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Functionality and security co-design environment for embedded systems

Published in:
IEEE High Performance Extreme Computing Conf., HPEC, 25-27 September 2018.

Summary

For decades, embedded systems, ranging from intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors to electronic warfare and electronic signal intelligence systems, have been an integral part of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) mission systems. These embedded systems are increasingly the targets of deliberate and sophisticated attacks. Developers thus need to focus equally on functionality and security in both hardware and software development. For critical missions, these systems must be entrusted to perform their intended functions, prevent attacks, and even operate with resilience under attacks. The processor in a critical system must thus provide not only a root of trust, but also a foundation to monitor mission functions, detect anomalies, and perform recovery. We have developed a Lincoln Asymmetric Multicore Processing (LAMP) architecture, which mitigates adversarial cyber effects with separation and cryptography and provides a foundation to build a resilient embedded system. We will describe a design environment that we have created to enable the co-design of functionality and security for mission assurance.
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Summary

For decades, embedded systems, ranging from intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors to electronic warfare and electronic signal intelligence systems, have been an integral part of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) mission systems. These embedded systems are increasingly the targets of deliberate and sophisticated attacks. Developers thus need to focus...

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Linear and rotational microhydraulic actuators driven by electrowetting

Published in:
Sci. Robot., Vol. 3, No. 22, 19 September 2018.

Summary

Microhydraulic actuators offer a new way to convert electrical power to mechanical power on a microscale with an unmatched combination of power density and efficiency. Actuators work by combining surface tension force contributions from a large number of droplets distorted by electrowetting electrodes. This paper reports on the behavior of microgram-scale linear and rotational microhydraulic actuators with output force/weight ratios of 5500, cycle frequencies of 4 kilohertz, <1-micrometer movement precision, and accelerations of 3 kilometers/second. The power density and the efficiency of the actuators were characterized by simultaneously measuring the mechanical work performed and the electrical power applied. Maximum output power density was 0.93 kilowatt/kilogram, comparable with the best electric motors. At maximum power, the actuator was 60% efficient, but efficiencies were as high as 83% at lower power. Rotational actuators demonstrated a torque density of 79 newton meters/kilogram, substantially more than electric motors of comparable diameter. Scaling the droplet pitch from 100 to 48 micrometers increased power density from 0.27 to 0.93 kilowatt/kilogram, validating the quadratic scaling of actuator power.
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Summary

Microhydraulic actuators offer a new way to convert electrical power to mechanical power on a microscale with an unmatched combination of power density and efficiency. Actuators work by combining surface tension force contributions from a large number of droplets distorted by electrowetting electrodes. This paper reports on the behavior of...

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Valleytronics: opportunities, challenges, and paths forward

Summary

A lack of inversion symmetry coupled with the presence of time-reversal symmetry endows 2D transition metal dichalcogenides with individually addressable valleys in momentum space at the K and K' points in the first Brillouin zone. This valley addressability opens up the possibility of using the momentum state of electrons, holes, or excitons as a completely new paradigm in information processing. The opportunities and challenges associated with manipulation of the valley degree of freedom for practical quantum and classical information processing applications were analyzed during the 2017 Workshop on Valleytronic Materials, Architectures, and Devices; this Review presents the major findings of the workshop.
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Summary

A lack of inversion symmetry coupled with the presence of time-reversal symmetry endows 2D transition metal dichalcogenides with individually addressable valleys in momentum space at the K and K' points in the first Brillouin zone. This valley addressability opens up the possibility of using the momentum state of electrons, holes...

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Fuel production systems for remote areas via an aluminum energy vector

Author:
Published in:
Energy Fuels, Vol. 32, no. 9, 2018, pp. 9033-9042.
R&D area:
R&D group:

Summary

Autonomous fuel synthesis in remote locations remains the Holy Grail of fuel delivery logistics. The burdened cost of delivering fuel to remote locations is often significantly more expensive than the purchase price. Here it is shown that newly developed solid aluminum metal fuel is suited for remote production of liquid diesel fuels. On a volumetric basis, aluminum has more than twice the energy of diesel fuel, making it a superb structural energy vector for remote applications. Once aluminum is treated with gallium, water of nearly any purity is used to rapidly oxidize the aluminum metal which spontaneously evolves hydrogen and heat in roughly equal energetic quantities. The benign byproduct of the reaction could, in theory, be taken to an off-site facility and recycled back into aluminum using standard smelting processes or it could be left onsite as a high-value waste. The hydrogen can easily be used as a feedstock for diesel fuel, via Fischer-Tropsch (FT) reaction mechanisms, while the heat can be leveraged for other processes, including synthesis gas compression. It is shown that as long as a carbon source, such as diesel fuel, is already present, additional diesel can be made by recovering and recycling the CO2 in the diesel exhaust. The amount of new diesel that can be made is directly related to the fraction of available CO2 that is recovered, with 100% recovery being equivalent to doubling the diesel fuel. The volume of aluminum required to accomplish this is lower than simply bringing twice as much diesel and results in a 50% increase in volumetric energy density. That is, 50% fewer fuel convoys would be required for fuel delivery. Moreover, aluminum has the potential to be exploited as a structural fuel that can be used as pallets, containers, etc., before being consumed to produce diesel. Furthermore, FT diesel production via aluminum and CO2 can be achieved without sacrificing electrical power generation.
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Summary

Autonomous fuel synthesis in remote locations remains the Holy Grail of fuel delivery logistics. The burdened cost of delivering fuel to remote locations is often significantly more expensive than the purchase price. Here it is shown that newly developed solid aluminum metal fuel is suited for remote production of liquid...

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Mission assurance: beyond secure processing

Published in:
18th IEEE Int. Conf. on Software Quality, Reliability, and Security, QRS 2018, 16-20 July 2018, pp. 593-8.

Summary

The processor of a drone runs essential functions of sensing, communications, coordination, and control. This is the conventional view. But in today's cyber environment, the processor must also provide security to assure mission completion. We have been developing a secure processing architecture for mission assurance. A study on state-of-the-art secure processing technologies has revealed that no one-size-fits-all solution can fully meet our requirements. In fact, we have concluded that the provision of a secure processor as a mission assurance foundation must be holistic and should be approached from a systems perspective. We have thus applied a systems analysis approach to create a secure base for the system. This paper describes our journey of adapting and synergizing various secure processing technologies into a baseline asymmetric multicore processing architecture. We will also describe a functional and security co-design environment, created to customize and optimize the architecture in a design space consisting of hardware, software, performance, and assurance.
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Summary

The processor of a drone runs essential functions of sensing, communications, coordination, and control. This is the conventional view. But in today's cyber environment, the processor must also provide security to assure mission completion. We have been developing a secure processing architecture for mission assurance. A study on state-of-the-art secure...

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Curator: provenance management for modern distributed systems

Published in:
10th Intl. Workshop on Theory and Practice of Provenance, TaPP, 11-12 July 2018.

Summary

Data provenance is a valuable tool for protecting and troubleshooting distributed systems. Careful design of the provenance components reduces the impact on the design, implementation, and operation of the distributed system. In this paper, we present Curator, a provenance management toolkit that can be easily integrated with microservice-based systems and other modern distributed systems. This paper describes the design of Curator and discusses how we have used Curator to add provenance to distributed systems. We find that our approach results in no changes to the design of these distributed systems and minimal additional code and dependencies to manage. In addition, Curator uses the same scalable infrastructure as the distributed system and can therefore scale with the distributed system.
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Summary

Data provenance is a valuable tool for protecting and troubleshooting distributed systems. Careful design of the provenance components reduces the impact on the design, implementation, and operation of the distributed system. In this paper, we present Curator, a provenance management toolkit that can be easily integrated with microservice-based systems and...

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Airport Wind Observations Architectural Analysis(2.4 MB)

Published in:
Project Report ATC-443, MIT Lincoln Laboratory

Summary

Airport wind information is critical for ensuring safe aircraft operations and for managing runway configurations. Airports across the National Airspace System (NAS) are served by a wide variety of wind sensing systems that have been deployed over many decades. This analysis presents a survey of existing systems and user requirements, identifies potential shortfalls, and offers recommendations for improvements to support the long-term goals of the FAA NextGen system.
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Summary

Airport wind information is critical for ensuring safe aircraft operations and for managing runway configurations. Airports across the National Airspace System (NAS) are served by a wide variety of wind sensing systems that have been deployed over many decades. This analysis presents a survey of existing systems and user requirements...

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A secure cloud with minimal provider trust

Summary

Bolted is a new architecture for a bare metal cloud with the goal of providing security-sensitive customers of a cloud the same level of security and control that they can obtain in their own private data centers. It allows tenants to elastically allocate secure resources within a cloud while being protected from other previous, current, and future tenants of the cloud. The provisioning of a new server to a tenant isolates a bare metal server, only allowing it to communicate with other tenant's servers once its critical firmware and software have been attested to the tenant. Tenants, rather than the provider, control the tradeoffs between security, price, and performance. A prototype demonstrates scalable end-to-end security with small overhead compared to a less secure alternative.
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Summary

Bolted is a new architecture for a bare metal cloud with the goal of providing security-sensitive customers of a cloud the same level of security and control that they can obtain in their own private data centers. It allows tenants to elastically allocate secure resources within a cloud while being...

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Influence estimation on social media networks using causal inference

Published in:
Proc. IEEE Statistical Signal Processing (SSP) Workshop, 10-13 June 2018.

Summary

Estimating influence on social media networks is an important practical and theoretical problem, especially because this new medium is widely exploited as a platform for disinformation and propaganda. This paper introduces a novel approach to influence estimation on social media networks and applies it to the real-world problem of characterizing active influence operations on Twitter during the 2017 French presidential elections. The new influence estimation approach attributes impact by accounting for narrative propagation over the network using a network causal inference framework applied to data arising from graph sampling and filtering. This causal framework infers the difference in outcome as a function of exposure, in contrast to existing approaches that attribute impact to activity volume or topological features, which do not explicitly measure nor necessarily indicate actual network influence. Cramér-Rao estimation bounds are derived for parameter estimation as a step in the causal analysis, and used to achieve geometrical insight on the causal inference problem. The ability to infer high causal influence is demonstrated on real-world social media accounts that are later independently confirmed to be either directly affiliated or correlated with foreign influence operations using evidence supplied by the U.S. Congress and journalistic reports.
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Summary

Estimating influence on social media networks is an important practical and theoretical problem, especially because this new medium is widely exploited as a platform for disinformation and propaganda. This paper introduces a novel approach to influence estimation on social media networks and applies it to the real-world problem of characterizing...

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Rapid Quantitative Analysis of Multiple Explosive Compound Classes on a Single Instrument via Flow-Injection Analysis Tandem Mass Spectrometry

Summary

A flow-injection analysis tandem mass spectrometry (FIA MSMS) method was developed for rapid quantitative analysis of 10 different inorganic and organic explosives. Performance is optimized by tailoring the ionization method (APCI/ESI), de-clustering potentials, and collision energies for each specific analyte. In doing so, a single instrument can be used to detect urea nitrate, potassium chlorate, 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene, 2,4,6-trinitrophenylmethylnitramine, triacetone triperoxide, hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, pentaerythritol tetranitrate, 1,3,5-trinitroperhydro-1,3,5-triazine, nitroglycerin, and octohy-dro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine with sensitivities all in the picogram per milliliter range. In conclusion, FIA APCI/ESI MSMS is a fast (<1 min/sample), sensitive (~pg/mL LOQ), and precise (intraday RSD < 10%) method for trace explosive detection that can play an important role in criminal and attributional forensics, counterterrorism, and environmental protection areas, and has the potential to augment or replace several of the existing explosive detection methods.
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Summary

A flow-injection analysis tandem mass spectrometry (FIA MSMS) method was developed for rapid quantitative analysis of 10 different inorganic and organic explosives. Performance is optimized by tailoring the ionization method (APCI/ESI), de-clustering potentials, and collision energies for each specific analyte. In doing so, a single instrument can be used to...

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