Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Kenneth M. Hopkinson, PhD.


New standards and initiatives in satellite system architecture are moving the space industry to more open and efficient mission operations. Primarily, these standards allow multiple missions to share standard ground and space based resources to reduce mission development and sustainment costs. With the benefits of these new concepts comes added risk associated with threats to the security of our critical space assets in a contested space and cyberspace domain. As one method to mitigate threats to space missions, this research develops, implements, and tests the Consolidated Trust Management System (CTMS) for satellite flight software. The CTMS architecture was developed using design requirements and features of Trust Management Systems (TMS) presented in the field of distributed information systems. This research advances the state of the art with the CTMS by refining and consolidating existing TMS theory and applying it to satellite systems. The feasibility and performance of this new CTMS architecture is demonstrated with a realistic implementation in satellite flight software and testing in an emulated satellite system environment. The system is tested with known threat modeling techniques and a specific forgery attack abuse case of satellite telecommanding functions. The CTMS test results show the promise of this technique to enhance security in satellite flight software telecommand processing. With this work, a new class of satellite protection mechanisms is established, which addresses the complex security issues facing satellite operations today. This work also fills a critical shortfall in validated security mechanisms for implementation in both public and private sector satellite systems.

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