Toward a Framework for Systematically Categorizing Future UAS Threat Space
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The development of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is occurring as fast or faster than any other innovation throughout the course of human history. Building an effective means of defending against threats posed by malicious applications of novel technology is imperative in the current global landscape. Gone are the days where the enemy and the threat it poses are well defined and understood. Defensive technologies have to be modular and able to adapt to a threat technology space which is likely to recycle several times over during the course of a single defense system acquisition cycle. This manuscript wrestles with understanding the unique threat posed by UAVs and related technologies. A thorough taxonomy of the problem is given including projections for how the defining characteristics of the problem are likely to change and grow in the near future. Next, a discussion of the importance of tactics related to the problem of a rapidly changing threat space is provided. A discussion of case studies related to lessons learned from military acquisition programs and pivotal technological innovations in the course of history are given. Multiple measures of success are proposed which are designed to allow for meaningful comparisons and honest evaluations of capabilities. These measures are designed to facilitate discussions by providing a common, and comprehensible language that accounts for the vast complexity of the problem space without getting bogged down by the details. Lastly, predictions for the future threat space comprising UAVs is given. The contributions of this work are thus threefold. Firstly, an analytic framework is presented including a detailed parameterization of the problem as well as various solution techniques borrowed from a variety of fields. Secondly, measures of success are presented which attempt to compare the effectiveness of various systems by converting to expected values in terms of effective range, or extending the popular concept of kill chain and collapsing effectiveness into units of time. A novel technique for measuring effectiveness is presented whereby effectiveness is composed of various individual probabilities. Probabilities and associated distributions can be combined according to the rules of joint probabilities and distributions and allows performance against a probabilistic threat to be measured succinctly and effectively. The third contribution concerns predictions made with respect to the UAS threat space in the future. These predictions are designed to allow for defensive systems to be developed with a high expected effectiveness against current and future threats. Essentially this work comprises a first attempt toward developing a complete framework related to engagement and mission level modeling of a generic defensive system (or combination of systems) in the face of current and future threats presented by UAS.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Literature review -- War gaming -- Measures of success -- Conclusions
Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)