University opens port security research center

The Stevens Institute of Technology has opened a new high-tech research facility at its Hoboken, N.J., campus to create a new model for port security.

In partnership with the Navy, the university created the Secure Infrastructure Technology Laboratory (Sintel). “It will serve the needs of the U.S. Navy and others by leveraging several existing research centers, which are already engaged in Naval anti-terrorism and force-protection work, as well as infrastructure security research,” said Harold Raveché, the university’s president, in a prepared statement.

Among the lab’s benefits, Sintel users can rapidly respond to threats and monitor threats in foreign ports through automated decision tools.

“To achieve our goal, we will take advantage of our realistic maritime environment and develop systems [that] integrate real-time mobile and remote ocean sensor capability, ocean forecast models, wireless networking, automated decision aids,” said Michael Bruno, a Sintel co-founder and the lab’s interim director, in a prepared statement.

“And advanced human/computer interfaces will provide a secure infrastructure technology research and development enterprise unequaled in the United States,” he added.

Researchers will conduct a six-month project to test the detection and classification of moving underwater objects at New York harbor by using threat assessment algorithms, control algorithms, systems-level data management and fusion. The project will also feed into several other long-term technology initiatives.

The Office of Naval Research provided an initial $6.8 million grant to open the facility and has earmarked another $6 million for fiscal 2006.

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