We are the only system-focused, dedicated data and information fusion center in the United States, and one of only two in the world. Our center is jointly operated between the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, and CUBRC, a non-profit research center located in Western New York.
Our mission is to serve as a focal point for research and development in information fusion, and to transfer this technology to customers in operational system environments. To do this, CMIF supports a world class team of experts in information fusion, who conduct research to advance the understanding and knowledge of the underlying science and technology of this emerging field of study.
Created through an Air Force-sponsored contract to CUBRC in 1996, CMIF’s annual revenues exceed $8 million per year. The original U.S. Air Force sponsors were Rome Laboratory and Wright Laboratory, who shared equally in the Center's support. (Note that as a result of Department of Defense (DoD) reorganizations, the “Rome Laboratory” and “Wright Laboratory” are now Directorates of the single U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory; a complete fact sheet about the current Laboratory organization is available here.)
Through CMIF, UB and CUBRC deliver research and development for a wide variety of applications, including defense, intelligence and homeland security.
Under the framework defined by the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Directors of Laboratories (JDL), six data fusion categories are defined to designate the data/information fusion process. These categories are frequently used when discussing U.S. Federally-funded grants and contracts.
On an operational level, these six categories can be related to the specific research tasks in data fusion. In Level 0, signals and features are first detected in the environment and measurements are taken for raw data analysis. These entity-based signals and features are assessed, identified and tracked as single objects in Level 1. The object relationships, their potential threat and intent, are investigated next to form a situational assessment in Level 2 processing. The situations are further analyzed to understand the threat and develop an impact assessment in Level 3 operations. In Level 4, the assessed impact and threat are used to refine the process and optimally manage sensors in order to provide the most useful information, enabling an adaptive, feedback-based system capability. Finally, in Level 5, decision aids, human-factors based tools and visualizations are developed to enable an analyst to make informed decisions.
UB’s focus is on basic research at all levels of the data fusion model. Faculty and students investigate core research technologies with a focus on eventual technology transfer.
CUBRC uses this basic research to further refine it into higher-technology readiness levels that can be used on actual working systems. Their focus is on DoD R&D levels 6.1 through 6.4, representing basic, applied and advanced research, as well as engineering and manufacturing development.
This unique partnership enables CMIF to tackle projects that have both a research and applied focus, using the world class research personnel and facilities at UB together with the applied systems engineering and security cleared personnel and facilities at CUBRC.
CUBRC is a leading research, development, testing and systems integration company specializing in the areas of data science and information fusion; chemical, biological and medical sciences; and aeronautics. It is an independent scientific not-for-profit corporation established under IRS code as a 501c(3) in 1983.
CUBRC's Data Science and Information Fusion Group consists of skilled researchers, computer scientists, engineers, and subject matter experts who specialize in the development of software and hardware systems supporting:
Through the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the University at Buffalo provides support to CMIF initiatives and projects. UB houses the main CMIF facility located in Lockwood Library on the university's north campus.
UB also provides facility support for CMIF affiliated laboratories, such as the UB Nanosatellite Laboratory located in Hochstetter Hall, and the Advanced Navigation and Control Systems research laboratory located in Lockwood Library. In addition, several UB entities are affiliated with CMIF, such as the Department of Industrial Systems and Engineering, the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the Department of Philosophy, and the Department of Geography.