Tag Archives: NSA

The NSA’s Software Defined Radio application “RedHawk” is now open source

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Andrew, who writes:

Not kidding, a friend told me that NSA released a bunch of software to open source, the main list being here:

https://code.nsa.gov/

While looking at the list of projects on that page, halfway down the page, I found a project called “RedHawk” which is described as:

“A software-defined radio (SDR) framework designed to support the development, deployment, and management of real-time software radio applications.”

Now, being curious I opened the github link:

https://github.com/redhawksdr

[It] contains quite a number of subprojects, modules and other stuff, then I checked the main “RedHawk” project:

https://github.com/RedhawkSDR/redhawk

Here’s the documentation:

https://redhawksdr.github.io/Documentation/index.html

It seems really interesting; apparently it allows to define a wealth of processing stages (e.g. filters, converters…) and connect them to process signals coming from an SDR; I think it may be a very interesting and useful tool to fiddle/experiment with SDR receivers, if I’m not wrong it may allow to push an SDR to the limits, improving its performance, and may also be useful to write SDR software!

Fascinating! Thank you for the tip, Andrew!

Post Readers: It appears this project has been in the public domain for a little while. Please comment if you’ve tried implementing RedHawk in your SDR system!


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The Intercept: The US Spy Hub in the Heart of Australia

(Source: The Intercept via Dan Robinson)

A SHORT DRIVE south of Alice Springs, the second largest population center in Australia’s Northern Territory, there is a high-security compound, code-named “RAINFALL.” The remote base, in the heart of the country’s barren outback, is one of the most important covert surveillance sites in the eastern hemisphere.

Hundreds of Australian and American employees come and go every day from Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap, as the base is formally known. The official “cover story,” as outlined in a secret U.S. intelligence document, is to “support the national security of both the U.S. and Australia. The [facility] contributes to verifying arms control and disarmament agreements and monitoring military developments.” But, at best, that is an economical version of the truth. Pine Gap has a far broader mission — and more powerful capabilities — than the Australian or American governments have ever publicly acknowledged.

An investigation, published Saturday by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in collaboration with The Intercept, punctures the wall of secrecy surrounding Pine Gap, revealing for the first time a wide range of details about its function. The base is an important ground station from which U.S. spy satellites are controlled and communications are monitored across several continents, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept from the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.[…]

Continue reading at The Intercept…

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NSA declassifies “Receiver Dynamics” primer

The Watkins-Johnson HF-1000 (and NSA version, WJ-8711) are mentioned in this article

On January 11, 2012 the National Security Agency (NSA) released a pre-1995 article entitled “Receiver Dynamics” from its classified internal magazine, Cryptologic Quarterly. It contains an excellent, well-written explanation of the specifications of shortwave receivers used by some of NSA’s K4 divisions.

Download the article here (PDF).

Thanks to Ed in the SWLfest list for the tip!

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