Current Problem: Secure Communications of our Critical Resources
Safe, secure communications for the nation’s power, water, chemical, and facility plants are of monumental importance. Old and antiquated plant designs with little or no consideration given to securing plant communications can render a site vulnerable to attacks on the critical resources which society depends upon for day to day survival.
Present day plant communication practices are outdated and typically involve the use of security guards with two-way radios, cell phones, hard line communications, paging systems, computers, or a combination thereof.
Lexycom proposes the development of a plant-wide secure communication system by implementing a spread spectrum, frequency hopping, Software Defined Radio (SDR) network. The Lexycom SDR network would consist of small (cell phone size), low power consumption, secure, wireless transceivers capable of transmitting and receiving data, video (standard and HD), and voice.
The uniqueness of such network is in its flexibility and modularity. The same SDRs would be used throughout the entire plant not only for voice communications but to connect other data sources such as video cameras to the main office.
The Lexycom SDR-based network would provide the user with a flexible, secure, cost effective wireless communications platform.
When transmitting data, network security would be addressed through the use of innovative very fast frequency hopping rates (up to 100,000 times per second). In addition, the end user can encrypt data in the network using AES/DES/3DES ciphering.
Once in place, the Lexycom SDR-based wireless system would give the user the flexibility to easily reconfigure and/or expand the system.
Improvement on what is Currently Available
The functions of the majority of the currently available conventional radios are hardware-dependent. For instance, often times these radios cannot be reconfigured, fine-tuned or adopted for transfers of a different data type. Hence, once such a radio system is installed, the network’s functionality has limited adjustability.
Unlike these radios, the functions of the Lexycom’s SDRs are defined by their software. Therefore, the transceiver’s parameters can be easily changed even after the system is installed to minimize security risks such as eavesdropping, jamming, and interference.
Applications and Markets
We foresee three major markets for the proposed network - Homeland Security, Border Patrol, and Military installations.
Homeland Security applications would include secure industrial plant communications for utility plants (power, electrical, and water treatment).
The Border Patrol applications would include remote monitoring and virtual fencing.
The Military Applications would include secure communications for Special Forces and Unmanned Vehicle systems.
Located in Longmont CO, Lexycom has been in business since 2004 and focuses on two main areas of business: the production/development of commercial/custom SDRs and R&D contracting.
In order to maximize the effectiveness of research, development, and design, Lexycom has partnered with a local manufacturing house to provide SMT assembly.
Lexycom has partnered with several key component and parts suppliers, which allows the company to maximize their procurement efforts, better manage inventory, and increase overall efficiency. As a result, we are able to competitively price our products.
ABOUT THE ENTRANT
Type of entry:teamTeam members:Aleksey, Lisa, Blake, Hamid, Tim
Hardware used for this entry:No asics, discrete component solutionsSoftware used for this entry:Combination of development environments, C and Assembly