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Project Coordinator (EU) :

Technical University of Crete

Country of the EU Coordinator :


Organisation Type :


Project participants :

Team members of TUC (EU):

Dr. George Karystinos, Role: Project Coordinator

Dr. Maria Gkizeli, Role: IT Coordinator

Mr. Ioannis Grypiotis, Role: Project member

Mr. Emmanouil Logothetis, Role: Project member

Team members of FAU (US):

Dr. Dimitris Pados, Role: US Partner PI/PD

Dr. Georgios Sklivanitis, Role: US Partner Co-PI

Ms. Sanaz Naderi, Role: Project member

Ms. Emily Chamberlain, Role: Project member


State of US partner :


Starting date :

Secure Communication Based on Robust 3D Localization

Experiment description

The proposed work aims at enhancing the security level of 5G wireless networks, which are based on massive MIMO base-stations and MIMO client nodes. As a key requirement for 5G wireless systems, security enhancement is among the NGI Priority topics; specifically, it lies in the area related to Privacy and Trust enhancing technologies. Moreover, the proposed work’s objectives include both innovative solutions for security enhancement and experimentation of the results on EU - US platforms (specifically, the POWDER/RENEW platform in Salt Lake City, UT). The Coordinator and the US Partner have both independently and jointly developed novel approaches for the research subjects related to the proposed work. Hence, both partners will be able to proceed to the next stage of experimentation of their results, which is also a NGI priority topic.

Implementation plan :

The activities that will be carried out are described in the following tasks.

  • T1: Experimentation of robust localization on the POWDER/RENEW platform (jointly with NSF Award CNS-1753406).
  • T2: Implementation of beamforming and HARQ-optimal power allocation on the POWDER/RENEW platform.
  • T3: Implementation of secure communication links between legitimate network nodes on the POWDER/RENEW platform, based on 5G polar coding.
  • T4: Experimentation on the attained secure data transmission rates and proof-of-concept of robust-localization-based secure communication between two legitimate nodes in the presence of an eavesdropper.
  • T5 (0.51 P/M). Workshop organized by the two partners for the demonstration/dissemination of the innovative localization-based 5G security experimented through the project.

The core milestones of the project are described below.

  • Milestone 1 (Month 2): Experimental localization RMSE improvement in comparison to state-of-the-art.
  • Milestone 2 (Month 3): Establishment of secure links even if eavesdropper is close to the legitimate user.
  • Milestone 3 (Month 6): Demonstration of feasibility of proposed proof-of-concept experiment for localization-based secure communications.
  • Milestone 4 (Month 6): Dissemination of our experimental findings through a workshop and/or invited presentations and publication in an open access journal/magazine or publishing platform.

Impacts :

Impact 1: Enhanced EU – US cooperation in Next Generation Internet, including policy cooperation.

Since secure information transmission is a key requirement for 5G wireless systems, the security enhancement that this project will establish is of particular interest to the researchers on both sides of the Atlantic. Hence, we expect that research teams and labs from both the EU and the US will follow our approach for localization-based secure communication. Finally, the benefits from the joint EU/US effort on experimentation on POWDER/RENEW are apparent. Such a joint effort may continue with implementation and testing on other platforms, both in the US and the EU, in the near future.

Impact 2: Reinforced collaboration and increased synergies between the Next Generation Internet and the Tomorrow's Internet programmes.

Impact 3: Developing interoperable solutions and joint demonstrators, contributions to standards.

Due to the expected involvement of massive devices and the heterogeneity of 5G networks, as well as their flexible architecture and the randomness of the wireless channels, 5G networks meet new security challenges. The proposed secure information transmission systems that we will experiment on the POWDER/RENEW testbed will enhance system security and offer solutions to location-aware mobility applications, power allocation and power savings for the mobile terminals, efficient spectrum utilization and sharing, and privacy of data that are uploaded or downloaded by mobile users, especially by the cell-edge ones. In particular, the advances established over the proposed testbed experimentation will satisfy the increased privacy requirements of 5G networks, even when (in contemporary or future networks) eavesdroppers are equipped with powerful computational devices. The implementation, experimentation, and validation of these concepts will allow their regulation in the new mobile communications standards.

Impact 4: An EU - US ecosystem of top researchers, hi-tech start-ups / SMEs and Internet-related communities collaborating on the evolution of the Internet.

The Coordinator and the US Partner have developed a strong research collaboration in the areas of communications and signal design/processing over the past years. One of their major accomplishments is the development of novel, state-of-the-art algorithms for optimal L1-norm subspace signal processing. Recently, the two partners have demonstrated the benefits of L1 (vs L2) norm DoA estimation. On the other hand, the two partners have independently made progress on security enhancement using HARQ (US Partner) and polar-coding-based security over HARQ (Coordinator). The proposed activity will strengthen and formalize their collaboration and offer them the opportunity to join forces (through joint research between the professors and researchers of the two partners) toward implementation and demonstration on PAWR of a secure communication system based on novel localization, beamforming, power allocation, and channel encoding/decoding approaches.

Results :

The first result of the project will be the outcome of Task T1 and will include a detailed report on experimentation results of robust localization on the POWDER/RENEW platform. The outcome of Task 2 will be a software for the implementation of beamforming on the POWDER/RENEW platform. If the necessary POWER/RENEW platform equipment is available and operational, the software will also implement HARQ-optimal power allocation.

The outcome of Task 3 will be a software for the implementation of secure communication links between legitimate network nodes on the POWDER/RENEW platform, based on 5G polar coding. The outcome of Task 4 will be a demo / proof-of-concept of robust-localization-based secure communication between two legitimate nodes in the presence of an eavesdropper. Finally, the results and presentations that will be presented in the workshop organized by the two partners for the demonstration/dissemination of the innovative localization-based 5G security experimented through the project will be reported in Workshop Proceedings.

Future Plan :

For our future work, we note that this project includes absolutely repeatable research. That is, our results can be repeated by researchers, since the platform, the datasets, and our code are publicly available. Moreover, TUC and FAU will move on this research direction in the near future, targeting accomplishments beyond and after this EU‐NSF collaboration through the investigation of secrecy coding for OFDM‐based adaptive subcarrier allocation, integration of Hybrid ARQ for front‐line security enhancement, and real‐time implementation of the above in the ArgosV3‐based POWDER platform. Future experiments may include the following resources: the 48‐antenna Skylark massive MIMO array alongside two 2 antenna clients inside an anechoic chamber, the 64‐antenna massive MIMO array deployed at the rooftop of the MEB building (see Fig. 1) and the two user terminals that are placed on the 3rd floor of MEB, the NI/Ettus X310 on the rooftop of the James L. Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building (US‐TAR), and the NI/Ettus B210 located at the ground level of the Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building (Humanities).

Key results

This project has successfully applied on the NSF‐funded POWDER/RENEW platform in Salt Lake City. Our front‐line security techniques and data calibration methods are already tested/used by research teams of other institutions and/or in existing testbeds.



NGI related Topic :

Privacy and Trust enhancing technologies

Call Reference :


The 30-months project will push the Next Generation Internet a step further by providing cascade funding to EU-based researchers and innovators in carrying out Next Generation Internet related experiments in collaboration with US research teams.

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