Spotlight on Rafael’s EMP Protected BNET-SDR to Counter EMP Threats


Defence Industry

Tel Aviv: Israeli technology helps the US to get ready for an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) attack. In recent days some experts pointed to the possibility that the Chinese balloon spotted over the US may be part of Chinese preparations to perform such an attack. On February 4, the US air force shot down the balloon.

One of the experts was quoted in the Washington Examiner. According to this report based on intelligence officials, High-altitude balloons, such as the one China has floated over US military bases this week, are considered a key “delivery platform” for secret nuclear strikes on America’s electric grid.

The threat of balloon-launched electromagnetic pulse attacks was warned about by a congressional EMP commission and inside the military several years ago. In a 2015 report for the American Leadership & Policy Foundation – David Stuckenberg, one of the nation’s leading EMP experts, wrote extensively about the threat balloons carrying bombs pose to national security.

Israeli companies are aware of the EMP threat and have developed systems that may minimize the threat. One is Rafael that has developed a technology that will help protect US electrical power infrastructure from Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) hazards.

EMPs are pulses of energy that can be the result of a nuclear weapon, or the emissions of portable devices like high power microwave weapons (HPMWs). EMP can severely damage electronic and electrical equipment such as computers, cell phones, transformers and transmission lines, as well as critical communications infrastructure.

Some years ago, a leading US power company has installed a US FCC-certified version of Rafael’s EMP-protected BNET radio as part of its EMP protection strategy. This is the first commercial

installation of a BNET radio, Rafael’s software-defined cognitive radio with EMP-protections for “Black Sky” Hazards and other potential threats.

A “Black Sky” Hazard is defined as a catastrophic event that severely disrupts the normal functioning of critical infrastructures in multiple regions for long durations. An EMP event can be both human-caused and naturally occurring. In the event of an EMP, re-energizing the power grid and restoring critical infrastructure after a Black Sky event will require a powerful EMP protected communications platform like BNET.

Rafael’s current FCC-approved BNET radio operates on the LMR bands, and can be integrated with other communications platforms, such as a PBX, through the use of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), addressing the specific requirements of critical infrastructure.

Rafael is currently working with its US partner, the EIS Council, to expand the LMR operational range of this radio. So far the BNET has been used by armies around the world. It is the first time that this unique systems is selected for EMP protection.

According to Rafael, BNET is a unique Software Defined Radio & Network architecture, enabling the future of digitized warfare by delivering wideband, with low delay and reliable connectivity. Rafael says that by simultaneously receiving and processing hundreds of MHz‘s and merging them into a single IP network , BNET provides unprecedented network capacity in terms of data rates, number of users and minimal delay.

The Israeli company said that BNET has the ability to cognitively manage the scarce spectrum resources providing seamless force merge and minimal planning with efficient spectrum usage. Adding further, the Rafael official said that the SDR system optimizes the spectrum utilization, while the use of advanced waveforms deliver high speed networking, supporting live video, image transfer, voice and data.