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  1. As 5G systems are starting to be deployed and becoming part of many daily life applications, there is an increasing interest on the security of the overall system as 5G network architecture is significantly different than LTE systems. For instance, through application specific virtual network slices, one can trigger additional security measures depending on the sensitivity of the running application. Drones utilizing 5G could be a perfect example as they pose several safety threats if they are compromised. To this end, we propose a stronger authentication mechanism inspired from the idea of second-factor authentication in IT systems. Specifically, once the primary 5G authentication is executed, a specific slice can be tasked to trigger a second-factor authentication utilizing different factors from the primary one. This trigger mechanism utilizes the re-authentication procedure as specified in the 3GPP 5G standards for easy integration. Our second-factor authentication uses a special challenge-response protocol, which relies on unique drone digital ID as well as a seed and nonce generated from the slice to enable freshness. We implemented the proposed protocol in ns-3 that supports mmWave-based communication in 5G. We demonstrate that the proposed protocol is lightweight and can scale while enabling stronger security for the drones.
  2. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, are increasingly being utilized for public safety circumstances including post-disaster recovery of destroyed communication infrastructure. For instance, drones are temporarily positioned within an affected area to create a wireless mesh network among public safety personnel. To serve the need for high-rate video-based damage assessment, drone-assisted communication can utilize high- bandwidth millimeter wave (mmWave) technologies such as IEEE 802.11ad. However, short-range mmWave communication makes it hard for optimally- positioned drones to be authenticated with a centralized network control center. Therefore and assuming that there are potential imposters, we propose two lightweight and fast authentication mechanisms that take into account the physical limitations of mmWave communication. First, we propose a drone-to-drone authentication mechanism, which is based on proxy signatures from a control center. Accordingly, any newly joining drone can authenticate itself to an exist one rather than attempting to authenticate to the outof-reach control center. Second, we propose a drone-to- ground authentication mechanism, to enable each drone to authenticate itself to its associated ground users. Such authentication approach is based on challenge-response broadcast type, and it is still utilizing fast proxy signature approach. The evaluation of the proposed authentication mechanisms, conducted using NS-3 implementation of IEEEmore »802.11ad protocol, show their efficiency and practicality.« less
  3. The use of Millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum in cellular communications has recently attracted growing interest to support the expected massive increase in traffic demands. However, the high path-loss at mmWave frequencies poses severe challenges. In this paper, we analyze the potential coverage gains of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), as hovering relays, in integrated access and backhaul (IAB) mmWave cellular scenarios. Specifically, we utilize the WinProp software package, which employs ray tracing methodology, to study the propagation characteristics of outdoor mmWave channels at 30 and 60 GHz frequency bands in a Manhattan-like environment. In doing so, we propose the implementation of amplify-and-forward (AF) and decode-and-forward (DF) relaying mechanisms in the WinProp software. We show how the 3D deployment of UAVs can be defined based on the coverage ray tracing maps at access and backhaul links. Furthermore, we propose an adaptive UAV transmission power for the AF relaying. We demonstrate, with the aid of ray tracing simulations, the performance gains of the proposed relaying modes in terms of downlink coverage, and the received signal to interference and noise ratio (SINR).
  4. We introduce the concept of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as drone base stations for in-band Integrated Access and Backhaul (IB-IAB) scenarios for 5G networks. We first present a system model for forward link transmissions in an IB-IAB multi-tier drone cellular network. We then investigate the key challenges of this scenario and propose a framework that utilizes the flying capabilities of the UAVs as the main degree of freedom to find the optimal precoder design for the backhaul links, user-base station association, UAV 3D hovering locations, and power allocations. We discuss how the proposed algorithm can be utilized to optimize the network performance in both large and small scales. Finally, we use an exhaustive search-based solution to demonstrate the performance gains that can be achieved from the presented algorithm in terms of the received signal to interference plus noise ratio (SINR) and overall network sum-rate.
  5. Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) plays prominent role in enhancing backhaul connectivity and providing extended coverage areas due to its mobility and flexible deployment. To realize these objectives simultaneously, we present a new framework for positioning the UAV to maximize the small-cells backhaul network connectivity characterized by its Fiedler value, the second smallest eigenvalue of the Laplacian matrix representing the network graph, while maintaining particular signal-to-noise ratio constraint for each individual user equipment. Moreover, we show that the localization problem can be approximated by a low complexity convex semi-definite programming optimization problem. Finally, our extensive simulations verify the approximation validity and demonstrate the potential gain of UAV deployment.