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FAS Project on Intelligence Reform

Precision SIGINT Targeting System (PSTS)

The Precision SIGINT Targeting System (PSTS) is an ACTD sponsored by the DUSD(AT) and funded by the U.S. Navy. Apart from the Army RC-12 Guardrail's Communications High-Accuracy Location System (CHALS) and Quicklook ES systems use of time-difference-of-arrival direction-finding, few existing SIGINT systems provide targetable geolocation accuracies against communications or radar emitters. PSTS is a Joint Service and Defense Agency effort to develop and demonstrate a near-real-time, precision targeting, sensor-to-shooter capability using existing national [including overhead] and tactical systems. PSTS will provide tactical users with targeting that is one order of magnitude improvement over what can be accomplished by any of the single candidate systems operating alone. PSTS is developing advanced cooperative precision targeting algorithms, processing enhancements, site interfaces necessary for cooperative operation, and a CONOPS for optimal asset cooperative utilization and minimal operational impact.

This effort will enhance the tactical utility and application of existing and planned national systems in conjunction with tactical assets. This enhancement will result in a total surveillance network which is more responsive to changing threats in terms of targeting accuracy, targets of interest, and timeliness. Principal tactical applications for PSTS information include support for precision weapon systems, electronic order of battle determination, search and rescue operations, and battle damage assessment.

PSTS will utilize existing surveillance sensor technology and communications infrastructure. The key new technical contributions of this ACTD are the new software and processing technology as well as the new operational concept that will allow coordinated utilization of existing assets for more effective operation. Other technical challenges include the development of advanced signal processing and data fusion algorithms and modeling and simulation to ensure optimal resource allocation for cooperative precision targeting and data compression.

The PSTS residual capabilities will include newly developed processing hardware and software, data communications interfaces, and trained operators.

Concept of Operations

CONOPS development is an integral part of the PSTS ACTD. Operations will be based on optimal coordination and cooperative operation of existing surveillance, communications, and weapon systems assets to provide precise sensor-to-shooter capability.

Under the PSTS CONOPS the raw data from all participating sensors is routed to a central processing site where the data is fused and processed to produce a precise geolocation of the threat emitter. The geolocation data is then formatted for dissemination over existing intelligence routing systems such as Tactical Receive Equipment and Related Application (TRAP) broadcast.

Figure 2-14

PSTS CONOPS

Program Management

PSTS is being executed as a series of demonstrations that incrementally improve the overall capability in terms of complexity of emitters that can be targeted, degree of engineer versus operator involvement, and tactical utility. The first demonstration, conducted in 1994 at the Naval Strike Warfare Center in Fallon Nevada, demonstrated the technical feasibility of cross-mission operations using multiple national systems. The second demonstration, conducted in 1995 in conjunction with a U.S. Navy Version U.S. Army Tactical Missile System (NATACMS) live-fire exercise, demonstrated the feasibility of cross-mission operations between national and tactical systems. There are specific results from this ACTD that are classified and can be furnished to appropriately cleared organizations upon request. Having demonstrated technical feasibility, the remaining demonstrations will focus on making PSTS an operational capability. Demonstration 3, scheduled for 1996 will be held in conjunction with a U.S. Army Interdiction and Counterfire Exercise (ICE) at Fort Stewart, Georgia. A key element of this demonstration will be the processing of both national and tactical data at a tactical processing facility, the GUARDRAIL Integrated Processing Facility (IPF) located at Hunter U.S. Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia. Demonstration 4, scheduled for the fall of 1996, will occur in Korea and will demonstrate a limited deployed PSTS capability. Demonstration 5 will be conducted in CONUS in 1997 and will demonstrate capability against an expanded target set. A final demonstration will be held in Korea and will represent the PSTS Initial Operating Capability (IOC). This demonstration will involve the use of multiple national and tactical systems to target tactically relevant and challenging emitters with minimal engineer intervention to operate the system.

The sponsoring CINC for the PSTS ACTD is USFK. Principal developers include the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the military Services, and other government Agencies. The PSTS Program Manager is CAPT Patrick O'Connell, Office of Naval Research (ONR) Code 35.

Sources and Methods



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