The multi-domain smart sensor (MDSS) program combines research efforts of an industry/university consortium and the Army Research Laboratory (ARL). The consortium is headed by Lockheed Martin; other members are DRS, the University of New Mexico, Stanford University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This paper describes the concept and the current status of research and development of the MDSS program. The goal of this program is to develop technologies that will allow significant improvements in situation awareness and target detection and identification, especially of low observable targets. A notional system concept has been developed that guides the research. Under this concept, improved target detection will be obtained by passive imaging with large-area, dual-color IR focal plane arrays (IRFPA) operating in the mid-wave (MWIR) and the long-wave (LWIR) spectral bands. Once target detection is achieved, target identification - if necessary - can be obtained through active imaging with a noval, scannerless ladar system. To materialize this concept, research and development is performed for dual-color IRFPAs, and an eyesafe laser and a demodulator for the returning radiation - both required to operate up the MHz frequencies. Also, hyperspectral imaging is investigated for detection of camouflaged targets. In support of this effort, field measurements have been performed with boresighted MWIR and LWIR cameras to obtain pixel registered imagery for the development of effective fusion and processing algorithms.