CSTARS to form part of Department of Homeland Security's Center of Excellence for Maritime Security

March 04, 2008

The US Department of Homeland Security announced the creation of five new Centers of Excellence dispersed throughout the country. These Centers will study border security and immigration; explosives detection, mitigation and response; maritime, island and port security; natural disasters, coastal infrastructure and emergency management; and transportation security.

The University of Miami's Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing (CSTARS) will serve as a key partner alongside the Stevens Institute of Technology to conduct multi-disciplinary research and create innovative learning environments that will strengthen port security and increase maritime domain awareness. In addition to the University of Miami, the winning proposal submitted by Stevens also involves Rutgers University and other universities throughout the country, which will serve on a joint executive committee for the project.

"Our CSTARS program is uniquely positioned to provide the team at Stevens and other entities with the critical satellite imagery needed to successfully monitor our ports and harbors," said Dr. Hans C. Graber, co-director of CSTARS and chair of the University of Miami's Division of Applied Marine Physics. "Working collaboratively, we will be able to make significant contributions to research that will benefit the nation's maritime security infrastructure, and help to safeguard human lives."

"The sophisticated acquisition of data underway at CSTARS dovetails nicely with the complex issues the Department of Homeland Security is trying to address through the creation of a Center of Excellence in maritime, island and port security," said Dr. Otis Brown, dean of UM's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. "Our goal as a research institution is to help communities better understand the planet, participate in the establishment of sound environmental policies, and aid in the improvement of society and quality of life. Participation in this project will assuredly help meet these goals."

According to Stevens' Provost & University Vice President George P. Korfiatis, "Together with our partners, we will break new ground in the integrated use of multi-scale sensors and computer simulation, as well as forecasting models to equip our port security and first-responder communities with the technologies and processes needed to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the Marine transportation System (MTS), which is responsible for the vast majority of the nation's international commerce."
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Launched in 2003, CSTARS is a major program of the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, one of the world's premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Employing low earth-orbiting satellite systems, CSTARS scientists conduct research using remotely sensed data. They provide directly downlinked, high-resolution data for environmental monitoring of the Gulf of Mexico, Southeastern United States, northern South America, Central America and the Caribbean Basin. CSTARS also furnishes a reliable communications channel for researchers stationed at the Antarctic Southpole Research Station, connecting them via VoIP (Voice over the Internet Protocol), and providing electronic medical file transfers, when required.

University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
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