A Radio Frequency Fingerprinting-Based Aircraft Identification Method Using ADS-B Transmissions



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The automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) system is one of the key components of the next generation air transportation system (NextGen). ADS-B messages are transmitted in unencrypted plain text. This, however, causes significant security vulnerabilities, leaving the system open to various types of wireless attacks. In particular, the attacks can be intensified by simple hardware, like a software-defined radio (SDR). In order to provide high security against such attacks, radio frequency fingerprinting (RFF) approaches offer reasonable solutions. In this study, an RFF method is proposed for aircraft identification based on ADS-B transmissions. Initially, 3480 ADS-B samples were collected by an SDR from eight aircrafts. The power spectral density (PSD) features were then extracted from the filtered and normalized samples. Furthermore, the support vector machine (SVM) with three kernels (linear, polynomial, and radial basis function) was used to identify the aircraft. Moreover, the classification accuracy was demonstrated via varying channel signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) levels (10–30 dB). With a minimum accuracy of 92% achieved at lower SNR levels (10 dB), the proposed method based on SVM with a polynomial kernel offers an acceptable performance. The promising performance achieved with even a small dataset also suggests that the proposed method is implementable in real-world applications.


Open Access; Publishd by Aerospace;; Gursu Gurer, Ali Kara, Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Gazi University, Ankara 06570, Turkey; Yaser Dalveren, Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Atilim University, Incek Golbasi, Ankara 06830, Turkey; Mohammad Derawi, Department of Electronic Systems, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 2815 Gjovik, Norway.


automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast, deep learning, radio frequency fingerprinting, wireless security