Physically secure sub-THz wireless links

Kaushik Sengupta, Xuyang Lu, Suresh Venkatesh, Bingjun Tang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations


Ensuring security is emerging as one of the grand challenges towards realization of a large-scale and high-speed wireless network fabric for 5G and beyond. In particular, enabling security at the network layer and application layers becomes computationally very challenging in multi-Gbps sub-THz and THz wireless links operating under strict energy constraints and latency requirements. To address this, there has been renewed interest in physical layer security techniques that attempt to exploit the physics of propagation in the channel to incorporate security features. Phased arrays, that are expected to be the foundational building blocks behind such sub-THz links, attempt to address such physical layer security by creating directive links and minimizing leakage power to undesired directions. However, the spectrum and constellation transmitted by such arrays at these off-axis angles are fully preserved allowing eavesdroppers with sensitive enough receivers to compromise the communication channel. In this paper, we demonstrate incorporation of physical layer security in sub-THz wireless links through spatiooral array architectures. Unlike phased arrays, these architectures enforce spectral aliasing, loss of information and constellation scrambling at undesired directions to mitigate eavesdropper attacks. We present the fundamental operation principle of such architectures and discuss various modulation techniques and their intended security features. We also demonstrate them experimentally with fully integrated sub-THz arrays in custom designed silicon ICs and packaged antennas operating at 76 GHz. The presented architectures can enable future large-scale deployment of multi-Gbps wireless networks with physically secure links operating at sub-THz frequencies for future 5G and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2020 IEEE International Conference on Communications Workshops, ICC Workshops 2020 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728174402
StatePublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event2020 IEEE International Conference on Communications Workshops, ICC Workshops 2020 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: Jun 7 2020Jun 11 2020

Publication series

Name2020 IEEE International Conference on Communications Workshops, ICC Workshops 2020 - Proceedings


Conference2020 IEEE International Conference on Communications Workshops, ICC Workshops 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Signal Processing
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Control and Optimization


  • 5G
  • CMOS
  • Communication
  • Millimeter-wave
  • Phased arrays
  • Physical layer
  • Security
  • SiGe
  • Silicon
  • Sub-THz
  • Terahertz


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