Self-generating fault-tolerant keys for use in spread-spectrum systems are disclosed. At a communication device, beacon signals are received from another communication device and impulse responses are determined from the beacon signals. The impulse responses are circularly shifted to place a largest sample at a predefined position. The impulse responses are converted to a set of frequency responses in a frequency domain. The frequency responses are shuffled with a predetermined shuffle scheme to develop a set of shuffled frequency responses. A set of phase differences is determined as a difference between an angle of the frequency response and an angle of the shuffled frequency response at each element of the corresponding sets. Each phase difference is quantized to develop a set of secret-key quantized phases and a set of spreading codes is developed wherein each spreading code includes a corresponding phase of the set of secret-key quantized phases.
This invention was made with government support under Contract Number DE-AC07-051D14517 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.