping of the ARAT Threat Analysis (ARAT-TA) team that serves today as the combat units’ primary point of contact for EW (see Figure 1).

ARAT-TA collocated with the U.S. Air Force Air Warfare Center (AFAWC) at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida. This combined location with the AFAWC allowed the Army and Air Force to share a common picture of the signature environment on a permanent basis for the first time. The Army was able to leverage substantial Air Force invest- ments in communications and intelligence systems in exchange for improved support to Air Force helicopter and cargo aircraft that use Army-supported TSSs.

Over time, the ARAT-TA Eglin AFB operation expanded to include an activity at the U.S. Air Force Information Warfare Center (AFIWC), at Kelly AFB, Texas. The ARAT-TA operation at Kelly operates automated intelligence message processing models to ensure that U.S. Forces are aware of any signature changes—as they are detected—that may affect Army supported TSSs (see Figure 2).

To improve combat units’ ability to request assistance on TSS capabilities and on reprogramming, the ARAT Project worked jointly with the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and the Special Operations Forces. Together they established a digital communications capability with accessibility from anywhere in the world. The project developed a low-cost reprogramming kit for the AN/ APR-39A(V1) RSDS and helped coordinate changes in the RSDS Operation Flight Program (OFP) software to allow field installation of new threat and target software by the aircrew. ARAT Project funds distributed this kit, costing a few hundred dollars, to Active Component, U.S. Army Reserve, and U.S. Army National Guard units. This combined approach has produced spectacular, quantifiable results.

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In the first instance, reprogramming of the RSDS with new mission data in 1991 took months and cost millions of dollars to accomplish. Today, crew members and unit-level or direct support maintenance personnel accomplish mission data software reprogramming in hours or days. They can complete it for the cost of the connection to the electronic distribution network (Defense Secure Network (DSN), commercial toll free, or the Secure Internet Protocol Router Network).

In another example, two data sets were available in 1991 for worldwide use of the RSDS. These data sets were general and had limited ability to clearly classify and display systems in many locations. There are now more than 20 active mission data sets for U.S. Forces and several more for our allies. The developers tailor these data sets to specific operational regions, and the sets are subject to constant analysis based on all-source intelligence data and intercepts.

Broad Impact

ARAT efforts affect a large number of Army systems. This happens whether the combat element or the developer receives ARAT or U.S. Army Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA) ARAT-TA support directly, or just use one of the numerous databases or tools that the ARAT effort has helped to maintain. The platforms and weapons systems fall across battlefield functional areas including aviation, AD, fire support, and intelligence.

In addition to combat unit support, the ARAT Project has provided assistance to TSS material developers in the fire support, AD, aircraft survivability equipment (ASE), and aircraft sensor areas, including such systems as:

Additionally, support for these systems has included the coordination of threat and target signature analyses, resources for proof-of-concept analysis projects, and assistance in mission data software programming, distribution, and installation capability development.

For the AN/APR-39 RSDS family alone the current ARAT infrastructure produces estimated savings to the Army of more than $2.4 million per year for mission data software distribution and installation over previously methods. The reprogramming kits that cost a few hundred dollars each effectively complete the job for systems costing more than 100 times as much.

The ARAT Project Today

In 1996, the ARAT Project transferred operations and resource responsibilities of the ARAT-TA and its Kelly AFB element to the LIWA. The ARAT Project continues to provide research and development support to LIWA for ARAT-TA equipment and software tool modernization, funds the development of new automated intelligence processing models for use at Kelly AFB.

The ARAT Project also continues to provide assistance to any system developer that requires software reprogramming or installation assistance. Our efforts include solutions to problems of data availability and distribution, evaluation, and recommendations on lightweight field programming solutions, and ongoing modernization of the Army distribution infrastructure.

The Project recently received beta (test) software to automate unit mission data software tasks for the AN/APR-39A(V)1. ARAT has conducted extensive solution investigations for mission planning, self-protection, and targeting systems.

The ARAT Project provides personnel and funding for combat elements training at the unit level. In recent years, this has included on-site visits in Korea, Europe, Hawaii, and multiple locations in the United States. It has provided support for operational forces in Europe, the Middle East, Far East, South America, and other locations. The Project has also supported exercises such as Ulchi Focus Lens in South Korea and National Training Center rotations. ARAT personnel are regular guest lecturers at the U.S. Air Force Search and Rescue School, Army Aviation Center Electronic Warfare Officer (EWO) Course, and several other classes.

The ARAT Project also provides coordination of Army Foreign Military Sales (FMS) actions that require U.S.-derived signature data. This coordination includes intelligence data releaseability for the FMS case and arrangement of threat analysis and training services if purchased as part of the case.

Conclusion

Embedded signature data will be a significant factor to operational success and information dominance on future battlefields. The ARAT must continually evaluate and update this data as required to ensure optimum performance of TSSs, when needed. Through the ARAT effort, the IEW/C2CM Division is providing direct assistance to ensure that the best available signature data is put into the hands of the combat commanders, whenever and wherever it is required. Contact the ARAT Project or the LIWA ARAT-TA for TSS reprogramming-related support needed to accomplish your mission.

You can contact the ARAT Project at E-mail [email protected] mouth.army.mil, by unclassified telephone (908) 532-1337 /6003 or DSN 992-1337/6003, and unclassified facsimile (908) 532- 5238 or DSN 992-5238. Their secure telephone number is (908) 532-6025 or DSN 992-6025. Their Internet address is http://www.Iew.sed.Mon mouth.army.mil and their mail address is ARAT Project, USAC- ECOM, ATTN: AMSEL-SE- WS-AI, Fort Monmouth, NJ 07703. Readers can reach the ARAT-TA Team via E-mail at Svarrer@wg53. eglin.af.mil, by unclassified telephone (904) 882-8899/8919 or DSN 872-8899/8919, by facsimile (904) 882-4268/9835 or DSN 872-4268/9835, and secure telephone (904) 882-9609/10 or DSN 872-9609/10. The ARAT-TA Team’s mailing address is U.S. ARAT, P.O. Box 2012, Eglin AFB, FL 32542-2012.


r. Ingrao is the Branch Chief for Electronic Combat at the U.S. Army CECOM Software Engineering Center (SEC). He began his career at SEC ten years ago as a project engineer for EW systems and has held many positions in this organization since then. The Electronic Combat Branch is the primary development and reprogramming facility for Army ASE. Mr. Ingrao graduated from the Pratt Institute in January 1984 with a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Electrical Engineering and will complete his Master of Science (MS) degree in Technologies Management this year. Readers can contact him via E-mail at ingrao@ doim6.monmouth.army.mil and via telephone at (732) 532-1337 or DSN 992-1337.  

Mr. Holland is a Senior Engineer with the Systems Development Division of SRI International. He served 14 years in the U.S. Army in a variety of staff positions in field artillery, material acquisition management, and tactical intelligence. His 20-year IEW background includes assignments in target acquisition and intelligence staff positions with CECOM, U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, V Corps Artillery, 82d Division (Airborne), and 2d Infantry Division. His last active duty assignment was as the initial project officer for the ARAT, where he was responsible for the development of an Army capability to reprogram signals and signatures rapidly into Army “smart” weapons and sensors. Mr. Holland graduated from the University of Michigan with a BS degree in Natural Resources with concentrations in Engineering and Remote Sensing and obtained an MS degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Delaware. You can reach him via E-mail at [email protected] and by telephone at (301) 862-4507.