Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Richard A. Raines, PhD


With the Information Age in full and rapid development, users expect to have global, seamless, ubiquitous, secure, and efficient communications capable of providing access to real-time applications and collaboration. The United States Department of Defense’s (DoD) Network-Centric Enterprise Services initiative, along with the notion of pushing the “power to the edge,” aims to provide end-users with maximum situational awareness, a comprehensive view of the battlespace, all within a secure networking environment. Building from previous AFIT research efforts, this research developed a novel security framework architecture to address the lack of efficient and scalable secure multicasting in the low earth orbit satellite network environment. This security framework architecture combines several key aspects of different secure group communications architectures in a new way that increases efficiency and scalability, while maintaining the overall system security level. By implementing this security architecture in a deployed environment with heterogeneous communications users, reduced re-keying frequency will result. Less frequent re-keying means more resources are available for throughput as compared to security overhead. This translates to more transparency to the end user; it will seem as if they have a “larger pipe” for their network links. As a proof of concept, this research developed and analyzed multiple mobile communication environment scenarios to demonstrate the superior re-keying advantage offered by the novel “Hubenko Security Framework Architecture” over traditional and clustered multicast security architectures. For example, in the scenario containing a heterogeneous mix of user types (Stationary, Ground, Sea, and Air), the Hubenko Architecture achieved a minimum ten-fold reduction in total keys distributed as compared to other known architectures. Another experiment demonstrated the Hubenko Architecture operated at 6% capacity while the other architectures operated at 98% capacity. In the 80% overall mobility experiment with 40% Air users, the other architectures re-keying increased 900% over the Stationary case, whereas the Hubenko Architecture only increased 65%. This new architecture is extensible to numerous secure group communications environments beyond the low earth orbit satellite network environment, including unmanned aerial vehicle swarms, wireless sensor networks, and mobile ad hoc networks.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number