IARPA launches SCISRS program

On October 26, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the research and development arm of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, announced the start of a multi-year research effort aimed at developing smart radio techniques that can automatically detect and characterize radio frequency (RF) signals potentially associated with attempted data breaches.

The Securing Compartmented Information with Smart Radio Systems (SCISRS) program will elevate the Intelligence Community’s (IC) and the Department of Defense’s (DoD) abilities to safeguard information and data that is generated, stored, used, transmitted, and received in secure facilities and beyond. Program success will likely require breakthroughs in machine learning (ML) and traditional digital signal processing techniques (DSP).

“Our research goal is extremely challenging because we need to scan an enormous frequency range and analyze terabytes of data every second — we are looking for the proverbial needles in the RF haystack,” said SCISRS program manager, Dr. Paul Kolb. “If we want to deploy SCISRS everywhere, we must find a way to run hyper-efficient algorithms on modestly-priced hardware.”

Through a competitive Broad Agency Announcement, IARPA has awarded SCISRS research contracts to the following teams:

  • A 10 Systems AiRANACULUS
  • BAE Systems
  • Expedition Technology, Inc.
  • JASR Systems
  • Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation

The SCISRS test and evaluation (T&E) team consists of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and a second government lab, as both have established RF testbeds. They will rigorously assess performers’ solutions on their abilities to detect and characterize RF outliers.

Source: ODNI

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