- The Washington Times - Monday, December 10, 2001

Since the events of September 11 the bar has been raised on the expectations of an airport's security and surveillance system. The reactive systems in place, which are primarily used to review video during an investigation, are no longer acceptable.
Surveillance data captured by video cameras needs to be activated and a proactive system needs to replace the static systems in place today. The only way to make a surveillance system proactive is by adding intelligence to the video data.
This can be accomplished by integrating a video surveillance systems with access control systems, item tracking systems, point of sale systems, object tracking and biometrics (like facial recognition) all of which can be accomplished without interfering with normal surveillance requirements. By tying video data to these other systems, the capabilities of video surveillance move beyond simple recording and allow for pro-activation of the system.
To accomplish this task airports will have to upgrade from analog systems (cameras recording to VCRs) and move to a digital system where the video can be activated through intelligent software tools.
With digital video in place, airport security will have the option of interfacing digital video data with other data sources, making the system more efficient and more importantly, more effective. By converting video to a computer network, the door is open to activate software tools to recognize changes captured by the video data.
With a networked digital video management system like that of the Loronix CCTVware system, advanced software tools have the capability to detect traffic patterns throughout the airport. That would ensure that uninspected travelers are not entering secure areas. Such a system can also conduct facial recognition to deter suspicious behavior and that's just to name a couple of the possibilities available with a digital system.
Practical applications in an airport environment are many. By tying video data to an access control system the video could be tied to every card-key transaction that takes place. If a card-key is swiped, for instance, at a door leading to the tarmac and it's rejected the video could capture that data and alarm on it real-time to notify authorities of a breach in security. Another example might be at the check-in counter.
Video data can be captured of the traveler during the check-in process; his/her face can be run against a known database of criminals to determine if further investigation of an individual is warranted. A third example could be if a bag were left sitting for a length of time (specified in the software) an alarm could be triggered to notify security personnel to inspect its contents.
Video intelligence tools will provide more than additional security and surveillance to airports; they will also provide some of the due diligence necessary in detaining suspects. Managing a digital video surveillance over a computer network allows for the addition of thousands of cameras without the addition of staff to monitor the video data captured.
A networked digital video management system is a perfect example of how to add camera "eyes" to an airport, or any facility, and automate the alarm triggers on the data captured so that security personnel are monitoring more of the facility without adding staff. Using these video intelligence tools will provide a return on investment not seen with previous surveillance systems.
To learn more about networked digital video management tools, visit Loronix at www.loronix.com or call 303/450-5900.
Fred Reed can be reached at [email protected]

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