Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Engineering (MSCmpE)

Degree Level



Computer Science & Computer Engineering


Christophe Bobda

Committee Member

Jia Di

Second Committee Member

Qinghua Li


Drone Security, FPGA Development, Hardware Sandboxing, RF Jamming


In this thesis, we concern ourselves with the security of drone systems under jamming-based attacks. We explore a relatively new concept we previously devised, known as hardware sandboxing, to provide runtime monitoring of boundary signals and isolation through resource virtualization for non-trusted system-on-chip (SoC) components. The focus of this thesis is the synthesis of this design and structure with the anti-jamming, security needs of drone systems. We utilize Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) based development and target embedded Linux for our hardware sandbox and drone hardware/software system.

We design and implement our working concept on the Digilent Zybo FPGA, which uses the Xilinx Zynq System. Our design is validated via simulation-based tests to mimic jamming attacks and standalone, stationary tests with commercial transmitter and receiver equipment. In both cases, we are successful in detecting and isolating unwanted behavior. This thesis presents the current work performed, observations, and the future potential of hardware sandboxing in drone systems.