Maritime Security

Research Areas

Maritime Risk- Threat Analysis- and Resilience

Mobile Modular Maritime Domain Awareness (M3DA)

Integrated Education

About Us

MSC Factsheet

Stevens Institute of Technology
Babbio Center, 6th Floor
525 River Street Hoboken, NJ 07030
Phone: (201) 216-8575


Dr. Hady Salloum, MSC Director

Project Search

Maritime Security Center

The Maritime Security Center, led by Stevens Institute of Technology, enhances Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) and develops strategies to support Marine Transportation System (MTS) resilience and educational programs for current and aspiring homeland security practitioners.

Center Activity

Project Spotlights

1. Satellite Sensing– CSTARS at the University of Miami leads the Center’s research in the area of Satellite synthetic aperture radar systems for enhanced maritime domain awareness (MDA). Open ocean satellite-based surveillance is a key capability in the development of MDA, particularly with respect to ship detection, classification and identification.  Satellite synthetic aperture radars (SARs) have been demonstrated to be able to detect vessels of medium to large lengths.  New satellite systems have improved imaging modes and spatial resolutions to allow detections of even smaller boats and non-emitting targets.

The Center’s Satellite MDA research includes the testing of satellite data and products for integration into DHS’s Coastal Surveillance Systems operating at the Air & Marine Operations Center (AMOC). 

2. Port Resilience - Florida Atlantic University is leading the Center's efforts to develop a cost-effective port resiliency assessment and planning tool that can be adapted, through a choice of interchangeable event modules to assess and plan for evolving threats and hazards to a port and its waterside and landside distribution capacity.  

3. Discussion-Based Tabletop Exercises - MSC Research PIs from Louisiana State University (LSU) are leading the Center's efforts to develop discussion-based tabletop exercises to support port facility emergency response and preparedness capabilities.  

Over the past year, LSU has worked in conjunction with the Port of New Orleans and USCG Sector New Orleans to develop and deliver a hypothetical active shooter exercise, and have collaborated with the Sector New York Area Maritime Security Committee to support a series of cyber threat exercises tailored to container facility operators, passenger ferries, and oil and gas terminal operators.

The objective of the Center’s work in this area is to build a web-based repository of scenarios and exercise templates that can be used and customized by the USCG and port facility operators across the country.

4. Maritime Cybersecurity - The Maritime Cybersecurity research project aims to develop a plan for assessing and addressing cybersecurity risks.  Led by research PI, Cris DeWitt, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), the two-year project will seek to answer the following questions:
1. What risk-based performance standards can be developed for cyber risk management of the Marine Transportation System (MTS)? How would performance standards inter-relate with other infrastructure sectors and their performance standards? How would performance standards inter-relate with existing safety and security management systems?
2. What type of criteria should be utilized to develop an academically rigorous framework for Cyber Policy for the MTS? 
3. Based on a multi-node analysis, what are the critical Points of Failure within the cyber system supporting the MTS?
4. What are the critical requirements that should be considered when developing an academically rigorous and multi-use Maritime Cyber Range?
5. What methodologies can be utilized or invented to develop a framework to analyze a point of Failure Detection Methodology?
6. What methodologies can be employed to conduct a quantitative analysis of maritime cyber deterrent strategy effectiveness?

MSC Articles/Conference Papers:

Salloum, Hady, Alexander Sutin, Alexander Pollara, Detecting Illegal Fishing Activity with Acoustic Technology | Passive acoustic methods help USCG fight illegal fishing, U.S. Coast Guard Proceedings, USCG Proceedings, Vol75 No1 Spring 2018

MD Sultan A., Kaisar E., Dhanak M., Sapat A., and Charisis A., “Port Recovery in the Aftermath of Oil Spill Incident” conference proceedings at 5th Annual UTC Conference for the Southeastern Region, Gainesville FL, November 2017

Kaisar E., and Dhanak M., “A Smart Port Resiliency Assessment and Planning Tool” conference proceedings 2017 International Urban Freight Conference, Long Beach, CA, October 2017.

Pollara, Alexander, Alexander Sutin, Hady Salloum. Passive Acoustic Methods of Small Boat Detection, Tracking and Classification.  2017 IEEE International Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security, Waltham, MA, 25-26 April 2017.

Sutin, Alexander, Timothy Flynn, Hady Salloum, Nikolay Sedunov, Yegor Sinelnikov, Helen Hull-Sanders. Vibro-acoustic methods of insect detection in agricultural shipments and wood packing materials. 2017 IEEE International Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security, Waltham, MA, 25-26 April 2017.

Cortese, Frank, Timothy Flynn, Christopher Francis, Hady Salloum, Alexander Sedunov, Nikolay Sedunov, Alexander Sutin, and Alexander Yakubovskiy. Experimental security surveillance system for an Island-based facility. In Technologies for Homeland Security (HST), 2016 IEEE Symposium on, pp. 1-4. IEEE, 2016.

Pollara, Alexander, Alexander Sutin, and Hady Salloum. Improvement of the Detection of Envelope Modulation on Noise (DEMON) and its application to small boats. In OCEANS 2016 MTS/IEEE Monterey, pp. 1-10. IEEE, 2016.

Pollara, Alexander S., et al. Phase DEMON algorithm for time delay estimation used in small boat tracking. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 140.4 (2016): 3008-3008.

Pollara, Alexander S., Alexander Sutin, and Hady Salloum. Feature extraction for acoustic signatures of small boats. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 140.4 (2016): 3451-3451.

Sutin, Alexander, and Hady Salloum. Stevens acoustic research in the Hudson River. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 140.4 (2016): 3350-3350 (invited).

MSC Education Publications:

Austin-DeFares, Beth and Bunin, B., (2015) The Impacts and Benefits of Engaging STEM Students in Maritime Security Research, Marine Technology Society Journal, Blue Futures: Educating the Next Generation, pp. 45-52(8)

DeFares, B., Pullen, J., and Bunin, B. (2014) Maritime Security Summer Research Institute, Cases on Research and Knowledge Discovery: Homeland Security Centers of Excellence, Chapter 5, IGI Global Press

Student Opportunities at MSC

Summer Research: The Summer Research Institute (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 multidisciplinary research to generate innovative ideas and solutions to address complex maritime security issues.  

Since the program’s inception in 2010, 162 high-achieving engineering and science students representing more than 23 U.S. universities have participated in the summer research program. SRI student participants have produced high quality research outcomes and the development of new tools and technologies that have had direct impact to end-users and stakeholders.

SRI student research projects have included:

SRI 2018 Student Research Projects:
UAS Buoy System
Maritime Cybersecurity
HullBug - Cleaning Ship Hulls from Biofouling
Wave Glider Optimization
BlueROV2 - Autonomous Subsea Pipeline Inspection

SRI 2017 Student Research Projects:
Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) in Maritime and Port Environments
Arctic Acoustics - Detecting and Localizing Changes in Ice Cover
Virtual Reality (VR) Applications for Enhanced Maritime and Port Security
Maritime Cybersecurity - Data Flows in the Maritime Transportation System

SRI 2016 Student Research Projects: 

Environmental and Urban Noise Acoustics
Underwater Acoustics - Effects of Buoy Noise on Underwater Passive Acoustic Detection Systems
Maritime Cybersecurity Threats and Vulnerabilities

SRI 2015 Student Research Projects:

     Underwater Acoustics
     Sensor Integration
     Magello Emergency Response Tool

SRI 2014 Student Research Projects:

    Acoustic Vessel Signature Analysis for Automated Vessel Classification
    Magello Emergency Response Tool: End-user Test and Evaluation
    Maritime Incident Scenario Development and LNG Safety and Security
    Technology Integration and Synergies: Radar, Optics and AIS

SRI 2013 Student Research Projects:

    CBP Trade Facilitation Case Study
    Detection Technology Synergies
    HF Radar Data Integration

The SRI is held annually from June - July, on-campus at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ.  For more information, please visit

MSC Technologies and Tools

Stevens Passive Acoustic Detection Systems - (Fact sheet)

Stevens Passive Acoustic Detection Systems - Applications in the field:

Stevens Institute of Technology’s passive acoustic detection technologies are aiding Customs and Border Protection (CBP) field operations personnel in their efforts to detect and mitigate threats from invasive species, drug smugglers, and terrorists.  

Initially developed and utilized to detect and classify underwater and surface threats including small vessels, submersibles, divers, and swimmers for the Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard, Stevens Institute of Technology has evolved the application and utility of its passive acoustic detection technologies to address other critical homeland security concerns and CBP mission areas.  These areas include the detection of invasive species in wood packing materials and agricultural products arriving in cargo containers at seaports, and the detection of low flying aircraft often used in illicit smuggling operations and illegal activities along the U.S. borders. 

Current CBP methods to detect invasive species in agricultural products are labor intensive and include the manual process of visually inspecting products using bright lights and magnifying glasses. Dr. Hady Salloum, Associate Dean for Research at Stevens Institute of Technology and Director of the Maritime Security Center has been working with CBP Agricultural Specialists since 2015 to test and evaluate the use of microwave and acoustic technologies to detect pests. The challenge is to detect multiple pests at ports of entry before they make their way into the United States and cause irreparable harm to our agricultural system and forests, says Salloum.

By listening for movement, vibrations and the hatching of larvae, the Stevens researchers believe that a technology-based solution will effectively increase the detection rate of pests and will ultimately save CBP time and money.  The system has been tested at the Ports of Newark, Laredo and Detroit, and additional tests are planned for the Port of San Francisco.

The multiuse capabilities of Stevens acoustic detection system have also been demonstrated along the northern U.S. border to detect and classify low flying aircraft. A method known to be used by illicit smugglers, low flying aircraft present unique challenges for CBP in that they are difficult to detect and classify with basic radar alone. This generates the need for more advanced surveillance technologies and systems that are portable, scalable and easily integrated with other surveillance sources.  Working in conjunction with DHS S&T and CBP, Stevens has evolved its acoustic technologies to address these critical issues and has successfully transitioned the sensor system to CBP and entered into a licensing agreement with Bridgenet International.   

The university has a provisional patent for the aircraft detection system.



Research Partners

Stevens Institute of Technology (Lead University)
Hady Salloum, MSC Director and Associate Dean for Research – Phone: 201.216.8575 / Email:
Beth Austin-DeFares, Director of Education – Phone: 201.216.5362 / Email:

University of Miami - CSTARS
Hans Graber, Director, CSTARS – Phone:  305.421.4952 / Email:

University of Puerto Rico- Mayaguez (UPRM)
Jorge Corredor, Professor, Chemical Oceanography - Phone: 787.899.2048 ext. 244 / Email:

Elizabeth City State University (ECSU)
Jinchun Yuan, Professor - Phone: 252.335.3676 / Email: 

Florida Atlantic University (FAU)
Manhar Dhankar, Professor and Director, SeaTech, Phone: 954.924.7242 / Email:

Louisiana State University – Stephenson Disaster Management Institute (LSU SDMI)
Brant Mitchell, Director, SDMI – Phone: 225.578.5939 / Email:

American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
Matthew Mowrer - Director of Homeland Security Risk Management Technologies - Email:

Purdue University
David Ebert, Silicon Valley Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director, Purdue Visualization and Analytics Center Office Phone: 765.494.9064 / Email:

Non-University Partners

Mattingley Group
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ)
The Pacific Basin Development Council (PBDC)