Title: New Tactical Collection System Joins the War on Terrorism

Release Date: 2017-09-13

Document Date: 2005-01-18

Description: "DISTANTFOCUS," a system mounted on Predator drones in the global war on terrorism, brings "the dawn of a new era" for signals intelligence and precision geolocation. Operators at the NSA headquarters have been remotely receiving encrypted real-time audio and geolocation data from U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility since December 2004.

Document: DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS
TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL

(S) New Tactical Collection System Joins the War on Terrorism
FROM:
Technical Advisor, Target Reconnaissance and Survey (S316)
Run Date: 01/18/2005

DISTANTFOCUS pod is new system for tactical SIGINT and precision geolocation... first deployed
in December (S)
(U//FOUO) What resembles "LITTLE BOY" (one of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during
World War II) and as LITTLE BOY did, represents the dawn of a new era (at least in SIGINT and
precision geolocation)?
(S) If you answered a pod mounted on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that is currently flying
missions in support of the Global War on Terrorism, you would be correct.

(S) DISTANTFOCUS pod under the wing of an unmanned aerial vehicle
(S) DISTANTFOCUS is a new capability that allows remote operators situated in the
Headquarter's building at NSAW to dynamically tune receivers and receive both real time audio
as well as geolocation information. The operators are members of the Air Force's 94th
Intelligence Squadron.
(S) DISTANTFOCUS development has been a combined effort of SID's Office of Target
Reconnaissance and Survey (OTRS, S316) and a cleared small business contractor located in
Linthicum Heights, Maryland. Additionally, a partnership with NASA Goddard Greenbelt was
established for altitude testing to ensure operational success at 24,000 feet. The system is one
of four that are being built as a quick reaction capability to enable tactical exploitation of signals
as well as providing precision geolocation results so that appropriate action can be taken.
(TS//SI) DISTANTFOCUS uses commercial off-the-shelf receivers and direction-finding hardware
and software on a single UAV to provide our tactical customers with real-time intercept and
location information. The system is contained within a six-foot long pod that is 16 inches in
diameter. The pod mounts on a PREDATOR'S UAV HELLFIRE pylon wing and weighs 136 pounds.
DISTANTFOCUS receivers cover the 2 MHz - 3 GHZ frequency range and offers varying
geolocation precision -- at the low frequency ranges it is accurate within 500 meters and at
higher frequencies under 100 meters. DISTANTFOCUS has been flying in the CENTCOM AOR*
since December 5, 2004 and quickly generated 1 product report, and over 76 KLIEGLIGHTs and
25 geos.
(TS//SI) Part of DISTANTFOCUS's success has been based on another OTRS effort, the
AIRHANDLER communications link between the PREDATOR and NSAW. This link utilizes a portion
of the PREDATOR's video bandwidth, encrypts it and sends command and control as well as
voice data from the PREDATOR back to NSAW and GRSOC. The Information Assurance
Directorate provided tactical encryption which enables the link to be secure, yet will have
minimal impact if the equipment is captured.
*(U) Notes:
AOR = Area of Responsibility

"(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet
without the consent of S0121 (DL sid_comms)."

DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS
TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL
DERIVED FROM: NSA/CSSM 1-52, DATED 08 JAN 2007 DECLASSIFY ON: 20320108

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