The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) announced today the deployment of a perimeter security system at Logan International Airport that automates detection of threats and drastically reduces response times. The program, currently in a pilot and testing phase, makes Logan the first major commercial airport in the country to deploy a software-based perimeter security system that integrates physical security sensors.
The pilot program, based on VistaScape Security Systems' SDMS software and infrared cameras from FLIR Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR), operates as an early warning system 24 hours a day in any weather condition. SDMS continuously analyses video images from outside Logan's control tower and utilizes algorithms to identify abnormal movements or objects. SDMS presents this incident data graphically on a standard Windows-based PC and immediately alerts airport security personnel to violations of security policy.
The system identifies an object, tracks it from camera to camera, judges its speed and direction, and produces forensic-quality data. Armed with this real-time information, Logan operations personnel can immediately notify ground and harbor security response forces. The alert, including geographical positioning on a satellite map of Logan, can be sent directly to the PDAs State Police carry, to mark an intruder's exact location.
"VistaScape and FLIR offer a blend of software and hardware that is exciting because it provides a picture, information about the alert, speed, direction and exact location to State Police, who are then in response, not patrol, mode. They'll know exactly where to go to catch the perpetrator," said Dennis Treece, Massport Director of Corporate Security since Sept. 25, 2002. Treece came to Massport after almost 30 years in the United States Army, retiring as a Colonel in 2000, and brings a strong background in counterterrorism, intelligence analysis, state-of-the-art security solutions and project planning and implementation.
Massport's decision to test VistaScape's SDMS technology is the latest in a series of nationally-recognized aviation security initiatives and is part of Massport's ongoing commitment to protect the 23 million passengers who travel through Logan each year. Logan is the first US airport to field a police unit fully trained to use automatic weapons, the first to implement 100 percent baggage screening and first to provide State Police troopers with handheld computers. Massport also pioneered a behavior pattern recognition procedure to help identify potential terrorist activities.
"Massport continues to take the lead in testing and adopting new and effective security technologies that increase the confidence our passengers have in using our facilities," said Massport Chief Executive Officer Craig P. Coy. "With a state-of-the-art bag screening system, the latest in firearms training and equipment and procedures for spotting potential terrorists, Massport is providing its travelers with the most advanced security solutions in the nation and, most importantly, peace of mind."
VistaScape's physical security integration software is installed at other high-profile government and commercial locations including a U.S. Navy facility in San Diego. The software enables Logan to implement a proactive perimeter security solution as part of their overall security strategy.
"In today's security-heightened environment passive video recording of events is not enough. Customers come to us to help prevent incidents from even happening," said Glenn McGonnigle, CEO, VistaScape. "We are proud to be working with Massport to showcase how advanced computer intelligence and analysis can add another dimension of security for travelers. SDMS is designed to get the security personnel out from behind the monitors and in the field with information that empowers them to shrink response times and prevent security breaches. By deploying our technology, Logan will become a safer place for the traveling public."
FLIR's world leading thermal imaging equipment is used at airports around the world. The pilot is an opportunity for FLIR to showcase the capabilities of its equipment together with a software-based integration platform in real-world conditions.
"Our systems are ideally suited for the environmental challenges that New England weather can present at Logan airport," said Andrew C. Teich, Sr. Vice President, Sales and Marketing, FLIR Systems. "When you absolutely, positively need to see what is going on, our technology gets the job done."
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