Date of Award


Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science


George Markowsky

Second Committee Member

Yifeng Zhu

Third Committee Member

Linda Markowsky


The Federal Aviation Administration is in the process of replacing the current Air Traffic Management (ATM) system with a new system known as NextGen. Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) is the aircraft surveillance protocol currently being introduced as a part of the NextGen system deployment. The evolution of ADS-B spans more than two decades, with development focused primarily on increasing the capacity of the Air Traffic Control (ATC) system and reducing operational costs. Security of the ADS-B communications network has not been a high priority, and the inherent lack of security measures in the ADS-B protocol has come under increasing scrutiny as the NextGen ADS-B implementation deadline draws near.

The research conducted in this thesis summarizes the ADS-B security vulnerabilities that have been under recent study. Thereafter, we survey both the theoretical and practical efforts which have been conducted concerning these issues, and review possible security solutions. We create a classification of the ADS-B security solutions considered and provide a ranking of the potential solutions. Finally, we discuss the most compatible approaches available, given the constraints of the current ADS-B communications system and protocol.