NPS Outstanding Theses and Dissertations

Series Type
Degree-Earning Works

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 1370
  • Publication
    Risky invasions decisions made by the Argentine junta regarding disputed islands, 1978--1982
    (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2011-09) Upp, Daniel G.; Sotomayor Velazquez, Arturo C.; Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.); National Security Affairs; Porch, R. Douglas
    In 1978, Argentina and Chile were poised at the brink of war over disputed possession of the Beagle Channel islands located near the southern tip of South America. Despite provocative military maneuvering and inflammatory rhetoric from both sides, Argentina's ruling military junta pulled back just short of attacking the territory occupied by Chile, and eventually both sides reached a peaceful settlement. Only four years later, Argentina launched a surprise invasion of the British-held Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. Why did Argentina choose to go to war with Britain in 1982 but not with Chile in 1978? What factors led to a grab for the Falklands instead of the Beagle Channel islands? Prospect theory, borrowed from cognitive psychology, may hold the answer. This theory proposes that decisionmakers tend to be more risk-averse when they are facing a potential gain and more willing to take risks when they are confronting a potential loss. Therefore, the junta refrained from invading the Beagle Channel islands because they were more secure in their political position and therefore facing a potential gain, but chose to invade the Falklands because they were insecure in their position and facing the loss of political power.
  • Publication
    (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2023-12) Gutierrez, Victor M., Jr.; Darnton, Christopher N.; National Security Affairs (NSA); Glosny, Michael A.
    China—the primary strategic competitor of the United States—is pursuing increased presence and influence in the Western Hemisphere. Argentina is a major target for Chinese investment, military cooperation, and diplomatic engagement, and efforts undertaken here are likely to be reproduced in smaller states. This thesis explores Chinese lines of effort in Argentina and how these efforts have affected its level of influence. Analysis of primary and secondary sources reveals that trade and investment between the two powers has increased, military professional engagements are on the rise, and diplomatic ties have deepened since the relationship was established in the 1970s. However, Chinese influence has not significantly increased. Deepening of ties is explained by Argentine agency, as Argentina has utilized the presence of a new power to bolster its economy, strengthen its military, and assert its sovereignty on the global stage. These findings may be used to inform future engagements with Argentina, and observation should continue as the partnership between Argentina and China continues to evolve.
  • Publication
    (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2024-03) Labrum, Joseph H.; Wirtz, James J.; National Security Affairs (NSA); Larsen, Jeffrey A.
    This thesis explores the challenges and strategic implications faced by the nuclear security enterprise in the context of the evolving global nuclear landscape since the end of nuclear testing in 1992. It delves into the impact of significant reductions in the U.S. nuclear arsenal, the decision to end nuclear testing, and the halting of new nuclear weapons design on the nuclear security enterprise’s capabilities and knowledge transfer. The research addresses two primary questions: Since the end of nuclear testing in 1992, what are the persisting challenges seen within the nuclear security enterprise as the United States drew down the nuclear stockpile, and is the current stockpile meeting U.S. strategic requirements today? Through a comprehensive review of Nuclear Posture Reviews across the William J. Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack H. Obama, Donald J. Trump, and Joseph R. Biden administrations, the thesis provides insights into the continuity and changes in nuclear weapons policy, the role of nuclear deterrence, and the strategic responses to emerging nuclear threats from global powers. It underscores the significance of a modernized and resilient nuclear security enterprise to maintain a credible nuclear deterrent in the face of new challenges posed by great power competition and evolving security dynamics.
  • Publication
    (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2023-09) Martinez Galeano, Edwin A.; Bergin, Richard D., IV; Mustafa Canan; Information Sciences (IS)
    Colombia's status as the largest cocaine producer in the world has prompted its government's strategies to combat drug trafficking. One of these strategies is to seize cocaine in the Colombian jurisdictional territory. The unintended consequences of this strategy on crime rates, particularly homicides, remain uncertain. Web scraping methods and big data tools were used to gather and construct a time series dataset on cocaine seizures from three distinct websites, while the homicides dataset was supplied by the Colombian Ministry of Defense (MDN). This study aims to investigate, from a quantitative standpoint, whether there is a link between cocaine seizures and homicides in the Colombian Pacific region, utilizing an exploratory data analysis (EDA) method and machine learning techniques. The study recognizes the constraints of the sample size and opts to reveal valuable insights through data analysis and modeling instead. Despite the constraints, two models were developed to partially explicate the significance of this correlation. The study's findings provide value for policymakers, military personnel, government officials, and academics, offering essential perspectives to devise improved policies and strategies to mitigate drug trafficking in the Colombian Pacific region without exacerbating homicide rates. Future research endeavors could consider expanding the sample size of the cocaine seizure time-series dataset to conduct a more robust correlation analysis.
  • Publication
    An economic analysis of investment in the United States shipbuilding industry
    (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2010-06) Meyers, Nicholas A.; Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.); Business Administration
    Amidst the global economic recession and sizeable injections of federal stimulus packages, the U.S. Navy's budget for ship construction has experienced only modest real growth. While the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review has reaffirmed a fleet size goal of 313 ships, some suggest that 20 billion dollars or more per year is needed to attain this level of strategic resources. This research has analyzed the United States' shipbuilding industry as a potential source of economic stimulus using measures applied in the United Kingdom by economists at Oxford Economics. First, monetary impacts from the "ship building and repairing" sector were analyzed using U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) input/output data and the "Leontief inversion process" modeled at Carnegie Mellon University. This sector was compared with five alternative investments. Second, the benefits of the shipyard-related labor market were analyzed using data from the BEA and Naval Sea Systems Command. Measures of capital intensity and capacity were then applied to companies representing five industries. The results suggest that U.S. shipbuilding generates monetary benefits comparable to alternatives, while supporting more labor than other sectors. Finally, excess capacity shows a clear ability to absorb an increase in demand, providing prompt and positive impact on sustainable economic recovery.
  • Publication
    Wavefront control for space telescope applications using adaptive optics
    (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2007-12) Allen, Matthew R.; Agrawal, Brij; Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.); Kim, Jae-Jun
    Future long dwell high resolution imagery satellites and space telescopes will require very large flexible primary mirrors. These large mirrors face many challenges including optical surface imperfections, structural vibrations, and jitter. A flexible mirror can overcome some of these challenges by applying adaptive optics techniques to correct mirror deformations and aberrations to produce image quality data. This paper examines and develops control techniques to control a deformable mirror subjected to a disturbance. The experimental portion of the work uses discrete time proportional integral control with second order filters to control disturbances in a deformable mirror and correct aberrations in an adaptive optics system using laser light. Using an adaptive optics testbed containing two deformable mirrors, two fast steering mirrors, two wave front sensors, a position sensor, and a combination of lenses the system corrects a simulated dynamic disturbance induced in the deformable mirror. Experiments using the described testbed successfully demonstrate wavefront control methods, including a combined iterative feedback and gradient control technique. This control technique results in a three fold improvement in RMS wavefront error over the individual controllers correcting from a biased mirror position. Second order discrete time notch filters are also used to remove induced low frequency actuator and sensor noise at 0.8 Hz, 2 Hz and 5 Hz. Additionally a 2 Hz structural disturbance is simulated on a Micromachined Membrane Deformable Mirror and removed using discrete time notch filters combined with a modal iterative closed loop feedback controller, showing a 36 fold improvement in RMS wavefront error over the iterative closed loop feedback alone.
  • Publication
    (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2021-06) Hain, Fritz W.; Monaco, John; Hale, Britta; Computer Science (CS)
    Chinese digital censorship is both wide-reaching and harmful to U.S. interests. It prevents the free flow of information and stifles criticism of governance, social movements, and the spread of democratic values. Cryptography has long been a proven solution to secure data in transit, but it has one significant flaw: it is not covert, and thus is easily detectable. We propose an adaptive steganographic model that is both covert and secure and can be implemented with existing messaging platforms. We utilize machine learning to create an adaptive model that modifies a steganographic algorithm, making steganalysis more difficult. We demonstrate the feasibility of ratcheting and otherwise modifying our steganographic model to generate a new solution by reinitializing the final layers of the encoder and decoder models, creating at least 100 unique models with low cross-decoding compatibility (high decoding bit-error). We show the potential for a tiling method of steganographic encoding that exponentially increases encoding capacity but likely carries a higher risk of detection via steganalysis. We show that in the stego-images examined, the induced changes to the images are concentrated at the edges. We demonstrate a significant vulnerability to a novel form of statistical steganalysis in (ML) steganography based on the distribution of bit-errors. Finally, we discuss the necessary steps and key challenges to implementing our model with an existing messaging platform.
  • Publication
    Linear optimization of frequency spectrum assignments across systems
    (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, 2016-03) Fischbach, Steven J.; Hyink, Jeffrey; McLemore, Connor; Operations Research; Operations Research; Carlyle, W. Matthew
    Development and acquisition of naval communication, data, and radar systems for ships is an almost entirely modular process. For this reason, virtually all existing systems have separate controllers, antennas, and transmitters. However, future systems could use existing planar antennas that operate across a range of frequencies and create a variety of complex waveforms, eliminating the need to develop separate antennas and transmitters. Additionally, frequency use plans are expensive in terms of time and effort to develop and change. The Integrated Topside (InTop) joint Navy industry open architecture study published in 2010 described the need for an integrated sensor and communication system that is modular, scalable, and capable of performing multiple functions. Such a system requires a scheduling and frequency deconfliction tool that is capable of representing the current antenna configuration and matches those capabilities with requests for frequency space and time. This thesis describes SPECTRA, an integer linear program that can prioritize and optimize the scheduling of available antennas to deconflict time, frequencies, systems and capabilities. It can be uniquely tailored to any platform including naval warships, aircraft, and ground sites.
  • Publication
    (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2022-06) Clark, Sarah R.; Nieto-Gomez, Rodrigo; National Security Affairs (NSA); Halladay, Carolyn C.
    In the transition from crewed to uncrewed aircraft, naval aviation has focused on the technical instead of the human aspects of the change. The transition challenges the traditional pilot identity, based on sitting in a cockpit and physically operating an aircraft, because pilots of uncrewed aircraft control them remotely or manage the battlefield rather than the cockpit. This thesis uses identity theory and social identity theory to analyze similar cultural factors in the Navy’s transition from sail-to-steam power in the 1800s to identify how and why some line officers resisted and rejected steam technology, inhibiting the transition. In this case study, naval leadership encouraged resistance through orders mandating sail over steam power and failed to direct the needed change in line officer identity when engineers took away propulsion control and replaced the symbols associated with the line officer identity. To avoid repeating this failure, the Navy must oversee the pilot identity transition in order to leverage the full potential of both technology and humans. Instead of creating division, naval leaders should emphasize unity by creating an inclusive pilot identity, using terms that do not focus on human occupants when referring to aircraft categories, and creating viable career paths for all.
  • Publication
    Modeling cognitive and tactical aspects in hunter-killer missions
    (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2006-12) Berman, Ohad; Kress, Moshe; Lin, Kyle Y.; Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.); Operations Research; Jacobs, Patricia A.
    In this thesis, we present a Markov-based probability model for a human operated system of aerial hunter-killers attacking time-sensitive targets. We explore the effect of two resources -- time and supply of munitions -- and some cognitive aspects of the human operator on the performance of the system in different operational scenarios. We model the combat mission as a sequence of engagements; each of which includes a classification process, followed by a firing decision, and a shooting process. The model of the classification process addresses possible effects of stress on the operator's behavior and performance. Two shooting tactics are considered. The random shooting tactic, which is memory-less and with no fire control, BDA capability or mission support systems, sets a benchmark for more effective shoot-look-shoot tactic, where resources are utilized more efficiently. The model represents various tactical parameters regarding rules of engagement and various mixes of resources. Applying the model on some real-world scenarios, we identify mixes of resources and tactical engagement rules that enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the combat mission.