SINTEL debuts – a new boost to Stevens' security expertise

08/22/05

Secure Infrastructure Tech Lab makes most of Stevens' urban harbor location

HOBOKEN, N.J. -- Stevens Institute of Technology, in partnership with the US Navy, has announced the debut of a unique research facility, the Secure Infrastructure Technology Laboratory (SINTEL). The lab was established with an initial grant of $6.8 million from the US Office of Naval Research (ONR). An additional $6 million is earmarked for FY 2006. "SINTEL is a synthesis and expansion of Stevens' already vast expertise in the area of homeland security technologies," said Stevens' President Dr. Harold J. Raveché. "It will serve the needs of the US 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."

"SINTEL is an interdisciplinary laboratory for real time systems development for the protection of maritime infrastructure. It tests and analyzes threat scenarios in the realistic environment of the NY Harbor," said Stevens' Vice President for Institute Technology Initiatives (ITI), Dr. Helena S. Wisniewski, to whom the Director of SINTEL reports. "The goal of SINTEL, Wisniewski continued, is to provide each member of the ship's crew with automated, real time situational information for the entire ship, in a hand held device. This information includes threat assessment and automated decision aides."

The benefits of SINTEL include:

  • Automated decision aids providing rapid responses to threats and the capability to act prior to attack.
  • Sensor placement optimization.
  • Ability to monitor and determine threats in a foreign or known port.
  • A combined E/O and IR imagery sensor modeling system to resolve small-scale surface ocean motions and to provide bottom topography – provides force protection and situation awareness.

The applications include:

  • Effective solutions to environment surveillance, data management, decision support and latency problems that limit AT/FP effectiveness in CONUS and OCONUS maritime environments.
  • Knowledge of bottom topography form UAVs, small planes or other platforms for force protection and situation awareness that would be difficult or impossible to acquire with current methods.

"To achieve our goal we will take advantage of our realistic maritime environment, and develop systems which integrate real-time mobile and remote ocean sensor capability, ocean forecast models, wireless networking, automated decision aids and advanced human computer interfaces will provide a secure infrastructure technology research and development enterprise unequaled in the United States," said Dr. Michael S. Bruno, who co-founded SINTEL, will serve as SINTEL's interim director.

"To demonstrate the uniqueness and utility of the new facility," he continued, "we will start with a multi-disciplinary intensive – 6 month – project to run an experiment on the detection and classification of moving underwater objects. This experiment will be run in the maritime environment of the New York harbor, will use, threat assessment algorithms, control algorithms, systems-level data management and fusion, and will address scenarios of concern to the Navy."

This intensive effort will feed into a series of longer term critical technology initiatives that will be pursued to achieve SINTEL's goals. SINTEL provides a unique facility for real time collaborative technology development, testing, evaluation and experimentation of maritime situation awareness problems. It is based on a spiral development approach to systems, and leverages technology from a number of Stevens Centers, including:

  • 1. The Center for Maritime Systems – one of the most advanced ocean engineering and marine hydrodynamics research laboratories in the world and includes the highest-speed towing tank in the world. See http://www.stevens.edu/engineering/cms/

  • 2. The New York Harbor Observing and Prediction Center - established to permit an assessment of ocean, weather, environmental, and vessel traffic conditions throughout the New York Harbor region. See http://onr.dl.stevens-tech.edu/webnyhos3/

  • 3. The Design and Manufacturing Institute (DMI) - an interdisciplinary center that integrates intelligent product design, materials processing, and manufacturing expertise with modern software and embedded technologies for defense and commercial applications. DMI is working with US ARMY ARDEC (Picatinny Arsenal) on Systems Integration Methodologies. See http://www.dmi.stevens-tech.edu/index.php

  • 4. The Wireless Network Security Center (WiNSeC) – a cutting-edge wireless- technology research, development and testing center. It specializes in secure wireless communications in complex environments, and developed a cognitive radio which is being commercialized. See http://www.stevens-tech.edu/winsec/

"Protection of Naval Infrastructure against terrorist attack is extremely critical," said VP Wisniewski. "Defending against the asymmetric threats to our Navy forces at home and abroad constitutes the primary research, modeling and development business of SINTEL. We at Stevens are proud to have the opportunity to contribute to such an important area involving our nation's security."

Source: Eurekalert & others

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