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Cyber Investigations

Cyber InvstigationsSWPAC is a provider of specialised, world renowned, Cyber Investigations Tools and Services to Law Enforcement and Specialised Intelligence Collection agencies both Federal and State.

Lyrebird Print E-mail

Communications Simulation Network – Project Lyrebird

The Lyrebird: A Lyrebird is either of two species of ground dwelling Australian birds, most
notable for their superb ability to mimic natural and artificial sounds from their environment.
The Lyrebird is capable of imitating almost any sound — from a mill whistle to a cross-cut saw, and, not uncommonly, sounds as diverse as chainsaws, car engines and car alarms, fire alarms, rifle-shots, camera shutters, dogs barking, crying babies, and even the human voice. Lyrebirds are shy birds and a constant stream of birdcalls coming from one place is often the only way of identifying them and their presence.
A group of Lyrebirds is called a musket.

Project Lyrebird

Being a wholly owned Australian Company, SWPAC sought to use a distinctly Australian and suitable name for our Communications Simulation Network toolset – Project LYREBIRD.

SWPAC staff have experience in such products and their uses and many years of experience have been combined to create an exemplary time and resources training toolset.

Suggested Conops:

The system could be used for the following purposes in either or all Land, Sea and Air battle space:

(1) COMINT operator training – One key difficulty in effectively training operators, be they Electronic Warfare (EW) or Communications Security Monitoring Systems (CMS) operators is realistic target scenarios, on ground of the instructional staff’s choosing, with content specifically needed at times that suit specific or generic training that needs to be addressed. Using a Network such as the suggested  LYREBIRD “Musket” would allow for all of these factors with significant manpower savings.

(2) Specific target training – The system could be used to fully practice and rehearse specified COMINT operations against difficult to recover targets. This could be owing to any manner of factors including: terrain restrictions, low power output of the target, target discretion and foreign language use. Potentially any factors that have afforded operational challenges in the past could be accurately addressed in training.

(3) System Testing – When trialling Communications Intercept sensors such as Receivers or Direction Finding equipment, one key problem generally experienced is the availability of a suitable target. Traditionally the problem here is that many personnel and resources are required to create a target network for testing effectiveness. The same is true for training targets / networks, they are manpower intensive. Using LYREBIRD units, one or two operators can replicate so very many more.

(4) Imitative Communication Deception (ICD) – Probably one of the less likely uses owing to the technicality of this discrete art of EW. Once thoroughly practiced by the Military Forces, ICD can be an effective tool during an assault or a lead up to the launch of an assault (or its modern day equivalent). The disruption that can be caused by ICD is a significant force multiplier. However; it must be well planned and timely. The scenario where LYREBIRD could be used to assist in ICD is in the rehearsal and timing of an ICD activity.

(5) Psychological Operations (Psyops) – LYREBIRD systems could be used to transmit Psyops related messages certain to be intercepted by aggressor Communications Intercept Operators, no matter what their level of sophistication.


Key Benefits

The key benefits of such a system are:

a. Manpower saving – In all areas of the suggested Conops, significant Manpower savings are easily realised and therefore one of the key benefits of the LYREBIRD system. A suggested capability of a 6 LYREBIRD Musket, at least 6 Communications Detachments, a Headquarter element, support assets could be recreated by only two operators.

b. In addition to this, there would need to be a planning team and a coordination centre to adequately orchestrate the targeted communications.

c. Reliability – To rival what a LYREBIRD Musket could achieve, any manned target network would of course need to work with very accurate synchronisation, trusting that communications between nodes were effective. There would also be the “human factor” where target operators sometimes have been known to take the scenario into their own hands, discard the “script” and innocently yet potentially cause dangerous scenarios. This could not occur with LYREBIRD as it is GPS timed and located and a machine that will do what is required when required exactly as programmed.

d. Availability – When using a robotic network such as a LYREBIRD Musket, factors such as manning availability, weather and infrastructure requirements are significantly reduced if not completely removed.

e. Increased training effectiveness – As training can be focussed in such a specific manner and virtually at the exact times required, training effectiveness simply must increase many fold.

f. Lower overheads – There are significant cost savings of using a Lyrebird system where one two man detachment could effectively replace, for example, the equivalent of a Brigade Force Signal Squadron Combat Net Radio (CNR) Network. Overheads saved would be financial, manpower and time.


Click to enlarge

Lyrebird Lyrebird Lyrebird


Hypothetical Scenarios

Scenario 1

A hypothetical field training scenario may be:

a.    Programming and planning for a specified field training Exercise is conducted by the Lyrebird detachment of two people. Parts of that planning would include identifying the Commander’s intent for the outcome of the Exercise. It should also call for close liaison or participation within the Exercise planning staff.

b.    The Lyrebird “Musket” could be pre-programmed for a specific start point during the exercise then placed into a training area by the Lyrebird Detachment or Exercise Control staff, at appropriate planning ranges.

c.    This would enable:

(1). Actual transmissions of scenario objectives to be transmitted via Lyrebird either using supplied antennas or antennas belonging to the owner unit.
(2) Appropriate distance to sensors seeking Exercise Intelligence to be provided over the system;
(3) Individual system units could have notated, pre-recorded messages on board that could be chosen to be played by the Exercise Control staff at times of their choosing during the Exercise, or, be re-programmed to carry new and updated message traffic or communications chatter;
(4) Using the Lyrebird “Musket” in fully remote controlled mode would mean that the intended transmissions could be deleted or altered at any time during the exercise buy only by the Musket Controller. The benefit of this would be if the Exercise director needed to change an objective or any particular scenario within the Exercise at any time without anyone needing to go near the Exercise area; and
(5) The Lyrebird units could be moved at later dates/times to suit the exercise scenario.


Scenario 2

A hypothetical "in barracks" training scenario may be:

a.    A Lyrebird system could be semi-permanently setup within a Defence training establishment that requires active targets to train operators in the use of tactical or strategic EW related equipment.

(1). The system units could be setup for wire transfer of commands and possibly a steady power source (such as AC mains) for long duration transmissions;
(2) The actual transmissions of scenario objectives to be transmitted via VHF CNR, VHF Press to Talk or UHF Press to Talk communications channels;
(3) The system could be programmed for much more comprehensive scenarios including the possible use of foreign language voice transmissions (subject to appropriate permission); and
(4) Instructional staff could easily update scenarios with a specific need for training requirements in mind, at any time suitable to them and not dependant on manning or environmental factors.


Scenario 3

A hypothetical Psyops scenario may be:

a.    Lyrebird is integrated into the overall Psyops plan as one of the delivery systems for the developed Themes and Messages that the Commander has approved for transmission to threat forces.

b.    Lyrebird can then be pre-programmed with the approved messages for transmission at designated times.

c.    A Lyrebird unit or musket is then pre-deployed by Special Forces, forward troops or Psyops Operators.

d.    Final co-ordination for frequency selection/programming is made and and the Lyrebird automatically transmits the approved messages to the target audience at pre-designated times.

e.    Using Lyrebird in this manner allows:

(1). A much greater probability of reaching your intended audience, including the ability to change frequencies if necessary.
(2) The ability to change or delete themes and Messages "on the fly" should they prove to be ineffective or there is a need to react quickly to changes on the battlefield.
(3) Significantly greater safety to friendly forces as they do not need to be co-located with the Lyrebird units during transmission.
(4) Plausible deniability for Pysops messages.


Lyrebird also has significant applications for use in Humanitarian/Peacekeeping missions to provide Public Information broadcasts on standard AM/FM Frequencies.

Contact us

Please contact SWPAC via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or our online contact form, for any further enquiries regarding Project LYREBIRD, its current specifications, potential uses and discussion on its suitability to your department's needs.

download PDF Product Specifications

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 January 2015 13:16

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