Emitter Fingerprinting

This innovation uniquely identifies radio emitters that share the same frequency and protocol. With this innovation, it is possible to detect and count the number of approaching mesh-networked drones, count the number of cell phones in a building, verify the identity of a device sending commands, or even count the number of nearby soldiers wearing man-portable data systems. Civilian uses include identifying contraband cellphones, estimating crowd size, intruder detection, verifying command authenticity, and quickly detecting movement surges in protest groups.

Fingerprint changes are correlated to physical changes in the emitter radio, amplifier, antenna, and supplied power. Changes can indicate damage, evasion, or power diversion ahead of an attack. With a known emitter, such as an adversary satellite, a fingerprint can be cataloged during benign operation and compared to current data for indication of mode change or equipment degradation.

Due to manufacturing variation of analog components, the output power of an emitter is a unique histogram. However, as received power is largely a function of distance and the relative angles of the receiver and emitter’s antennas, the histograms aredominated by “placement” rather than component variation and the resulting histograms have significant overlap, impeding attempts to uniquely identify emitters.

FAQs

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