Research

ALERT’s vision is simple: a world protected from the catastrophic consequences of explosives-related threats. The ALERT research and results transition program ties real-world “Grand Challenges” to fundamental research and technology transition, keeping them synchronized but able to adapt as societal and homeland security needs change.

Grand Challenges

ALERT leadership has defined several “Grand Challenges” facing DHS and society. These challenges are used to drive the ALERT research thrusts. The Center focuses it’s research on the following challenges:

  • Characterization & Elimination of Illicit Explosives
  • Actionable Remote Trace and Vapor Chemical Detection
  • Ultra Reliable Screening
  • Effective Stand-Off Threat Discovery & Threat Assessment
  • Seamless Transition of Research to the Field

Enabling Technology

In order to facilitate transitioning breakthroughs developed in the research environment into valuable in-the-field tools, ALERT closely collaborates with it’s national labs, industry and researchers to develop testbeds. The testbeds provide an environment for prototype development within associated operational and controlled environments.

Fundamental Science

Deriving from the “Grand Challenges”, ALERT’s basic research areas are composed of four interrelated thrusts: Characterization & Elimination of Illicit Explosives, Trace & Vapor Sensors, Bulk Sensors & Sensor Systems and Video Analytics and Signature Analysis.

In all these thrusts, we have based our assessment of the gaps in the existing fundamental science via several mechanisms. In addition to reviewing literature on the subject, we have consulted colleagues in academia, the national labs, federally-funded research and development centers, and industry. We have attended focused research meetings on topics of relevance. These assessment activities are ongoing and continually inform our research program to ensure its relevance to the ALERT mission.

Video Analytics & Anomaly Detection

The grid of images above shows a progression from a video frame(left column) to an anomaly map(right column). This work is part of project F3-G – Distributed Video Analytics and Anomaly Detection.

Innovation Fast Track

EXCLUSIVE TO CENTER MEMBERS: Log in to explore your Innovation Fast Track, an online portal that gives you one-stop access to center researchers, funding opportunities, exclusive events and more.

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Student Central

Students, get connected with Industry Partners, find out about research and volunteer opportunities within ALERT, or get advice on how to best showcase your work at Student Central.

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The Partnership

ALERT is led by Northeastern University (NEU) and includes three key academic strategic partners: Boston University, Purdue University, and University of Rhode Island (URI).

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