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Air Force Develops Encryption Tech to Secure Communication Devices

The U.S. Air Force has built a chip technology designed to help military personnel encrypt data and communications between unmanned aerial vehicles or robotic systems for explosive ordnance disposal.

Mini Crypto is a lightweight encryption engine designed to generate a session-based key and requires only 400 milliwatts of power to function, the Air Force said Oct. 2.

Heidi Beason, program manager for Mini Crypto at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, led a nine-member team at Joint Base-San Antonio in Texas that developed and tested the chip.

“We think (Mini Crypto chip) will really help forward-deployed warfighters secure sensors, or communications devices, in areas where risk of interception is high, and still protect sensitive data, without burdening folks on the front lines with extra equipment or steps to safeguard the encryption device,” Beason said.

She added the technology is now ready for full production.

The chip’s key management system is designed to comply with the National Security Agency‘s data security standards.

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