National Science Foundation (NSF) – Dear Colleague Letter: Secure Analog-RF Electronics and Electromagnetics (SARE)

While the tremendous growth of interconnected devices has resulted in significant benefits to society, security of these devices has emerged as a major concern. Each communication device or sensor connecting or interacting with other devices, sensors, or the environment has potential security vulnerability. This is particularly important when many wirelessly connected personal electronic devices transmit sensitive personal financial, health, and other private information over the air.

Furthermore, while electronic devices with electromagnetic sensing capabilities, such as automobile radar and motion-sensing devices, are used for safety enhancement, their vulnerability to hacking or exploitation raises concerns on both security and public safety. Current security approaches based solely on digital techniques have limitations when applied to electronic devices with RF and analog functions. To enhance and ensure security of these electronic devices, new approaches employing RF and analog techniques are needed, which may involve novel concepts in materials, devices, circuits, systems, or combinations of them.

With this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), NSF 20-042, the Directorate for Engineering and the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences of the National Science Foundation announce their interest in receiving EArly-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) proposals to support research in fundamental theory, design, algorithm, and experimental verification of RF, analog, and mixed-signal techniques that will significantly enhance and ensure the security of electronic devices. To encourage convergence in research, PIs are expected to submit proposals demonstrating complementary expertise to tackle the challenging security problems involving multiple disciplines.

For consideration for funding in FY 2020, proposals must be submitted by March 1, 2020.