• Obfuscation fingerprinting in Android binaries

      Van Veldhuizen, Matthew Philip (2015-04)
      There are many way to protect code from reverse engineering. One such way is to obfuscate either the source code, machine code or bytecode. Obfuscating Android applications not only makes it harder to reverse engineer, it can also speed up execution by reducing the size of the application and removing unnecessary code. One method of obfuscation is to do it manually and the other method is to use an obfuscation program. However, it may become necessary to reverse obfuscation, because of the loss of source code or when investigating malware, trojans, or other harmful applications. This process is called deobfuscation. Once an application has been obfuscated performing deobfuscation is a tedious task, and knowing how the application was obfuscated would increase the probability of correctly reversing the obfuscation. By examining four Android application obfuscators I successfully identified distinct fingerprints within each of the obfuscated binaries by building a simple Android application, obfuscating it, and then comparing obfuscated and unobfuscated bytecode. Using these fingerprints I was able to associate each obfuscator with an approximate probability that it was used to perform the obfuscation.
    • Observation and analysis of whistler mode echoes received by RPI on IMAGE at high latitudes

      Chen, Xiangdong (2001-05)
      Whistler-mode wave-injection experiments with Radio Plasma Imager (RPI) on IMAGE offer an opportunity to observe the whistler-mode echoes. We have performed raytracing studies to investigate accessibility of whistler-mode waves injected from IMAGE to various regions of the magnetosphere and also to other satellites such as Akebono. RPI detected both discrete and diffuse whistler-mode echoes during our observing period (April 21 to August 28, 2000) when IMAGE was at a low altitude (1̃000-7000 km) and mid-to-high latitudes (>25 - 40S̊) near its perigee. We believe that the discrete echoes are the result of RPI signals reflected at the Earth-ionosphere boundary and the diffuse echoes are the result of scattering of RPI signals by meter-scale irregularities. Raytracing analysis shows that both ducted and nonducted ray propagation are needed to explain the observed whistler-mode dispersion. Comparison of electron densities obtained from our raytracing analysis of dispersion with the electron densities obtained by Kletzing et al. in the Auroral Zone shows that these density values deduced from RPI data were about ten times higher. This may be because the antenna radiation efficiency is higher at higher electron densities.
    • Observation and analysis on the characteristics of strain induced by frost heave for a full-scale buried, chilled gas pipeline

      Yang, Kun; Huang, Scott; Chen, Gang; Darrow, Margaret (2013-12)
      This thesis examines the strain characteristics of a large-scale, buried chilled gas pipeline in the discontinuous permafrost region. A full-scale chilled pipeline gas experiment was conducted in Fairbanks, Alaska. The test pipeline had a length of 105 m and a diameter of 0.9 m. One-third of the pipeline was located in permafrost and the rest was in non-permafrost. The monitoring data were collected from December 1999 to January 2005 including both freezing and thawing phases. In the transition zone between frozen and unfrozen soil, the foundation experienced a vertical movement caused by differential frost heave. The test results indicated that the bending action was the main factor for the pipeline for the circumferential and longitudinal strain distribution of the pipeline. Moreover, linear relationships were developed between frost heave and the longitudinal strain at the top and the bottom (i.e., 0� and 180�) of the pipe. The developed equations can be used to predict the strain of the pipe caused by differential frost heave for future tests with similar site conditions.
    • Obstacle detection with Kinect V2 on a ground robot

      Fisher, Laurin; Lawlor, Orion; Hartman, Chris; Genetti, Jon (2018-12)
      This paper is about determining whether using a Kinect V2 (Xbox One Kinect) mounted on a LAYLA ground robot can be used to detect obstacles, by generating a heightmap with the depth data. We take several factors into consideration including: framerate, power consumption, field of view, and data noise.
    • Occurrence and distribution of barite in the permo-triassic siksikpuk formation along the Brooks Range haul road

      Payne, M.W. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1980-03)
      Barite commonly occurs in Permian to Triassic age rocks along the north flank of the Brooks Range. The Siksikpuk Formation (Wolfcampian to lowest Guadalupian age) is noted for its barite and is well exposed in the vicinity of Galbraith Lake along the pipeline haul road (Figure 1). The proximity of these barite deposits to an existing road made them a logical selection for investigation. The study was designed to provide detailed stratigraphic information on barite quantity and quality, associated clay mineralogy, and relationship of barite to environments of deposition.
    • Occurrence patterns of whistler mode (WM) echoes observed by RPI/IMAGE and their relation to geomagnetic activity

      Reddy, Amani (2007-12)
      This thesis presents an analysis of whistler mode (WM) echoes observed at altitudes less than 5,000 km by the Radio Plasma Imager (RPI) on the IMAGE satellite. WM echoes are generated either by specular reflection (SR) of RPI signals at the Earth-ionosphere boundary (~90 km) or by magnetospheric reflection of RPI signals [...] at altitudes greater than 1,000 km [Sonwalkar et al., 2004; Sonwalkar et al., 2006]. These echoes are further influenced by field aligned irregularities (FAI) and are categorized into discrete, multipath or diffuse SR- and MR- WM echoes, based on their characteristic spectral forms. A survey of WM echoes observed during January 2004- December 2005 showed that WM echoes occurred at all latitudes and under moderate geomagnetic conditions. Occurrence patterns of WM echoes observed in August-December 2005 during geomagnetically quiet and disturbed periods indicate that geomagnetic storms lead to significant changes in FAI that affect the propagation of WM echoes. Our results help (1) in better understanding propagation and generation mechanisms of naturally occurring WM waves, and (2) in planning future WM wave injection experiments in space.
    • On the detection of virtual machine introspection from inside a guest virtual machine

      Marken, Brandon Ashlee; Lawlor, Orion; Price, Channon; Barry, Ronald; Hartman, Christopher; Genetti, Jon (2015-12)
      With the increased prevalence of virtualization in the modern computing environment, the security of that technology becomes of paramount importance. Virtual Machine Introspection (VMI) is one of the technologies that has emerged to provide security for virtual environments by examining and then interpreting the state of an active Virtual Machine (VM). VMI has seen use in systems administration, digital forensics, intrusion detection, and honeypots. As with any technology, VMI has both productive uses as well as harmful uses. The research presented in this dissertation aims to enable a guest VM to determine if it is under examination by an external VMI agent. To determine if a VM is under examination a series of statistical analyses are performed on timing data generated by the guest itself.
    • Open-pit slope geotechnical considerations and its effects on mine planning

      Enkhbayar, Bayasgalan; Chen, Gang; Ahn, Il Sang; Arya, Sampurna (2020-08)
      In open-pit mining, a stable pit slopes design is essential for safe operation and economic performance of the mine. However, a steeper pit is more desirable from an economic standpoint due to reduced overburden removal. As the mine deepens, the open-pit walls become increasingly prone to slope failure, which causes human and economic losses. Therefore, a feasible and stable slope mine design requires a serious geotechnical investigation. The optimization of this design requires steepening the overall slope angle as much as possible while maintaining mine safety for efficient and effective mining operations. The open-pit slope geotechnical investigation calls for detailed geological and geotechnical data and advanced numerical modeling. In this study, geological and geotechnical data are collected from the Erdenet Copper Mine of Mongolia. The collected information includes data from discontinuity face mapping, geotechnical core logging, groundwater condition, geological exploration cross-sections, pit map, and rock property lab test results. The open-pit slope stability is analyzed with geotechnical numerical modeling software FLAC2D, and the variation and distribution of factors of safety (FOS) are computed and studied. The stability of Erdenet mine’s North-West open-pit is simulated by dividing the pit into ten representative cross-sections, and subsequently, FOS is calculated for each cross-section. The simulation results show that each cross-section has a higher overall FOS value than the allowable mine FOS, set at 1.5 with an earthquake magnitude of 0.165g peak ground acceleration (PGA). However, the localized high shear strain on individual benches may still occur, which can cause potential failures. Parametric studies indicate that changes in the bench angles and rock mass properties will have various degrees of impact on pit slope FOS. The effect of bench angle changes appears to be more significant. The study of pit slope design on mine planning shows that a 1° increase on slope angle will reduce excavation volume by 5 M m3 and save $15 million in excavation cost, but will also reduce FOS by 0.12. Engineering judgment and decision will have to be made regarding this tradeoff for a safe and economical mining operation. Practice and analysis indicate that the computer simulation alone is not sufficient to ensure the accurate estimation of slope stability. It is recommended to use a combination of slope monitoring and computer simulation to provide verification against each other to detect any potential hazards in mine. Mine pit slope movement monitoring program setup and monitoring procedure are analyzed and proposed in this study. The above findings allow mining engineers to optimally design pit slopes under the given geotechnical conditions and minimize the risk of slope failures while improving the stripping ratio and enhancing production profit.
    • Operational Safety of Gravel Roads in Rural and Tribal Communities: Vulnerability to Structural Failures and GeoHazards

      Ibrahim, Ahmed; Sharma, Sunil; Kassem, Emad; Nielsen, Richard; Nasrin, Sabreena (2020-04-20)
      Of the 4.1 million miles of federal and state highways in the U.S., 2.2 million miles (or 54%) are unpaved, gravel roads. In the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, unpaved gravel roads provide critical transportation access, with some communities relying on just a single highway for access into and out of town. In such cases, these highways become a critical component of the infrastructure, and there is a need to ensure that safe access is always available to the communities. The Idaho highway database has been used to identify unpaved, gravel roads in Idaho that are critical for access to rural communities. Once identified, information regarding their existing condition has been used to assess their vulnerability and other impacts. The results of this study are considered an initial evaluation that relies on information that is readily available in the database. The project outcomes include a comprehensive literature review of unpaved roads including data produced from field visits. In addition, a questionnaire survey was sent to local jurisdictions authorities for investigating locations, reasons of road closures, and population size of the affected communities. Finally, 37 responses have been received by the research team indicating five rural communities that have experienced closures and isolation. The reasons for the closure of the unpaved roads were due to the lack of funding for snow removal, excessive dirt, unstable gravel roads, tornados, and heavy rains. The location of those communities was spread across the state of Idaho with corresponding populations range from 25 to 8,500 people.
    • Optimization of oilfield power distribution through installation of underground transmission lines applied to the Alaskan North Slope

      Mielke, Robert (2004-05)
      An analytical model is developed to evaluate economic feasibility of installing new underground segments to the power transmission system maintained and operated by Greater Prudhoe Bay Central Power Station. Installation of underground segments is considered for intersections of power lines and roadways. Old materials and equipment are abandoned in favor of new technological infrastructure additions to transmission systems. This installation is progressive in its approach; it aims to eliminate superfluous oilfield operations via implementation of technological innovation. Results indicate that installation of underground segments of transmission line is an economically feasible project. Installation sites are chosen that optimize the economics of this investment. Project impact to power reliability, idle rig time, and streamlined rig operations far outweighs the investment associated with this project. Additionally, this project's effect on Prudhoe Bay oil production shows great potential for additional power line burial projects. Hence, it is hoped that this research be considered a pilot project, that future power line burial projects be considered for implementation, and that economic modeling of future projects be accomplished via revision of this work to include comparison of actual vs. predicted economics of this pilot project.
    • Optimum transportation systems to serve the mineral industry north of the Yukon basin in Alaska

      Wolff, E.N.; Lambert, C.; Johansen, N.I.; Rhodes, E.M.; Solie, R.J. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1972)
      In 1972 the U. S . Bureau of Mines awarded a grant (No. G 01 22096) to the Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, University of Alaska, for a research project to determine optimum transportation systems to serve the mineral industry north of the Yukon River basin in Alaska. The study was conducted during the period May 1 - November 1, 1972. The study assesses the mineral potential of the region and selects two copper deposits: a known one at Bornite, and a potential one on the upper Koyukuk River. Two possible mining sites within the extensive coal bearing region north of the Brooks Range are also selected. A computer model was developed to perform an economic analysis of technically feasible transportation modes and routes from these four sites to Alaskan ports from which minerals could be shipped to markets. Transport modes considered are highway, rail, cargo aircraft, river barge, winter haul road and air cushion vehicles (A.C.V.). The computer program calculates the present worth of tax benefits from mining and transportation and revenues based on the value of minerals at the port, as well as the auxillary benefits derived from the anticipated use of the routes by the tourist industry. Annual and fixed costs of mining and transportation of minerals are calculated, and benefit-cost ratios determined for each combination of routes and modes serving the four mineral sites. The study concludes that the best systems in terms of a high benefit-cost ratio are those utilizing a minimum of new construction of conventional highways or railroads. The optimum system as derived from this study is one linking together existing transportation systems with aircraft or A.C.V. These modes are feasible only for the shipment of a high value product, namely blister copper produced by a smelter at the mining site, Of the several alternatives considered for the shipment of coal, only a slurry pipeline to an as yet undeveloped port on the Arctic coast showed significant promise. The study recommends that: 1. More government support should be given to mineral exploration in Alaska. 2. Potential mineral industry development should be considered in transportation planning at state and federal levels. 3. Additional research pertinent to mining and processing of minerals in the North should be conducted, and the feasibility of smelting minerals within Alaska explored. 4. Alternatives for providing power to Northwestern Alaska should be investigated.
    • Order reduction and eigenstructure assignment for nonsmooth vibrating systems: a nonlinear normal modes approach

      Lu, Rongdong (2002-08)
      Two related problems are addressed in this thesis. The first one is for order reduction of conservative vibrating systems with piecewise linear nonsmooth nonlinearities of arbitrary dimension. Linear-based, PMM-based and LELSM-based order reduction transformations are applied. The technique is applied to multi-degree-of-freedom systems with nonsmooth clearance, deadzone, bang-bang, and saturation nonlinearities. The resulting approximate frequencies are compared with those obtained from numerical simulations. The second technique is eigenstructure assignment of n-degree-of-freedom conservative vibrating systems with nonsmooth nonlinearities. Three distinct control strategies which utilize methods for approximating the NNM frequencies and mode shapes are employed. First, PMM for approximating NNM frequencies is used to determine n constant actuator gains for eigenvalue placement. Second, an approximate single-degree-of-freedom reduced model is found with one actuator gain for the mode to be controlled. The third strategy allows the frequencies and mode shapes (eigenstructure) to be placed by using a full n x n matrix of actuator gains and employing LELSM for approximating NNM frequencies and mode shapes.
    • Organic and Color Removal from Water Supplies by Synthetic Resinous Adsorbents: Completion Report

      Tilsworth, Timothy (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1974-01)
    • Outreach and Technology Transfer on the Effectiveness of Wildlife Fences and Wildlife Crossing Structures in a Multifunctional Landscape

      Huijser, Marcel P. (2018-04)
      This project undertook outreach and technology transfer tasks on the effectiveness of wildlife fences and wildlife crossing structures in a multifunctional landscape. The tasks accomplished included (1) publication of an article in an international peer-reviewed journal on the effectiveness of wildlife mitigation measures along U.S. Highway 93 North; (2) submitting an abstract to, presenting at, and attending the 2017 International Conference on Ecology and Transportation in Salt Lake City, Utah; and (3) updating the website and outreach material of the People’s Way Partnership (http://www.peopleswaywildlifecrossings.org/).
    • Overcoming CubeSat downlink limits with VITAMIN: a new variable coded modulation protocol

      Sielicki, Thomas; Thorsen, Denise; Hamkin, Jon; Hawkins, Joseph; Mayer, Charles (2013-12)
      Many space missions, including low earth orbit CubeSats, communicate in a highly dynamic environment because of variations in geometry, weather, and interference. At the same time, most missions communicate using fixed channel codes, modulations, and symbol rates, resulting in a constant data rate that does not adapt to the dynamic conditions. When conditions are good, the fixed date rate can be far below the theoretical maximum, called the Shannon limit; when conditions are bad, the fixed data rate may not work at all. To move beyond these fixed communications and achieve higher total data volume from emerging high-tech instruments, this thesis investigates the use of error correcting codes and different modulations. Variable coded modulation (VCM) takes advantage of the dynamic link by transmitting more information when the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is high. Likewise, VCM can throttle down the information rate when SNR is low without having to stop all communications. VCM outperforms fixed communications which can only operate at a fixed information rate as long as a certain signal threshold is met. This thesis presents a new VCM protocol and tests its performance in both software and hardware simulations. The protocol is geared towards CubeSat downlinks as complexity is focused in the receiver, while the transmission operations are kept simple. This thesis explores bin-packing as a way to optimize the selection of VCM modes based on expected SNR levels over time. Working end-to-end simulations were created using MATLAB and LabVIEW, while the hardware simulations were done with software defined radios. Results show that a CubeSat using VCM communications will deliver twice the data throughput of a fixed communications system.
    • Oxygen application to chloride leaching of complex sulfide ores

      Chou, Kuo Tung (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1987)
      The study investigates leaching of complex sulfide ores with simultaneous regeneration of the leaching solution and removal of dissolved iron to balance the iron concentration in the leaching process. To minimize environmental pollution and obtain high metal extraction from the ores, leaching with a ferric chloride solution is adapted to treat Delta sulfide ores. The experimental results indicate that under high oxygen pressure leaching, oxidation of ferrous ion to ferric ion and partial precipitation of iron from solution can occur simultaneously. However, the findings also indicate that leaching the ores with simultaneous iron precipitation in one operation is difficult. It is better to precipitate excess iron in one stage; then leach the ores in another stage using the regenerated leaching solution.
    • Parks Highway Load Restriction Study Field Data Analysis

      Raad, Luffi (1998-02)
      The loss of pavement strength during spring thaw could result in excessive road damage under applied traffic loads. Damage assessment associated with the critical thaw period is essential to evaluate current load restriction policies. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (AKDOT&PF) proposed a plan which will provide an engineering analysis fo field conditions with 100% loads on the Parks Highway for 1996. The study was jointly conducted by AKDOT&PF, the Alaskan Trucking Association (ATA), and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Institute of Northern Engineering Transportation Research Center (TRC). Extensive field data were collected and analyzed in an effort to monitor pavement damage during the spring of 1996 and determine the loss of pavement strength. The field data included: 1. Truck traffic data using the Chulitna weigh in motion (WIM) station and the scalehouses at Eagle River and Ester. WIM data were obtained for both northbound and southbound traffic from 199301996. Scalehouse data were obtained for Spring 1996 for comparison with WIM spring data. 2. Pavement temperature data (Spring 1996) for seven ground temperature sites representing typical conditions along the Parks Highway. 3. Profilometer data for pavement roughness and rutting obtained yearly (1993, 1995, and 1996) and also monitored over shorter intervals during Spring 1996. In addition, rut-bar measurements at selected points were also monitored during Spring 1996. 4. Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) data for both the northbound and southbound lanes for selected sections in lengths of eight 8 km (5 mile) along the Parks Highway. These data were used in backcalculation of pavement layer moduli, fatigue strength of the asphalt concrete surface, and corresponding damage factors resulting from spring-thaw weakening. Field data were used to analyze the damage effects on the Parks Highways. These included: analysis and comparison of WIM and scalehouse traffic data; determination of overweight axle loads and vehicles; comparison of north- and southbound traffic and its effect on pavement damage; analysis of ground temperature for thaw initiation and propagation; and simulation of the pavement's remaining life, with and without load restrictions, using mechanistic methods. This report presents results of these analyses.
    • Part-Load Economy of Diesel-Electric Generators

      Malosh, James B.; Johnson, Ronald (1985-06)
      Diesel-electric generators used to produce power in rural Alaska are often found to be inefficient and suffer from premature mechanical failures. Such failures are commonly caused by hydrocarbon build-up in the engine resulting from long-term operation under light-load conditions. There are several feasible approaches to this problem which use proven technology. The most technologically direct approach is to properly size systems. Another involves the optimum control of engine oil, coolant and intake air temperature with thermostatically-controlled electric heaters. Economic analysis shows that this approach could save as much as $13,000 per year in the cost of electricity for a 100 kw diesel generator operating at 25% load. However, further research is needed to establish that the mechanical problems associated with part-load operation are actually abated with proper control of operating temperatures. Practical experience implies that this should be the case. Acoustically tuned low restriction intake and exhaust systems are also an attractive approach because they provide a definite increase in efficiency under all operating conditions. However, these units must be developed for a specific engine and operating speed range. They are not presently commercially available, but could be developed in a continuing research effort. Parallel operation of small diesel-electric generators was suggested by many vendors and operators as a method of improving part-load performance. Though it has the benefit of redundant reliability, the economic analysis does not show a clear advantage because of higher electrical costs near full-load conditions. At very low loads, single small units may also suffer from the same mechanical problems as the large units. The other methods of improving part-load performance which include the use of improved injectors and microprocessor-controlled injection pumps are not presently feasible. However, the state of diesel engine technology is changing so rapidly that these items could become feasible in less than two years. These developments should be monitored closely.
    • Passive Solar Alaskan School

      Seifert, Richard D. (1984-12)