KOM | Communication Systems

The Communication Systems (KOM) department conducts conceptual and experimental research on communication systems. Focal points are the efficient use of communication channels, solutions for reconnaissance and surveillance as well as jamming of radio links. These topics are seen within tactical deployment scenarios in a multinational environments. The Bundeswehr requirements arise from networked operational command and control in such scenarios are the jumping-off point of our work. 

Based on long term experiences the department evaluates communication systems regarding aspects of security, reliability, and mobility across all OSI layers of the network protocol architecture. The knowledge gained by these evaluations is used to optimize these protocols for mobile tactical communication. This allows for the design of rapidly deployable communication systems. It leads to information technology superiority as well as enhanced military capabilities in command and control as well as signals intelligence. 

With its research groups »Robust Heterogeneous Networks«, »Software Defined Radio« and »Reconnaissance and Jamming« the department supports the Bundeswehr and civil security authorities in performing sovereign tasks. This is achieved in particular through specific consulting activities and the contribution of findings to various national and international standardization and development projects.

Reconnaissance and jamming of communication signals

The »Reconnaissance and Jamming« research group considers the aspects of signal intelligence and jamming of radio communication signals. Algorithms and systems for single and multi-channel analysis of broadband and narrow band interception signals are developed. They are integrated into powerful, functional clusters. The focal points are on radio and audio signals, smart antennas and the determination of radio wave propagation including potential interference with radio transmissions. One of the group’s strengths is the development of technology in close collaboration with the users.


Next-generation tactical radio procedures

The »Software Defined Radio« research group contributes to the development and standardization of modern network-enabled radio procedures for tactical applications. The focus is on waveforms for coalition wide use. A guiding directive is »Interoperability through Portability«. Thus the group not only contributes to technical specifications. Strong emphasis is put on the efficient implementation as waveform application for software defined radios. Future technologies such as cognitive radio and full-duplex radio are further subjects of research.


Secure information transmission

The »Robust Heterogeneous Networks« research group works on secure IP-based information transmission in heterogeneous networks. Covering various aspects concepts and technologies for end-to-end communication as well as civil and military standards are developed. The integration of information from tactical networks is crucial for network-centric operations management. Specific communication solutions are abstracted on robust internet protocol components. This enables seamless integration of systems and concepts of end-to-end communication for security and mobility, especially for operation in networks.



  • FKIE-KOM operates a radio frequency and electronics laboratory, which provides for extensive experimental studies. These can be conducted in an electromagnetically shielded environment.
  • Controlled access building including a vault
  • Propsim multi-channel emulator for repeatable testing of radio communication equipment with realistic channel models  



  • IS panel of NATO STO
  • NATO groups such as
    • IST-124 RTG Heterogeneous tactical networks improving connectivity and network efficiency
    • IST-141 RTG Exploration of CCN and SDN for Tactical Networks
    • IST-147 RTG Military Applications of Internet of Things
  • NATO SCI panel working groups, such as
    • SCI-297 Distributed EW Operations in the Modern Congested RF Environment
    • SCI-304 Optimised and Reconfigurable Antennas for Future Vehicle Electronic Counter Measures
    • and NATO Team of Experts on ECM for RCIED
  • IEC working group TC 88/PT 61400-40 Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) – Requirements and Test Methods
  • Technical Committee 7.2 'Radio Systems' of the VDE Information Technology Society



  • Course offerings at RWTH Aachen and the University of Bonn
  • Connection to the University of Bonn in the field of algorithms for digital signal processing, Institute of Computer Science through the associate professorship of Dr. Frank Kurth
  • Collaboration with the Communication and Networked Systems Department of the Institute of Computer Science at the University of Bonn
  • Collaboration with the Distributed Systems research group of the Institute of Computer Science at the University of Osnabrück

Press Release / 26.3.2024

EDA award for Johannes Loevenich

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has awarded Johannes Loevenich the "EDA Research, Technology, and Innovation Papers Award 2023" for his new methodology for solving complex optimisation problems in modern tactical communication systems. His approach focuses on communication systems in mobile ad hoc networks, which are particularly important in military contexts.


New threat dimension from the air

Easy and inexpensive access to drones has opened up new attack options for criminals and terrorists, confronting civil security agencies (collectively known as in German as »BOS«) with new challenges. To support these agencies, a German-Austrian joint project called »AMBOS« is currently developing a system to reliably detect drones and, if necessary, effectively defend against them.


Single-Antenna In-Band Full-Duplex Radio

FKIE researchers have developed a demonstrator that provided proof of concept of the real, simultaneous bidirectional communication between two participants on the same frequency. Current research activities in this field focus on scientific questions that serve to increase the relevance of the technology for practical use, especially in the fields of defense and security.


Monitoring trends in biodiversity

AMMOD is a large-scale development project for Germany launched by 17 universities and institutions with the support of the BMBF. The mission of AMMOD is continuous collection of data on biodiversity using a nationwide network of stations that automatically monitor fauna and flora modelled on Germany's automated weather stations.