Xiaoran Fan (СȻ)


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Rutgers University

671 Route 1 South

North Brunswick, N.J. 08902-3390


Email: ox5bc AT winlab DOT rutgers DOT edu



LinkedIn Profile


I am a Ph.D Candidate in Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering under professor Yanyong Zhang and professor Wade Trappe, Rutgers University. I also work closely with Dr. Rich Howard and Dr. Dipankar Raychaudhuri . I am a research assistant in Wireless Information Network Lab (WINLAB), where I am currently working on radio access network for localization, secret communication and wireless power transferring. My research interests are digital signal processing (DSP), mathematical modeling and radio frequency (RF) system design. I received my B.S. degree in 2015 from University of Electronics and Science technology of China, China.



Secret-Focus: A Practical Physical Layer Secret Communication System by Perturbing Focused Phases in Distributed Beamforming Ensuring confidentiality of communication is fundamental to securing the operation of a wireless system, where eavesdropping is easily facilitated by the broadcast nature of the wireless medium. By applying distributed phase alignment among distributed transmitters, we show that a new approach for assuring physical layer secrecy, without requiring any knowledge about the eavesdropper or injecting any additional cover noise, is possible if the transmitters frequently perturb their phases around the proper alignment phase while transmitting messages. This approach is readily applied to amplitude-based modulation schemes, such as PAM or QAM. We present our secrecy mechanisms, prove several important secrecy properties, and develop a practical secret communication system design. We further implement and deploy a prototype that consists of 16 distributed transmitters using USRP N210s in a 20×20×3 m³ area. By sending communication bits in real world, we measure that the eavesdroppers failed to decode the communication bits cross multiple locations while the intended receiver has an estimated bit error ratio less than 3×10^- 6. INFOCOM 2018 paper Demo Patent pending
Energy-Ball: Safe and Ubiquitous Wireless Power Transfer. This work presents a new power transfer approach by aligning the phases of a collection of radio frequency (RF) chargers at the target receiver device. Our approach can ship energy over tens of meters, to mobile targets, and even to targets blocked by obstacles. More importantly, our approach is much safer than traditional beamforming based WPT systems by largely avoiding overheating other areas. Such a technology can enable a large array of Internet of Things applications and render them much more robust and long-running. Thanks to its safety feature, our approach can be scaled up to ship higher level of energy over longer distances. In this work, we design, prototype, and evaluate the proposed energy transfer approach, referred to as energy-ball. We implement an energy-ball testbed that consists of 17 N210 and 4 B210 USRP nodes, yielding a safe charging space of 20×20×3 m³. We conduct carefully designed experiments on the testbed. We demo that energy can charge low-power IoT sensor nodes anywhere within the charging space and make them continuously sense and report data once 10 seconds, without missing a single sensing event or dropping a single packet. Results also show that, even when we move the sensor by only a short distance, the sensor does not gather enough energy to work properly, hence suggesting our energy delivery is indeed precise and safe. Finally, we show that enegy-ball can also power sensors that are blocked by obstacles and sensors that are moving. Paper under review Patent pending
Driver Phone Use Detection Leveraging Sensors in Smartphones and Smartwatches. In this work, we propose a system that detects approaching cars for smartphone users. In addition to detecting the presence of a vehicle, it can also estimate the vehicles driving direction, as well as count the number of cars around the user. We achieve these goals by processing the acoustic signal captured by microphones embedded in the users mobile phone. The largest challenge we faced involved addressing the fact that vehicular noise is predominantly due to tire-road friction, and therefore lacked strong (frequency) formant or temporal structure. Additionally, outdoor environments have complex acoustic noise characteristics, which are made worse when the signal is captured by non-professional grade microphones embedded in smartphones. We address these challenges by monitoring a new feature: maximal frequency component that crosses a threshold. We extract this feature with a blurred edge detector. Through detailed experiments, we found our system to be robust across different vehicles and environmental conditions, and thereby support unsupervised car detection and counting. Ubicomp/IMWUT 2017 Paper Slides



Energy-Ball: Safe and Ubiquitous Wireless Power Transfer
Xiaoran Fan, Han Ding, Sugang Li, Yanyong Zhang, Wade Trappe, Zhu Han and Richard Howard.
Under reviewing.
Secret-Focus: A Practical Physical Layer Secret Communication System by Perturbing Focused Phases in Distributed Beamforming
Xiaoran Fan, Zhijie Zhang, Wade Trappe, Yanyong Zhang, Richard Howard and Zhu Han.
IEEE INFOCOM 2018 - The 37th Annual IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications.
(Acceptance rate: 19%)
Auto++: Detecting Cars Using Embedded Microphones in Real-Time
Sugang Li, Xiaoran Fan, Yanyong Zhang, Wade Trappe, Janne Lindqvist and Richard Howard.
ACM Ubicomp/IMWUT 2017: Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies.
(Acceptance rate: 23%)
Poster: Bo-ear: unsupervised car sound sensing and tracking using microphones on smartphones
Sugang Li, Xiaoran Fan, Yanyong Zhang, Wade Trappe, Janne Lindqvist and Richard Howard.
S3 Proceedings of the Eighth Wireless of the Students, by the Students, and for the Students Workshop Pages 9-11


ECE 233 - Digital Logic Design Lab TA - Fall 2016
ECE 233 - Digital Logic Design Recitation TA - Fall 2017
I enjoy teaching young students, you can find feedbacks for my teaching from my students here.

Paper Reviewer

IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
IEEE International Conference on Sensing, Communication and Networking (SECON) 2018
IEEE Transactions on Networking
ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (ACM/IEEE IPSN) 2017
ACM Conference on Embedded Network Sensor Systems (SenSys) 2017
IEEE International Conference on Internet-of-Things Design and Implementation (IoTDI) 2018
IEEE Signal Processing Magazine 2016


I am a hardcore classical music listener. Besides my abundant CD collections, I attend lots of live concerts from NJSO. Mersmerizing into classical music is the primary reason that interets me dedicating myself into digital signal processing (DSP).


Jan 2018

I received my students' feedback for my teaching in last semester (DLD, fall 2017).

Dec 2017

I am recruiting motivated students (Master or Undergraduate). Feel free to send me your resume.

Apr 2018

I will present our Secret-Focus work in IEEE INFOCOM 2018, see you guys in Hawaii!

Nov 2017

Our paper "Secret-Focus: A Practical Physical Layer Secret Communication System by Perturbing Focused Phases in Distributed Beamforming" has been accepted by IEEE INFOCOM 2018!

March 2017

Our paper "Auto++:Detecting Cars Using Embedded Microphones in Real-Time" has been accepted by ACM Ubicomp/IMWUT 2017! Paper Slides.