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RAP opportunity at Air Force Science and Technology Fellowship Program     AF STFP

Security in Cyber-Physical Networked Systems


Space Vehicles Directorate, RV/Space and Planetary Sciences

opportunity location
13.40.01.B7836 Kirtland Air Force Base, NM 871175776


name email phone
Khanh Dai Pham 505.846.4823


A cyber-physical system (CPS) is a system featuring a tight combination of and coordination between the system’s computational and physical elements. Today, a pre-cursor generation of cyber-physical systems can be found in areas as diverse as emerging and future combat systems, air-space-cyber activities, as well as smart buildings, bridges, and other structures. To interact with physical systems, the geographically distributed sensors, actuators, and controllers are interconnected via the communication networks. In particular, sensor nodes obtain measurements from the physical world and send data to the controller through computer networks. The controller then obtains the states of physical systems and sends control commands to the actuators to adjust its operation. Before CPSs can be used, the security of CPS’s must be fully understood and addressed. There are a few challenges. First, the military CPS’s may operate in hostile environments. The middleware, infrastructures, and payloads lacking tamper resistance hardware may increase the possibility to be compromised and further disrupt the mission of CPS’s. Second, the next generation CPS’s must interwork with existing physical infrastructures, which are composed a large number of legacy devices such as onboard processing and network control payloads. Those legacy devices were developed many years ago and do not have appropriate security mechanisms in place. Third, the next generation CPS generally demands high performance guarantee with real-time requirements to enable operation stability. Hence, design and development of effective and low cost defensive mechanisms to detect and localize malicious devices become critical issues in CPS.


key words
Large-scale cyber networks; Threat models; Vulnerabilities; Malicious devices; Security; Operation stability; Defense modeling and simulation;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$95,000.00 $5,000.00

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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