Software-Defined Radio Implementation of Two Physical Layer Security Techniques


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Virginia Tech


This thesis discusses the design of two Physical Layer Security (PLS) techniques on Software Defined Radios (SDRs). PLS is a classification of security methods that take advantage of physical properties in the waveform or channel to secure communication. These schemes can be used to directly obfuscate the signal from eavesdroppers, or even generate secret keys for traditional encryption methods. Over the past decade, advancements in Multiple-Input Multiple-Output systems have expanded the potential capabilities of PLS while the development of technologies such as the Internet of Things has provided new applications. As a result, this field has become heavily researched, but is still lacking implementations. The design work in this thesis attempts to alleviate this problem by establishing SDR designs geared towards Over-the-Air experimentation.

The first design involves a 2x1 Multiple-Input Single-Output system where the transmitter uses Channel State Information from the intended receiver to inject Artificial Noise (AN) into the receiver's nullspace. The AN is consequently not seen by the intended receiver, however, it will interfere with eavesdroppers experiencing independent channel fading. The second design involves a single-carrier Alamouti coding system with pseudo-random phase shifts applied to each transmit antenna, referred to as Phase-Enciphered Alamouti Coding (PEAC). The intended receiver has knowledge of the pseudo-random sequence and can undo these phase shifts when performing the Alamouti equalization, while an eavesdropper without knowledge of the sequence will be unable to decode the signal.



Physical Layer Security, Software radio, Alamouti STBC, Artificial Noise, Over-the-Air