Patent Filed for Satellite Cryptography

St. Pölten UAS Project among Best Inventions and Discoveries in “100 Years of Lower Austria”

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.

ST. PÖLTEN, Austria, Oct. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — 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 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.

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.

About the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences

The St. Pölten UAS is a provider of performance-oriented higher education with a strong practical relevance in the areas of Media, Communications, Management, Digital Technologies, Computer Science, Security, Rail Technology, Health Sciences, and Social Sciences. As a European University, the St. Pölten UAS manages the European university alliance E³UDRES² (Engaged – European – Entrepreneurial University as Driver for European Smart and Sustainable Regions) and works on the development of smart and sustainable regions together with partner universities in seven countries.

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