Vulnerability of terrestrial-trunked radio to intelligent intentional electromagnetic interference

Ray R. Tanuhardja, G.S. van de Beek, Marinus Jan Bentum, Frank Bernardus Johannes Leferink

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    The terrestrial-trunked radio (TETRA) specification is produced by the European Telecommunication Standards Institute for private mobile radio systems. We investigated the resilience of TETRA against intelligent intentional electromagnetic interference (IEMI) with low amplitude. Low power signals interfering with the higher layers of the system have the advantage of staying covert. The analysis shows that if the access assignment channel is corrupted, the mobile stations cannot start conversations with the base station. TETRA’s modulation scheme is also investigated. $pi$/4 differential quadrature phase shift keying (QPSK) is interfered with a continuous wave and a QPSK signal. The results show that a continuous wave created the largest error vector magnitude, but creates a peak in the received spectrum. The power of the QPSK signal, however, is distributed over a bandwidth and is more difficult to detect than the continuous wave in the received spectrum. From this, we conclude that the QPSK signal functions is more effective as an intelligent interference signal compared to a continuous wave. In this paper, it is shown that it is possible to create an IEMI that combines the vulnerability in the TETRA protocol with the QPSK signal to disrupt the service to the communication system, while staying covert.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)454-460
    Number of pages7
    JournalIEEE transactions on electromagnetic compatibility
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2015


    • EWI-25754
    • IR-94345
    • METIS-312503

    Cite this