Maritime, Island and Remote and Extreme Environment Security (MIREES)

 The Center for Maritime, Island and Remote and Extreme Environment Security (MIREES) is a university-based DHS Science & Technology Center of Excellence led by Stevens Institute of Technology and the University of Hawaii.  As a Center of Excellence (CoE), MIREES leverages the physical infrastructure and intellectual capital of its academic, industry and government partners to conduct innovative research, develop new tools and technologies, and provide relevant maritime security focused educational programs to enhance our nation's maritime domain awareness and the technical skills and leadership capabilities of our current and prospective maritime security workforce.

MIREES is comprised of two sister research centers:

Stevens Institute of Technology leads the National Center for Secure and Resilient Maritime Commerce (CSR), in collaboration with a unique consortium of academic, industry and government partners.  The Center's research focuses on enhancing maritime domain awareness through the use of sensor technologies, including Acoustics and Electro-Optics, HF Radar and Satellites, to form a layered approach to maritime and port security applications.  The Center also leverages systems engineering tools and technologies that can be used to enhance the resilience of ports and the marine transportation system.

The CSR's sister research center, The National Center for Island, Maritime and Extreme Environment Security (CIMES) led by the University of Hawaii, focuses its research efforts on the safety, security and protection of extreme and remote environments. With complementary and parallel objectives, CIMES leverages autonomous systems and emerging sensor technology in coastal radars, acoustics and air/space-borne platforms to enhance situational awareness for decision makers and first responders.

RESEARCH PROJECTS and ACTIVITIES:

CSR research projects include:

Satellite Surveillance: CSR researchers from the University of Miami are working to enhance our nation's capability to collect satellite image data on a global scale from multi-satellite and multi-frequency sensors such as Synthetic Aperture Radar (SR) and electro-optical (EO) satellites to allow for the operational monitoring of the entire global oceans. Tests are being conducted to determine the accuracy of satellite imagery in detecting vessels and the fidelity of discriminating vessel characteristics.

HF Radar Monitoring: CSR researchers at Rutgers University and University of Puerto Rico are working to demonstrate a real-time multi-static vessel detection capability that can be deployed on the developing National HF Radar Network as a dual-use technology that does not interfere with the National Network?s primary mission of surface current mapping to support U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue and the variety of agencies, including NOAA. The approach has been to use two test beds, one existing Mid-Atlantic Urbanized Test Bed in the approaches to New York Harbor, and to develop a second Remote Tropical Test Bed In Puerto Rico.

Acoustic Monitoring of Underwater and Surface Vessels:  CSR researchers from Stevens Institute of Technology have conducted numerous field and laboratory studies of various sensor technologies for the detection, characterization, and tracking of surface and underwater threats, including divers, UUVs, and small powered surface vessels. These studies have resulted in improved understanding of the signatures and the underlying physics responsible for the signatures for a variety of surface and underwater threats. Using this understanding, Stevens researchers have developed a unique passive acoustic sensing technology that shows great promise of providing real?time detection, characterization, and tracking capabilities in virtually all nearshore, harbor and inland waterway environments.

Decision Support: CSR researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology and Monmouth University are developing ways to integrate CSR sensor systems and data to enhance the rapid sharing of information between decision makers (Federal, State, Local Public/Private entities and the Military) and the first responder community.  This aspect of the CSR's research demonstrates the future direction of interoperability among key organizational participants in major incidents and focuses on more rapid and accurate joint decision-making.


Resiliency Strategies for Port Systems: CSR researchers at MIT, Stevens Institute of Technology, and the Mattingley Group have developed new knowledge that includes the identification of port failure modes, the identification of potential threats, the effects and restoration policies, and resiliency models that allow for the quantification of port resilience. CSR's approach to resilience is to provide a set of actions and tools to major MTS decision makers in both the public and private sectors for use in the assessment of benefits from an array of security investments.

CIMES research projects include:

Coastal Radars: CIMES has developed, and continues to deploy, coastal radars in Hawaii and Alaska, with multiple interactions with the USCG. CIMES research has led to the production of routine data products with two-hour latency to support search-and-rescue (SAR) missions as well as the development of more efficient and compact radar and stand-alone power systems.

Remote Power Module: As part of the effort to deploy coastal radars in environmentally inhospitable regions such as the North Slope of Alaska, CIMES researchers at UAF have developed the Remote Power Module (RPM), a fully?automated, hybrid power station designed for arctic and sub-arctic maritime environments. The RPM combines solar, wind and fuel-power capabilities within a remotely deployable platform. A rugged, durable and climate controlled shelter houses high-frequency (HF) radar electronics, communications equipment and electrical system components of the power plant.

Harbor Acoustic Monitoring: Two different types of acoustic arrays have been designed and fabricated, facilitating the collection of background noise field data from a test site near the entrance to Honolulu Harbor as well as the acquisition of diver-generated noise in a controlled environment.  These data reveal and expand the volumes over which divers can be detected and have led to array design modifications that will enhance passive acoustic monitoring.  Recently CIMES researchers have deployed a clone of one Hawaiian system in the waters off Puerto Rico; students there are using acoustics to monitor and understand sources of underwater sounds.

Decision Support Systems: The CIMES Decision Support/Data Fusion effort captures information provided by Center sensors and additionally incorporates relevant data freely available on the World Wide Web to inform MDA decision making. Factors such as weather, which may have an effect on sensor performance or model predictions, are included in data analysis along with the information provided by CIMES coastal radars, for example, to improve SAR operations.

Unmanned Port Security Vessel (UPSV): The UPSV, a cooperative project with investigators from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who are members of the Center of Excellence for Awareness and Location of Explosives-Related Threats (ALERT), was successfully demonstrated in 2010.  The UPSV has been repeatedly tested and has successfully completed operational deployments.

Ruggedized Sensors: CIMES is collaborating with the National Center for Border Security and Immigration (BORDERS) and the Office of the Surgeon General of the Air Force to install ruggedized communications, environmental and medical sensors on various conveyances (unmanned aerial vehicles, wearable personnel gear, land-based stations, etc.) to protect and monitor DHS and USAF personnel during operations in the field.

Supporting USCG Operations in the Arctic: In July 2011 DHS via CIMES funded two projects to support USCG operations in the Arctic.  The first builds upon existing RPM and HF radar projects to provide better maritime domain awareness to the USCG in the Arctic; the second uses unmanned aerial systems launched from icebreakers such as USCG Healy to ground-truth satellite ice maps and provide better estimates of sea ice thickness.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS:

  • Professional Development Courses: Courses are held in convenient, flexible three-day module formats, tailored to the professional development needs of maritime and homeland security practitioners.  Courses are delivered in Washington, DC and starting Spring 2012 course delivery is also anticipated for Los Angeles, CA.  For a list of upcoming courses, please visit: www.stevens.edu/csr/education/Graduate-and-Professional.html
  • Maritime Security Graduate Certificate: The four course, 12-credit Maritime Security Graduate Certificate is conveniently delivered online via Stevens WebCampus and on-campus at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ.  Credits earned in the Maritime Security Graduate Certificate can be applied toward a Master's Degree in Maritime Systems from Stevens Institute of Technology.
  • Maritime Systems Master's Degree Fellowships: Master's degree fellowship opportunities are available to US citizens interested in pursuing advanced academic study and careers in maritime security. The generous fellowship opportunities include full-tuition support and stipends.
  • Summer Research Institute (SRI): The SRI provides undergraduate and graduate students a unique opportunity to participate in an intensive eight-week research program designed to tackle critical issues in maritime domain awareness, emergency response, and maritime system resilience, to enhance our nation's maritime security.  This highly-collaborative, hands-on summer research program emphasizes critical thinking and multi-disciplinary research to generate innovative ideas and solutions to address complex
    maritime security issues.  The program is held annually from June to July.
  • Academic-Semester Educational Activities:  A curricular sequence was developed by the University of Puerto Rico during the second year of CIMES funding and implemented at that institution during the third year. It facilitated the successful solicitation of funding for a program entitled Education and Training of Students on Maritime Domain and Port Security at UPRM from the DHS' Scientific Leadership Awards for Minority Serving Institutions Granting Bachelor Degrees.
  • Stakeholder Engagement Activities: Stakeholder engagement activities are ongoing with DHS agencies such as the USCG, FEMA and related industries; these have led to successful partnerships between CIMES researchers and stakeholder students at the University of Hawaii, University of Alaska-Fairbanks and the University of Puerto Rico.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

For information about the CSR please contact Hady Salloum, Associate Dean for Research and Outreach, Stevens Institute of Technology, at hsalloum@stevens.edu, or by phone at 201.216.8575.

For information about CIMES, please contact Kevin Kelly, CIMES Deputy Director at kevink@hawaii.edu or by phone at 808.956.6651.