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**Vanderbilt and 101st Airborne Introduce AI-Powered Systems for NATO and Partner Unit Training in Europe**

New technology to mitigate enemy radio jamming developed at Vanderbilt and advanced in collaboratio…

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command has achieved significant success with Advanced Dynamic Spectrum Reconnaissance (ADSR), and the Army Research Laboratory Pathfinder program has provided soldiers and researchers with the necessary tools to swiftly develop and enhance solutions for critical field issues. ADSR, an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled system, allows the Army’s wireless communications networks to detect and evade enemy jamming, as well as reduce radio frequency (RF) emissions that could potentially expose Army forces to enemy targeting. This project was among the initial Pathfinder endeavors conducted by Vanderbilt University and further refined through collaboration with Soldiers from the 101st Airborne.

Senator Marsha Blackburn emphasized the importance of equipping service members with cutting-edge tools and technologies to enhance their ability to overcome adversaries, stating, “Our service members embody the finest qualities of America, and it is imperative that we equip them with the best resources to enhance their capability to defeat any foe.” She has consistently advocated for the Pathfinder system, which leverages research contributions from esteemed institutions such as Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee to tackle the most demanding challenges faced by the Army, ensuring the maintenance of U.S. military superiority over potential threats.

During the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Germany for the 7th Army Training Command’s Combined Resolve exercise, Electronic Warfare Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division successfully employed the new ADSR technology. This enabled them to train using NATO and NATO-partner models while also conducting additional system checks.

1st Lt. Brenden Shutt, a cyber warfare agent with the 3rd ID, highlighted the perpetual quest for an edge in targeting adversaries within Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs), stating, “Electronic war modules within BCTs are constantly seeking advantages in targeting the enemy.” He emphasized the importance of swiftly identifying the enemy’s electromagnetic signature to deliver real-time intelligence on the battlefield, underscoring the significance of detecting capabilities that offer immediate situational awareness. Sustaining our supremacy in electronic warfare necessitates continual evolution in both strategies and technologies.

ADSR technology, initially developed by a team of researchers at Vanderbilt University in conjunction with challenge competitions funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has undergone extensive operational testing with soldiers from the 101st at Fort Campbell since 2021. These tests have included exercises at the Smardan Training Area in eastern Romania and the Civil-Military Innovation Institute’s (CMI2) Adaptive Experimentation Facility in central West Virginia.

Adam Jay Harrison, a member of the ADSR team and the Vanderbilt Distinguished Entrepreneur in Residence, acknowledged the pivotal role of Pathfinder in translating their technology into practical solutions, stating, “Without Pathfinder, the systems we developed might never have been utilized. Pathfinder revealed the unique operational requirements of the Army and facilitated soldier engagement, enabling us to realize the potential of our technology in delivering impactful solutions.”

In April 2023, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in West Virginia conducted a long-range air assault exercise to evaluate the ADSR technology. Military personnel engaged in realistic scenario-based training as part of CMI2’s Driving Innovation in Realistic Training Days, testing the efficacy of new systems. Initiatives like the Pathfinder program and technologies such as ADSR play a crucial role in bridging cutting-edge scientific research with practical defense applications, as evidenced by the successful real-world trials.

Senator Bill Hagerty commended the ongoing collaboration facilitated by Pathfinder between the Army, partner universities, and the State of Tennessee, stating, “Pathfinder represents a valuable partnership where the Army gains access to advanced scientific capabilities crucial for frontline operations, students are exposed to real-world challenges inspiring future research, and Tennessee benefits from the growth of high-paying engineering jobs associated with Pathfinder-Air Assault projects.”

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Last modified: February 23, 2024
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