Latest Security Technologies At Maritime Expo
At the 2006 Maritime Security Expo and Conference last month in New York, vendors showed off a dazzling array of specialized hardware, software and services. Many of the products and services are effective at either a seaport or a non-maritime environment. The disparate nature of each product on the show floor clearly reflected the manifold security needs of government agencies and businesses during the post-9/11 era.
For the overall seaport environment, VistaScape Security Systems, Atlanta, showed a sensor-based surveillance system meant to overcome waterfront security challenges, such as multiple entrance points and the presence of privately owned ships. For port surveillance, VistaScape’s Automated Wide Area Surveillance system combines video input from any number of cameras with data from other sensors in categories such as radar, chemical, biological and “open-close” for display on a single screen. The system also continuously compares input from cameras and other sensors against rules or policies set by government agencies, triggering alarms if security violations take place.
Also for port protection, SeaAway, Titusville, Fla., announced the creation of its Sea Sentinel System, a new “prior to port” scanning system for detecting and neutralizing a terrorist threat before it happens. Sea Sentinel is designed to scan all containers for CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive) hazards, allowing for a 12-to-15-mile buffer zone for determining and mitigating security threats.
Canberra Industries Inc., Meriden, Conn., highlighted systems and training courses in the area of detecting and managing radioactive contamination. The company’s offerings include technologies such as dose rate meters and portable electronic dosimeters aimed at establishing the presence of radioactivity, says Bud Sielaff, Canberra’s product line director for health physics. Canberra also offers radiation-monitoring devices for use during the aftermath of an incident.
On the ocean-going vessel side, security products displayed at Manhattan’s Javits Center ran the gamut from underwater video surveillance cameras from B and H Photo Video, New York, to Derry, N.H.-based Gentex Corp.’s LVIS Tactical Vessel Intercom System.
In the naval communications arena, Gentex’s LVIS intercom system supports up to 50 channels, says Daniel A. Fratkin, Gentex’s director of business development, Electro-Acoustic Products. The intercom system enables autonomous operation by crews on multiple vessels, even when ships are within signal range of each other. The onboard system revolves around portable intercom control and wireless access point (AP) devices, which together supply data and speech connectivity among handheld transceivers and LCD-enabled “crew connection point” devices.
Vendors ranging from CoreStreet Ltd., Cambridge, Mass., to General Dynamics Information Technology, Fairfax, Va., introduced new products for securely identifying emergency first responders.
For the credentialing of first responders and other personnel, CoreStreet’s new PIVMAN System for ID includes software for both handheld devices and back-end computer servers. The software is tailored to local, state and federal government agencies that have already met or are about to meet FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) 201 hardware requirements. According to CoreStreet’s Andrew Sinkov, Department of Homeland Security exercises such as Winter Fox and Eligible Bridge have proven that PIVMAN provides accurate IDs of emergency responders from multiple organizations, even when computer networks and other communications channels are unavailable. Field personnel making on-the-spot access decisions can view smart card credentialing information already loaded onto the handhelds.
Another big player in the ID realm, systems integrator General Dynamics Information Technology, featured its MobileID security vehicle. MobileID contains FIPS 201- and HSPD-12-compliant solutions for ID credentialing, system enrollment, smart card issuance and smart card management.
Many of the systems shown at the Maritime Expo involved integration work between products from multiple vendors. Within the LVIS maritime intercom system, Gentex uses its own LVIS-branded intercom control and crew connection point devices, in conjunction with Trulink wireless access points, PTT and VOX portable transceivers and transceiver charging stations from Telephonics, Huntington, N.Y.
Denise M. Shay, chairman and director of administration for fiber optics at Meridian Technologies, Elwood, N.Y., says that her company has integrated fiber optic transmission systems from DigiFlex into a series of security solutions for office buildings in lower Manhattan.
Alternatively, some vendors are also adding to their existing security offerings through in-house development. Some show-goers attributed much of the initial integration work to the security needs and demands of specific customers in government.
For example, Intergraph was among several companies that worked with Lockheed Martin on an integrated electronic security system for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) transportation infrastructure. Intergraph’s technology is helping MTA to bring together all security sensor information into a single command-and-control system.
Product line-ups from IBM Corp., Armonk, N.Y., and Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, Md., stood out as particularly far-reaching. Developed in conjunction with shipping giant Maersk Logistics, Copenhagen, IBM’s Intelligent Trade Lane system is a framework for protecting people and products as well as conveyances, says W. Scott Gould, vice president for public sector strategy, IBM Consulting Services. “You can kind of think of Intelligent Trade Lane as ‘Interpol meets Linux,’” Gould says. Linux, an alternative to commercial computer operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, is gaining increasing ground as a collaborative software development environment.
Lockheed Martin discussed its Maritime Integrated Domain Awareness Solution (MIDAS), a suite of applications for port security, maritime law enforcement, vessel traffic management, asset protection, search and rescue and protection of critical infrastructure. Neptune, one of the applications, provides global operational displays around vessel tracking and monitoring. Lockheed’s AwareNet furnishes port area mapping in conjunction with critical infrastructure monitoring and geospatial alerts. Both of these solutions also integrate sensor data.
In conference sessions at the show, speakers from IBM, Lockheed Martin and other organizations gave perspectives on how security vendors and government can best meet the needs of the maritime industry. Martin Rojas, executive director of safety, security and operations for the American Trucking Association (ATA), points to the desirability of uniform systems regarding ID credentialing and cargo security. With these systems, he said, truckers would not be required to wear multiple ID badges or to fill out multiple sets of forms for the same cargo loads.
Gabriel Treesh, manager of public safety and environment at CSX Transportation, contends that the nation’s railroads have long maintained effective internal procedures and technologies around hazardous materials.
Allen Thompson, vice president of global supply chain policy for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), spoke out in favor of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT). Thompson says that members of his association are now refusing to work with transport carriers that do not abide by C-TPAT’s voluntary cargo security guidelines. “They’re saying, ‘we will not do business with you unless you’re C-TPAT-compliant,’” he says.