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


Two SRI researchers work on a RAX CubeSat

Disruptions in Earth's ionosphere from solar activity can cause communications blackouts, negatively affecting GPS and radio signals. SRI’s revolutionary small satellites offer a novel way to monitor such conditions.

soldiers viewing arial surveillance images

Called “the best training we’ve ever received” by participating soldiers, instrumented combat-readiness exercises for members of the National Guard develop life-saving skills prior to deployment.

PRIME project logo

SRI is developing a decision support tool to help analysts forecast and understand the plausible effects of actions taken within complex socio-cultural environments.

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.

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.

prototype camera on a tripod

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

ground vehicle with complex mapping sensor system

SRI is developing technology that will enable warfighters to easily maneuver a robot, precisely map an environment, and have 3D situational awareness.

man viewing video on laptop

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

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.

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.

Products + Solutions

security guard identifying drivers with the IOM RapID-Cam II camera

Easy, fast, accurate biometric solutions for access control and identity verification. Iris on the Move (IOM) systems perform iris recognition effortlessly at a distance to ensure that only authorized individuals gain access to critical information, valuable assets, or secure locations.

IOM N-Glance iris reader

An easy-to-use, modular identity-verification system for access control. The system allows users to network any number of iris readers to enforce secure access throughout a facility or campus.

three outdoor security cameras on a pole

The Acadia hardware series of embedded video processors delivers clear, actionable information from full-motion video. These products are available in multiple configurations with a variety of input and output options to accommodate a broad range of applications.

UAV monitoring forward operating base

SRI’s TerraSight real-time video processing and exploitation suite enables users to extract maximum value from air and ground video surveillance. TerraSight instantaneously presents critical information from widely distributed sensors in one 3D common operating picture (COP).

VerifIR™ Video Surveillance Camera

Detecting a concealed bomb before it explodes in a crowded airport or sports stadium is critical. The VerifIR standoff camera system helps users find and characterize hidden threats in congested areas.

view of skyscraper from below

SRI’s patented “soft catch” technology, available for license, retrofits windows to block shards of glass from entering after an exterior explosion.

electroadhesive surface-climbing robot

SRI offers licenseable surface- and wall-climbing robot prototypes for surveillance, inspection, and sensor placement applications.

electroadhesion demonstrated with a wall-climbing robot

SRI’s breakthrough electroadhesion technology, available for license, allows electrically controlled reversible adhesion
 to most surfaces.

demonstration of artificial muscle

SRI has patented a thin, flexible, smart material dubbed “artificial muscle” because it behaves much like a human muscle. Artificial muscle, available for license from SRI for a variety of application areas, uses a breakthrough technology called electroactive polymers.

Taurus Dexterous Robot held by a researcher

SRI is developing Taurus, a potentially life-saving telemanipulation tool for military and domestic bomb squads to defuse vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs). Following field trials, Taurus enters commercial markets in 2012.

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

ID and Access Management Required for Enterprise Architecture

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.

13 Ways Disney Could Use Drones At Its Parks

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.

Total Army Concept the Future for National Guard

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.

Tag Teaming Big Data

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.

Next Big Thing: Drones Have Arrived, What's Next?

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
SRI’s Mahoney Sees Robots Growing in Use, Acceptance (audio)

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.

DARPA Kicks Off Two-Year Cybersecurity Hack-A-Thon

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.

DARPA Builds Computer Games to Verify Software

The Pentagon’s research organization has teamed up with software developers and online gamers in order to create computer games that can help verify and develop secure open-source software, such as Xylem from SRI and UC Santa Cruz.

Robots Step Up for Government Work

As robots have gotten more sophisticated and costs have dropped, they are taking on new roles in the civilian government workspace. Robot designers, including SRI's Rich Mahoney, underscore three key areas of development.


ASIS 2014 logo

SRI will demonstrate trusted biometric products for access control and workforce management. Our Iris on the Move® (IOM) systems perform fast, accurate authentication—adding security, convenience, and efficiency to your enterprise.

ausa logo

SRI will demonstrate field-proven, easy-to-use products for persistent surveillance, situational awareness, and access control.

CVPR 2014 text on photographic and illustrated buildings

SRI is a sponsor of the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) 2014, one of the premier annual computer vision events organized by IEEE. In conjunction with the event, SRI is organizing three workshops.

security today conference logo

SRI's Steve Perna, executive director of Products and Services Division, will lead an educational session on biometrics for access control at the Security Today Conference & Expo in November.

biometrics 2014 logo

SRI will demonstrate biometric products for access control and identity authentication that deliver unprecedented security without compromising ease of use.


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.