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Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (M.S.E.C.E.)

Year Degree Awarded

2011

Month Degree Awarded

September

Keywords

UWB, security, wireless, physical layer

Abstract

Traditionally, spread-spectrum systems have been employed to provide low probability-of-intercept (LPI) and low probability-of-detection (LPD) performances at the physical layer, but the messages transmitted over such a system are still encrypted with a powerful cipher to protect their secrecy. Our challenge is to find a solution to provide an additional level of security at the physical layer so that simple systems such as RFID tags with limited resources can be secure without using standard encryption. It has recently been suggested that the cryptographic security of the system can be enhanced by exploiting physical properties of UWB signals. With an eavesdropper observing the communications over multipath channels between two legitimate partners sharing a secret key of a limited length, we consider both coherent and reference-based UWB schemes to enhance security. The security of the legitimate nodes is achieved by signal attributes based on the secret key, conferring an advantage over the adversary. We propose UWB signaling schemes to improve physical layer security when the transmission is intended for coherent reception and TR reception. Among possible improvements, we consider removing the frame structure of the UWB coherent signaling scheme, resulting in pulses that can be located anywhere in the symbol period. Our proposed signaling schemes could potentially suggest a solution for applications relying on conventional cryptography, especially for low-data rate RFID systems.

First Advisor

Dennis L. Goeckel

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