In August, the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Army Research Laboratory announced that a team of Army researchers received a patent for a secure communications invention. The team included Rick Blum, Robert W. Wieseman Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and I-CPIE member and Lehigh alumnus Jake Perazzone ‘17G ’20 PhD. Perazzone was Blum’s 24th PhD student and is currently a visiting researcher at Army Research Laboratory.
Blum and Perazzone worked with Drs. Paul Yu and Brian Sadler from the Army Research Laboratory to develop a method for wireless communication using a service side-channel signaling and authentication at the physical level. This approach allows for simultaneous verification of the authenticity of wireless communications and communication of secret information.
Speaking to the collaboration with the Army Research Laboratory, Blum notes that he and his students have been lucky to collaborate with the lab over the years. “The Army Research Laboratory knows all of the related work by others—even outside of academia” Blum notes, “…they have important real problems that need to be solved and the solutions can have a tremendous impact on protecting communications.” These collaborations give Lehigh students an opportunity to work on important issues identified by those intimately involved with the technology.
Blum also notes that working with the Army Research Laboratory collaborators—who are excellent role models for performing research that impacts real systems—helps better prepare students to make the important discoveries needed to improve our world. The invention that Blum and Perazzone worked on, for example, makes it more difficult for an adversary to impersonate an ally by providing a practical method for Army wireless devices to covertly authenticate and communicate.
According to CCDC, the team’s research supports the Network Army Modernization Priority by establishing a method for efficient and future-proof secure wireless communications.