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Wireless Programs

Advancing Critical Communications And Wireless Security

If you own a cell phone, work remotely, or commute in an autonomous vehicle, the wireless spectrum is critical to your life. The spectrum is the invisible highway that allows wireless signals and data to stream across the country and around the world. How we design, use, and secure this information superhighway has major implications to national security. This is especially true at 5G expands worldwide, connecting billions of devices and nodes.

For decades, INL employees have conducted research, testing and training on wireless systems, including radios, cellphones and satellites. INL continues to develop award-winning and patented technologies to improve wireless security and increase efficient use of the wireless spectrum.


Wireless Capabilities

INL’s vast wireless and cyber security capabilities and expertise enable industry, academia, government and public safety to conduct:

  • Real-time spectrum and network research associated with spectrum use and allocation
  • Encryption and authentication studies for secure communications adoption and deployment
  • Wireless signal propagation modeling, testing and analysis
  • Technology application studies and the development of appropriate concepts of operation

Spectrum Monitoring

Wireless RF Signal ID and Protocol Reverse Engineering (WiFIRE)

WiFIRE can be effectively used to baseline wireless environments to make it secure.

WiFIRE helps combat wireless attacks by monitoring wireless networks in real time, giving users the ability to respond to security breaches as they’re occurring. Should it detect rogue devices, WiFIRE provides security measures like alerting law enforcement personnel, blocking unwanted data transmission, starting data and/or video recording for potential legal use, and even locating intruders before damage is done. The technology helps protect the nation’s critical infrastructure, making attacks on the power grid and water supply increasingly difficult.

  • Monitor frequency power usage, type of signaling, and information passed
  • 2019 R&D 100 Award and an Idaho Innovation Award Finalist

Learn More


Spectrum Sharing Security

mmWave Autonomous Beam Scheduling

  • Secure mmWave Spectrum Sharing with Autonomous Beam Scheduling.
  • Novel beam scheduler to improve spectral efficiency and security of spectrum sharing
  • New stochastic network optimization framework based on Lyapunov Optimization Approach
  • Decomposed into two sub-optimization problems:
    • One convex optimization to determine auxiliary variables
    • Non-convex stochastic optimization problem
  • Game theoretic approach to solve the non-convex problem

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Communications Security

Detection of Drones Connected with Commercial Cellular

  • Identifying network signatures generated by Cellular drones

5G mmWave Cellular Network for Operating Drones

  • Secure communications for control of Drone Swarms with increased spectral efficiency and reliability

Next Generation Wireless Test Bed

INL’s Wireless Test Bed provides industrial/commercial and academic users access to the full capacity of INL’s wireless resources. With suitable sponsorship, academic institutions interested in openly published work may perform research, experimentation and testing at minimal cost.

Wireless Test Bed Idaho
Idaho National Laboratory