Members of the 1st Cavalry Division Cyber and Electronic Warfare team (CEMA) collaborated with a team of Columbia University engineering students to develop a prototype radio frequency shield designed to protect communications on the battlefield at Fort Hood on March 30.
This visit follows a challenge members of the 1st Cavalry Division participated in last September where military members were asked to describe a problem and the Department of Defense outsources the problem to various universities.
“The Cav was lucky enough Columbia University chose our problem as one worthy of their efforts,” said Maj. Matthew Williamson, cyber electronic and warfare activities chief, 1st Cavalry Division.
Over the past eight months, Columbia University and the 1st Cavalry Division engaged in weekly collaboration to ensure both teams working on the project gained a shared understanding of the requirements needed by Soldiers supporting combat operations.
“What we asked the Columbia University students to do is devise a shield to limit the exposure of signals towards the enemy, therefore reducing the enemy’s ability to identify 1st Cav elements as we maneuver,” said Williamson.
After several weeks of research, the Columbia University engineering team constructed two prototype devices with the ability to provide operational security for friendly communications.
Once the prototypes were complete, students traveled to Fort Hood, TX to conduct trials on the equipment along with the 1st Cav CEMA team in a field environment.
The Cav really helped us understand this problem and have been supportive while we worked towards a solution, said Kate Majidzadeh, Columbia University engineering student.
“The Cav has been incredibly supportive,” said Dominic Insogna, Columbia University engineering student. “Any and every obstacle we have faced, the Cav has been quick to communicate and overcome any problems immediately.”