NSWC Crane collaborates with Rose-Hulman professor to expand niche radio technology capability for the warfighter

A group of Crane Division (NSWC Crane) staff members visited the Rose-Hullman Institute of Technology (RHIT) in Ter Hot, Indiana for a bachelor’s degree a few years ago. RHIT, the nationally recognized University of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), is less than two hours away from NSWC Crane. The career fair provoked a chance meeting, which brought unique opportunities to the fleet.

Gary Wieneke, who at the time was deputy manager of the Expeditionary Electronic Warfare (EW) division at NSWC Crane, was part of the group attending this career fair. Along with meeting with students who may be interested in working at NSWC Crane, Wieneke was introduced to an RHIT professor named Dr. Edward Doring.

Dr. Döring, a professor of electrical engineering and computer engineering (ECE), has been a member of Rose-Hullman’s faculty since 1994. He says he regularly attends career fairs to visit alumni and is pleased to meet Wieneke at Spring Career Fair in 2019

“I had some vague knowledge of Crane before I met Gary,” says Dr. Döring, “but I had no idea about the work on electronic warfare and digital signal processing at NSWC Crane. Crane also employs a large number of Rose-Hulman alumni, and it was a pleasure to meet many of my former students after joining the board. I was quite impressed when I learned more about the scope and variety of activities carried out at Crane. ”

According to his letters of recommendation for temporary teaching work, Dr. Döring is a renowned expert in signal processing, design of digital systems with programmable input grilles (FPGAs) and electronics. Wieneke, who is now deputy director of corporate operations at NSWC Crane, is himself a graduate of RHIT and says Dr. Döring’s experience is also unique in critical technology.

“Dr. Döring is an expert in digital signal processing (DSP) technology,” says Vieneke. “DSP is a key technology area for NSWC Crane. After Dr. Döring learned about our mission, he became interested in working with us. ”

Dr. Doring completed a six-month Saturday vacation at Crane and continued to work as a temporary lecturer. The appointment of NSWC Crane faculty provides an opportunity for professors from accredited colleges or universities to work with NSWC Crane staff on research or special projects.

Dr Doring says his time at Crane was a valuable experience.

“With the technical work that was done at Crane, I started applying my knowledge to DSP when I started working on specific projects,” says Dr. Döring. “I also gained a whole new understanding of what it means to focus on keeping fighters safe and helping them accomplish their mission. It is very satisfying to contribute to this effort. “

Figure 2: NSWC Crane staff meet with Dr. Döring at RHIT to discuss the new SDR course and future efforts.

Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology and software-defined radio (SDR).

DSP is a key component of today’s information technology. Dr Döring says this involves digitizing signals that can be manipulated by mathematical algorithms on a computer, FPGA or embedded DSP microprocessor.

According to the description of Dr. Döring’s software-defined radio course, SDR technology is characterized by its flexibility. He continues: “Simply modifying the software can completely change the functionality of the radio.” The course looks at what the SDR designer is doing to build a full digital radio.

Many military computer systems are based on radio frequency technology. Historically, radio technology has been specifically designed as an AM / FM car radio.

“That’s what it was made for – and that’s all,” says Dr. Döring. “It’s not flexible, it’s not programmable. Before SDR technology, different military radios had different standards, and each standard would require a separate device without interoperability between them. However, SDR technology is based on a completely common hardware device that connects the world of radio frequencies (RF) to the world of DSP, and once the signal is in the world of DSP, you can easily apply many different standards in the same radio system.

Figure 3: Graph showing the impact of Dr. Döring on NSWC Crane and RHIT

SDR technology allows older systems to communicate easily with newer systems.

“SDR has the flexibility to perform various modulations. SDR is much cheaper, more flexible and time-saving than other technologies that allow older and newer systems to communicate, ”says Dr. Döring.

Where knowledge of the niche corresponds to the mission

Dr. Doring now works full time in the summer and as a temporary lecturer for the rest of the year. His time as an employee has turned into many additional projects and initiatives – both at Crane and at RHIT.

Tom Talbert is the chief engineer of the Electronic Warfare Expeditionary Systems Division. He says Crane has benefited from Dr. Döring’s experience in several ways.

“He did a lot during his Saturday vacation,” Talbert said. “After seeing what we were doing, he took the time to develop a three-day software-defined radio course for Crane employees. He made a great partnership with Crane; his expertise in DSP contributes to improving techniques that defeat threats. He passed this knowledge on to the staff, where they were able to get improvements integrated into weapons systems, improving our ability to overcome threats. “

Talbert says this area of ​​expertise is crucial to meeting the needs of fighters in the navy.

“This area of ​​expertise is important to the mission because we need to have systems that can defeat emerging threats,” Talbert said. “EW threats are evolving rapidly and in order to stay ahead of future threats, Navy systems need to integrate the latest RF defeat techniques. Software-defined radio systems may include these techniques; effectively changing their functionality as soon as new equipment is uploaded to the system. “

Dr Doring says the Crane course is a curriculum under development.

“The Crane workshop focuses on SDR technology,” says Dr. Doring. “I created a curriculum for the course and I wanted the class to be practical so that employees have devices they can work with. It will generally be SDR 101. ”

Wieneke says Dr. Döring returned the knowledge to Rose-Hullman, where the newly developed SDR course helps students expose the real challenges of EW.

“He resurrected the older class at RHIT and added new things,” says Vieneke. “NSWC Crane has also managed to sponsor a number of projects for senior designers – a major engineering project per student. Major projects include commercial hardware integration. ”

The resurrected class was a 400-level class called Software-Defined Radio. Dr. Döring teaches DSP courses, among other classes, and says he is interested in reviewing the class. Figure 4: The Augmented Reality Augmented Drone (DART) team presented its findings on a major project sponsored by NSWC Crane.

“The work I did with Crane – I gave it back to Rose for the revised course,” says Dr. Döring. “Without Crane’s experience, I wouldn’t have had the knowledge to teach the class.” Dr. Döring says he also drew inspiration from his technical mentor, Tim Vance, a retired chief engineer. “During his last appearance before the department, Tim Vance encouraged everyone to get their amateur radio license,” recalls Dr. Doring, “and I received mine three weeks later. Now I teach an SDR class with a big amateur rotation of projects. My experience at Crane has shaped what I do at Rose – I can bring new ideas to the classroom.

Dr Doring says the updated RHIT SDR course gives students a more hands-on experience with communication systems.

“It expands what they’ve learned and gives them practical application,” says Dr. Doring. “It’s fascinating to do wireless communication – to send data from one radio to another without a visible connection – students can say, ‘I did this and it actually works.’ The course helps them gain experience with current technologies. SDR technology is of constant interest and is at the heart of what is happening in wireless communications – it is evolving and continues to evolve and change. “

Wieneke says partnerships like this are good for both the institutions and their missions.

“This is a perfect example of how getting part-time professors is good not only for Crane, but also for universities and industries,” says Vieneke. “NSWC Crane continues to use the temporary teacher program for the benefit of our mission areas.”

Dr Döring says the collaboration was an opportunity to learn and contribute.

“My experience has provided me with personal and professional growth,” says Dr. Döring. “I teach a class that I would not otherwise be able to teach. I am very pleased that I have made a good contribution to the mission. I haven’t done hard work; I have really participated in projects that bring success to the fighters. It is satisfactory to contribute to the Crane mission.

About NSWC Crane

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and field activity of the Naval Command of Naval Systems (NAVSEA) with areas of mission in expeditionary warfare, strategic missions and electronic warfare. The Warfare Center is responsible for maintaining many domains, multispectra, full lifecycle technologies and systems that enhance the capabilities of today’s Warfighter.

Join our team! NAVSEA employs a diverse, highly trained, educated and skilled workforce – from undergraduate students and staff to experienced professionals and people with disabilities. We maintain today’s complex ships, aircraft, weapons and computer systems of the Navy and Marine Corps. We are constantly looking for engineers, scientists and other STEM professionals, as well as talented experts in business, finance, logistics and other support, to ensure that the US Navy can defend and defend America. Please contact NSWC Crane Recruiting on this site – https://navsea.recsolu.com/external/form/jmR6cUhZKZ_qD5QUqyMk8w or send us an email at [email protected]

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