CERDEC's Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate develops and integrates the technology and architectures that enable and secure tactical networks as well as hand-held and platform-mounted Soldier communications for terrestrial and satellite-based systems.

In today's changing operational environment, Soldiers depend on secure and robust networks for reliable connectivity and communications.

CERDEC’s Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate is the Army’s technical expert in the areas of tactical and strategic communications technologies, providing a service-unique environment to develop, evaluate and transition secure, reliable and practical defense communications, networking and cybersecurity capabilities.

As the Defense Department leader in communications and networking R&D for the Soldier, CERDEC S&TCD adopts, adapts and develops emerging communications technologies to provide secure, networked tactical communications.

The directorate also develops and evaluates hardware components, antennas, waveforms, communications security and network operations capabilities that enable Soldiers to acquire, secure and sustain operational communications.

S&TCD's broad network of government and industry partners, robust systems engineering infrastructure, technical agility and resources enables them to provide strategic insight to make informed acquisition decisions coupled with the technical expertise to deliver assured results.

Tactical and Strategic Networks

I2WD develops advanced radar sensing capabilities and exploitation technologies that provide actionable intelligence, accurate and timely reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition for battlespace awareness and force protection.

  • Evaluates and analyzes performance data of radar systems
  • Refines and prototypes radar system concepts
  • Uses a radar and sensor simulation environment for synthetic data sets to aid in advanced algorithm development
  • Develops and evaluates processing, exploitation and dissemination (PED) workflows and architectures to support next generation sensors
  • Leverages in-house radar system integration laboratories (SIL) in support of current operations
  • Evaluates advanced battlefield identification of cooperative and non-cooperative systems

Lightweight Counter-Mortar Radar

LCMR is a lightweight, man-portable and High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle-mounted fast-scanning radar system that detects, tracks and locates enemy indirect projectiles in the air and determines the enemy firing position. It provides electronically-scanned, 360-degree azimuth coverage at short to medium detection ranges. U.S. Armed Forces and allies use LCMR as one of the primary counter-fire radar systems.

Omni-Directional Weapon Locating Radar

The OWL is a next-generation radar technology that provides hemispherical coverage against indirect, low, non-standard trajectories and plunging threats. The radar utilizes a novel antenna design, innovative signal processing techniques such as multiple-input, multiple-output and digital beam forming, and automated tracking algorithms. The OWL has a flexible system architecture ensuring quick adaptability for multiple mission purposes.

Tactical Reconnaissance and Counter-concealment Enabled Radar

TRACER provides increased situational awareness by enabling long-range, wide area detection of targets under camouflage, concealment and deception conditions, and mapping for complex environments. TRACER provides increased situational awareness by enabling long-range, wide area detection of targets under camouflage, concealment and deception conditions, and mapping for complex environments. In addition, the system has the capability to detect small roadside targets and buried weapons caches. It performs onboard image formation and change detection.

Vehicle and Dismount Enabled Radar

VADER is an advanced Ku-band Ground Moving Target Indicator Radar/Synthetic Aperture Radar capable of detection and precision tracking of moving vehicles and dismounts. The system provides for wide and small area air-to-ground moving target indication, high-range resolution scanning of targets, detection of large numbers of targets for real time or forensic analysis, and SAR imaging of fixed targets. The VADER Exploitation Ground Station integrates closed-loop sensor management and multiple exploitation technologies to enable near real-time exploitation and forensics.

CERDEC S&TCD provides assured mobile networks that function in complex terrains and a variety of geographical areas. Mobile Networking technologies provide the architecture to support uninterrupted service for wireless mobile communications during dynamic, ad-hoc operations.

  • Reachback/Range Extension (SATCOM & UAV): Strong communications capabilities prove a key element in maintaining connectivity of a widely dispersed, rapidly moving fighting force.
  • Airborne/Elevated Nodes and SATCOM: S&TCD works to enable Soldiers with connectivity to widely disbursed elements in complex terrain.
  • Mobile Command and Control (C2) vehicles: S&TCD’s work with mobile C2 vehicles no longer ties command elements to large, easy-to-hit tent and antenna farms. This enables commanders to use full capabilities via long-range communications assets while minimizing the need for staff, intelligence and logistics personnel down range.

CERDEC S&TCD develops efficient terrestrial, airborne and satellite communications modulation, coding techniques and sub-component technologies to enable high data-rate transport. These hardware and software solutions improve radio performance and broadband connectivity to support on-demand service to the Warfighter.

CERDEC S&TCD provides automated capabilities that integrate the planning, monitoring and controlling activities of network management, information assurance and information dissemination.

Today's Army requires responsive organizations dependent on Tactical Network Operations. The rapid response organizations need to be equipped, trained and operated under global standards to support modularity. Common standards throughout the network support "plug-and-play" operations and increase network performance while enabling Soldiers to train the way they would fight.

Integration of network management, network defense and content staging must be performed at strategic, operational and tactical levels and across all DOD warfighting, intelligence and business domains.

Cyberspace Operations

S&TCD provides information assurance superiority for mission-critical information and secures the network and its devices to enable the Soldier to continue to fight and survive in the face of cyber attacks.

CERDEC S&TCD is the Army’s technical authority ensuring the availability, connectivity and security of mission critical information in the face of information warfare attacks and unintentional network disruptions. S&TCD protects the integrity of Soldiers’ information and prevents cyber attacks while operating in the numerous security domains necessary to function effectively in today’s Joint and Coalition Environment.

  • Information Assurance: S&TCD proactively provides the capabilities to prevent, detect and predict information warfare attacks in tactical networks and respond in a timely manner. S&TCD bases future Information Assurance mechanisms on commercial and military technologies and researches and develops solutions to fill those technology capability gaps.
  • Network Assurance: S&TCD provides the Army with methods for sharing network and application information across varied classified and unclassified security domains.

CERDEC S&TCD advances the Army, Joint and Coalition communications infrastructure by blending systems engineering techniques to provide timely, effective and integrated system architectures that inform network designs for advancing future communications technology. The increasing interdependency of C4ISR systems places a critical emphasis on relevant systems-of-systems engineering – a capability at the core of CERDEC S&TCD.