ADS-B Signal Transmission Authenticity Reckoner (ASTAR)

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Scientific Systems Company, Inc
500 West Cummings Park - Ste 3000, Woburn, MA, -
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Jayesh Amin
Lead Applications Enginee
(781) 933-5355
Business Contact:
Jay Miselis
Corporate Controller
(781) 933-5355
Research Institution:

ADS-B reports can be maliciously spoofed to deny airspace to other aircraft including those on DoD missions. Under the Phase I effort, we developed a novel approach that exploits the physical characteristics of the ADS-B transmission signal to determine its validity. We leveraged our proven transmitter localization algorithms along with multi-target tracking filters to develop an ADS-B message authentication system that can be deployed on an aircraft without the need for supporting ground stations or collaboration with other aircraft. Phase I effort demonstrated the feasibility of our approach using simulations as well through data collected from commercial air traffic. Phase I specifically accomplished: i) Development of a simulation testbed, ii) ASTAR algorithm development utilizing RF signal characteristics and multi-target multi-hypothesis testing, iii) ASTAR feasibility demonstration through simulations, iv) Real-time ADS-B data collection using COTS equipment, and v) ASTAR prototype system resource requirement determination. Phase II effort proposes to develop and implement a retrofit prototype system in collaboration with Raytheon that will be used to demonstrate performance of the ASTAR system in real-time through Hardware in the Loop (HIL) as well as flight tests. Phase III commercialization will be done with support from Raytheon to develop a commercially viable product concept. ASTAR will be productized both as a retrofit add-on module as well as a built-in option for commercial transponders. BENEFIT: The proposed ADS-B authentication system has both military as well as commercial applications. DoD will benefit by having a robust countermeasure against potential malicious denial of airspace. Besides being able to flag the spoofed ADS-B messages, under certain conditions, the proposed system may be able to provide a localization solution that could be used to suppress the spoof attack source from generating further attacks. Commercial applications involve working with the standards groups and avionics manufacturers to incorporate the proposed authentication system either within the Minimum Operations Performance Standards (MOPS) for ADS-B or be offered as a standard capability of the transponder equipment. System will also provide an independent check for bad data that may be generated due to system malfunctions on the transmitting or receiving systems (which may be an airborne or a ground receiver) or corrupted during transmission.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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