The electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) ranges from radio waves, microwaves, visible light, to X-rays, and supports Department of Defense (DoD) air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace spectrum-depended wireless systems and applications. Due to the technology evolution as well as 5G and beyond which provides high capacity, faster speeds, worldwide connectivity, terrestrial and non-terrestrial communications, it has been harder for the warfighters to have freedom of action within the EMS to be successfully operational in congested, contested and constrained EMS environments globally.
“The department has developed the “2020 Department of Defense Electromagnetic Spectrum Superiority Strategy” to ensure that the U.S. military maintains their ability to operate an EMS and retrieve the “freedom of maneuver” in the future by dynamically accessing EMS,” says Zhou. “Therefore, the goal of the proposal is to continuously monitor and characterize operations and signals in congested, contested, and constrained EMS environments (especially the 3 kHz - 300 GHz radio spectrum band for communications and radars), therefore to better meet DoD's command, control, and communication needs on their battlefields and beyond.”
Zhou joined UMass Dartmouth as a faculty member in 2018. Her research interests and expertise include software-defined radio, machine learning-assisted intelligent radio, and cyber radio frequency (RF). Her research has been funded by National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, Air Force Research Laboratory, NAVAIR, and industry such as Lockheed Martin. She has been appointed as a Senior Level Fellow at NUWC Division Newport in the ONR Summer Faculty Research Program in summer 2022.