May 24, 2019  

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National Sports Security Laboratory Evaluates Emerging Technologies

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The National Sports Security Labaratory tested an unmanned aerial vehicle at USM's M.M. Roberts Stadium on Tuesday, March 13.

On Tuesday, March 13, the National Sports Security Laboratory (NSSL) at the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) tested and evaluated an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, at The University of Southern Mississippi.

The evaluation took place at M.M. Roberts Stadium on USM’s Hattiesburg campus and included a team of subject matter experts in the field of sports safety and security.

“When you have mass gatherings of people at large sporting events, we have to look at how that technology functions and operates and educate the end users,” said Daniel Ward, Director of the National Sports Security Laboratory. “That’s what we’re doing here.”

Other technologies that have been through the rigors of the NSSL include walk thru metal detectors, explosive detection canines, social media monitoring, and video surveillance, to name a few.

The NSSL can test and evaluate technologies at USM’s football stadium (M.M. Roberts Stadium), basketball arena (Reed Green Coliseum) and baseball stadium (Pete Taylor Baseball Park), in addition to offsite testing at a venue or stadium.

Additionally, the NSSL includes a state-of-the-art facility, housed at USM’s Trent Lott National Center, capable of supporting ongoing research, education and testing. It exposes practitioners and students to a fully outfitted research, training, and operation center with integrated safety and security technologies.

With the growing concern of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) at sporting and entertainment events, NCS4 is hosting a UAV Innovation and Technology Forum on May 15-16 at USM.

During the Forum, attendees will engage both the technology solution providers and security professionals in sharing a future direction of engaging best practices, lessons learned and the integration of technology to solve security issues. The forum will discuss technology barriers, case studies, and implementation strategies. Additionally, attendees will observe the application of drone surveillance, detection, and deterrence technologies during live demonstrations. 

Approximately 60 thought leaders from professional sport venues, universities and colleges, open access events (such as marathons and festivals), academic institutions, major and special events, government, and public safety will gather to investigate the challenges and potential solutions for airspace security. Lodging and registration will be provided to participants selected to take part in this one-of-a-kind event.

For more information on the National Sport Security Laboratory, visit

For more information on the UAV Innovation and Technology Forum, visit