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    Effectiveness of Signals Intelligence Essay

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    3 SEP 2002EFFECTIVENESS OF SIGNALS INTELLIGENCESignals Intelligence (SIGINT) has access to many traditional and non-traditional dynamic elements that provide superior capabilities to collect and monitor visual, seismic, and acoustic signatures of motorized vehicles. SIGINT is the only system that can be operational and maintainable in any type of climate and terrain, which provides anadvantage over the United States (U. S. ) adversaries. The process of obtaining the intelligence starts with the collection of any type of signal, whether it be infrared, electro-optical, or electronic. After the signals are collected, analysts encounter the tasks of cryptanalysis, transcription, traffic analysis, and translations of the enemy information systems; analyst then determine size, location, distance, and terrain features.

    The data is usually processed in overlays and graphic displays within the United States. End products are then populated into National databases for the use of the Intelligence Community. The increasing utilization of computers, the internet, satellites, sophisticated encryption, and cellular telephones have streamlined effective and accurate Human Intelligence (HUMINT); implementation of Signals Intelligence has became an important role to maintain superiority over adversaries. There are many agencies that have the ability to perform Signals Intelligence, electronic reconnaissance and most of all signals intelligence from all available sources inducive to the environment. The United States Army uses the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) as its main entity for signals collection. The Joint STARS platform was designed to provide a highly effective, real-time, collection tool to the ground task force commanders during battlefield engagements, but for the past ten years, the sensor has been used for peacekeeping missions.

    Army analysts can predict the enemys behavior by identifying choke points, potential avenues of approach and operating patterns such as supply routes and logistical points. The analysis gives the ground commander a more complete view of the enemys weaknesses. The United States Air Force employs the Joint STARS in a different mission than the Army. The Air Force uses Joint STARS as a battlefield management tool versus a collection tool as used for by the Army. The Air Force uses the platform to provide immediate and direct support to the Air Component Commander and continue to observe the enemys movement from a far distance in the sky.

    Providing essential data to commanders such as size, direction, and speed of the adversaries, with minimum casualties while under battlefield conditions, makes the Joint STARS an extremely effective tool. The Air Force also employs the Predator vehicles, which are unmanned aerial vehicles that are used for reconnaissance. The Predator is multifaceted; it has the ability to collect signals in many scientific realms. Imagery that the Predators sensor can ingest can appear in the form of infrared, electro-optical, or synthetic aperture radar.

    Another signals collection tool used by the Air Force is the RC-135 mission aircraft. With all of the sophisticated equipment onboard, the aircrew has the capability to analyze the entire electromagnetic spectrum, simultaneously being supported by analysts thousands of miles away. The National Security Agency (NSA) is the chief organization that focuses on SIGINT and cryptology. The NSA has two national missions: (A) The Information Assurance mission provides the solutions, products and services, and conducts defensive information operations, to achieve information assurance for information infrastructures critical to U. S. national security interests.

    (B) The foreign signals intelligence or SIGINT mission allows for an effective, unified organization and control of all the foreign signals collection and processing activities of the United States. NSA is authorized to produce SIGINT in accordance with objectives, requirements and priorities established by the Director of Central Intelligence with the advice of the National Foreign Intelligence Board. (NSA) There are a large array of technical specialists that are employed through the NSA such as physicists, linguists, researchers, analysts, mathematicians, data flow experts, engineers, and computer scientists that can execute translations of foreign languages and transcriptions, cryptanalysis, and developing Information Systems Security (INFOSEC). INFOSEC is the action of protecting classified and sensitive information that is sent through U. S.

    Government networks. This culmination of specialists produces an effective tool to protect U. S interest and National Security. The NSA has always been the frontier and leader of numerous highly advance fields that encompass collecting, protecting, and distributing SIGINT.

    Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT) operates in airborne, space, surface and Sub-surface domains; MASINT sensors collect signals practically any and everywhere possible. MASINT sensors support detailed technical planning, mission planning, operations support, and logistics support. MASINT operates by using a system of algorithms and geometrical symmetry. Algorithms allow users to display and record the physical and logical relationships between components of a network, system, or process. The United States Measurement and Signature Intelligence System has been derived from the MASINT architecture. MASINT collection is extremely dynamic in that it can be employed with either theater or national level assets.

    Denial and deception efforts are extremely difficult to counter but with the use of MASINT and another intelligence the task is much easier. Radar Intelligence (RADINT) is designed to locate, track, and identify critical signal elements such as generators, traveling wave tubes, and phase shifters. Radar is utilized for target detection, identification, classification, and tracking. It can also determine velocity, azimuth, and elevation. Advancement in technology is so expedient that new radar designs are being built everyday to stay abreast with state of the art target systems.

    Satellites are the most expensive and effective collection tools available. They have the ability to observe activities that are associated with meteorological, oceanographic, solar-terrestrial, electromagnetic, visual, acoustic, seismic, and much more. The advantage of satellite collection is that they circulate hundreds of nautical miles above the earth undetected. The United States has deployed thousands of sensors such as imaging, seismic, acoustic, and infrared around the world to collect signals and protect National Security. Applying Signals Intelligence ensures that the mission succeeds with minimal casualties.

    Valuable information is achieved through combining large numbers of sensors to obtain maximum amounts of data. Intercepted signals that are exploited properly provide Commanders with target identification, tracking, or insertion of overwhelming forces. The collected data can be transmitted over reliable, secure networks to deployed units or higher headquarter entities within the U. S. “Information superiority is the capability to collect, process, and disseminate an uninterrupted flow of information while exploiting or denying an adversary’s ability to do the same. ” (Joint Vision 2010) SIGINT was employed during World War II to break the Japanese military code it was used in the Gulf War to annihilate Saddam Husseins National Army and Republican Guard, and in Kosovo to locate Serbian ground units.

    SIGINT has repeatedly proven its effectiveness in all environments and missions around the world. The combination of effective collection and secured reporting reinforces SIGINT claim as an effective tool. Works CitedNSA. Mission Statement.

    15 June 2002. NSA. Online. AOL.

    19 July 2002.Words/ Pages : 1,174 / 24

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