Software defined radios (SDRs) have become the foundational block of agile wireless communications. The first part of the talk presents an overview of how the same SDR can alternate between multiple different and non-traditional actuation functions, such as aerial distributed beamforming and wireless energy transfer. Furthermore, as SDR technology becomes more pervasive assuming roles beyond communication, there is a growing risk of security concerns of ID spoofing and malicious hardware attacks. The second part of this talk describes our efforts of fingerprinting individual SDRs using machine learning, where we only analyze the I/Q samples collected at the receiver. We demonstrate the feasibility of achieving 90-95% classification accuracy through experiments conducted with 12 radios, at separation distances of beyond 50 feet. The talk concludes with a summary of the challenges ahead and identifies other emerging application areas of SDRs that will impact the next decade.
Prof. Kaushik R. Chowdhury received the PhD degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, in 2009. He is currently Associate Professor and Faculty Fellow in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Northeastern University, Boston, MA. He was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in Jan. 2017, the DARPA Young Faculty Award in 2017, the Office of Naval Research Director of Research Early Career Award in 2016, and the NSF CAREER award in 2015. He received multiple best paper awards, including the IEEE ICC conference, in 2009, ’12 and ’13, and ICNC conference in 2013. He is presently a co-director of the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research project office, a joint $100 million public-private investment partnership between the US NSF and wireless industry consortium to create city-scale testing platforms. His current research interests span software defined and cognitive radios, intra body implant communications, wireless energy transfer, and unmanned aerial systems.