NPS Outstanding Theses and Dissertations

Series Type
Degree-Earning Works

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 1371
  • Publication
    Economic preparation of the environment: A selective empirical analysis of Chinese investment in the Philippines
    (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, 2017-06) Fleck, Tanner N.; Wissler, Jonathan G.; Borer, Douglas; Defense Analysis (DA); Cunningham, Dan
    Over the past decade, the People's Republic of China has increasingly used its economic might as a means of influence to pursue grand strategic objectives that some scholars believe are aimed at countering U.S. presence and influence in the Asia-Pacific region. This thesis examines two aspects of Chinese economic strategy, foreign direct investment and development aid, in the context of the Philippines, which represents the primary U.S. foothold in the region. Using geospatial, link, and social network analysis techniques to examine a data set of Chinese investments in the Philippines from 2006 to 2016, this thesis attempts to answer the following question: What evidence does China's investment in the Philippines contribute to the understanding of China's grand strategic objectives? We find that these Chinese investments support and expand China's ability to monitor and control South China Sea access points, and provide interpersonal channels for Chinese influence over Philippine decision-making through the cultivation of allies within the economic arena. We recommend that U.S. diplomatic and defense officials view these and other Chinese international investments as a type of economic preparation of the environment designed to establish access/forward presence and build strategic relationships for future military and/or diplomatic exploitation.
  • Publication
    (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2021-09) Edwards, Daniel M.; Johnson, Bonnie W.; Systems Engineering (SE); Johnson, Rolf E.
    This thesis demonstrates an application of machine learning for enabling automated decision support to warfighters operating laser weapon systems in complex tactical situations. The thesis used the NPS Modeling Virtual Environments and Simulation (MOVES) Institute's Swarm Commander modeling and simulation software environment to develop simulated datasets of wargaming scenarios involving a shipboard laser weapon system defending against drone swarm threats. The simulated datasets were used to train a machine learning algorithm to predict the optimum engagement strategy in a complex battlespace with heterogeneous drone swarms. Multiple machine learning techniques were evaluated, and the classification tree technique was selected as the preferred approach. The final algorithm had an overall accuracy of 96% in correctly predicting engagement outcomes based on drone threat types, quantities, and the laser weapon system attack strategy. The research results demonstrate (1) the utility of modeling and simulation for supporting the development of tactical machine learning applications, (2) the potential for machine learning to support future tactical operations, and (3) the potential for machine learning and automation, in general, to reduce the cognitive load on future warfighters faced with making critical decisions in complex threat environments.
  • Publication
    Italy, the European Union, and Mediterranean migrants: opportunity from crisis?
    (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, 2016-09) Fillmore, Matthew L. R.; Yost, David; Shore, Zachary; National Security Affairs
    Since 2013, civil and interstate wars have roiled North Africa and the Middle East. These conflicts, along with poverty in both regions, have led to the largest migration to Europe since the end of World War II. This thesis considers the effects of mass migration on Italy and the European Union (EU). It examines Italian and EU military responses to the migrant crisis, as well as possible means to dedicate greater resources to aid in security endeavors. This thesis also explores the impacts that the migrant crisis has had on the Italian economy and politics. It analyzes the Italian immigration system, along with how it interfaces with the EU's immigration system, and explores ways in which both can promote more effective migrant and refugee economic integration. This thesis concludes that current EU and Italian efforts to address the Mediterranean migrant crisis are falling short of effectively managing the migrant and refugee influx. This thesis recommends NATO involvement concerning the security and flow management aspects of this challenge, and also argues that better economic integration of the migrants and refugees may hold the key to economic renewal in various EU member states, notably Italy.
  • Publication
    (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2022-06) Hayden, Blake A.; Barton, Armon C.; Computer Science (CS); Kroll, Joshua A.
    In an increasingly digital world, online anonymity and privacy is a paramount issue for internet users. Tools like The Onion Router (Tor) offer users anonymous internet browsing. Recently, however, Tor's anonymity has been compromised through fingerprinting, where machine learning models are used to analyze Tor traffic and predict user viewing habits, with some models achieving an accuracy of over 99%. There are defenses for Tor that attempt to prevent fingerprinting, but many are defeated by new techniques that utilize Deep Neural Networks (DNNs). New defenses that are robust against DNNs use adversarial examples to fool the classifier, but those defenses either assume the user has access to the full traffic trace beforehand or require expensive maintenance from Tor servers. In this thesis, we propose Prism, a defense against fingerprinting attacks that uses adversarial examples to fool classifiers in real time. We describe a novel method of adversarial example generation that enables adversarial example creation as input is learned over time. Prism injects these adversarial examples into the Tor traffic stream to prevent DNNs from accurately predicting sites that a user is viewing, even if the DNN is hardened by adversarial training. We show that Prism reduces the accuracy of defended fingerprinting models from over 98% to 0%. We also show that Prism can be implemented entirely on the server side, increasing deployability for users who run Tor on devices without GPUs.
  • Publication
    Optimal scheduling of time-shiftable electric loads in expeditionary power grids
    (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, 2015-09) Sprague, John G.; Craparo, Emily M.; Operations Research; Nussbaum, Daniel A.
    Environmental control on the battlefield enhances readiness, reduces casualties, and protects the sensitive equipment upon which U.S. doctrine relies. Purchase and delivery of fuel necessary to provide this service was responsible for an estimated $1.4 billion in costs and 33 resupply convoy casualties per year at the peak of U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is well understood that the current semi-autonomous mode of environmental control unit (ECU) operation results in gener-ators operating at low average loads—and low fuel efficiency—to accommodate periodic unmanaged spikes in peak load.We propose a mechanism to reduce costs through optimal prescriptive management of these ECUs. We exploit the fact that ECU operation is time-shiftable to develop a mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) model that optimally schedules ECUs to eliminate unmanaged peak demand, reduce generator peak-to-average power ratios, and facilitate a persistent shift to higher fuel efficiency. Using sensitivity analysis, we quantitatively demonstrate how grid composition, temperature band tolerance, and energy storage capabilities contribute to fuel efficiency under this approach.
  • Publication
    Japans Self Defense Forces After the Great East Japan Earthquake Toward a New Status Quo
    (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2012-03) Hiscock, Kyle W.; Weiner, Robert; Security Studies; Miller, Alice
    The Great East Japan Earthquakes unique scope and the actors involved in the ensuing disaster dispatch has the potential to significantly impact four areas influencing the SDFs trajectory security interests, economic interests, norms, and actors and institutions. Retrenchment, status quo, and remilitarization are all plausible outcomes for the SDFs trajectory. Understanding what the disasters changed in these four areas is critical in determining the most probable SDF trajectory. This thesis finds that the SDF will not likely embark on a retrenchment or rapid remilitarization trajectory. Japans security and economic interests have not fundamentally changed but rather economic trends in place prior to the disasters were aggravated and its security policy was validated. Japans norms were the most fundamentally changed as the SDF emerged from the disasters as the most trusted institution in Japan. Changes will be limited to the fringes of the status quo bordering remilitarization as numerous disincentives restrain the SDF from rapidly moving toward remilitarization. These changes will come about from a growing sense of economic and security pragmatism that results in engaging rather than containing the SDF. Improved civil-military relations, more public support for the SDFs expanding domestic and international roles, and more deference for the SDF as a useful tool of the state will characterize this new status quo.
  • Publication
    Analysis of the Salvation Army world service office's disaster relief capabilities
    (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, 2017-03) Connon, Rachel E.; Hudgens, Bryan; Hartmann, Latika; Department of Defense Management (DDM); Business & Public Policy (GSBPP)
    In the aftermath of a disaster, relief agencies rush to assist the affected population. However, lack of coordination between these agencies often results in poor resource management, which undermines efficacy and efficiency. This report facilitates inter-agency collaboration, particularly between military and non-military entities, by conducting a case study of one non-government organization involved in disaster relief. With the second-highest revenue among major non-government organizations in the United States, the Salvation Army in America—and, by extension, its international arm, the Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO)—is an ideal candidate for evaluation. This report evaluates SAWSO's disaster response capabilities by analyzing its organizational history, operational competencies, and financial resources. The results of this report offer a foundation for military and other humanitarian relief agencies to pursue collaborative efforts and increase the overall efficiency and efficacy of future disaster response operations. This report's findings indicate that SAWSO is a highly efficient organization from a financial standpoint, and that it offers a variety of relief capabilities that vary by region, with the provision of shelter, settlement, and non-food items among its strongest and most consistent competencies.
  • Publication
    Covert action: a systems approach
    (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, 2014-12) Wood, Kristen N.; Arquilla, John; Defense Analysis (DA); Adame, Laura
    Covert action is a complex tool; planning and conducting effective covert operations can be a challenging process. Throughout history, covert actions have been applied with great effect in support of state policies, but also sometimes with devastating consequences for the sponsor. This thesis takes a systems approach to the study of covert action to help explain the divergence between effective and ineffective operations. It is demonstrated that, because of the complexities inherent in this policy tool, covert action can be best understood as a system, that is, by focusing on the interactions and interplay of the system’s components. Four concepts of systems are examined in relation to historic U.S. and international examples—the system diagram, system effects, feedback, and tradeoffs. This holistic view of covert action may help policymakers better assess the viability and implications of a covert strategy and allow for better integration of covert action into foreign policy. Ultimately, this thesis aims to advance discourse by developing a formal theory of covert action based on the systems approach and offers six favoring conditions that can assist policymakers when planning and executing covert strategies.
  • Publication
    Automated detection of a crossing contact based on its Doppler shift
    (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2009-03) How, Whye Keong; Kapolka, Daphne; Rice, Joseph; Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.)
    The trade-off between false alarm and detection probability is a fundamental challenge in the automated detection of contacts in passive sonar systems. A common approach is the application of highgain processing followed by successive classification criteria. Most classification schemes (e.g., matching of signature) are complex and tailored to specific target types. By contrast, the Doppler effect is readily observed in all contacts with discrete tonals and relative velocity to the receiver. This thesis demonstrates that the Doppler effect can be exploited to improve the detection process by filtering out contacts that do not exhibit these characteristics. Cross-correlation (matched filtering) of contact LOFARgrams with templates generated in situ with Doppler compression/dilation is used to achieve this. Velocity information and the range of the Closest Point of Approach (CPA) are estimated in the process. A detection algorithm is developed in MATLAB, and the radiated acoustic signatures of overflying airplanes are recorded at a ground station. In the analysis of six propeller and four jet airplanes, the program successfully identifies the passage of all six propeller airplanes with four incidences of false alarm, due in one case to a jet airplane. Velocity and range estimates are also within expected values.
  • Publication
    Viability of Cross-Flow Fan for Vertical Take-Off and Landing Aircraft
    (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2012-06) Delagrange, Christopher T.; Hobson, Garth V.; Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.); Mechanical Engineering; Gannon, Anthony J.
    The present study is focused on determining a housing design that, when paired with an off-the-shelf cross-flow fan rotor, will generate a trust-to-weight ratio significant enough to allow for vertical take-off. The commercial computational fluid dynamics software, ANSYS CFX, was used to perform a computational analysis of various housing designs until a suitable design was identified to construct for experimentation. Following the analytical phase, the conceptual housing was fabricated and paired with an appropriate rotor to validate the predicted performance. The experimental model was operated at speeds from 4,000 to 8,000 rpm and the actual and projected thrust calculations were found to agree with a maximum difference of less than 7percent.