Upcoming course: Introduction to Electronic Defence (2014)

17 Mar 2014 - 14:30

The fourth course of 2014 – an Introduction to Electronic Defence (Electronic Warfare) – will be presented at the University of Cape Town from 7 to 11 April 2014. As in 20112012 and 2013, the course will be presented by Ferdie Potgieter and Jacobus Vlok. Both of them work in the Radar and Electronic Warfare area of the Defence Peace, Safety and Security (DPSS) group at the CSIR in Pretoria.

Course code: EEE5120Z

Course Description

The course aims to introduce the student to RF Electronic Defence. Electronic Defence (ED) is a military action whose ultimate aim is to control the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS). The objective is to exploit, reduce or prevent hostile use of the EMS while still retaining friendly use thereof. ED comprises of three main disciplines, which have found numerous electromagnetic (radio frequency (RF), optical etc.) as well as acoustic civilian and military applications.

  1. Electronic Support (ES), previously known as Electronic Support Measures (ESM).
  2. Electronic Attack (EA), previously known as Electronic Countermeasures (ECM).
  3. Electronic Protection (EP), previously known as Electronic Counter-Countermeasures (ECCM). 


A good prior knowledge on the topics of digital signal processing, electromagnetics, mathematics and statistics is highly recommended for this course. A good knowledge on subjects of radar and communications is also required. Students should be competent in using scientific programming languages such as Matlab or Octave.

Students have to master fundamental concepts in Electronic Defence on a high-level (identification of tactics and applications) as well as on a detail level (the design of a suitable detector to required specifications). Students are required to link theoretical concepts in Electronic Defence to typical applications and to solve problems of an engineering nature.

Course Themes and Objectives

The following themes will be covered:

  1. The history of electronic defence: To review how the developments in radar gave rise to Electronic Defence and how critical conflicts such as World War II, the Six-Day war and the first Gulf war shaped this kind of defence.
  2. An overview of electronic defence: Given the historical developments of advanced sensors, the student will be exposed to the formal definition of Electronic Defence and the three main disciplines thereof. After a brief review of relevant radar and communication concepts, students will learn about the application of ED.
  3. Electronic support: The student will learn about the various approaches to ES against radar and communications systems. Here, the technical details and capabilities are presented that make each approach unique. LPI radar will be a case study and search, detection, location and classification principles will be applied.
  4. Electronic attack: The student will learn about the various EA techniques and the radar or communications components that are targeted. Here, the technical details of EA are
    presented. Both radar and communication jamming will be cases of study.
  5. Electronic protection: The student will learn about the various aspects of EP. Here, the technical details of EP are presented.

Course Format and Dates

The formal part of the course is given in a 5 day, intensive format with lectures and tutorials, from 7 to 11 April 2014. There are two assignments scheduled for this course, as well as a project, and finally a 2-hour closed-book written exam.

More information can be found in this PDF: EEE 5120Z (2014) – Electronic Defence – Course