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Mobile Sensor Networks: A Discrete Event Simulation of WMD Threat Detection in Urban Traffic Schemes

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Master's thesis

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The rise of the threat of WMD attack on American soil necessitates new and innovative approaches to homeland security. A layered security model has been proposed in which an attacker must successfully penetrate multiple defensive constructs in order to complete an attack. As part of a layered defensive approach, a network of sensor equipped vehicles operating in urban traffic is considered. To-date, sensor packages have been developed for vehicles without detailed, area-specific analysis of their aggregate performance measures. The possible effectiveness of this network of sensors in detecting vehicle based WMD attacks is explored in this thesis. A Discrete Event Simulation using actual roadmap data was developed and analyzed to explore various configurations for searcher employment and in particular to generate a potential return on investment curve in the form of probability of detection generated as a function of the number of sensor equipped vehicles. The baseline scenario centers on an attacker utilizing a vehicle mounted WMD device. The attacker attempts a shortest-path route from a randomly selected starting point to a downtown target node. Patrol vehicles are equipped with sensors that can identify potential attacker vehicles in the adjacent lane of oncoming traffic. These vehicles patrol the roadway network, and are assumed to foil an attack when they detect an attack vehicle. The simulation model outputs data such as the proportion of foiled attacks and the distance from target, given a detection.

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  • Radio Communications

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