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Center for Surveillance Research (CSR)

The Ohio State University

Wright State University

Last Reviewed: 12/17/2019

The Center for Surveillance Research (CSR) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC). Its mission is to advance the body‐of‐knowledge for modern surveillance systems. The inherent multidisciplinary nature of surveillance systems means that the Center includes researchers from a broad spectrum of expertise, including, sensor phenomenology, signal and image processing, machine learning, sensor technology (e.g., radar, acoustic, chemical/biological, etc.), and human factors. CSR is a collaborative effort by academia, government and industry to conduct pre-competitive research and student training for the next generation of technology leaders.

Center Mission and Rationale

Surveillance and situational awareness are critical technologies needed to address societal needs of safety and security.  Surveillance is used to provide our nation with both international and homeland security, situational awareness for disaster mitigation and management, and environmental monitoring. The key to addressing these issues lies in the effective use of sensors and sensor systems.  While individual sensor technology is advancing, there is no mature theory for understanding composite surveillance systems.  The challenge is to design quantitative tools that aid in designing optimal surveillance systems to achieve particular inference goals and to develop a theory for predicting surveillance performance. 

There is an increasing need and urgency to train and educate qualified scientists and engineers that can become the next generation of thought leaders in the surveillance system field. Surveillance theory is a broad, multidisciplinary topic that integrates ideas and techniques across several disciplines. It is in this multi-dimensional domain that CSR seeks to leverage the collaborative effort of industry and university partners.

Research program

Surveillance Science

CSR’s scientific research program addresses the breadth and depth of surveillance science. The core disciplines include sensor exploitation, signature prediction, computation, and functional baseline descriptions. Performance prediction and uncertainty characterization accompany every level (signal, feature, detection, localization, tracking, targeting, and intent). Thus, the performance bounds and information metrics are likewise relevant at each level.

Special Activities

Recent research topics include:

  • “Structured covariance matrix estimation with STAP applications”
  • "Generative Models with Visual Attention for Target Tracking and Re-acquisition"
  • “Deep Learning for Cognitive Radar”
  • “Drone SAR”
  • “The Geo-Aware Mobility Traffic Simulation Framework”
  • “Merging Deep Networks with Algorithms for Imaging Inverse‐Problems”
  • “Knowledge-empowered real-time event-centric situational analysis”
  • “Algorithms for Efficient, Wide-FOV SAR-GMTI”
  • “Processing of Optimally-constructed, Non-contiguous Radar Transmission Spectra”
  • “Evaluating Impact of Trust in Human-ATR Interaction”
  • “Advanced Regression Techniques for ATR System Performance Modeling”

Facilities and Laboratory

CSR has an extensive capability of performing surveillance‐related experiments and working with collected surveillance data. 

The CSR has two university sites: The Ohio State University and Wright State University.  Combined, they bring substantial breadth and depth of research ability, including the following: video surveillance, machine learning, distributed sensor networks, hyper‐spectral imaging, radar image exploitation, human factors, multi‐sensor integration, information theoretic automated threat recognition, radar system design, waveform diversity, bistatic/multistatic radar, and terahertz imaging and exploitation. Both OSU and WSU have International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) data handing capability in order to work with restricted datasets.

Per the center bylaws, there have also been projects funded at CSR affiliate universities Carnegie Mellon University, City University of New York, University of Minnesota, and East Carolina University.


The Ohio State University

2015 Neil Avenue

Columbus, Ohio, 43210-1272

United States

Wright State University

3640 Colonel Glenn Highway

Dayton, Ohio, 45435

United States