US Transportation Security Administration Validates SightLogix Perimeter Security for Airports

In March 2011, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) conducted a comprehensive perimeter security for airports test of the SightLogix Thermal SightSensor outdoor video analytic camera system at Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BNIA). The TSA chose to deploy the SightLogix system at the busiest airport in Upstate New York as a test bed for future perimeter security technologies. The goal of the TSA test was to validate thermal video analytic security effectiveness at Buffalo airport, a difficult environment due to its widely varying topology and inconsistent illumination, which is typical of most airports.

Testing Perimeter Security for Airports

TSA evaluators conducted numerous test scenarios to determine the effectiveness of the SightLogix system. The tests were designed to simulate a human intruder attempting to defeat the system by breaching the perimeter detection zone without causing an alarm. The scenarios were distributed throughout several regions of the airport’s perimeter covered by the SightSensors. The evaluators performed randomized scenarios for each SightSensor deployed. According to the TSA’s final report, the “evaluation team performed over 900 scenarios of which every alarm instance was accurately reported.” The report also stated that “each alarm prompted the system to display the alarm video, location information, nearest camera reference numbers, date and time, and an audible alarm signal.”

Additionally, the TSA reported that “SightSensor target tracking capabilities were available and 100% functional throughout the evaluation period.” According to the TSA, airport personnel reported that the process of integrating the SightSensors into the existing video management system was “smooth and without issue.” Cost savings were also reported by airport officials. SightLogix on-board image processing, which provides accurate detection in the outdoors, also provides extended detection capabilities. This additional range reduced the number of poles, trenching and communications needed for the airport’s perimeter security system, while exceeding the automated detection area originally specified in the design. The result was a more accurate perimeter security system that met the airport’s available budget. The use of thermal cameras also provided an optimal detection source for the airport because thermal analytic cameras can detect intrusions that might occur even in complete darkness, removing the need for any illumination. In the final analysis, the TSA concluded that the SightLogix thermal video analytic solution “had a positive effect on the airport’s perimeter security monitoring and detection efforts.”

SightLogix – Accurate Perimeter Security for Airports

The SightLogix system, comprising Thermal SightSensor video analytic cameras for detecting and tracking intrusions over large areas and SightTrackers which automatically steer Pelco PTZ cameras to zoom and follow detected targets, was tested by the TSA at the airport from March 7-11, 2011. Fixed SightSensors were installed to protect critical regions of the perimeter with automated monitoring capabilities to detect people or vehicles moving from the public side toward the runway. The cameras were positioned to provide additional surveillance capabilities across multiple access gates and portions of the perimeter that were adjacent to public roadways. Video and alarm data was networked to a central monitoring station via fiber optic cable. Because Thermal SightSensors detect targets based on heat signatures, there was no requirement for additional illumination sources. The system is specifically designed to cover large distances with a high degree of accuracy in the snow, rain, and bitter temperatures of the Buffalo winter.

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