Tactical CPS

Tactical Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) are small scale embedded/real time systems whose computation has a certain effect in the physical world.

A number of recent advancements have led to the proliferation of Tactical CPS to perceive and respond to physical phenomena where automation has previously had no access because high performance and integrity guarantees could not be met. Increasingly powerful FPGAs and high powered microcontrollers are beginning to change that. In addition, devices can incorporate novel communications capabilities and sensors. As another example, smart phones and cellular base stations can not be ignored in considering the design of Tactical CPS due to there innate processing and communication capability. Other advancements include Software Defined Radio (SDR) and Global Positioning System (GPS). To exploit these advancements, we sponsor many student projects, illicit activity monitoring and a project to search for lost hikers for the department of forestry.

At the same time, using these new technologies demands understanding the new bounds for operational and security constraints. As an example, since smart phones were not developed to meet the needs of Tactical CPS, their expected operation may cause failure that impact safety in the physical world. Thus, we have dedicated research to bound performance and security expectations for a number of smart phone type technology including USRP, Open BTS, and SMS. 

Situational awareness is important for both military and law enforcement.  Situational data can include images, video, electronic communications, and audio. In a simplest form,  a low cost microphone with a RF emitter can sense  both foreground and background sound of a location  and emit it to a collection station.  Follow this link for the demonstration.

 Another notable example is the Chip Scale Atomic Clock (CSAC) that gives new opportunities to time and security sensitive devices to reduce dependency on GPS for timing information. However, much study remains to understand the effect of using CSAC versus GPS timing signals in Tactical CPS. 

Finally, we believe that these technologies will give the opportunity for Pervasive Informatics to incorporate Tactical CPS in disaster response, security, threat awareness and battlespace command and control.

Research Team

  • Mike George
  • Hao Wang
  • John Pecarina
  • Casey Gonzales
  • Christopher Bodden
  • Joey Bartley


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