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Electronic intelligence

(also ELINT)

Electronic intelligence definition

Electronic intelligence (ELINT) refers to collecting and analyzing electronic signals from radar systems and communication networks. It helps agencies learn what potential adversaries can do, their plans, and how they use technology. By listening to and decoding these signals, agencies can figure out their radar capabilities, how they communicate, and even how they wage electronic warfare. Electronic intelligence is commonly used by intelligence agencies, defense establishments, and military organizations.

See also: cyberwarrior

How electronic intelligence works

  • Intercepting signals. ELINT captures signals sent out by devices like radars and communication networks. These signals can be in the form of waves or digital transmissions.
  • Collecting signals. Special tools or systems are used to collect and record these signals. These tools, like antennas or receivers, detect and grab the signals the agencies want.
  • Understanding signals. The collected signals are then analyzed to get useful information. Experts decode and figure out what the signals mean and why they're being sent.
  • Sorting signals. The analyzed signals are organized based on their different traits, like how often they repeat or the patterns they form. Organizing them helps the agencies identify the kind of signal and where it's coming from, like if it's from a radar or a communication device.
  • Getting intelligence. Experts process and interpret the information they get from the signals. They look for patterns, trends, or unusual things that tell them about the abilities, actions, and plans of the signal source.
  • Sharing and using the information. The findings and analysis from ELINT are put into reports shared with decision-makers, intelligence agencies, or the military. This information helps them make smart choices, create defenses, or gain an advantage in military operations.