SaTC: CORE: Small: URadio: Towards Secure Smart Home IoT Communication Using Hybrid Ultrasonic-RF Radio

Sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation (Awards # CNS-1817029, CNS-1950171)
Duration: 9/1/2018-8/31/2023

SATC Project, SEIT Lab

Welcome to the web page of our research project: "SaTC: CORE: Small: URadio: Towards Secure Smart Home IoT Communication Using Hybrid Ultrasonic-RF Radio". This website is created and maintained to disseminate and share research results and other information related to the project.

Project Description

Recent years have seen the explosion of smart home Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices and platforms, underscoring the need to address security and privacy of smart home communications. The demand for IoT devices (e.g., smart speakers, locks, and activity trackers) is occurring while radio spectrum, a necessary ingredient for wireless service, becomes increasingly scarce. As a result, multiple wireless technologies coexist and compete for spectrum resources, resulting in degraded spectrum efficiency and security. This project aims to enhance the reliability and security of smart home networks by leveraging the security and energy efficiency properties of ultrasonic communication, and by integrating them with radio-frequency technology. The success of this project will result in a new communication system that can provide secure and reliable communication on two different types of spectrum - radio-frequency and ultrasound - to help alleviate the crowded radio frequency spectrum and prevent aggregated security attacks. The proposed project aims to significantly improve the security of smart home networks, and will also have a positive impact on education through the creation of new wireless security course projects and modules; provision of research training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students of underrepresented groups; and broad dissemination of project results through high-profile tutorials, talks, publications, software tool kits, and open-source sites.

The goal of this project is to develop novel, practical and foundational solutions to secure smart home IoT networks. The research focuses on the following objectives: 1) Develop and assess the performance of a hybrid ultrasound/radio-frequency transceiver using a wideband ultrasonic transducer to enable secure and reliable IoT communication by leveraging phased acoustic array technology; 2) Ensure the robustness of IoT communications by developing multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) interference cancellation and directional ultrasonic anti-jamming communication technologies; and 3) Design a location-restricted device authentication mechanism without the reliance on credentials by leveraging signal features of the ambient radio-frequency and ultrasonic signals, aiming for for immediate and trustworthy authentication of IoT devices. The proposed solution will be tested using large-scale simulations and experimentally tested via software-defined radio testbeds and ultrasonic radio prototypes. The project pursues advances in our understanding of security in smart home IoT networks, thereby providing guidance on the design of next-generation smart home systems.

SATC Project, SEIT Lab


Principal Investigators

Dr. Qiben Yan Dr. Qiben Yan (PI)
Assitant Professor
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

Post-doc Researchers

Kehai Liu Kehai Liu
Post-doc associate
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Graduate Students

Guangjing Wang Guangjing Wang
Michigan State University
Hanqing Guo Hanqing Guo
Michigan State University
Jianzhi Lou Jianzhi Lou
Michigan State University
Qi Xia Qi Xia
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Yuanda Wang Yuanda Wang
Michigan State University
Ying Zhu Ying Zhu
Michigan State University

Undergraduate Students

Shane Patrarungrong Shane Patrarungrong
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Eshan Dixit Eshan Dixit
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Adam Kasumovic Adam Kasumovic
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI



  1. New Scientist, ACM TechNews
  2. Scientific American, Science Daily, Futurity, BBC Radio, Forbes, Popular Mechanics, Inverse, Gizmodo, FastCompany, Hackster, Techworm, CISOMAG, Android Authority, ACM TechNews, Security Affairs, The Register, Extreme Tech, TechXplore, Apple Insider, MediaPost, NewsBreak, Techradar, Twitter #surfingattack, MSU Engineering, MSU Today, We live security, 钛媒体, 凤凰新闻, 新浪, 腾讯, 搜狐, cnbeta, 每日头条
  3. Safe house: ultrasound tech making smart homes more secure
  4. Research tackles smart home security.
  5. Our Vision.

Curriculum Development and Outreach

Note: Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this web page are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).