Detection of low cost radio frequency receivers based on their unintended electromagnetic emissions and an active stimulation
- S. Seguin
- Ph.D. dissertation, Missouri S&T, 2009.
Explosive devices are often triggered by electronic components like wireless receivers, timers, and microprocessors. When active, these electronics emit electromagnetic energy and are susceptible to damage from external electromagnetic fields. Our goal is to develop methods to remotely detect and neutralize electronics used in explosive devices by exploiting their electromagnetic characteristics. Our work with DHS has focused on detecting and locating radio receivers (used to remotely initiate a device) and on detecting electronic timers (e.g. like a stove timer or a watch). Algorithms have been developed to detect receivers using a low-power stimulation that modifies their emissions. This approach is able to detect these receivers from far greater distances or in far greater noise than traditional passive methods. In the last year we have perfected techniques to locate (not just detect) radio receivers using this “stimulated emissions” approach. Location is determined using a variant of radar ranging techniques. The approach has been implemented in a hand-held softwaredefined radio and its capability demonstrated on multiple receivers in a noisy urban environment. The receivers in our tests were located within an RMS error of less than 7 m at a range of up to 50 m or more. Over the course of the project, five journal papers have been submitted, one patent disclosure was made, and several presentations were given. Commercialization of the developed technology is being pursued with a small company. Work will continue into year 5 through a no-cost time extension.