Hardware Impaired Ambient Backscatter NOMA Systems: Reliability and Security

Xingwang Li, Mengle Zhao, Ming Zeng, Shahid Mumtaz, Varun G. Menon, Zhiguo Ding, Octavia A. Dobre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Scopus citations


Non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) and ambient backscatter communication have been envisioned as two promising technologies for the Internet-of-things due to their high spectral efficiency and energy efficiency. Motivated by this fact, we consider an ambient backscatter NOMA system in the presence of a malicious eavesdropper. Under the realistic assumptions of residual hardware impairments (RHIs), channel estimation errors (CEEs) and imperfect successive interference cancellation (ipSIC), we investigate the physical layer security (PLS) of the ambient backscatter NOMA systems with emphasis on reliability and security. In order to further improve the security of the considered system, an artificial noise scheme is proposed where the radio frequency (RF) source acts as a jammer that transmits interference signals to the legitimate receivers and eavesdropper. On this basis, the analytical expressions for the outage probability (OP) and the intercept probability (IP) are derived. To gain more insights, the asymptotic analysis and corresponding diversity orders for the OP in the high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) regime are carried out, and the asymptotic behaviors of the IP in the high main-to-eavesdropper ratio (MER) region are explored as well. Finally, the correctness of the theoretical analysis is verified by the Monte Carlo simulation results. These results show that compared with the non-ideal conditions, the reliability of the considered system is high under ideal conditions, but the security is low.

Original languageBritish English
Article number9319204
Pages (from-to)2723-2736
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Ambient backscatter
  • artificial noise
  • channel estimation errors
  • imperfect successive interference cancellation
  • Internet-of-Things
  • NOMA
  • physical layer security
  • residual hardware impairments


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