Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. School of Engineering

First Advisor

Dr Alan Harris

Second Advisor

Dr O. Patrick Kreidl

Third Advisor

Dr John Nuszkowski

Fourth Advisor

Dr Brian Kopp


Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) was mandated January 1st, 2020 to all commercial aircraft that fly over 10,000 ft. This radio frequency (RF) based technology is part of an international plan to phase out radar-based surveillance within the airspace. Unfortunately, due to a lack of encryption and other security measures, ADS-B transmission remains open for possible exploitation. This thesis will explore the use of Multilateration (MLAT) to validate location data provided within the ADS-B framework. MLAT uses the Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) at multiple locations to determine the origin of a received signal. Additionally, as MLAT greatly depends on the topology of receiver location, multiple configurations will be examined and simulated within the confines of a real-world application. Finally, adversary spoofing scenarios were explored by injecting a stationary and moving adversary into the system. The adversary transmitted ADS-B location data from a different origin than the packets would indicate to create a fake aircraft in the airspace. The performance of the MLAT model was analyzed to determine its ability to flag the adversary’s data as suspicious.