Summer Research Institute - 2011

The Center held its' second annual Summer Research Institute, June 6 to July 29, 2011, at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.  The program was led by a team of researchers and educators.

Twenty-one students representing eight universities were admitted into the eight-week intensive summer research program.  Student representation included the following U.S. colleges and universities:

  • Stevens Institute of Technology (8 students)
  • University of Miami (3)
  • University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez(3)
  • Jackson State University (2)
  • University of Hawaii (2)
  • Rutgers University (1)
  • Norfolk State University (1)
  • SUNY Binghamton (1)

For a list of the 2011 SRI student participants, please click here.  For a list of participating researchers, please click here.

Collectively, the students represented a broad base of academic disciplines including Aerospace Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Maritime Systems, and Systems Engineering, to name a few.  Eight of the student participants were Master's and/or PhD students and 13 were undergraduate students in their junior and/or senior year of study.

The students were organized into two research teams: The Sensor Technology Applications in Port Security (STAPS) Team led by Faculty Mentors Dr. Barry Bunin, Chief Architect, Maritime Security Laboratory and Dr. Alexander Sutin, Research Professor, Stevens Institute of Technology and The Consequence Assessment and Management (CAM) Team led by Faculty Mentors Dr. Julie Pullen, Director, Maritime Security Laboratory and Dr. Philip Orton, Research Associate, Stevens Institute of Technology.

Working closely with their faculty mentors the students were given the collective challenge of utilizing sensor technologies and plume modeling forecasts to assess the potential impacts of a radiological dispersion and oil spill in the New York Harbor.

During the summer research program, the SRI students engaged in a surprise crisis simulation. On July 11, 2011 the CAM and STAPS teams were provided with factitious intelligence that a vessel had detonated a bomb in the Hudson River, exploding itself and releasing oil and debris into the river. The factitious intelligence also mentioned that radiation sensors were indicating that radioactive contaminants were detected in the air. 

With no additional information provided or directions, the two SRI research teams were asked to assist with the disaster by providing situational awareness utilizing the CSR?s   remote sensing technologies and its simulation and modeling tools and capabilities. A summary of the student's experience in conducting the crisis simulation can be found via the following web link: SRI_CRISIS_RESPONSE_REPORT_-_July_11th_2011.pdf.

Program Outcomes

The outcomes from this summer's program contributed to the Center's research and development of new tools and technologies to enhance our nation's maritime domain awareness.

Student achievements included the development of a new web interface called Magello and a new graphical user interface that tracks vessel traffic abnormalities.

Developed by members of the Consequence Assessment and Management Team, the Magello web interface pulls together multi-source data that can be overlaid and displayed collectively in one user-friendly interface.   The data sources used include AIS, ocean currents, atmospheric plume models, ocean spill models and other remote sensing applications. The data inputs draw upon feeds by NOAA, GNOME, NYHOPS and COAMPS to name a few.  This "one-stop shop" interface has the potential of providing first responders and decision-makers with modeling and simulation capabilities, and critical environmental and atmospheric information during emergency and crisis situations.

Students in the Sensor Technology Applications and Port Security Team utilized multiple sensors in a layered approach to enhancing maritime domain awareness.  The team successfully developed a graphical user interface that can assist in the identification of vessel traffic abnormalities.  This information system can potentially increase surveillance capabilities for maritime security practitioners and port security.

The student teams were each responsible for preparing a final research paper and presenting their research in a formal presentation to CSR faculty and invited guests from the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Coast Guard.

Copies of the student teams' final reports and presentations can be reviewed and download via the follow web links:

Final Reports:

Consequence Assessment and Management - Team Paper

Sensor Technology Applications in Port Security - Team Paper


Consequence Assessment and Management Team - Final Presentation

Sensor Technology Applications in Port Security Team - Final Presentation

For additional information about the 2011 SRI, please contact Beth Austin DeFares, Director of Education, at [email protected] or by phone at 201.216.5362.