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Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2013

Month Degree Awarded

September

Keywords

wireless communication, secrecy, antenna radiation variation, multi-path fading, physical layer, security

Abstract

In order to establish a secure connections in the wireless environment, cryptographic methods may require an exchange of a key or secret. Fortunately, the environment provides randomness due to multi-path fading that can be exploited by physical-layer security algorithms to help establish this shared secret. However, in some cases, multi-path fading might be absent or negligible; therefore, we look for artificial ways to increase randomness. In this thesis, we explore antenna radiation variation by altering the phase between two antennas as a means of creating artificial fading. We construct a model of the antenna gain variation by analyzing the radiation pattern and run Monte-Carlo simulations to compare our approach to a base case with only multi-path fading. We then empirically collect data in order to confirm our analysis. Finally, we incorporate this model in a prominent security algorithm to demonstrate the improvements in security possible through such an approach.

First Advisor

Dennis L. Goeckel

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