R&D 100 Award Recipients

November 18, 2019

A team of researchers from the University of Utah’s School of Computing and Idaho National Laboratory received the prestigious 2019 “R&D 100 Award” from R&D World magazine for their development of a system for Wireless radio Frequency signal Identification and protocol Reverse Engineering, or WiFIRE.

The team comprises of U School of Computing professor Sneha Kumar Kasera and his doctoral students, Christopher Becker and Aniqua Baset, along with Kurt Derr and Sam Ramirez from the Idaho National Laboratory.

WiFIRE involves the use of software-defined radios as well as new software that can continuously monitor wireless spectrum. In real-time, it can identify multiple types of signals, trace them and report if any are from authorized or unauthorized wireless users.

This technology can help industries prevent data theft by detecting unlawful data movement or the presence of devices on the network that do not belong. It can then alert system operators, block unwanted data transmission, even start data or video recordings that can later be used in an investigation.

“WiFIRE meets the long-coveted ability of monitoring and understanding the surrounding wireless environment in defense/military settings as well as modern infrastructures and industrial facilities,” Kasera said. “For example, nuclear power plants could use the technology to monitor wireless transmissions in real-time to prevent illegal data theft or disruption of service.”

The R&D 100 Awards are given to 100 products in six categories: Analytical/Test, IT/Electrical, Mechanical/Materials, Other, Process/Prototyping, and Software/Services.

“This awards program is so well recognized across the R&D community. Being named as one of the R&D 100 is an incredible honor,” said Paul J. Heney, vice president and editorial director for R&D World. “These 100 winning products and technologies are the disruptors that will change industries and make the world a better place in the coming years.”

The R&D 100 Awards will be presented during a banquet December 5 at the San Mateo Marriott near San Francisco.

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