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Resilience in Wireless Networks through Cross-Technology Communication

Project Name:Resilience through Cross-Technology Communication

part of: SPP 2378:  Resilienz in Vernetzten Welten – Beherrschen von Fehlern, Überlast, Angriffen und dem Unbekannten (https://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/projekt/460954887)



Joint project with TKN group, TU Berlin, Prof. Dr. Falko Dressler, Dr. Tolja Zubov


In recent years, there has been an explosive increase of broadband wireless access and proliferation of wireless Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in the unlicensed radio spectrum, e.g., in the ISM/UNII bands. As a result these bands have become massively crowded by numerous wireless devices making use of diverse technologies including WiFi, LTE-U/LAA, ZigBee, 2.4\,GHz LoRa, and Bluetooth. While such heterogeneous wireless networks (HetNets) have spurred the deployment of new services and applications, it comes at the cost of resilience. HetNets not only suffer from node failures and severe cross-technology interference in the shared spectrum but, due to their open nature, they are also highly prone to selective jamming.

A possible way to make HetNets more resilient is cross-technology communication (CTC). CTC is an intriguing new paradigm that allows direct over-the-air communication and data exchange between seemingly incompatible wireless technologies without requiring any changes to the wireless protocols, e.g., between WiFi and ZigBee, WiFi and LoRa, ZigBee and Bluetooth, or LTE-U/LAA and WiFi.

The ambition of the ResCTC project is to leverage CTC for resilient networks and critical security applications in HetNets operating in unlicensed shared radio spectrum. Based on recent prior work by both partners on CTC and wireless security, ResCTC shall address network resilience through CTC in a common joint effort and devise comprehensive solutions that are routed both in fundamental theory (information theory and signal processing) as well as practical software implementations and proof-of-concept demonstration.


The overarching goal of ResCTC is to systematically investigate how the degrees-of-freedom offered by CTC can be utilized in order to (i) increase the resilience of ultra-dense HetNets towards node failure, interference (same or cross-technology), as well as selective jamming attacks, (ii) leverage resilient wireless sensing in HetNets, (iii) establish an authenticated and encrypted secondary authentication fallback channel in HetNets, (iv) allow resilient operation in HetNets when the system scales up. Notably, this will affect essentially all phases (and layers) of wireless communication and sensing including connection establishment, authentication (and encryption key generation), and data communication and shall be tackled by the joint unique expertise of both TUB and FUB groups in fundamental information and communication theory, signal processing as well as wireless protocol design and software implementation and proof-of-concept demonstration. In this respect, the present research proposal is clearly fundamental in nature, as its ultimate goal is to explore and extend the known limits to the design and development of resilient heterogeneous wireless networks utilizing the diversity provided by CTC, but will in addition practically evaluate and demonstrate the proposed frameworks with software implementations and proof-of-concept development. Both groups will tightly collaborate e.g. by providing laboratory measurements (TUB) for the fingerprint model development or deep network training (FUB).

Latest results:

Idea: Ad hoc secure communication

  • Secret key from local sources (not channel) but reconciled through reciprocal channel
  • Radio advantage from Full Duplex
  • No control signaling whatsoever needed
  • Authentication from proximity
  • Published IEEE ComNet 2024