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.


Spectrum Monitoring

Spectrum Sharing Security

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Communications Security

Additional Resources

Wireless Security Workshops

Wireless Research Fact Sheet

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

Wireless Security Institute Test Bed unmanned drone security

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

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

WSI mmwave

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

WSI drone

Wireless Security Workshops


  • Discuss critical security challenges and progress in the following areas:
    • 5G Devices and Network
    • Cellular Drones
    • 5G Shared and Unlicensed Spectrum
  • Identify key security needs in these areas (and any others)
  • Identify needed actions to further:
    • Strengthen collaboration at the national level to address these critical security ­needs
  • Increase engagement with U.S. Government, industry, and others for their success.

INL wireless security workshop

Wireless Research Fact Sheet

Wireless Research Capabilities R Page

Wireless research Capabilities fact sheet

nhs Methodology

Spectrum Innovation

At INL our researchers are supporting emerging spectrum sharing technology, engineering analyses, and technology testing, to support the acceleration of 5G technology. INL researchers have created multiple waveforms and novel spectrum-analysis systems. Areas of expertise include:

  • Spectrum Laboratories:
    • Radio Analysis and Assembly Laboratory
    • 5G Physical Layer Signals Analysis Laboratory
    • Anechoic Chamber
  • Spectrum Security: WSComm enables flexible spectrum sharing
    • Improves spectrum sharing, spectrum monitoring, and interference mitigation
    • Multiple U.S. patents and 2012 R&D 100 Award
  • Spectrum Effect: Massive Machine-Machine Communications for 5G
    • Faster link set-up speed using Cyclic Prefixed Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum as data control underlay channel

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.


NHS Media Contact

Ethan Huffman

Phone: 208-526-5015

Email: ethan.huffman@inl.gov