Space Electronic Warfare

Course length:

5 Half-Day sessions



Course dates

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Space is an Electronic Warfare domain, just like land, sea and air.  We significantly dependent on satellite assets and those assets are vulnerable to enemy kinetic or electronic attack.  In ground, sea and air-based EW, the closer we get to targets, the better we can intercept or jam them. 

Satellite borne systems are by their nature far away—creating challenges that require careful consideration.  Satellites do not go where we want them to go in the short term; they go where they want to go.   However, we can predict where they will be at any given time using tools taught in this course.

In the eight sessions of the Course, we will cover the nature of EW in space and go on to work practical EW problems appropriate to the space environment.   After an introductory overview of Space EW, the course starts with tutorial sessions on Spherical trigonometry and orbit mechanics.  Then, tutorials on radio propagation and the principles of intercept and jamming  – both on the Earth and in space.  Then the course moves on to four sessions dealing with practical problems covering intercept and jamming of enemy communication and radar assets.  Each session will include lecture and hands-on problem solutions. Formulas and handy tables for future problem solutions are provided in each session.

This course runs for 5 half days.

Alternate scheduling is available upon request.



David Adamy holds BSEE and MSEE degrees both with communication theory majors. He has over 50 years experience as an engineer and manager in the development of electronic warfare and related systems. He has published over 250 articles on electronic warfare and communications theory related subjects, including a popular monthly tutorial section in the Journal of Electronic Defense. He has twelve books in print. He consults to various military organizations and teaches electronic warfare and communication theory short courses all over the world.

Course Outline:

Session 1.  Introduction to Space EW covers the nature of satellites, link definitions, satellite and link vulnerability, space EW missions and targets

Session 2.  Spherical Trigonometry and Orbits covers the basic mathematical tools required to deal with relationships between the location of satellites and Earth surface targets.  It also covers the appropriate plane trigonometry equations.  Finally, it covers the description of orbits and gives equations and tables relating the orbit period to the size and shape of the orbit and the six ephemerides that completely define the location of a satellite relative to the Earth.

Session 3.  Radio Propagation covers radio propagation on Earth and in space.  Both are necessary for the development of formulas for intercepting and jamming Earth surface targets from satellites.  Also covered in this session are formulas for satellite to Earth station link margins in terms of orbital parameters.

Session 4.  Intercept and Jamming Principles covers basic communication and jamming formulas for radar and communication intercept and jamming.  They are related to the space EW geometries.

Session 5.  Communication Intercept from Space gives the formulas for the quality of intercepts of various types of Earth surface communication signals from space.  The formulas in this chapter consider the location of targets on Earth and the orbital parameters of the intercepting satellite.  The session also includes formulas for the calculation of Doppler shift in signals to and from satellites.

Session 6.  ELINT from Space covers the intercept of radar signals by satellite borne receivers.  A low orbit satellite problem and a synchronous satellite problem will be included.  Analysis will include the amount of time the satellite can receive signals and the quality of intercept.  In this session and the two following sessions, all of the appropriate spacecraft considerations will be included:  antenna parameters, antenna pointing errors, atmospheric and rain losses, viewing period frequency and duration, etc.

Session 7.  Communication Jamming from Space covers the jamming of various types of Earth surface communication.  Problems dealing with point to point and tactical network targets will be covered in problems.

Session 8.  Radar Jamming from Space covers the jamming of radars from low earth and synchronous satellites.   Both will be covered in problems and operational considerations will be considered.


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