Tackling the IED Challenge

In modern warfare Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are a major challenge for our military personal. US Army reports document that through 2007 in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts 80% of soldier casualties and fatalities were caused by IEDs.

Many IEDs are activated remotely with low cost commercial wireless devices such as cell phones, cordless phones and garage door openers. While multiple methods are being used to mitigate the use and effectiveness of IEDs, this case study focuses on the use of electromagnetic countermeasures and their interoperability with mission critical services.

Developing New Jamming Solutions

In 2006 the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) was established. JIEDDO is attacking the IED threat using a combination of intelligence, training and technology. Originally formed as the Army’s IED Task Force, the group has transformed into a combined joint service, interagency, multi-national program with a goal of leveraging all available resources and technologies in a coordinated campaign to defeat the IED threat.

Major investments have been made to develop and improve jammers for a variety of platforms including:
o Ground vehicles
o Man portable systems
o Unmanned Airborne Vehicles (UAV)
o Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV)

The challenge of defeating IEDs must address many considerations. For example, while very high RF power levels can disrupt IED communications, this can create an environmental hazard for vehicle personal and overload vehicle power systems. In addition, minimizing the disruption of radio communications, GPS navigation capabilities, and other RF sensing systems must be addressed.