Type of thesis

  • project
  • bachelor thesis
  • master's thesis


Many IoT devices communicate with other devices over a wireless network. There are many different protocols that can be used. These protocols differ for example by different frequencies, modulation, or duty cycles.

Software Defined Radios (SDRs) are generalized radio receivers, which are able to receive and process radio signals in different frequencies by appropriate configuration of software. This makes it possible with an SDR to trace any receivable radio traffic.

Possible steps in working on this topic

  1. Research on the basic functional principle of a Software Defined Radio

  2. Identification of popular or widespread IoT protocols

  3. Define which radio communication characteristics are to be considered (e.g. frequency, modulation method, structure, etc.)

  4. Research of these properties for the selected IoT protocols

  5. Development of possibilities for differentiating between different protkolle from each other and from "noise" on the basis of the specific properties found

  6. Create a procedure for the evaluation of the developed procedure

  7. Prototypical implementation of the developed method for the identification of individual protocols

  8. Evaluation of the developed solution in relation to the established quality criteria.

  9. Proposal of possible improvements of the developed solution in future work.

Task description

The following questions, among others, are to be answered:

  • Which properties can be used to identify radio protocols?
  • How is the radio signal of popular IoT protocols like ZigBee or Z-Wave structured?
  • How is it possible to identify the protocols when encrypting the transmission?
  • To what extent is it possible to identify and process all radio signals with SDRs?
  • Which factors or disturbances can influence the identification?

In the course of the work, a prototype software can be developed that can recognize protocols such as Z-Wave or ZigBee with the help of an SDR.


  1. Ulversoy, T. (2010). Software defined radio: Challenges and opportunities. IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials12(4), 531-550.
  2. Tuttlebee, W. H. (1999). Software-defined radio: facets of a developing technology. IEEE Personal Communications6(2), 38-44.
  3. ZigBee Specification, ZigBee Standard Organisation, http://www.zigbee.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/docs-05-3474-20-0csg-zigbee-specification.pdf
  4. Z-Wave Specification, Silicon Labs Inc.


Johann Bauer


Nothing special. Programming skills are required for optional prototype implementation.