Signal processing is an area of systems engineering, electrical engineering, and applied math that measures, reconstructs, and analyzes signals. These signals can take the form of electromagnetic waves, images, and data gleaned from radar, sonar, navigation and control systems, communications, and biological systems such as electrocardiograms. MITRE's signal processing capability underlies numerous programs for defense and civil agencies.
We have deep roots in the field, dating back to the late 1950s, when we provided systems engineering and technical support on a Cold War-era continental air defense system. Today, we continue our pursuit of novel applications and extensions of signal processing methods. A short list includes significant advances in:
- Domestic air travel—including collision-avoidance systems and navigation technology that are now standard on airliners around the world
- Global positioning systems (GPS)—including playing an integral role in the design of specific GPS signals and systems and the government's decision to expand GPS availability to civilian use
- Radar—including the groundbreaking development of a bistatic-radar prototype that's smaller, lighter, and less expensive than conventional systems
- Homeland security—including a method for detecting underground tunnels at the border and determining the origin of detained or seized items using geo-location techniques based on collected pollen samples.
- Finance—including the modeling of systemic risk in financial markets.
Beyond offering technical expertise, MITRE provides sponsors with a quantitative-based perspective on signal processing and systems engineering. Because we understand the critical relationships among signal processing components, we're able to model system effectiveness at all levels.