Research Roundup: Spoofing-resistant UAVs

January 18, 2019  - By

By Alexander Rügamer, Daniel Rubino, Xabier Zubizarreta, Wolfgang Felber, Fraunhofer IIS, and Jan Wendel and Daniel Pfaffelhuber, Airbus Defense and Space GmbH

This work presents a new secure localization method that can be used for UAVs to obtain a new level of protection against hostile and unauthorized UAVs. While non-spreading code-encrypted (SCE) GNSS devices can be blocked, authorized UAVs using this method have unrestricted access to the non-spoofable and trusted SCE GNSS. The proposed method is to store short sequences of SCE PRN code chips on the user receiver before the mission.

The Precalculate & Process architecture. (Images: Fraunhofer IIS)

The Precalculate & Process architecture. (Images: Fraunhofer IIS)

These SCE PRN code chips allow the user receiver to calculate at pre-defined points in time a secure and trustable SCE PVT position. Since no communication channel is required, this method mitigates the risk that hostile forces may try to jam the UAV’s radio control. Moreover, radio silence can be realized, which is beneficial or even required for some missions.

No dedicated security module required on the user terminal, no SWaP problems, no keying issues, no handling of controlled items on user side, no need for a communication link giving rise to the availability and radio silence issues, and no security issues due to the short SCE PRN code chip sequences valid only for the limited mission duration and inside a limited area.

Potential target markets for this method are police and special forces and other authorized users which are allowed to use certain SCE GNSS and would like to equip their UAVs with a secure, unspoofable positioning solution. Check out more information here.