Trust and Security of Embedded Smart Devices in Advanced Logistics Systems; Sociotechnical Influences On and From Cutting-Edge Military Technologies

VanYe, Christopher, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Lambert, James, EN-Eng Sys and Environment, University of Virginia
Ferguson, Sean, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

Hypersonics is one of many different up-and-coming, complex technologies being developed across the world. Due to its intricate nature, being able to understand this system, from how to best protect its technical development to its social influences, will help control the changes this system will have to the international battlespace and the world in general.
The technical portion of my capstone is an analysis of the numerous risks to two different systems’ development and deployment in an effort to maintain the systems’ technical capabilities. These two technologies are bidirectional charging grids for electric vehicles and hypersonic glide bodies for the United States Navy, with a third analysis on logistic systems as a whole. In the United States, the ever-increasing presence of electric vehicles means the risks to future large scale bidirectional grids must be understood before they are put in place. Malware attacks through these systems could disrupt or destroy large scale power girds if safe guards and advance cybersecurity methods are not put in place. The point of our analysis is to discover that best initiatives to prevent these possible future attacks. Shifting to hypersonics, the United States has many development programs for hypersonic weapons that have adopted a rapid acquisition methodology. The accelerated development process opens the system’s development to increased threat of cyberattacks. Our analysis is focused on understanding not only these risks to the system due to this rapid acquisition cycle, but to the system as a whole. As hypersonics move toward deployment, this analysis can help preempt future cyberattacks and prevent the technology falling into strategic obsolescence. Our third analysis on embedded devices in logistic systems focused on understanding the numerous risks to the general field of logistic systems. This overarching analysis allows for easily generalizable results for any similar system.
Over the past year, our analysis of these three areas pointed to specific areas of noteworthy risks and the types of initiatives that could be invested in to prevent them. The developed team dynamic was one of the most unique I have worked with, having to basically split the team in half to cover the analysis of the two extremely different technologies. Though successful, it was certainly a powerful lesson in teammate trust and work allocation. Although I am confident in our results, as they were based in our deep research into these areas, future iterations of this analysis done directly by field professions could bring these results to an even further level of confidence.
I want to thank my team, especially Beatrice Li, as my brilliant teammate on the hypersonics portion of the analysis, and Andrew Koch, who knew I could always trust to lead the charge for the bidirectional charging analysis. I also want to thank David Barnes, our hypersonics contact. Without his help giving us a heading in our research, it would have taken far longer to gain our detailed insight into such a unique technology.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Hypersonics, Bidirectional Charging, Risk Analysis, Actor Network Theory, Embedded Logistic Systems

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering

Technical Advisor: James Lambert

STS Advisor: Sean Ferguson

Technical Team Members: Beatrice Li, Andrew Koch, Mai Luu, Rahman Adekunle

All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Issued Date: