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Ens. Olivia "Ollie" Shapiro, USN

MS in Electrical Engineering '24

Ens. Olivia “Ollie” Shapiro is a U.S. Navy Submarine Warfare Officer in Training. Before attending NPS, they attended the United States Naval Academy. Shapiro is in the Electrical and Engineering program focusing on Signal Processing and Cyber Operations. Their research focuses on thermal imaging of operations on an Electronic Chart Display and InformationSystems Solid State Drive. They will go to Nuclear Power School in Charleston, South Carolina after graduation. In their free time, they enjoy spending time outdoors and playing basketball.  

Thinking about your time at NPS so far, what have been the most impactful or valuable experiences or lessons learned?

The most impactful part of my time at NPS has been learning from my classmates with fleet experience. As an ENS, I came to NPS directly after commissioning, so I don’t have first-hand fleet experience yet. However, my classmates have shared lessons that they’ve learned from their time in the fleet so that we can all benefit from their operational experiences.

How does the curriculum at NPS support your academic and professional interests in signal processing and cyber operations?

The curriculum is relevant to my professional interests and could aid me in the fleet because there is a significant focus on subjects such as signal processing. In my coursework, I am learning how towed arrays and sonars work to receive signals, which will be highly relevant to my future career as a submarine officer. My cyber operations courses support my academic interest in the thermal side channel for non-invasive cyber operations, where I can continue the research I started at the Naval Academy.

What challenge are you aiming to solve with your research on thermal imaging? How do you envision your research to improve operations on an Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems Solid State Drive?

My research aims to use the non-invasive technique of the thermal side channel to associate thermal imaging patterns with operations on an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS). The baseline for this research is normal ECDIS operations such as uploading a chart or saving waypoints and viewing thermal imaging characteristics on the Solid State Drive (SSD). The next step in this research is to detect SSD failure and when there is malware on the ECDIS. This research can be expanded to any system that uses an SSD, whether in operational platforms or data centers, and will be used to secure military systems further.

What were the most significant takeaways for you at the WEST 2024 Conference in San Diego? How do events like the WEST 2024 Conference add value to your research and education at NPS and your professional career?

The most significant takeaway I learned from attending the WEST 2024 Conference is the focus on a hybrid fleet and that unmanned vessels are underway in fleets and no longer in the laboratory. This is significant from an academic perspective because it can add additional cyber challenges that can be analyzed in the classroom. From a professional perspective, my career in the submarine fleet will be heavily intertwined with unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) to help gather intelligence and enter areas where submarines would be highly vulnerable.

Can you tell us about a specific speaker, panel, or interaction that stood out during your time at WEST 2024 and why it was important or impactful to you?

I attended the panel “Do We Have the Tools and Technologies We Need to Enable Information as a Warfighting Multiplier?”, which focused on the current and future readiness of the military for getting the correct information into the hands of commanders at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. I think this is extremely interesting for the case of submarines since data isn’t always readily available, so how can we make sure the best information is there for the commander to make the right decision. The call for industry to help support this mission through AI and Machine Learning was also highly impactful, as it can enable the military to outsource some of the development and thus focus manpower in other areas instead.

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