ICUAS'17 Paper Abstract


Paper ThC3.1

Podhradsky, Michal (Galois Inc), Coopmans, Calvin (Utah State University), Hoffer, Nathan (AggieAir, Utah State University (USU))

Improving Communication Security of Open Source UAVs: Encrypting Radio Control Link

Scheduled for presentation during the "UAS Communications" (ThC3), Thursday, June 15, 2017, 15:40−16:00, Salon CD

2017 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, June 13-16, 2017, Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay, Miami, FL,

This information is tentative and subject to change. Compiled on April 12, 2021

Keywords Security, UAS Communications, Airworthiness


Safety and reliability (also referred to as airworthiness) are well-known factors of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operations, and significant effort has been put into maintaining and improving them for everyday UAV users. Cyber-security, on the other hand, gained attention only recently. Currently, a malicious user can relatively easily disturb operation or even seize control of the most popular open-source UAVs, as a result of their poor communications security (COMSEC). Even though solutions to improve UAV's COMSEC are known, they have not been fully implemented in a user-friendly way. The contribution of the paper is an implementation of an encrypted Radio Control (RC) link that can be used with a number of popular RC transmitters. We use Galois Embedded Crypto library, an ArduinoLibs Crypto library together with openLRSng open-source radio project. We provide some lessons learned during development, implementation, and testing so users wishing to use their own encrypted link can leverage our work.



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