Homeland Security and National Defense

As part of our mission, SRI helps the U.S. government meet imperative homeland security needs. In the past decade alone, SRI has performed more than $4B in contract R&D, primarily for the U.S. government.

Technologies and programs developed at SRI play important roles in U.S. military and civilian efforts to combat terrorism, at home and abroad—from mapping systems for air combat training used during the Cold War to speech-enabled translation software deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

SRI's solutions for safeguarding our nation range from instrumented combat training for the National Guard to cyber security, threat detection, and persistent surveillance technologies.

Through its unmatched engineering and systems integration expertise, SRI has developed solutions to challenging technology and security issues for more than 65 years. An experienced and reliable government contractor, SRI excels at collaborative partnerships with multiple stakeholders. We are skilled at early-phase, collaborative definition of new systems, and create platform technologies that enable future applications. Projects span the system life cycle, from concept definition through production and support, for end-to-end customer solutions.

Clients include the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Institutes of Health, all branches of the Armed Services, and the National Guard.

Strategic Alliances for Joint Research and Development, Testing, and Practical Application

SRI partners with these organizations to develop, field-test, and deploy homeland security applications:

Program Areas


SAVE diagram

The SAVE framework supports training in virtual environments through automated assessment of learner performance and tools for content authoring.

SRI researchers examine a IPDM test device.

SRI has developed a novel approach to safely and efficiently render harmless weapons and ammunition that are no longer needed for military use.

green boxes highlighting people walking on street

SRI’s vision-based systems enable safe operations of moving unmanned ground vehicles around stationary and moving people in urban or cluttered environments.

image collage showing SRI's biometric system and a close-up of a man's eyes

SRI International is developing a system that delivers affordable, accurate iris recognition of moving subjects at a distance.

man viewing video on laptop

SRI is developing a novel search technology to quickly find events of interest in very large video collections.

prototype camera on a tripod

SRI has developed a novel camera device that can detect unusual or excess vibrations in machinery and aircraft.

SRI researcher looks at a Deep STARE imager and camera system.

To keep astronauts, equipment, and satellites out of harm’s way, SRI provides a rare capability to quickly track tens of thousands of objects in near-Earth space.

people in a computer server room

SRI provides technical, management, and subject matter expert support for the wide range of research, development, testing, evaluation, and transition activities conducted through the Center.

Products & Solutions

PassThru image

A drive-up iris biometric system for vehicle entry points. The IOM PassThru system extends the use of identity authentication to the perimeter. Easy-to-use and automated, the biometric system can efficiently replace RFID cards, passcodes, or security guards at the gate.

panoramic image on View 360 screen

SRI’s View 360 system provides real-time panoramic IR video while automatically detecting and tracking multiple targets at ranges up to 2 kilometers. This capability minimizes user fatigue and maximizes effectiveness.

screenshot of a download in progress on a computer

BLADE blocks even unknown, zero-day attacks without interfering in normal browser operations.

illustration of Earth with web connections viewed as light streams

To shield computer networks from cyber-attacks, SRI's HPB software analyzes millions of entries from worldwide volunteers participating in a firewall correlation system, and uses them to analyze attack trends.

words in red, such as bug, malware, hacking, phishing

SRI and partners have devised Eureka, a free online service to evaluate whether detailed analysis of malware threats is warranted.

BotHunter logo

SRI’s BotHunter system takes a unique approach to discerning networked computers that are under control of hackers, or may be spreading malware infections.

explorer equipment

ConTEXTract™ video OCR technology finds and reads text (such as street signs, name tags, and billboards) in real scenes. Recognition of text within imagery and video requires a more specialized approach than is provided by off-the-shelf OCR software,.

four people using SEAS software

The SEAS software tool uses best analytic practices to guide analysts in collaboratively reasoning from evidence about potential threats and opportunities.

aerial view of terrain developed by SRI's Geovisualization Center

SRI’s Geovisualization Center offers services to clients for analyzing geospatial data through interactive visualization. Precision 3D models are integrated with geographic information system (GIS) data to deliver highly accurate virtual terrain databases.

Soldiers watching after-action review training videos

Developed for the U.S. Army National Guard by SRI International, FlexTrain™ is a rapidly deployable, global positioning system (GPS)-based, instrumentation system primarily used to support platoon to brigade level training.

Press Releases

IOM N-Glance biometric system

AMAG Technology, an access control, IP video, and intrusion detection (IDS) solution provider, announces that SRI is now a member of the Symmetry™ Extended Business Solutions Program as a Certified Partner.

man looking at iris biometric system

SRI International Sarnoff’s Iris on the Move® (IOM) N-Glance™ biometric system is now protecting access to E-Commerce Park Curaçao, the first data center of its kind built in the Pan Caribbean area.

SRI and UC Santa Cruz researchers are making a game out of the difficult task of software verification by creating an entertaining and accessible way to find vulnerabilities in software programs or systems.

driver in car using iom passthru at security gate

SRI International Sarnoff’s Iris on the Move® (IOM) PassThru™ drive-up identification system was selected as a 2013 ASIS Accolades – Security’s Best winner. The award recognizes security’s most innovative new products, services, and solutions.

sia NPS

SRI International Sarnoff’s Iris on the Move® (IOM) PassThru™ drive-up identification system was named Best in Biometrics, Identification and Credentialing by the Security Industry Association (SIA) New Product Showcase (NPS) at ISC West 2013.

iom passthru at vehicle access gate

SRI International Sarnoff brings the security of iris recognition to drive-up applications with its new Iris on the Move® (IOM) PassThru™ system. This multimodal biometric product quickly captures face and iris images for accurate identity authentication at the perimeter of any location.

Marine talking on a smart phone

SRI has begun the final phase of a U.S. Marine Corps contract to develop and commercialize multiple-personality mobile devices. The goal of the Trusted Handheld program is to solve problems that arise when personal mobile devices are used for business purposes.

Acadia ils-5000-SD

SRI unveiled a compact video stabilization interface board for Sony’s popular line of FCB-EX and FCB-EX-E series standard definition block cameras. The ILS-5000-SD improves the clarity of video by counteracting the effects of camera shake and vibration.


The TerraSight® EX video exploitation system, a compact, lightweight expeditionary version of the proven TerraSight platform, was introduced today by SRI International Sarnoff.

Aurora Skate

Aurora Flight Sciences and SRI International Sarnoff today announced the integration of the SRI Sarnoff DL Micro™ digital data link and video processor into the Aurora Skate® Small Unmanned Aerial System (SUAS). This pairing maximizes the real-time delivery of quality video from the SUAS.

SRI In the News

A $10 million contract to develop novel medicines and diagnostics that can be used to thwart bioterrorism threats or an infectious disease epidemic has been awarded to SRI Biosciences as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Folded Non-Natural Polymers with Biological...

SRI’s Steve Perna discusses the advantages of the iris biometric for access control.

The show, which features SRI's Patrick Lincoln and Daniel Sanchez, makes a complex and rapidly changing corner of computing comprehensible to non-science majors.

The Defense Department’s strategy to develop an enterprise architecture includes giving military personnel unique IP addresses and common access cards for authenticating users. “Adding biometric information along with the CAC implementation could easily be accomplished,” said SRI's Mark Clifton.

A blog post by SRI's Mike Melle is cited as noting that drones can be used to search for lost children, provide tactical surveillance and suspect tracking, assist in accident investigations, and monitor large crowds.

The National Guard Bureau operates the eXportable Combat Training Capabilities (XCTC) program in conjunction with SRI, giving soldiers true-to-life simulations to enhance their training.

Two closely related IARPA programs, including one led by SRI, aim to improve image location and search capabilities, saving intelligence analysts significant time and effort.

Rich Mahoney, director of SRI's Robotics Program and others sit down with Bloomberg's Cory Johnson to talk about the future of drones at the Bloomberg Next Big Thing Summit in Sausalito, California on June 9, 2014.

Rich Mahoney

Rich Mahoney, director of SRI's Robotics Program, discusses the rapid development of robots for all kinds of uses, from help with household chores to dangerous search and rescue efforts.

Over the past year, computer security experts have been preparing for DARPA's Cyber Grand Challenge — but now, the time has come to get hacking. SRI computer scientists are among the competitors.


Image of AUSA logo

SRI will be exhibiting its latest solutions at booth 7243.

Logo of ISC West tradeshow

SRI will be demonstrating its latest biometric systems at booth 3089.

Logo of the INTERPOL World tradeshow

SRI will be demonstrating its Iris on the Move biometric systems for secure identity authentication, access control and workforce management applications at booth L1L-34.

Logo of connect:ID tradeshow

Come experience SRI's Iris on the Move biometric systems at booth 207.

image of Passenger Terminal Expo logo blue with a globe

SRI will demonstrate its Iris on the Move biometric identity solutions for the airport at booth 2080.


In this SPIE proceedings paper, SRI describes how its NV-CMOS™ image sensor technology is designed to capture images over the full range of illumination from bright sunlight to overcast starlight.

Adaptive smoothing in real-time image stabilization. When using the conventional fixed smoothing factor to display the stabilized video, we have the issue of large undefined black border regions (BBR) when camera is fast panning and zooming.

In this paper, published in IEEE International Symposium 3D Data Processing, Visualization, and Transmission.This paper presents a realtime, robust, and accurate stereo matching algorithm based on a coarse-to-fine architecture.

Blog Posts

Iris biometrics is moving from a niche component of high-end security systems into the mainstream. SRI's Iris on the Move systems will impact this expanding market in 2015.

Biometrics—including fingerprint, face, iris, and voice—is a highly accurate and reliable method of identity authentication. Each year, more businesses are reducing costs and improving operations through biometrics.

As the robotics revolution takes place all around us, SRI is advancing the robotics conversation and the research and technology development that will bring whole new robotics approaches to the market.

If your office building or facility is like most, people come and go throughout the day. Employees and visitors need quick access to get their jobs done, and your business needs security. So what is the best approach to ensuring secure access without slowing things down?

Veterans are important members of SRI International and our community of innovation. They bring an understanding of the military customer and how to get new solutions through the system. They are focused and know how to get things done.

Hollywood isn’t exactly known for accuracy, and their portrayal of biometric technology is no exception. Fingerprint scanners, facial recognition software, and iris recognition technology have become commonplace in thrillers and crime films to create suspense and high-tech futuristic scenes.

Anyone who has used a handheld video camera knows how hard it is to keep steady. A mild cough can turn footage from a kid’s soccer game into an amusement park ride. Now imagine mounting that camera onto a police cruiser or a 20,000-foot-high unmanned aircraft.

From high school basketball games to sophisticated military operations, a strong perimeter is the first line of defense. The challenge for commercial security is strengthening the perimeter without affecting business.