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Air Force Institute of Technology

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Articles 1 - 30 of 2013

Full-Text Articles in Engineering

Machine Learning Modeling Of Horizontal Photovoltaics Using Weather And Location Data, Christil Pasion, Torrey J. Wagner, Clay Koschnick, Steven J. Schuldt, Jada B. Williams, Kevin Hallinan May 2020

Machine Learning Modeling Of Horizontal Photovoltaics Using Weather And Location Data, Christil Pasion, Torrey J. Wagner, Clay Koschnick, Steven J. Schuldt, Jada B. Williams, Kevin Hallinan

Faculty Publications

Solar energy is a key renewable energy source; however, its intermittent nature and potential for use in distributed systems make power prediction an important aspect of grid integration. This research analyzed a variety of machine learning techniques to predict power output for horizontal solar panels using 14 months of data collected from 12 northern-hemisphere locations. We performed our data collection and analysis in the absence of irradiation data—an approach not commonly found in prior literature. Using latitude, month, hour, ambient temperature, pressure, humidity, wind speed, and cloud ceiling as independent variables, a distributed random forest regression algorithm modeled the ...


Learning Set Representations For Lwir In-Scene Atmospheric Compensation, Nicholas M. Westing, Kevin C. Gross, Brett J. Borghetti, Jacob A. Martin, Joseph Meola Apr 2020

Learning Set Representations For Lwir In-Scene Atmospheric Compensation, Nicholas M. Westing, Kevin C. Gross, Brett J. Borghetti, Jacob A. Martin, Joseph Meola

Faculty Publications

Atmospheric compensation of long-wave infrared (LWIR) hyperspectral imagery is investigated in this article using set representations learned by a neural network. This approach relies on synthetic at-sensor radiance data derived from collected radiosondes and a diverse database of measured emissivity spectra sampled at a range of surface temperatures. The network loss function relies on LWIR radiative transfer equations to update model parameters. Atmospheric predictions are made on a set of diverse pixels extracted from the scene, without knowledge of blackbody pixels or pixel temperatures. The network architecture utilizes permutation-invariant layers to predict a set representation, similar to the work performed ...


The Viability And Simplicity Of 3d-Printed Construction: A Military Case Study, Jeneé Jagoda, Brandy Diggs-Mcgee, Megan Kreiger, Steven J. Schuldt Apr 2020

The Viability And Simplicity Of 3d-Printed Construction: A Military Case Study, Jeneé Jagoda, Brandy Diggs-Mcgee, Megan Kreiger, Steven J. Schuldt

Faculty Publications

In November 2019, U.S. Marines, Air Force, and Army Corps of Engineers personnel demonstrated the viability and simplicity of three-dimensionally (3D)-printed construction in a controlled environment at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center—Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Illinois. The tri-service exercise spanned three days and culminated in the construction of three 1 m × 1 m × 1 m (3 ft × 3 ft × 3 ft) concrete dragon’s teeth (square pyramid military fortifications used to defend against tanks and armored vehicles) and several custom-designed objects. The structural components were printed using a custom-built, gantry-style printer ...


Applying Control Abstraction To The Design Of Human–Agent Teams, Clifford D. Johnson, Michael E. Miller, Christina F. Rusnock, David R. Jacques Apr 2020

Applying Control Abstraction To The Design Of Human–Agent Teams, Clifford D. Johnson, Michael E. Miller, Christina F. Rusnock, David R. Jacques

Faculty Publications

Levels of Automation (LOA) provide a method for describing authority granted to automated system elements to make individual decisions. However, these levels are technology-centric and provide little insight into overall system operation. The current research discusses an alternate classification scheme, referred to as the Level of Human Control Abstraction (LHCA). LHCA is an operator-centric framework that classifies a system’s state based on the required operator inputs. The framework consists of five levels, each requiring less granularity of human control: Direct, Augmented, Parametric, Goal-Oriented, and Mission-Capable. An analysis was conducted of several existing systems. This analysis illustrates the presence of ...


Single-Pulse, Kerr-Effect Mueller Matrix Lidar Polarimeter, Keyser, Christian K., Richard K. Martin, Helena Lopez-Aviles, Khanh Nguyen, Arielle M. Adams, Demetrios Christodoulides Apr 2020

Single-Pulse, Kerr-Effect Mueller Matrix Lidar Polarimeter, Keyser, Christian K., Richard K. Martin, Helena Lopez-Aviles, Khanh Nguyen, Arielle M. Adams, Demetrios Christodoulides

Faculty Publications

We present a novel light detection and ranging (LiDAR) polarimeter that enables measurement of 12 of 16 sample Mueller matrix elements in a single, 10 ns pulse. The new polarization state generator (PSG) leverages Kerr phase modulation in a birefringent optical fiber, creating a probe pulse characterized by temporally varying polarization. Theoretical expressions for the Polarization State Generator (PSG) Stokes vector are derived for birefringent walk-off and no walk-off and incorporated into a time-dependent polarimeter signal model employing multiple polarization state analyzers (PSA). Polarimeter modeling compares the Kerr effect and electro-optic phase modulator–based PSG using a single Polarization State ...


Multivariate Analysis Of Human Performance Strong Lab Data, Kayla N. Tinucci Mar 2020

Multivariate Analysis Of Human Performance Strong Lab Data, Kayla N. Tinucci

Theses and Dissertations

This study uses multivariate analysis methods to find relationships between nutrition and wellness and nutrition and performance. The nutrition, daily wellness, and weight and bodyfat data are from a study performed by the STRONG lab in the 711th Human Performance Wing. Electronically collected nutrition data along with survey data for 19 individuals over a 12-week study period are examined with a focus on health, fitness, and nutrition. Factor analysis and linear regression are performed and inferences are drawn regarding what effects calories and macronutrient intake have on subjects perceived wellness, weight, and body fat percentage. These insights are discussed in ...


Investigation Of Ultem 9085 For Use In Printed Orbital Structures, William R. Gallagher Mar 2020

Investigation Of Ultem 9085 For Use In Printed Orbital Structures, William R. Gallagher

Theses and Dissertations

Additive manufacturing is revolutionizing industries ranging from medicine to space. However, the structural characteristics of plastic parts created by these methods are not as well understood as their more established counterparts. This research explored two relevant areas: how the structural characteristics of ULTEM 9085 plastic behaved after exposure to orbital conditions and the design of the cross-sectional area of a beam to be 3-D printed in microgravity based on the expected loads from the printer. To study orbital effects, ULTEM 9085 was printed into 1/4th scale ASTM D638- 14 dogbones using a Stratasys 450mc printer. These dogbones were placed ...


Extracting Range Data From Images Using Focus Error, Erik M. Madden Mar 2020

Extracting Range Data From Images Using Focus Error, Erik M. Madden

Theses and Dissertations

Air-to-air refueling (AAR) has become a staple when performing long missions with aircraft. With modern technology, however, people have begun to research how to perform this task autonomously. Automated air-to-air refueling (A3R) is this exact concept. Combining many different systems, the idea is to allow computers on the aircraft to link up via the refueling boom, refuel, and detach before resuming pilot control. This document lays out one of the systems that is needed to perform A3R, namely, the system that extracts range data. While stereo cameras perform such tasks, there is interest in finding other ways of accomplishing the ...


Timely Near-Optimal Path Generation For An Unmanned Aerial System In A Highly Constrained Environment, Kyle J. Matissek Mar 2020

Timely Near-Optimal Path Generation For An Unmanned Aerial System In A Highly Constrained Environment, Kyle J. Matissek

Theses and Dissertations

A current challenge in path planning is the ability to efficiently calculate a near-optimum path solution through a highly-constrained environment in near-real time. In addition, computing performance on a small unmanned aerial vehicle is typically limited due to size and weight restrictions. The proposed method determines a solution quickly by first mapping a highly constrained three-dimensional environment to a two-dimensional weighted node surface in which the weighting accounts for both the terrain gradient and the vehicle's performance. The 2D surface is then discretized into triangles which are sized based upon the vehicle maneuverability and terrain gradient. The shortest feasible ...


Modeling Nonlinear Heat Transfer For A Pin-On-Disc Sliding System, Brian A. Boardman Mar 2020

Modeling Nonlinear Heat Transfer For A Pin-On-Disc Sliding System, Brian A. Boardman

Theses and Dissertations

The objective of this research is to develop a numerical method to characterize heat transfer and wear rates for samples of Vascomax® 300, or Maraging 300, steel. A pin-on-disc experiment was conducted in which samples were exposed to a high-pressure, high-speed, sliding contact environment. This sliding contact generates frictional heating that influences the temperature distribution and wear characteristics of the test samples. A two-dimensional nonlinear heat transfer equation is discretized and solved via a second-order explicit finite difference scheme to predict the transient temperature distribution of the pin. This schematic is used to predict the removal of material from the ...


Comparison Of Visual Simultaneous Localization And Mapping Methods For Fixed-Wing Aircraft Using Slambench2, Patrick R. Latcham Mar 2020

Comparison Of Visual Simultaneous Localization And Mapping Methods For Fixed-Wing Aircraft Using Slambench2, Patrick R. Latcham

Theses and Dissertations

Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (VSLAM) algorithms have evolved rapidly in the last few years, however there has been little research evaluating current algorithm's effectiveness and limitations when applied to tracking the position of a fixed-wing aerial vehicle. This research looks to evaluate current monocular VSLAM algorithms' performance on aerial vehicle datasets using the SLAMBench2 benchmarking suite. The algorithms tested are MonoSLAM, PTAM, OKVIS, LSDSLAM, ORB-SLAM2, and SVO, all of which are built into the SLAMBench2 software. The algorithms' performance is evaluated using simulated datasets generated in the AftrBurner Engine. The datasets were designed to test the quality of ...


Relational Database Design And Multi-Objective Database Queries For Position Navigation And Timing Data, Sean A. Mochocki Mar 2020

Relational Database Design And Multi-Objective Database Queries For Position Navigation And Timing Data, Sean A. Mochocki

Theses and Dissertations

Performing flight tests is a natural part of researching cutting edge sensors and filters for sensor integration. Unfortunately, tests are expensive, and typically take many months of planning. A sensible goal would be to make previously collected data readily available to researchers for future development. The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) has hundreds of data logs potentially available to aid in facilitating further research in the area of navigation. A database would provide a common location where older and newer data sets are available. Such a database must be able to store the sensor data, metadata about the sensors ...


Sortie-Based Aircraft Component Demand Rate To Predict Requirements, Thomas R. O'Neal Mar 2020

Sortie-Based Aircraft Component Demand Rate To Predict Requirements, Thomas R. O'Neal

Theses and Dissertations

Weapon System Sustainment (WSS) costs are growing at an increasing rate despite the vast efforts to reduce them. Researchers have attributed much of the cost increase to inaccurate demand forecasts for weapon system spare parts. In 2011, the forecast to sustain all United States Air Force (USAF) aircraft was 19% accurate and WSS costs per year have continuously increased. The purpose of this study is to explore a parsimonious change to aircraft component forecasting to reduce costly forecast error. This study substitutes flying hours with sorties for the purpose of demand forecasting. Many F-16 and B-52 spare parts are evaluated ...


Using A Field Mill Climatology To Assess All Lightning Launch Commit Criteria, Shane C. Gardner Mar 2020

Using A Field Mill Climatology To Assess All Lightning Launch Commit Criteria, Shane C. Gardner

Theses and Dissertations

Due to the danger and cost of lightning striking a space vehicle, the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) balances between the mission of launching and cessation thereof to minimize the risk of a lightning strike. This process is mediated through a set of rules called the Lightning Launch Commit Criteria (LLCC). To date, no empirical modeling of these rules has been established. To alleviate this shortcoming, this thesis uses the voltage readings of the surrounding CCAFS surface field mills to establish the viability of modeling the entirety of the LLCC rules statistically. Converting approximately 312,000,000 field mill ...


Dynamic Micromechanical Fabry-Perot Cavity Sensors Fabricated By Multiphoton Absorption Onto Optical Fiber Tips, Jeremiah C. Williams Mar 2020

Dynamic Micromechanical Fabry-Perot Cavity Sensors Fabricated By Multiphoton Absorption Onto Optical Fiber Tips, Jeremiah C. Williams

Theses and Dissertations

This research leveraged two-photon polymerization microfabrication to integrate dynamic mechanical components with Fabry-Perot resonators onto the ends of low-loss optical fibers to prototype 3 micro-optic devices. The first device featured a multi-positional mirror that enabled thin-film deposition onto cavities of any length with mirrors of significant curvature, for refractive index sensing. The second device combined an FP cavity with a spring body featuring easily scalable stiffness for pressure sensing. The third device presented a high-speed rotating micro-anemometer for measuring a wide range of gas flows. All devices represent a significant reduction in size and weight over commercially available devices.


Characterization And Sensitivity Analysis Of 6 Meter Cassegrain Antenna, James L. Harris Mar 2020

Characterization And Sensitivity Analysis Of 6 Meter Cassegrain Antenna, James L. Harris

Theses and Dissertations

This paper will characterize a 6 meter in diameter cassegrain antenna. The cassegrain antenna is a special form of a dual reflector antenna which uses a main reflector following a parabolic curve and a sub reflector which follows a hyperbolic curve. Cassegrain style antennas have multiple parameters which can be tuned to achieve specific design goals. Performing a sensitivity analysis will establish relationships between design parameters, directivity, side lobe levels, and effects of strut geometry. The initial design parameters will be assumed based on typical values. Results from the sensitivity analysis will be used to provide a performance band for ...


Near Real-Time Zigbee Device Discrimination Using Cb-Dna Features, Yousuke Z. Matsui Mar 2020

Near Real-Time Zigbee Device Discrimination Using Cb-Dna Features, Yousuke Z. Matsui

Theses and Dissertations

Currently, Low-Rate Wireless Personal Area Networks (LR-WPAN) based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.15.4 standard are at risk due to open-source tools which allow bad actors to exploit unauthorized network access through various cyberattacks by falsifying bit-level credentials. This research investigates implementing a Radio Frequency (RF) air monitor to perform Near RealTime (NRT) discrimination of Zigbee devices using the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. The air monitor employed a Multiple Discriminant Analysis/Euclidean Distance classifier to discriminate Zigbee devices based upon Constellation-Based Distinct Native Attribute (CB-DNA) fingerprints. Through the use of CB-DNA fingerprints, Physical ...


Flight Characteristic Verification Of The Variable Camber Compliant Wing, Sharee B. Acosta Mar 2020

Flight Characteristic Verification Of The Variable Camber Compliant Wing, Sharee B. Acosta

Theses and Dissertations

Morphing wing technology gives aircraft the ability to change wing shape to control the aircraft and flight performance characteristics. AFIT, AFRL and USU Aero Lab have collaborated to design and test a variable camber compliant wing (VCCW) on a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Flight tests demonstrated the wing performance and provided data to refine a VCCW flight simulator. Work was completed with the USU AeroLab-generated MachUp and the actual flight data to improve the simulator to provide results close to those of the actual flight test. The research provides a tool to reduce time and cost for future flight ...


Object Detection With Deep Learning To Accelerate Pose Estimation For Automated Aerial Refueling, Andrew T. Lee Mar 2020

Object Detection With Deep Learning To Accelerate Pose Estimation For Automated Aerial Refueling, Andrew T. Lee

Theses and Dissertations

Remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) cannot currently refuel during flight because the latency between the pilot and the aircraft is too great to safely perform aerial refueling maneuvers. However, an AAR system removes this limitation by allowing the tanker to directly control the RP A. The tanker quickly finding the relative position and orientation (pose) of the approaching aircraft is the first step to create an AAR system. Previous work at AFIT demonstrates that stereo camera systems provide robust pose estimation capability. This thesis first extends that work by examining the effects of the cameras' resolution on the quality of pose ...


Use Of Lidar In Automated Aerial Refueling To Improve Stereo Vision Systems, Michael R. Crowl Mar 2020

Use Of Lidar In Automated Aerial Refueling To Improve Stereo Vision Systems, Michael R. Crowl

Theses and Dissertations

The United States Air Force (USAF) executes five Core Missions, four of which depend on increased aircraft range. To better achieve global strike and reconnaissance, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) require aerial refueling for extended missions. However, current aerial refueling capabilities are limited to manned aircraft due to technical difficulties to refuel UAVs mid-flight. The latency between a UAV operator and the UAV is too large to adequately respond for such an operation. To overcome this limitation, the USAF wants to create a capability to guide the refueling boom into the refueling receptacle. This research explores the use of light detection ...


Focused Beam System Biaxial Material Characterization, Nicholas A. O'Gorman Mar 2020

Focused Beam System Biaxial Material Characterization, Nicholas A. O'Gorman

Theses and Dissertations

Electromagnetic material characterization is the process of determining the constitutive parameters (complex permittivity and permeability) of given a sample. Due to the large number of unknowns involved, multiple unique measurements are required for material property extraction. Many measurement methods, such as waveguides and striplines, possess a rigid internal structure that the sample being measured must adhere to. This rigidity limits these methods to samples that fit within the device and inhibits oblique sample orientations, limiting the number of independent measurements that can be obtained. A focus beam system, due to being an open system with greater freedom in sample size ...


A Comparative Evaluation Of The Detection And Tracking Capability Between Novel Event-Based And Conventional Frame-Based Sensors, James P. Boettiger Mar 2020

A Comparative Evaluation Of The Detection And Tracking Capability Between Novel Event-Based And Conventional Frame-Based Sensors, James P. Boettiger

Theses and Dissertations

Traditional frame-based technology continues to suffer from motion blur, low dynamic range, speed limitations and high data storage requirements. Event-based sensors offer a potential solution to these challenges. This research centers around a comparative assessment of frame and event-based object detection and tracking. A basic frame-based algorithm is used to compare against two different event-based algorithms. First event-based pseudo-frames were parsed through standard frame-based algorithms and secondly, target tracks were constructed directly from filtered events. The findings show there is significant value in pursuing the technology further.


One-Dimensional Multi-Frame Blind Deconvolution Using Astronomical Data For Spatially Separable Objects, Marc R. Brown Mar 2020

One-Dimensional Multi-Frame Blind Deconvolution Using Astronomical Data For Spatially Separable Objects, Marc R. Brown

Theses and Dissertations

Blind deconvolution is used to complete missions to detect adversary assets in space and to defend the nation's assets. A new algorithm was developed to perform blind deconvolution for objects that are spatially separable using multiple frames of data. This new one-dimensional approach uses the expectation-maximization algorithm to blindly deconvolve spatially separable objects. This object separation reduces the size of the object matrix from an NxN matrix to two singular vectors of length N. With limited knowledge of the object and point spread function the one-dimensional algorithm successfully deconvolved the objects in both simulated and laboratory data.


Signal Quality Monitoring Of Gnss Signals Using A Chip Shape Deformation Metric, Nicholas C. Echeverry Mar 2020

Signal Quality Monitoring Of Gnss Signals Using A Chip Shape Deformation Metric, Nicholas C. Echeverry

Theses and Dissertations

The Global Navigation Satellite System continues to become deeply em-bedded within modern civilization, and is depended on for confident, accurate navigation information. High precision position and timing accuracy is typically achieved using differential processing, however these systems provide limited compensation for distortions caused by multi-path or faulty satellite hardware. Signal Quality Monitoring (SQM) aims to provide confidence in a receivers Position, Navigation, and Timing solution and to offer timely warnings in the event that signal conditions degrade to unsafe levels. The methods presented in this document focus on implementing effective SQM using low-cost Commercial Off-the-Shelf equipment, a Software Defined Radio ...


Developing A Serious Game To Explore Joint All Domain Command And Control, Nathaniel W. Flack Mar 2020

Developing A Serious Game To Explore Joint All Domain Command And Control, Nathaniel W. Flack

Theses and Dissertations

Changes in the geopolitical landscape and increasing technological complexity have prompted the U.S. Military to coin Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) and Joint All-Domain Command and Control as terms to describe an over-arching strategy that frames the complexity of warfare across both traditional and emerging warfighting domains. Teaching new and advanced concepts associated with these terms requires both innovation as well as distinct education and training tools in order to realize the cultural change advocated by senior military leaders. BSN, a Collectible Card Game, was developed to teach concepts integral to MDO and initiate discussion on military strategy.


Multi-Channel Security Through Data Fragmentation, Micah J. Hayden Mar 2020

Multi-Channel Security Through Data Fragmentation, Micah J. Hayden

Theses and Dissertations

This thesis presents a novel security system developed for a multi-channel communication architecture, which achieves security by distributing the message and its associated message authentication code across the available channels at the bit level, to support systems that require protection from confidentiality and integrity attacks without relying solely on traditional encryption. One contribution of the work is to establish some helpful terminology, present a basic theory for multi-channel communications, describe the services provided by an optimal system, and then implement a proof of concept system to demonstrate the concept's validity. This proof of concept, focused on the splitting and ...


Mismatched Filter Effects On Synthetic Aperture Radar Image Quality Metrics, Jerrod M. Kempf Mar 2020

Mismatched Filter Effects On Synthetic Aperture Radar Image Quality Metrics, Jerrod M. Kempf

Theses and Dissertations

Detection of targets across a wide dynamic range is an enduring challenge in radar. This work formulates a modified least-squares mismatched filter that greatly reduces these sidelobes in order to enable the detection of small radar cross section targets in the presence of considerably larger scatterers, increasing the dynamic range. Unlike previous mismatched filters, the proposed filter is applicable to noisy, oversampled signals with no requirements on signal structure. Range profiles and images are presented to demonstrate the superior sidelobe suppression of the modified least-squares mismatched filter in comparison to the commonly employed matched filter. Various weighting vectors are introduced ...


Wideband Metasurface Antenna, Thomas A. Lepley Mar 2020

Wideband Metasurface Antenna, Thomas A. Lepley

Theses and Dissertations

This effort explored design of metasurface antennas and evaluated their suitability for ultra-wideband applications (2 to 18 GHz). Six unit cell types were characterized. Eigenmode simulations produced frequency vs. phase data for the unit cells, from which impedance vs. gap size data was computed. A holographic design equation was used to generate the metasurface antenna designs. The unit cell simulations revealed that the assumption of single mode operation is a constraint for wideband designs. An 8" by 8" metasurface antenna with a Rogers 3010 dielectric and a design frequency of 10 GHz was fabricated and tested. It had a 1 ...


Sliver: Simulation-Based Logic Bomb Identification/Verification For Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Jake M. Magness Mar 2020

Sliver: Simulation-Based Logic Bomb Identification/Verification For Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Jake M. Magness

Theses and Dissertations

This research introduces SLIVer, a Simulation-based Logic Bomb Identification/Verification methodology, for finding logic bombs hidden within Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) autopilot code without having access to the device source code. Effectiveness is demonstrated by executing a series of test missions within a high-fidelity software-in-the-loop (SITL) simulator. In the event that a logic bomb is not detected, this methodology defines safe operating areas for UAVs to ensure to a high degree of confidence the UAV operates normally on the defined flight plan. SLIVer uses preplanned flight paths as the baseline input space, greatly reducing the input space that must be ...


Characterization Of Reactive Ion Etch Chemistries Using Direct Write Lithography, Dylan T. Martin-Abood Mar 2020

Characterization Of Reactive Ion Etch Chemistries Using Direct Write Lithography, Dylan T. Martin-Abood

Theses and Dissertations

The DoD requires a variety of COTS and number of custom microelectronics to provide important functionality to critical military systems. Photolithography and DRIE are two techniques commonly used in the development of deep anisotropic features for the fabrication and modification of microelectronics and MEMS. However, standard photolithography techniques are ineffective for unique substrate geometries and DRIE processes require a chemical passivation step only applicable to Si substrates. This work confirmed the capability of RIE using DWL to perform deep, highly selective, anisotropic etching on elevated, non-circular substrates.