Encrypted Mode Select ADS-B Tactical Military Situational Awareness
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE DEPT OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCE
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Mid-air collisions between tactical military aircraft occur somewhat frequently and are a product of the inherent danger of dynamic maneuvering and flight at high airspeeds. Each collision results in significant loss to the military in terms of aircrew injury or fatality and airframe damage or loss. However, tactical aircraft do not have a collision avoidance or situational awareness aid. A potential solution to improve pilots awareness of proximate traffic is Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast ADS-B. Existing civil ADS-B systems are problematic for military use, because the broadcast data is not secure. In this thesis, we explore the feasibility of encryption for adapting civil Mode Select Mode S ADS-B to a secure military ADS-B system. Encryption theory applicable to ADS-B is reviewed. Modifications to the existing civil Mode S system required for encrypted ADS-B are identified, as well as required format modifications. The feasibility of encryption is discussed in terms of necessary security services for secure ADS-B confidentiality, identification, authentication, and integrity. We examine the trade-offs between different types of conventional encryption techniques to provide these services, and conclude that encryption can be successfully applied to Mode S ADS-B. A feasible approach for encrypted ADS-B is presented.