17 September 2004
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2004 23:50:00 -0500
Subject: Copyright Infringement
From: Jon Freilich <email@example.com>
It has come to my attention that your web page at the following address contains one of my copyrighted photographs:
Please remove the image from your web site immediately. If you would like to license the use of this photograph my standard fee is $250 per year for web site display.
If the unlicensed use of the image has not ended by 9:00 am on Monday, September 20, 2004, legal action may be taken.
The photo has been removed. Search Google or Archive.org for a copy: "spy-vehicle-02.jpg"
9 September 2004. A security professional reports:
The vehicle is called a "barrage jammer." It is used by the State Department and Secret Service. State has ordered several hundred of them. The Secret Service has about a dozen. The vehicles are used to counter electronic-guided attacks, airborne or ground -- missiles, communication jamming and/or interception, or remotely-controlled explosive devices. Convoys are led and followed by the vehicles, in the lead to draw fire or in the rear to track signals of devices which may have malfunctioned. They are used in presidential motorcades and have been deployed to Iraq and the Republican National Convention.
Others report these sources on Tigerwall:
Tigerwall System. Tigerwall is an air surveillance system currently used by the U.S. Secret Service to ensure enhanced physical security at a high-value asset location by providing early warning of airborne threats. SSC San Diego has assisted the Secret Service in implementing and maintaining the Tigerwall system by providing expertise gained from other SSC San Diego surveillance and physical security programs. See:
The system uses cameras and radiofrequency equipment to identify planes and other objects in the sky, and provides a real-time tactical map of their locations and trajectories. The system was designed by SPAWAR, the Navy's space warfare division, for the Secret Service. I imagine that the system is not purely for surveillance; the information provided by the "tiger" could create a virtual "wall." Tigerwall could be used to shoot down airborne hostiles, like a mini anti-ballistic-missile system around "high value assets." Also see:
Now I'm going to stick my neck out - way out - and take a stab at identifying the antennas. I've got to, you see. Identifying antennas is rather an obsession with me.
I count a total of 8 antennas (I must point out here that the comm van has 11 antennas!) not including the entertainment radio antenna. But hell, that's probably the real antenna with all the rest being decoys!
No, but seriously, from the front of the vehicle to the rear I say:
No. 1 & 4 - High band VHF/UHF receiving antenna.
No. 2 & 5 - Broad band, high power transmit and receive antenna for high band VHF, UHF and possible beyond (but note the counterpoise).
No. 3 & 7 - Satcom antenna radome, possibly INMARSAT Mini-M.
No. 6 & 8 - Broad band, high power transmit and receive antenna for low band VHF. Seems too small for serious HF capability.
8 September 2004. C. writes:
The Chevy Suburban bristling with antennae are manufactured for the government (which agency, I don't know exactly) by one of my previous employers, Advanced Counter Measure Systems, Inc, a division of Sierra Nevada Corporation. ACMS is located in Rancho Cordova, CA, a suburb of Sacramento. When I worked at ACMS, the vehicles were assembled in a high bay of one of our two buildings, generally with labor from temporary employees. Permanent employees who weren't cleared for the project knew little about it (I'm in that camp) although the code name 'TigerWall' was used openly and it used engineers from the electronic warfare group.
About every two weeks a tractor trailer loaded with ten factory fresh Suburbans rolled up, unloaded the plain ones, loaded modified ones, and rolled away. I believe the contract was for several hundred vehicles.
Being a software guy and not cleared for classified programs, I never knew exactly what the vehicle was used for. I assume it was used to either overhear cell phone transmissions, or perhaps simply to jam them.
I ended up quitting ACM after nine months because the intense mismanagement of tax dollars in the name of defense broke my heart and busted my butt. Some great engineers there, but some shady management.
Advanced CounterMeasure (ACM) Systems is a small business that specializes in designing, manufacturing and fielding custom hardware and software solutions for the DOD and prime contractors in support of specific requirements. Since establishment in 1983, ACM Systems has developed a reputation for understanding the special needs of customers and coordinating closely with them to ensure the end product satisfies these needs.
ACM Systems' main facility located in Rancho Cordova, California, includes an approved secure facility for sensitive projects. This 15,000 square foot facility houses the necessary office, laboratory, stock and warehouse space to allow for any project activities, from subsystem development to small shelter integration. ACM Systems operates a second facility in Orlando, Florida.
Electronic Warfare Products
* An innovative training system capable of providing both real-time and virtual local communications jamming of all existing US Army radio systems
* An active tactical communications jammer capable of deterring hostile threats
* An airborne communications hardware suite used for extensive test by the US Army
* Airborne jamming hardware utilized by the BIG CROW during test and evaluation exercises
7 September 2004. B. writes:
In reference to spy-vehicle-02.htm, this type of vehicle was present in New York City for several days during the RNC. It was being operated by the Secret Service. The antenna configuration changed at least daily, from fully-loaded to 'sterile.' The picture on your site depicts an 'average' configuration. The bulges at the bases of the larger antennas are heat sinks.
7 September 2004. Thanks to A.
Identification of the antennas and other appurtenances invited. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
This photo was on a Yahoo group called SoCalFedCom which is composed of hobbyists who listen to US Federal agencies' unencrypted radio transmissions. The photo was removed due to a claim that somehow publishing the photo would endanger "national security".
Oh yes, nobody would otherwise have notice such a vehicle unless the Yahoo Group had first called attention to it......sheesh! The fed morons drove the damned thing around in public in a presidential motorcade for crying out loud! What did they expect???? Jeez, I'd buy one if I could! I love those whizzo antennas!
[Photo removed at request of copyright owner Jon Freilich.]