Location Privacy of Digital Trunked Radio

Master Thesis


Analysis: 4
Empiricism: 10
Implementation: 8
Literature Research: 5


[Abstract of final thesis] The position of mobile devices and base stations of digital trunked radio systems is critical information, because it allows to localize participants or to gain physical access to network infrastructure. Therefore the location of these devices should be confidential.

In this master thesis it is shown that the location privacy of components of the digital trunked radio system TETRA can be broken by determining the locations of transmitting components by means of their emitted signals. In trunked radio networks, management data is transmitted frequently in addition to user data, which can be used to localize and potentially track participants.

The feasibility of localizing transmitting TETRA devices is analyzed practically. To this end a localization system based on Angle of Arrival using phase differences is implemented for TETRA. The practical implementation is based on Ettus Research N210 USRP and GNU Radio.

The implemented system for angle estimation is evaluated in testbed and field experiments. In testbed experiments the system achieves an accuracy of ±10° for single angle measurements. In this case the system has a systematic symmetric estimation error. The estimation accuracy can be enhanced by fully rotating the antenna array and averaging the estimated angle while compensating the rotation angle of the antenna array. Using this technique the angle estimation error can be decreased below ±4°. In addition, the system is also validated to work with TETRA signals in field experiments. Consequently, transmitting devices of TETRA networks can be localized in case of LOS through the measurement of at least two angles of arrival of signals at different known positions.

Start: 01.10.2015

End: 04.04.2016


Student: Martin Pfeiffer

Research Areas: Sichere Mobile Netze



Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Hollick

Technische Universität Darmstadt
Department of Computer Science
Secure Mobile Networking Lab 

Mornewegstr. 32 (S4/14)
64293 Darmstadt, Germany

Phone: +49 6151 16-25472
Fax: +49 6151 16-25471


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