The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. It undertakes directed research and development for socio-economic growth.

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August 2010

Defence and security

Simulation environment for electronic warfare sharpens decision-making

The CSIR's sensors and electronic warfare engagement simulation (SEWES) is used by defence research institutes for evaluating the effectiveness of electronic warfare, developing doctrine and training.

SEWES is a 'few-on-few' simulation environment allowing for any number of platforms populated with various sensors and systems to engage each other.

A simulated engagement between an aircraft, a ship and a vehicle is shown. The four views on the left show the respective platforms in the simulation, while the two views on the right show representations of the signal processing performed in the tracking radar.

The CSIR expanded on its SEWES modelling and simulation capability by adding airborne sensor and electronic warfare system models to assist in the evaluation of the effect of electronic warfare on the Gripen fighter aircraft. Closer integration between hardware systems, such as the DRFMs and MecORT have resulted in a mixed real/virtual test bench for radars.

Decision makers typically use SEWES to simulate 'what if' questions. To maximise platform survivability, the use of sensors and electronic warfare systems can be optimised given a threat scenario. These vary from algorithm level questions such as the range at which the signal intercept system will be effective, to doctrine type questions such as how the countermeasure system could be utilised to optimally protect a platform.

A typical tactical engagement investigation would be to evaluate the sensor and electronic warfare system coverage of a fighter aircraft, given that the coverage would be limited due to system performance, the terrain, and the flight path of the aircraft.

On a more detailed level, the performance of these systems can be predicted given the dynamic nature of the engagement and the effects of the natural terrain. At this level a typical question would be to investigate at what range a small target, such as an inflatable boat, could be detected in a piracy scenario.

The parameter level simulation of the systems and interactions are modelled to a level as required by the research question. All required system parameters in the simulation are stored and visualised in a realistic 3D world.

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