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Protecting GPS Signals

Aug 25, 2016

Dr. Jyh-Charn Liu, professor and director of the Real Time Distributed Systems Lab, is currently working on developing algorithms to detect incorrect signals of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). Not only recognizing them, but finding a way to combat these errors due to spoofing or natural interference is a central focus in the efforts he and his collaborators are pursuing. To achieve cohesiveness in GNSS signals, Liu and his team are working to create an experimental environment which supports the development of computing algorithms that are able to detect spoofing that occurs in the real world. In turn, this will allow for more reliable information to be provided by location-based applications, such as Google Maps on smartphones, that we use daily.

Liu began studying the subject when GPS spoofing emerged as a cyber physical security issue. He works alongside his students in the RTDS lab, as well as Dr. Mladen Kezunovic, Eugene E. Webb Professor, and Alex Sprintson, associate professor from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M.

The most challenging aspect of this topic is figuring out a way to guard the unprotected data at the unknown place and time. “We formulated the problem into an integrity checking problem, and we aim to develop distributed computing algorithms on the basis of the well-established theories in distributed computing,” Liu said. “We also aim to develop software based solutions, so that they can be more easily disseminated to the massive consumer market in defending against various data errors, man-made or natural causes.”