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Glossary of Military Expressions

ASCII   American Standard Code for Information Interchange
Character encoding scheme, based on the ordering of the English alphabet, using 7-bits to describe each letter. Commonly used to represent text in computers, communication equipment and other devices that use text. Most modern encoding schemes are based on extended ASCII. (Wikipedia)

BAUDOT   Method for sending text-based messages over wire or radio links, using a 5-bit digital code. Based on the ITA2 standard. (More...) (Wikipedia)

CIA   Central Intelligence Agency
(Wikipedia) (Website)

CNR   Combat Net Radio

COMSEC   Communications Security

Covert Operation   General term for a 'clandestine operation' legally carried by, or on behalf of, a government body. In the US, covert operations are typically carried out by the CIA. The expression 'covert' is sometime expanded to include secret service work, VIP protection, surveillance and eavesdropping.

DELTACS   Army Corps Tactical Area Communications System
Mobile tactical area communications system providing secure, digital communications for army corps size military units. Jointly developed by Hollandse Signaalapparaten (HSA) in Huizen (Netherlands) and GTE Government Systems Corporation in Massachusetts (USA). The Dutch military communications system ZODIAC was based on DELTACS.

DF   Direction Finding
When a radio transmitter is on the air for a sufficiently long period of time, it is possible to determine the direction of the transmitter. This is often done by using directional antennas and plotting the angle from two or three intercept stations on a map. It is also possible to a doppler antenna for mobile searches and to use a simple field-streng indicator to find nearby transmitters.

ECCM   Electronic Counter Counter Measures
Equipment used in secure communications (COMSEC) to protect against counter measures, such as eavesdropping, interception, direction finding, etc. Frequency Hopping (FH) is an example of ECCM.

EMU   Electronic Message Unit

FH   Frequency Hopping
Method for quicky changing the frequency (channel) during a transmission in a seemingly random order. This is done as an electronic counter counter measure (ECCM), to protect the conversation against eavesdropping and interception by the enemy.

Fill   Key-fill

Filler   Key fill device

FM   Frequency Modulation

HF   High Frequency

IDF   Israel Defense Forces

Key   A key is a piece of information (parameter) that determines the functional output of a cryptographic algorithm (cipher). Without the key, the algorithm can not be used. (Wikipedia)

Key-fill   Loading of a crypto-device with key material. Commonly achieved by using a so-caller key fill device (or: filler) to distribute key material. (More...)

Key fill device   Device used for the distribution of cryptographic material (keys). The device is loaded by a Key Generator, and can dump its contents to a crypto-device or another key fill device. (More...)

LSB   Lower Side Band

Morse   Morse Code
Method for (manually) transmitting text based messages, by encoding them into a series of dashes and dots, and sending them by means of sound, light or radio waves. Often used on narrow-band (short wave) radio channels. (More...)

NATO   North Atlantic Treaty Organization

OSS   Office of Strategic Services
Clandestine US organisation for infiltration and sabotage activities during WWII. The predecessor of the current CIA.


SF   Special Forces

SC   Single Channel

SINCGARS   Single Ground and Airborne Radio System
Combat Radio Network used by the US Armed Forces and part of NATO. (More...)

SOE   Special Operations Executive
British Special Forces active in clandestine operations behind enemy lines during WWII. (Wikipedia)

SSB   Single Side Band
Modulation method, derived from AM with suppressed carrier and one of the side-bands. The resulting side-band can be either USB or LSB.

TEMPEST   Codename, referring to (the study of) unwanted compromising emanations. This includes the emission of unintentional and unwanted intelligence-bearing signals. If such signals were intercepted and analysed, they might disclose sensitive information. In cryptography, the interceptor might be able to reconstruct (part of) the plain text. (Wikipedia)

TITAAN   Theatre Independent Tactical Armt and Airforce Network
Codename for the current Dutch military communication system that replaced ZODIAC in the early 2000s. (More...)

TTY   Teletype
Method for sending written (printed) messages over a wire or radio link, using a 5-bit digital code (mostly BAUDOT).

UHF   Ultra High Frequency

USB   Upper Side Band

VHF   Very High Frequency

VINSON   KY-57 Voice Crypto
American Voice Crypto device a.s.a. KY-57 or KY-58. Can be used in combination with VRC radio sets and early SINCGARS radios.

ZODIAC   Zone Digitaal Automatisch Cryptografisch beveiligd
Codename for the integrated communications system that was used by the Dutch Armed Forces between 1979 and the early 2000s. It is based on the DELTACS tactical area communications system. (More...)

Further information

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Crypto Museum. Last changed: Sunday, 29 December 2013 - 10:39 CET.
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