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Thesis Opportunities

Thesis Opportunities

Does your DoD Organization have a potential graduate thesis topic to research?

CRUSER has funds for student travel to support thesis research and attend experiments in CRUSER related topics. Please contact us at cruser@nps.edu if your DoD organization has a potential graduate-level thesis research topic.

Hydrodynamics of a Moving Submerged Body

Contact:Mr Tom O'Malley Date:Aug 2013 Organization:CSDS-12
Abstract:

I have an interesting problem/challenge pertaining to hydrodynamics of a moving submerged body, probably best suited for someone well versed in hydrodynamics.

Search Rate Analysis

Contact:Mr Tom O'Malley Curriculum:OR/Modeling/Simulation Date:Aug 2013 Organization:CSDS-12
Abstract:

An analysis type problem to estimate the impact of substantially changing an assumed search rate (and perhaps the feasibility of assuming that change).  Well suited to OR types or general modeling/simulation gurus.

Torpedo Simulating UUV

Contact:Mr Tom O'Malley Date:Aug 2013 Organization:CSDS-12
Abstract:

Building on the "torpedo simulating UUV" idea you already have, I have some classified amplifications and discussions with interested students will be at a classified level.

An inexpensive vehicle that could simulate a real torpedo

Contact:Mr Tom O'Malley Date:Aug 2013 Organization:CSDS-12
Abstract:

An inexpensive vehicle that could simulate a real torpedo (or even behave as one) could be useful in certain training and even tactical situations.  How might we leverage technologies that are becoming widely available to accomplish this?  What is the relationship between capability and cost for such a vehicle when we aren't constrained by legacy process or requirements?  (what does cost curve look like if we wanted to choose between simply sounding like a real torpedo and having the vehicle behave like a real torpedo)  Are available technologies and equipment sufficient or is substantial investment required?  And how well would one work?

Submarine measure local weather

Contact:Mr Tom O'Malley Curriculum:ME / SE / EE Date:Aug 2013 Organization:CSDS-12
Abstract:

How might we improve the submarine's ability to consistently measure local weather and atmospheric conditions to better inform decisions requiring knowledge or assumptions about atmospheric effects that otherwise would be based on historical data or a broadly generalized model?  What sensors would be most useful and how might we package and deploy such devices economically?

FFG Bot

Contact:Richard K Chew Date:Nov 2013 Organization:OPNAV N2/N6F332.1
Abstract:

Study will investigate the feasibility, utility,  affordability, of converting decommissioned FFG platforms to enable unmanned or sparsely manned, long range, remote controlled, operations in support of distributed, networked EW, C&D and ISR missions.  Operational concepts should address TACSITs utilizing multiple remote controlled unmanned platforms configured with, non-kinetic EW systems and other non-conventional sensor/ transmitter technologies.

QR Digital Flashing Light

Contact:Dr. Don Brutzman Date:Nov 2013 Organization:NPS - MOVES
Abstract:

Visual signalling provides a covert unjammable signal path using everyday technologies.  Extensive prior CRUSER thesis research is showing that this capability needs to be rapidly deployed to the Fleet and near-shore forces for use in numerous tactical scenarios.

Rapid Control Prototyping Based on Integration of Quadrotor/VICON/MatLab Platforms

Contact:Dr. Vlad Dobrokhodov Curriculum:ME, EE, SE, & OR Date:2013 Organization:NPS - MAE
Abstract:

The flexibility and controllability of quadrotor helicopters have made them a recent focus of interest among robotics and artificial intelligence research groups. Their popularity has led to a wide range of commercially available platforms, some at prices accessible for research and development use. This project aims in utilizing the quadrotor helicopter platform (ARDrone and other custom built) as a basis for use in research and education in the areas such as control, guidance, navigation, general field of robotics, computer vision, artificial intelligence and many others. As an example, our current integration efforts encountered both successes and frustrations in using the ARDrone. The proposed efforts aim in extending the available capabilities by complementing the advanced features of VICON motion capture system, a custom built quadrotor instrumented with a modern onboard CPU, and advanced capabilities of MatLab/Simulink computational environment.

Integration of UAS in NAS: Analysis of Loss of Link Factors

Contact:Dr. Vlad Dobrokhodov Curriculum:ME, EE, SE, & OR Date:Nov 2013 Organization:NPS - MAE
Abstract:

Nowadays National Airspace System (NAS) provides one of the safest means of air transportation. However, maintaining the safety in NAS is still a challenging task. The primary reasons for the complexity are twofold. On the one hand, the density and sophistication of ever increasing “manned” air traffic requires significant changes in the air traffic control; NASA’s NextGen program [http://www.faa.gov/nextgen/ ] has been established to address this task. On the other hand, the steady growth of Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) demands its own live space from the same NAS volume. The safety of UAVs operation depends significantly on Situational Awareness (SA) provided on the ground by the onboard instrumentation and communication links. Regardless of the situation (environment and circumstances) a failure in providing SA can result in an unacceptable and unrecoverable mid air collision collision. Since a loss of link (both command and control, and utility links) is the primary contributing factor in the effectiveness of SA, the loss of link can be defined as a failure of communicating critical information among the airborne vehicles and the corresponding Ground Control Stations (GCS). Analysis of loss of link conditions and the development of means of preventing it is one of the primary milestones in the design of a collision free assurance mechanism.

Agent-based Simulation of an Adversarial Swarm of UAVs

Contact:Dr Timothy Chung Date:Nov 2013 Organization:NPS - SE
Abstract:

This thesis will explore different enemy UAV swarm tactics against a given Blue defense using agent-based simulation. Existing models for scenarios will be leveraged to examine the effectiveness of Blue strategies in defense against the different simulated threat profiles.

Tracking of a Ground Fixed Well Focused Communication Beam from a Small UAV

Contact:Dr. Vlad Dobrokhodov Date:Nov 2013 Organization:NPS - MAE
Abstract:

Proposed effort will result in a prototype system capable of validating high level operational concepts and low level control strategies of high bandwidth communication with an airborne platform.

Extending Endurance of Autonomous Glider Utilizing Solar Power and Thermal Soaring

Contact:Dr. Vlad Dobrokhodov Date:Nov 2013 Organization:NPS - MAE
Abstract:

Proposed effort will result in an experimental environment for the development and flight validation of the solar and thermal energy driven control that facilitates extended flight endurance of a typical unmanned glider.

From the Keel Up: Designed for Unmanned Systems

Contact:Pete Wolt Curriculum:Multiple disciplines will be required Date:Nov 2013 Organization:UxS CFT TPT IPT
Abstract:

It is expected that this study will provide information to aid the Navy in developing a long term strategy for UxS employment. Assumptions and unknowns should be captured and a comprehensive list of required technological advances should be composed.

Programming the Laws of War

Contact:Dr. George Lucas Curriculum:CS, SE, IS, ME, EE, HSI Date:Nov 2013 Organization:NPS - GSBPP
Abstract:

One principal obstacle or policy objection to the development of autonomous systems concerns their ability to function in compliance with applicable rules of engagement in armed conflict. This project tackles the problem of determining how to formalize ROE constraints as programmable algorithms sufficient to govern machine behavior in combat.

Unmanned Systems Sustainment: Process and Organization

Contact:Dr. Richard C. Millar Date:Nov 2013 Organization:NPS - SE
Abstract:

Identify and detail sustainment arrangements and organization for current and planned UxS programs.  Research program operational needs and derive sustainment requirements and metrics. Document the general UxS sustainment process and sustainment system organization and functional allocation variants.  Assess the performance outcomes for current programs; research and record lessons learned.  Derive heuristics and criteria to guide UxS acquisition and process improvements.

Unmanned Systems Sustainment Data Analysis

Contact:Dr. Richard C. Millar Date:Nov 2013 Organization:NPS - SE
Abstract:

Establish advanced methods for autonomous sustainment based on analysis of conjoined data on UxS operational usage, reliability, maintenance and logistics.

Operational and Cost Effectiveness

Contact:Dr. Richard C. Millar Date:Nov 2013 Organization:NPS - SE
Abstract:

Assess the relative operational and cost effectiveness of SoS of specialized UAS/manned platforms vs. multi-purpose UAS

Ground Communications

Contact:Dr. Richard C. Millar Date:Nov 2013 Organization:NPS - SE
Abstract:

Demonstrate establishment of ad hoc UAS based communications network for disaster relief and SAR

Robust Vessel Recognition

Contact:Katie Rainey Curriculum:EE, CS Date:Nov 2013 Organization:SSC Pacific
Abstract:

Specifically, given any overhead EO vessel image, the goal is to classify the vessel type (cargo carrier, LNG, etc), and if possible, to identify the vessel uniquely. Vessel recognition via satellite based EO imagery is challenging for a number of reasons, including variations in vessel rotation, translation, skew, and projection between multiple images of the same vessel. Varying ocean backgrounds and possible partial occlusions complicate robust recognition further.

Human Interaction with Unmanned Systems

Contact:Dr. Larry Shattuck, Dr. Nita Shattuck Date:Nov 2013 Organization:NPS - HSI
Abstract:

 

  • human aspects of unmanned systems
  • design of human – technological system interaction
  • collaboration between humans and technological systems
  • trust between humans and technological systems
  • communicating intent between humans and technological systems
  • Personnel characteristics of humans engaged in UAS  (how to identify, select and train)
  • Watch-standing and shift-work scheduling
  • etc

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