Electrical Engineering PhD Candidate Wins IEEE Best Paper Award

April 21, 2015

Trevor Allen, an Electrical Engineering PhD candidate, has received a best paper award at the 2015 IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC). WCNC is one of the premiere IEEE conferences in Wireless Communications.

     Trevor Allen

The paper describes the design of a novel low-complexity method to secure wireless multiple-antenna communications. This method uses the received signal strength to exchange a secret key between two parties. Using this secret key as a seed to a pseudo-random number generator, a carefully-designed rotation is then applied to each symbol of a multiple-antenna Space-Time Block Coded (STBC) transmitted signal. STBC transmission and decoding schemes, such as the famed Alamouti scheme for two antennas, have already been adopted in WiFi and 4G cellular standards worldwide and implemented in billions of wireless devices worldwide

The analysis in the award-winning paper proves that having access to the secret key will allow the intended receiver to take advantage of all of the benefits of full spatial diversity and low decoding complexity. Furthermore, the proposed method makes it impossible for an eavesdropper to unintentionally or maliciously decode the transmitted information signal even if the eavesdropper has more antennas than the intended receiver or his channel is less noisy than that of the intended receiver.

Allen's PhD supervisor is Dr. Naofal Al-Dhahir, Jonsson School Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering.