Advanced Underwater Security System for Private Sector

Hady Salloum, director of the Maritime Security Center and the Sensor Technology and Applied Research (STAR) Center at Stevens Institute of Technology, has been awarded a contract for $3.3 million from iModal Ground, LLC to develop an underwater acoustic security system that will protect ports, waterways and waterfront properties from surface and underwater intruders. The work, which will build off of Stevens’ existing patented technology, has the potential to open up a wide range of uses, from keeping passengers in cruise ships safe, protecting ports and cargo ships and keeping the supply chain running smoothly.

Salloum and his STAR team will develop a new underwater acoustic sensor system prototype that will meet the needs of the private sector and be used across all industries, including manufacturing, tourism, transportation and logistics. It will be based on the Stevens Passive Acoustic Detection System (SPADES), a patented technology previously created at Stevens which works by placing hydrophones underwater, then acquiring and rapidly analyzing sounds to detect human divers, as well as the distinctive sounds of small boats. SPADES’ software filters out ambient noise and can spot a diver breathing from a distance of hundreds of yards.

The technology has previously been tested by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, but Salloum will adapt the technology for commercial use. The new system will be able to detect, monitor, and classify possible underwater intruders in oceans, rivers and lakes. The data collected by the sensors will be processed using acoustic classification algorithms that Salloum and his team will develop to provide a unique, integrated solution for dealing with underwater and surface threats.

“This underwater acoustic sensor system prototype will meet the needs of the private sector and be used across all industries including tourism, transportation and logistics,” said Salloum. “I am excited to work with iModal Ground to advance this technology and create a new, widely available underwater security solution.”

“We look forward to partnering with Hady and his team of researchers at Stevens to develop this new option for maritime security,” said iModal Ground President MJ Johnson. “In our increasingly global world, this system will benefit countless people through safer and more efficient travel, shipping and logistics.”

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