Experimental Study on Key Generation for Physical Layer Security in Wireless Communications

Junqing Zhang, Roger Woods, Trung Duong, Alan Marshall, Yuan Ding, Yi Huang, Qian Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)
123 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a thorough experimental study on key generation principles, i.e., temporal variation, channel reciprocity, and spatial decorrelation, through a testbed constructed by using wireless open-access research platform. It is the first comprehensive study through: 1) carrying out a number of experiments in different multipath environments, including an anechoic chamber, a reverberation chamber,and an indoor office environment, which represents little, rich, and moderate multipath, respectively;2) considering static, object moving, and mobile scenarios in these environments, which represents different levels of channel dynamicity; and 3) studying two most popular channel parameters, i.e., channel state information and received signal strength. Through results collected from over a hundred tests, this paper offers insights to the design of a secure and efficient key generation system. We show that multipath is essential and beneficial to key generation as it increases the channel randomness. We also find that the movement of users/objects can help introduce temporal variation/randomness and help users reach an agreement on the keys. This paper complements existing research by experiments constructed by a new hardware platform.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4464-4477
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2016


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