Transec 2011: Post show report with Tom Reeve

Transec 2011 workshop
Mark Thomas of Cortech speaks to delegates at the Terminal Security workshop

Transec 2011 once again hosted four technology related workshops as part of its free-of-charge educational series. Delegates were free to come and go as they pleased. editor, Tom Reeve, chaired one of the workshops entitled Terminal Security – Airside and Landside.

Sponsored by Verint, the workshop attracted a respectable size audience who heard presentations from six technology companies on a number of issues.

Mark Thomas of Cortech Developments started the workshop with a discussion of the key considerations for investing in integrated control room management.

He believes that the operator is the weakest link in the system and therefore the technology of your control room should be designed to compensate for his or her inadequacies.

This point wasn’t directly challenged by any of the presenters but others weren’t so quick to pin the blame on the operator.

The next presentation was from David Thomasson of Axis Communications who asked, is the next generation of CCTV already here?

The industry, he says, has progressed quickly from analogue through digital to IP network CCTV. Axis leads the work in the sale of IP cameras and is second among in the world if  you include all CCTV camera manufacturers, whether analogue or IP.

He said that video analytics had got a bad press from manufacturers who were too eager to sell unproven technology, but that analytics was beginning to live up to its promise now.

Transport Security Expo 2011
Transport Security Expo 2011

He touched on HDTV standards including colour reproduction and data compression before moving on to low-light performance. Low light, he said, was the last bastion of analogue but with recent developments in IP chip technology, that was no longer the case.

Our next speaker was Terry Bills from Esri. His topic was Geographical Information Systems as a platform for transportation security.

Command centres are suffering from information overload but GIS can give them the framework to build situational awareness.

His view is that the human operator is the systems integrator in most systems because the dozens of systems in a typical environment, say an airport, are rarely effectively integrated.

Lawson Noble of CitySync followed next to discuss the essential security role of ANPR within an international airport.

ANPR has made great strides in recent years. In 2002, a “good” system would recognise between 50% and 80% of numberplates that passed by. Now, the national standard is 93% and most manufacturers regularly exceed that figure.

He talked about ANPR and the methods used to acquire and convert and image into data before going on to discuss some of the many imaginative ways that police use the technology including “geo-fencing” and convoy analysis.

He also outlined some of the potential airport applications for ANPR, some of which were a revelation to the audience.

The next speaker – Andrew Denton of Meyertech – talked about terminal security and the many issues that need to be taken into account.

He touched on a case study of a major European airport that Meyertech had been involved in, highlighting the need for:

  • Integration – bringing information from all systems  together
  • Flexibility – ensuring your systems can adapt automatically to changing conditions
  • Technology – the benefits of adopting the latest technology

And the final speaker came from Verint, sponsors of the workshop.

Peter Weller, senior pre-sales consultant for Verint Systems EMEA, talked about the integrated and multi-layered approach to terminal security.

He compared an airport to a small city and showed how detailed 3D mapping could be used to help security and other departments predict the outcome of events such as fires, flooding and gas leaks.

He also explained the concept of physical security information management (PSIM) in terms of how it can help integrate multiple security systems such as access control, ID systems, video surveillance, radar detection and other systems into a comprehensive command and control system.

Altogether it was an interesting series of presentations for me.

It reminded me that, as we look back ten years on from 9-11, one of the lessons of that day was the lack of information that was available and how that hampered the response.

The first reports on the day spoke of a small plane hitting one of the towers even though it was clear to anyone on the scene that it was more serious than that.

There was little if any information given to the occupants of the tower. And emergency services complain to this day that they were not adequately briefed about what had happened when they entered the building and communications on site was very poor.


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