St. Pölten UAS Project among Best Inventions and Discoveries in “100 Years of Lower Austria”
On Wednesday evening, the province of Lower Austria presented the best inventions and discoveries by Lower Austrian researchers during a celebration of the province’s 100th anniversary.
One of these was a patent filed for satellite cryptography. The technology behind this innovation was developed by Univ.-Doz. Ernst Piller who headed the Institute of IT Security Research at the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences for many years.
Ernst Piller | Credit: Martin Lifka Photography
Secure Communication for Digitalisation and Globalisation
Digitalisation and globalisation require secure communication. Existing cryptography procedures make use of a highly secure mathematical method to encrypt data. As computer performance is increasing, however, these methods are becoming more and more insecure – the more so with a view to high-performance quantum computers in future.
For this reason, scientists have been trying for decades to find physical methods of encryption. They started out with “quantum cryptography”, which is unfortunately very expensive and therefore cannot be used worldwide on a large scale, especially when it comes to greater distances.
Secure Data Transfer Using Radio Signals and Satellites
For approximately 15 years now, researchers have been working on a new method based on measuring radio channel properties, which is both inexpensive and suitable for mass use. However, it can be used for short distances of up to roughly 20 kilometres only.
“In a research project, we managed to make the technology applicable for greater distances – worldwide, to be precise – using satellites. This is why we call it satellite cryptography. As there is not a single publication or patent worldwide for this method, we have secured comprehensive protection for our research results by filing an international patent application”, says Ernst Piller.
“The St. Pölten UAS and its researchers have been very active in the field of technology transfer for many years. The patent for Ernst Piller’s project is a major milestone in these efforts. The fact that this patent has now been recognised as one of Lower Austria’s most important inventions and discoveries shows the research strength of our UAS. Congratulations to Ernst Piller on this acknowledgement”, says Hannes Raffaseder, Chief Research and Innovation Officer of the St. Pölten UAS.
Award-Winning Research Project
Ernst Piller’s research already won first place in the category “Geniale Forschung” (ingenious research) of the “riz up GENIUS” award and in the “Research” category of the NÖ Innovationspreis (Lower Austrian innovation award).
Project team | Credit: St. Pölten UAS
Waiting for Commercial Use
“The technology’s commercial use will become viable only in the next decade because we have no high-performance quantum computers yet. That being said, we absolutely strive for its worldwide commercial use”, explains Piller.
At the event this Wednesday evening, the Lower Austrian provincial government presented a special brochure on “100 Jahre Erfindungen und Entdeckungen aus NÖ – ein Streifzug” (exploring 100 years of inventions and discoveries from Lower Austria), in which all award-winning patents and inventions are introduced.
More about the Project:
- News report on the NÖ Innovationspreis 2019
- Research project “KIF – Kryptografie für kabellose Kommunikation” (cryptography for wireless communication)
The project titled “Hochsichere, langzeitige Kryptografie für kabellose Kommunikation mit Integration von Funkmessdaten” (high-security, long-term cryptography for wireless communication using radio measuring data) was funded by the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology within the framework of the Austrian Security Research Programme KIRAS between 2017 and 2019.