uah p 18019

Docket: UAH-P-18019


Photovoltaic (PV) panels are an integral part of many unmanned system applications and typically function as the primary or back-up power source in such applications. Many unmanned systems generate sensitive data that needs to be protected from cyber-attacks. Several security systems currently exist, but integrating these systems requires extra-dedicated hardware that increases cost and system complexity. Building security primitives using the intrinsic properties of PV cells has the potential to mitigate cyber-threats in many unmanned system applications with minimal redesign costs and performance penalties.


Researchers at UAH have developed a technique for PV-based true random number generation that exploits the random variation in the output characteristics of a solar panel. The proposed algorithm has been demonstrated using a series of solar panels with Arduino microcontroller platforms but could be easily implemented on any other platforms as well. The evaluation demonstrates how it enables extraction of moderate-throughput random sequences that can pass the majority of the National Institute of Standards and Technology statistical tests.


This technique boasts numerous advantages over existing approaches. By utilizing PV cells, this system requires no additional hardware support, can be easily implemented with any standard solar panels and microcontrollers, produces high-quality random sequences, and can be easily tuned to work on several low-end, resource-constrained Internet of Things applications.



  • Security
  • Mitigate cyber-threats


  • No additional hardware support
  • Low-cost
  • Easily implemented on other platforms
  • Produces high-quality random sequences
  • Good throughput


  • State of Development: Proof of concept
  • Licensing Status: Available for licensing
  • Patent Status: Patent pending