SBIR Phase I:Physical Layer Security for Wireless Communications

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Whisper Communications
75 5TH ST NW STE 202, Atlanta, GA, 30308
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Cenk Argon
(919) 370-7480
Business Contact:
Cenk Argon
(919) 370-7480
Research Institution:
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will add security of the strongest type to the physical layer of wireless communication systems, a layer in the protocol stack where currently little or no security is implemented. Despite existing security mechanisms that operate at higher layers of the protocol stack, the lack of any security measure at the wireless physical layer poses a significant threat. Hence, the goal of this project is to provide reliable and secure broadband wireless connectivity against passive eavesdroppers, where data privacy is tied to proximity to the data source. In this physical layer security approach, privacy will be provided by powerful error correcting codes and pre-processing techniques to deliver high reliability to the intended parties and high security against remote eavesdroppers. The intellectual merit of this proposal is in new approaches to physical layer communications, from both theoretical and practical perspectives. This project will focus on: (1) Development of secure codes for 60GHz wireless communications, (2) Implementation of an uncompressed video platform with secure codes to demonstrate secure wireless video transmission, and (3) Validation, specification, and testing of the "Virtual Faraday Cage" concept. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project has two dimensions: First, it will demonstrate a new security concept in high performance physical layer communication systems and as such is expected to change the design, perception, and usage of classical wireless communication systems. The notion of a highly secure and reliable physical layer has the potential to significantly change how communication system designers and users think of the physical layer since the error control codes developed in this work will have the dual roles of both reliability and security. Second, the commercial potential foreseen for this project is large since manufacturers active in the broadband wireless systems arena do not have any physical layer security implementation in their current product offerings. Hence, these manufacturers will be highly interested to invest in and implement this novel technology in their products. This project's focus is centered on high-level security with implementable complexity and if successfully incorporated into a standards-dominated industry, a significant commercial impact is expected.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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