The Army wants an unmanned ground vehicle that can conduct signals intelligence and electronic warfare.

What the Army envisions is a small robot weighing 15 to 20 pounds, with enough battery power to provide intelligence to ground units for up to four hours, according to the Army's research solicitation. 

Software-defined radio, or a similar device, placed on a UGV would scan the radio frequency environment and provide the operator with information of other radio frequency transmissions, according to the service. "The SDR is able to scan a wide frequency spectrum such as 2 MHz to 6 GHz and then categorize the waveform type, i.e. Electronic Warfare (EW) or communications and identify the signals as friendly, coalition or adversarial."

Once the signals are detected, the UGV would use a radio frequency direction finder to determine the location of the signals, which would allow users to locate enemies and determine the position of friendly forces.

"The SDR would also be modified to emit RF noise signals (effectively acting as an EW device) to disrupt targeted/unfriendly communications as directed by the operator," the Army said.

Such a vehicle would be a "game changer," according to the Army. "A possible scenario would be to configure the SDR, coupled with radio direction finding system, to hone in on the direction of transmissions and move either autonomously or by teleoperation toward the source to disrupt communications or EW operation.

"Another scenario would be to employ multiple UGVs, feeding information back to a controller or command center, to triangulate the location of the transmission."