Constrained Clustering for Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum Signal Separation
White, Parker Douglas
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Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) signaling is used across many devices operating in both regulated and unregulated bands. In either situation, if there is a malicious device operating within these bands, or more simply a user operating out of the required specifications, the identification this user important to insure communication link integrity and interference mitigation. The identification of a user involves the grouping of that users signal transmissions, and the separation of those transmission from transmissions of other users in a shared frequency band. Traditional signal separation methods often require difficult to obtain hardware fingerprinting characteristics or approximate geo-location estimates. This work will consider the characteristics of FHSS signals that can be extracted directly from signal detection. From estimates of these hopping characteristics, novel source separation with classic clustering algorithms can be performed. Background knowledge derived from the time domain representation of received waveforms can improve these clustering methods with the novel application of cannot-link pairwise constraints to signal separation. For equivalent clustering accuracy, constraint-based clustering tolerates higher parameter estimation error, caused by diminishing received signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), for example. Additionally, prior work does not fully cover the implications of detecting and estimating FHSS signals using image segmentation on a Time-Frequency (TF) waterfall. This work will compare several methods of FHSS signal detection, and discuss how each method may effect estimation accuracy and signal separation quality. The use of constraint-based clustering is shown to provide higher clustering accuracy, resulting in more reliable separation and identification of active users in comparison to traditional clustering methods.
General Audience Abstract
The expansion of technology in areas such as smart homes and appliances, personal devices, smart vehicles, and many others, leads to more and more devices using common wireless communication techniques such as WiFi and Bluetooth. While the number of wirelessly connected users expands, the range of frequencies that support wireless communications does not. It is therefore essential that each of these devices unselfishly share the available wireless resources. If a device is using more resources than the required limits, or causing interference with other’s communications, this device will impact many others negatively and therefore preventative action must be taken to prevent further disruption in the wireless environment. Before action can be taken however, the device must first be identified in a mixture of other wireless activity. To identify a specific device, first, a wireless receiver must be in close enough proximity to detect the power that the malicious device is emitting through its wireless communication. This thesis provides a method that can be used to identify a problem user based only off of its wireless transmission behavior. The performance of this identification is shown with respect to the received signal power which represents the necessary range that a listening device must be to identify and separate a problem user from other cooperative users that are communicating wirelessly.
- Masters Theses