PORTLAND, Ore. Securing cognitive radio users is the focus of a new research effort at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg). EE professor Jung-Min Park has received a $430,000 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program Award to support his efforts to secure future cognitive radio spectrum.
"Cognitive radio will be used for two-way communications in a wide range of applications, such as communication systems for tactical military forces and emergency responders," said Park. "Our research will help service providers and manufacturers develop more secure cognitive radio technologies."
Cognitive radio enables smart reconfigurable transceivers to make optimal use of spectrum by seeking out uncrowded bands and tuning into them with software that can adapt to a wide range of different frequencies and modulation schemes. Unfortunately, cognitive radio also opens the door to malicious users who could masquerade as anything from government officials to commercial banks.
Park's plan to secure cognitive radio will focus on three areas: cooperative sensing methods for multiple devices that identify vacant radio spectrum; resolving contention among multiple devices vying for the same empty slots; and etiquette mechanisms that prevent malicious users from violating spectrum-allocation policies.
Park's five-year award will attempt to develop standards for wireless networks based on cognitive radio technologies that exploit its capabilities without exposing new security risks. His team will define the signal-processing protocols that enable cognitive radios to identify unused spectrum and tune into them using software to handle frequency allocation, modulation methods and transmission power.