By Jodi Richards
Jodi Richards, Associate Editor
While focus remains on passenger screening and security, surveillance security is another goal of the Transportation Security Administration and is beginning to attract more attention. Existing technology is being repurposed and new applications developed to enhance and integrate perimeter security with existing solutions.
At Helena (MT) Regional Airport, officials are implementing an automated surveillance solution designed to enhance perimeter security.
Says airport director, Ron Mercer, “This type of situational awareness is vital at all airports.”
VistaScape Security Systems was awarded the contract to deploy its Automated Wide Area Surveillance solution at Helena.
According to VP of marketing, David Gerulski, the technology VistaScape will employ at the airport is part of the Distributed Ad-hoc Intelligent Sensor-Intrusion Detection System (DAIS-IDS), a development project funded by a $1.2 million TSA grant. G5 Technologies is the project’s systems integrator.
The system combines video input from cameras that can be placed all around the airport with other sensor data and then displays images on a single screen. The user interface displays the covered areas on an interactive digital map. It is constantly comparing what is happening in the video feed to user-defined, predetermined rules.
For example, offers Gerulski, if someone enters or nears a restricted area, an alarm is triggered and the appropriate actions can be taken by security personnel. Additionally, targets are tracked in real-time as live video of the incident can be sent to remote monitors and handheld devices.
Airports have the ability to set as many or as few parameters for the system as necessary. Also, if more information is needed about an incident before security is called, the image in question can be selected for further details, such as location. The system also includes web-based reporting and management tools.
The system can be integrated with other security features, including access control through radio frequency identification cards and biometrics. This will allow access to specified personnel without setting off any alarms.
Gerulski says the software is advanced enough to distinguish between planes, animals, people, and other objects, and can be customized to meet the needs of any size airport. He adds that beyond the security and safety benefits, there are cost benefits to the technology as well. Because the data from multiple cameras is displayed on one screen and the computer is programmed to detect anomalies, there is less of a demand on personnel; www.vistascape.com.
Technology Service Corporation is developing a perimeter security system which uses existing radar systems for tracking airfield and runway movements.
The system, secure perimeter area network (SPAN) will be designed to interface with ASDE-X (airport surface detection equipment) and other equipment to provide security officials with a single image. Like the VistaScape solution, airport officials will be able to set parameters and guidelines for the system so when any rule is broken, an alarm will be triggered; www.tsc.com.