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Fit for Purpose: Toward an Engineering Basis for Data Exchange Standards

September 12, 2013 Comments off

Fit for Purpose: Toward an Engineering Basis for Data Exchange Standards
Source: MITRE

Data standards are a powerful, real-world tool for enterprise interoperability, yet there exists no rigorous methodology for selecting among alternative standards approaches. This paper is a first step toward creating a detailed engineering basis for choosing among standards approaches. We define a specific sub-problem within a community’s data sharing challenge, and focus on it in depth. We describe the major choices (kinds of standards) applied to that task, examining tradeoffs. We present characteristics of a data sharing community that one should consider in selecting a standards approach—such as relative power, motivation level, and technical sophistication of different participants—and illustrate with real-world examples. We then show that one can state simple decision rules (based on engineering experience) that system engineers without decades of data experience can apply. We also comment on the methodology used, extracting lessons (e.g., “negative rules are simpler”) that can be used in similar analyses on other issues.

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Modeling and Simulation of a Ground Based Sense and Avoid Architecture for Unmanned Aircraft System Operations

August 7, 2013 Comments off

Modeling and Simulation of a Ground Based Sense and Avoid Architecture for Unmanned Aircraft System Operations
Source: Mitre Corporation

The safe operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the National Airspace System necessitates a capability to sense and avoid other airborne objects. One solution is a Ground Based Sense and Avoid concept, where data from ground-based radars are fused in a specially tuned tracking system that can provide traffic information to manual (flight crews) or automatic collision avoidance systems. In this paper, we will present a modeling and simulation approach for assessing site-specific radar detection and tracking performance. High fidelity primary surveillance radar and tracking system models enable simulation studies with the objective of determining target probability of detection and distributions of expected track initiation times across the surveillance volume. Atmospheric and environmental conditions, terrain, and land coverage type affect radar wave propagation. Models take into account these sources of degradation, as well as target characteristics, site-specific radar performance, and tracking system filtering and initiation logic. This information will help in the development of a GBSAA concept of operation, mission planning, and will ultimately define where UAS can operate with sufficient surveillance performance to meet sense and avoid requirements.

Progress and Promise: Research and Engineering for Human Sociocultural Behavior Capability in the US Department of Defense

July 12, 2013 Comments off

Progress and Promise: Research and Engineering for Human Sociocultural Behavior Capability in the US Department of Defense (PDF)
Source: Mitre Corporation

Progress and Promise is an update on defense-sponsored sociocultural behavior modeling research and engineering from 2008 through 2013. It was prepared by The MITRE Corporation in its role as systems engineer for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Human Social Culture Behavior (HSCB) Modeling Program led by Captain Dylan Schmorrow, USN. CAPT Schmorrow served as the HSCB Program Manager from 2008 through 2013.

The point of reference for this document is a 2006 OSD report on human social cultural behavior modeling research and capability. The report identified major capability gaps and recommended substantially increased investment, particularly in Budget Activities 2 through 4 (Applied Research, Advanced Technology Development, and Advanced Component Development and Prototypes). It also recommended more centralized governance of relevant research across the Department of Defense (DoD).

Progress and Promise gives particular attention to the activities, accomplishments, and impacts of the OSD HSCB Modeling Program, given that it was the primary response to the OSD report. This document also summarizes other major initiatives across DoD and highlights accomplishments and impacts of relevant programs and projects. Finally, it discusses current and expected future national security challenges, outlines a long- term vision for sociocultural behavior capabilities, identifies research thrusts to enable those capabilities, and offers programmatic recommendations to move forward.

XML Risks and Mitigations

June 27, 2013 Comments off

XML Risks and Mitigations
Source: MITRE Corporation

The material in these slides cover many of the basic security considerations of XML. People who design XML documents and applications should know and understand these considerations. The material explains the various aspects of XML security. It presents basic information about XML and discusses how these fundamental truths influence XML security. It describes a range of XML security issues, including several that are sometimes overlooked. The objective is to help the reader become better informed about which security concepts apply to a given use case and obtain recommendations for implementing those security concepts. The slides do not repeat step-by-step instructions that are provided elsewhere. For example, the slides might recommend that an XML document be digitally signed to provide authentication or integrity protection, but it does not explain in detail how to digitally sign an XML document. Rather, the reader is referred to the XML Digital Signature specification. The slides discuss the risks and mitigations of:

  • Using Unicode in XML documents
  • Unused namespaces
  • Namespace prefixes
  • Hidden markup
  • Exponentially expanding external entities (for example, Billion Laughs Attack)
  • Exponential regular expressions

Cyber Resiliency Assessment: Enabling Architectural Improvement

June 3, 2013 Comments off

Cyber Resiliency Assessment: Enabling Architectural Improvement

Source: MITRE Corporation

Cyber resiliency assessments are intended to identify where, how, and when cyber resiliency techniques can be applied to improve architectural resiliency against advanced cyber threats. This document presents a general process for architectural assessment. The process can be applied to an operational or as-is architecture, to identify first steps or quick wins for improving resilience against advanced cyber threats. The process can also be applied to a notional or to-be architecture, to identify opportunities to provide greater and more cost-effective resilience, and/or to support the development of a cyber resiliency improvement roadmap. The process is supported by assessment scales and questions. Because the set of cyber resiliency techniques continues to evolve, detailed discussion of selected techniques, including POET considerations, is provided.

Leveraging Public Information about Pathogens for Disease Outbreak Investigations

April 22, 2013 Comments off

Leveraging Public Information about Pathogens for Disease Outbreak Investigations

Source: MITRE Corporation

With recent technological advances in DNA sequencing and access to information via internet databases, the amount of information about pathogen strains in the public domain is growing rapidly. This information can be leveraged to help identify the origins of pathogens that cause disease outbreaks. This report describes potential uses for public data in outbreak investigations, key data types, the formats and locations of pathogen data in public sources, and tools MITRE is designing for assembling and integrating information during disease outbreak investigations.

Integrating Unmanned Aircraft into NextGen Automation Systems

October 19, 2012 Comments off

Integrating Unmanned Aircraft into NextGen Automation Systems
Source: Mitre Corporation

The routine integration of unmanned aircraft into non-segregated civil airspace is important to enable a number of current and proposed applications ranging from military and homeland security to a wide variety of research and eventually commercial purposes. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently undertaking a comprehensive overhaul of the National Airspace System (NAS) known as Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). NextGen will include increased automation systems for both terminal and en-route Air Traffic Control (ATC). Improvements in two-way data communication links between aircraft and ATC will facilitate the use of such automation systems. The robust integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into NextGen automation systems is an integral component to meeting the far-term (2018+) NextGen vision. By determining how UAS flight operations and protocols may be different than those of traditional manned aircraft, informed decisions can be made concerning the data and interfaces required to accommodate routine UAS operations by NextGen automation systems, ultimately leading to safer and more efficient integration of UAS into non-segregated civil airspace. This paper describes many of the challenges associated with such accommodation as well as proposed solutions to address these challenges based upon construction of prototype interfaces using established UAS communication standards and envisioned ATC automation interfaces. Enhanced data formats, communication protocols and algorithms are also researched and discussed.

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