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Events Details - The EW Octagon: A way to test Cognitive EW

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The EW Octagon: A way to test Cognitive EW

Aug 22 - Aug 22


The EW Octagon: A way to test Cognitive EW

August 22, 2013  |  1400-1445 EDT



Major Kenneth "Beldar" Hollinger is a Marine EA-6B Electronic Countermeasures Officer currently serving as a flight instructor at VT-86.  In this 45 minute presentation, he will be discussing a concept he calls...


The ability to transmit and receive information to and from nodes on the battlefield can be the key to winning or losing a fight. The Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS) is the information pathway of choice in any kind of maneuver warfare. With the exponential increase of sensors on the battlefield, we are quickly running out of maneuver space within the EMS. It is not hard to imagine a scenario where a contest between two adversaries is won or lost solely from the ability to dominate the EMS. The side with EMS dominance will be able to see the battlefield and communicate—while the other side will be rendered blind and dumb.

Assuming both sides have similar assets (sensors, emitters, power, computer processing capabilities), what is the best use of those resources? Or, stated another way: In a contested EMS environment, what is the best strategy to guarantee use of the EMS while denying the enemy the same? Assuming an equal power budget, what strategy will give you the correct mix of sensing, transmitting, jamming, bit checking, and processing to maximize the delta between you and your enemy’s ability to make use of the EMS?

As strategies and theories for EMS dominance are developed it will be necessary to establish a proving ground in which to test them. The ‘Electronic Warfare (EW) Octagon’ concept is to create an environment to facilitate the maturation of ‘Cognitive EW’—or the ability to autonomously sense and react to what the enemy is doing and dominate the EMS. The idea is to force two opposing Cognitive EW RF systems to operate within a contested RF band in order to test and develop Cognitive EW strategies. Furthermore, force the systems to operate with a restricted amount of power and enough RF bandwidth to maneuver, but not more bandwidth than each system could take full advantage of. In other words, the ‘Octagon’ is a set of contest rules, and a contest environment, crafted properly in order to facilitate ‘a good fight’.

The ‘EW Octagon’ is a concept that could be a useful tool for developing strategies and technologies that will allow us to maintain EMS dominance in a future, contested EMS environment.



Kenneth Hollinger-cropped72

Major Kenneth "Beldar" Hollinger, USMC, is a Marine EA-6B Electronic Countermeasures Officer with 23 years in service, currently serving as a flight instructor at VT-86.  At the 49th Annual AOC International Symposium and Convention in Phoenix, AZ, Major Hollinger was honored with the Technical Analyst Award for his breakthrough work on the analysis of waveforms and signals and their far-reaching application in the area of Electronic Warfare in both hardware and software support.

Kenneth B. Hollinger was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on August 6, 1971.  He received the B.S. degree, Magna Cum Laude, in Computer Engineering from University of Idaho, Moscow in 2001, and the M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey in 2009.  He is a member of Eta Kappa Nu, and a lifetime member of the AOC.  He currently resides in Pensacola, Fl with his wife Raven.



August 22, 2013  |  1400-1445 EDT
This educational AOC webinar is COMPLIMENTARY, and all participants are welcome.


Your schedule won't let you attend live??
Don't worry. The entire presentation and Q&A will be recorded for viewing at a later date. You can join the conversation and find the link to the recording in our AOC Virtual Series Subgroup on LinkedIn.



After you register for the webinar, you will be emailed a confirmation with the link to the webinar, along with instructions on how to connect. For questions, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

A recording of the webinar will be available after the live presentation. You can join the conversation and find the link to the recording in our AOC Virtual Series Subgroup on LinkedIn.



This webinar is unclassified and all participants are welcome.









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