In 2021, the US Department of Defense spent $142 billion on procurement and $106 billion on developing new technologies (RDT&E) — while global defense spending reached over two trillion dollars. Yet the US and its allies are potentially dangerously wrong-footed by having over-spent on legacy hardware systems (eg aircraft carriers etc) while neglecting what could be the defining battlefield of the future: the control of the radio spectrum, otherwise known as electronic warfare. In a world where societies and markets run on electronics and signals — this is the ultimate defense line.
Much of electronic warfare is out of sight of the public and media, but since Iran captured and then reverse engineered a sophisticated high-end US UAV using its electronic warfare capabilities — it has become evident just how dangerous these capabilities will become. Since this incident and others like it, the US DoD has made significant investments in electronic warfare capabilities. However these have come from legacy providers, grown through M&A with no cross system or modular capabilities — severely holding back the US’ and NATO’s electronic warfare capabilities. The lack of composability has created a frustration among end users and demands for open standards.
AnySignal is building open-core radio software for satellite communications, UAVs, and other next generation defense capabilities. The company sits at the core of a more compatible, modular and fast scaling electronic warfare approach.
In the future, control of radio spectrum will be used to project power instead of aircraft carriers or ICBMs. NATO will continue to make massive investments in this field, but existing defense contractors are not well positioned to deliver what their clients need. A vibrant startup ecosystem, built with open source components that will be maintained long after the company producing the product is gone, will replace slow moving defense prime contractors. The team’s past experience building radio systems at SpaceX & Kepler Communications puts them in a unique position to help define industry standards and open source implementations through their usage of GNU Radio, a widely used, 21 year old, open source project. With this, AnySignal has the potential to provide many of the performance defining components in this emergent ecosystem.
We are excited to be backing the AnySignal team on their mission to master the radiofrequency (RF) domain through end-to-end solutions that cover communications, radar, navigation, and RF sensing for advanced aircraft, satellites, and national security. Read more about their recent seed financing here.