Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Cyber Operations


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Barry E. Mullins, PhD.


Low-cost commodity hardware and cheaper, more capable consumer-grade drones make the threat of home-made, inexpensive drone-mounted wireless attack platforms (DWAPs) greater than ever. Fences and physical security do little to impede a drone from approaching private, commercial, or government wireless access points (WAPs) and conducting wireless attacks. At the same time, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) present a valuable tool for network defenders conducting site surveys and emulating threats. These platforms present near-term dangers and opportunities for corporations and governments. Despite the vast leaps in technology these capabilities represent, UAVs are noisy and consequently difficult to conceal as they approach a potential target; stealth is a valuable asset to an attacker. Using a directional antenna instead of the typical omnidirectional antenna would significantly increase the distance from which a DWAP may conduct attacks and would improve their stealthiness and overall effectiveness. This research seeks to investigate the possibility of using directional antennae on DWAPs by resolving issues inhibiting directional antennae use on consumer and hobbyist drone platforms. This research presents the hypothesis that a DWAP equipped with a directional antenna can predict bearings and locations of WAPs within an acceptable margin of error.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number