Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Robert H. Klenke

Second Advisor

Tim Bakker

Third Advisor

Carl Elks

Fourth Advisor

Milos Manic

Fifth Advisor

Edward Boone


Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are becoming more widely used in the new era of evolving technology; increasing performance while decreasing size, weight, and cost. A UAS equipped with a Flight Control System (FCS) that can be used to fly semi- or fully-autonomous is a prime example of a Cyber Physical and Safety Critical system. Current Cyber-Physical defenses against malicious attacks are structured around security standards for best practices involving the development of protocols and the digital software implementation. Thus far, few attempts have been made to embed security into the architecture of the system considering security as a holistic problem. Therefore, a Hierarchical, Embedded, Cyber Attack Detection (HECAD) framework is developed to provide security in a holistic manor, providing resiliency against cyber-attacks as well as introducing strategies for mitigating and dealing with component failures. Traversing the hardware/software barrier, HECAD provides detection of malicious faults at the hardware and software level; verified through the development of an FPGA implementation and tested using a UAS FCS.


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