KoolSpan, Time Domain offer ultra secure comms
- By Rutrell Yasin
- Nov 03, 2005
KoolSpan and Time Domain have joined forces to provide secure, encrypted communications to military and government agencies.
The two companies will offer secure communications by using Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology protected by the 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).
Time Domain supplies the UWB technology, which transmits signals across a wider range of radio frequencies than conventional systems do and is usually difficult to detect. KoolSpan provides the encryption and plug-and-play security devices that serve as a bridge to link networks, users and devices with secure applications.
For example, the UWB/AES solution can be integrated with a range of applications to secure intercom systems used in combat and to protect precision tracking devices or wireless data networks.
Company officials hope that development work they have done with Sandia National Laboratories will generate interest in the technology among other government sectors, said Jeffrey Stern, KoolSpan's vice president of business development.
Sandia officials worked with the companies to develop a secure UWB data communication network that can be used to help sensors monitor U.S. Air Force bases and Energy Department nuclear facilities, he said.
The initiative shows that the technology can be used in real-world applications, he said.
Time Domain's PulsON UWB technology fuses radar, positioning and wireless communications applications onto a single chipset that can be integrated into a variety of products, company officials said.
Radios using Time Domain technology are multifunctional and able to transmit data or allow communication in places where standard radio frequency devices such as walkie-talkies don't work, said Mike Cohen, vice president of business development and marketing at Time Domain.
Backed by KoolSpan's technology, the UWB provides a high level of security, he added.
KoolSpan's technology is based on smart card architecture, Stern said. The platform consists of a lock, an appliance the size of a VHS cassette tape that can be placed in a network or subnet in front of mission-critical servers, and a key, a USB device that can fit into a laptop computer or a voice-over-IP phone in the field, Stern said.
A smart card is embedded in each KoolSpan lock and key. The cards authenticate one another and securely compute 256-bit AES session keys that are changed with the transmission of each packet of information, according to the company.
Several U.S. military installations have expressed interest in the UWB/AES, Cohen said. The technology would also be useful for high-value commercial operations, he added.
Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.