Book Review

Book cover image
Introduction to Communi­cation Electronic Warfare Systems

R. A. Poisel
Artech House, 2002, 544 pages


M any of the high-tech civilian wireless communications technologies, such as frequency hopping, direct-sequence spread-spectrum (DSSS), and of course GPS, originated with the need for improved military communications. This long-awaited book is one of the few books available on the topic of electronic warfare as it pertains to communications systems instead of radar.

The first nine chapters, comprising the first half of the book, cover RF propagation and types of modulation, data encoding, data compression and encryption, receivers, and antennas. These basic concepts, which should already be thoroughly familiar to communications engineers, are described using relatively straightforward mathematics, presupposing only a familiarity with linear algebra and matrices.

The next three chapters, Signal Processing, Direction-Finding Position-Fixing Techniques, and Hyperbolic Position Fixing, are longer and take the subject into a deeper level of technical detail. Fourier, Hartley, Harr, and wavelet transforms and signal classifiers and their applications to signal intelligence gathering are clearly described, making extensive use of conditional probabilities and matrix algebra, and some calculus. The MUSIC method of superresolution direction finding, which determines eigenvectors to calculate the time difference of arrival of multiple signals, is described in detail. Chapter 15 discusses methods for detecting frequency-hopping signals, as would be needed to intercept a spread-spectrum signal.

One disappointment is the lack of information on communications jamming waveforms. Surely the military would not use Gaussian noise to interfere with enemy communications as the book suggests. Also, techniques for analyzing, discriminating, and classifying communication signals on the basis of their waveforms are not discussed. However, overall the book is an excellent introduction to wireless communication technology, and it provides in-depth information on some advanced topics with important military applications.

March 16, 2002 Back