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The Rise of Signal Intelligence

In the 21st century, renewed efforts to infringe on territorial sovereignty have led to concerns over security and debate on the best ways to keep nations secure from external threats.


As a result, the use of signal intelligence is on the rise, as many global agencies invest in it to get crucial information about the activities of terrorist organizations and more. Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) works as an important mechanism in understanding militarized threats to a nation’s sovereignty. Thus, it can be an important roadmap in charting out effective security strategies and assuring due vigilance.



Who Uses Signal Intelligence?

As a means of threat detection, it is no surprise that its biggest clients are intelligence and military agencies that use information and data-gathering mechanisms like electronic communications systems.


Also, this data includes verbal and written messages and information gleaned from radar or weapons systems.


Although Signal Intelligence was mainly restricted to the field of communications intelligence, it has since grown to include electronic intelligence.


Thus, information collection includes the more traditional means of communication and the use of electronic sensors. Signal Intelligence works to understand the information, intercept and disrupt malicious signals.


The CIA is one of the biggest users of Signal Intelligence, as is the NSA.


The History of Signal Intelligence

Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) is the systematic study of intentional signals for non-communications and communications systems. It traces its history back to the early 20th century when the British Navy developed a system to detect wireless signals.


The art took on newer, advanced forms in the First World War, where it was used to devastating effect to intercept battlefield signals and break opposition military code. Early systems consisted of masts, DF installations, and radio tapping.


The latter was used to detect enemy radio signals and determine the location of electronic transmitters.


In the Second World War, an effective combination of cryptanalysis and signals intelligence helped swing the tide in favor of the Allies, who used the technologies to disrupt enemy intelligence reporting.


Future Prospects for Signal Intelligence

Between 2021 and 2026, reports predict that the market will register a compound interest growth rate of about 5%.


With the rise in the demands for public safety, security initiatives, and situational awareness, the market growth for signal intelligence is predicted to rise even further in the coming years.


As terrorist attacks gain even more strength, the defense quota in national budgets around the world is expected to increase.


National defense agencies are looking to boost their signal-processing innovations to enhance microwave signal detection capabilities for the next generations of SIGINT. Thus, they rely on companies like ElementX to conduct due research and develop innovative technologies as solutions.



Applications of Signal Intelligence

Signal Intelligence competencies can be used in any of the following instances, to great effect:

  • Cyber scrutiny

  • Eavesdropping

  • RF (radio frequency) spectrum mapping

  • Hijacking satellite communications

  • Maritime domain awareness

  • Signal jamming


At ElementX, we have the capacity to develop innovative systems and cloud engineering solutions, sensor-processing architecture, space mission operations, and data analytics services. Contact us today!

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