- March 5, 2012
- Posted by: Eric Heller
- Category: Blog
ABC World News with Diane Sawyer covered airport perimeter security breaches and included SightLogix thermal cameras in the story. You can see the SightLogix system at about three-quarters of the way through the clip, showing the video from a Thermal SightSensor operating at one of our nation’s largest airports.
An alarming fact indicated in the clip is that more than 1,300 airport perimeter security breaches have been reported at US airports since Sept 11 2001. While most issues around security checkpoints and screening passengers in terminals have been resolved, there remains tremendous vulnerability where protection is most needed: At the airport perimeter. As pointed out, this is like locking all the doors to your house but leaving the windows wide open. It’s harder to get bottled water through the terminal security checkpoint than it is to climb the fence at many airports.
Solving Airport Perimeter Security Breaches with Smart Thermal Video Security
Importantly, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is addressing issues of airport perimeter security breaches head on, first by protecting access points where passengers enter the airport’s security checkpoint, and now by focusing their efforts on the next level of vulnerability, which is the perimeter.
Through the TSA’s test bed in Tennessee, proven security counter measures are now available that can very effectively address airport perimeter security breaches. A recent evaluation by the TSA’s Airport Perimeter Security test program confirmed the accuracy of the SightLogix SightSensor at Buffalo Airport. According to the TSA’s final report, the “evaluation team performed over 900 scenarios of which every alarm instance was accurately reported.” The public version of the TSA report is available here.
Achieving security awareness depends on knowing the precise location and nature of an intrusion, and early detection is paramount for mounting a timely response. When it comes to securing airport perimeters, seconds can mean the difference between life and death.
Of all the automated detection technologies (fence sensors, fiber optics, seismic sensors, radar, etc.) only smart video provides the intrinsic detail to display and record the “what and where” of an alert without need for additional verification systems, allowing for a fast, precise security response.
Smart thermal video systems can detect unauthorized intruders over large perimeters to provide early warning and actionable data as an event unfolds, and before damage can occur. This gives security teams time to respond with “eyes on until hands on” capability that is critically needed at our nation’s airports.
Ironically, none of the examples shown in the video would have been prevented by any detection mechanism. In every case shown, the “delay” part of “delay, detect, deter” failed totally. And the report’s comparison to passenger inspections was also flawed since passengers could in fact “bolt” through security just as the truck did in the video. Nice placement for your brand, though!
I wouldn’t discount non-video based detection sensors. There are areas around an airport where video based detection is not practical, especially when the airport builds fences in a non-straight fashion (zig-zags, rectangles around power substations, etc.). What is important in those areas is timely cueing of PTZ cameras to slew to the intrusion spot fast enough to aid in verification of the intrusion.
I read the TSA’s report (clean version) of the test results from the Buffalo airport that tested the Sightlogix system. It is interesting how little attention was paid to your nuissance alarm rate. Sightlogix seemed to minimize the data (which I could notsee). I sure would like to get an uncensored copy of that report to see your detection rate and nuissance alarm rate.