A Winning Combination....First Runner-Up:

Several security technologies were combined to form a holistic solution at Tallahassee Regional Airport


The security industry's gradual transition to IP-based security equipment and processes has opened up a new world to potential end-users. Technology such as smart sensors, intelligent cameras and more can produce heavy amounts of data in the command and control center of any security operation.

At Tallahassee Regional Airport in Florida 's state capital, dispatchers and operators in the security command center were scrambling around, trying to figure out what to do with so much data coming in from different technological sources. “They were always in reactive mode,” says Brooks McChesney, founder and executive vice president of Vidient Systems, one of the technology suppliers for the airport.

Tallahassee Regional went on to deploy a technology-driven response system with the help of federal funding. The security project, which combined several technologies to provide a holistic solution, was named the runner-up in Security Technology & Design's Security Innovation Award competition (For more on the competition, see page 24 of the September issue of ST&D).

Tying it Together with RAPIN

Tallahassee Regional Airport received a Cooperative Agreement grant from October 2005 through the end of 2006 for the Rapid Intrusion Interception and Neutralization (RAPIN) system. The project focused on the airport's communication technologies — both hardware and software — required for rapid intruder interception and neutralization.

“The RAPIN system integrates all the various sensor-based nodes on their network, so when an alarm is generated, everything is integrated into one command-and-control interface,” McChesney says. “That way, operators can make a better decision as to where to deploy security personnel, etc.”

A compact solution of servers and software products called the Automated Warning and Response Engine (AWARE) was also created. AWARE provides technological advantages to the personnel responsible for the interception and neutralization of potential intruders and airport emergencies. This advantage is gained by integrating existing security subsystems deployed by the airport into a semi-autonomous situational awareness center.

Intelligent software is included to assist the security personnel in monitoring the terminal (internal and external) and AOA (Airport Operations Area) areas. Automatic alerts are sent via a wireless network that links airport security and local law enforcement agencies for the efficient interception and neutralization of threats. AWARE is a highly replicable approach for other large airports or general aviation airports that have security measures such as cameras, access control systems and other perimeter intruder detection systems.

The existing security subsystems that were integrated included a new perimeter fence, the access control system and the video surveillance systems. Technologies introduced included video analytics, a laser-based fence detection system, intelligent wireless network nodes, and a geospatial information system.

System Design

The geospatial information system integrated all servers and devices, including the CCTV system, fiber fence sensor, intelligent video and access control. The intelligent video detects the policy violation and a video clip is captured and displayed in the Geo-COP (Common Operational Picture). The operator takes appropriate action and sends the security officer the image on a PDA. All alarms are logged with their respective video clips for sorting and analysis.

“This systems design is a perfect way to maximize resources,” says Bill Adams, founder and CEO of CT Solutions LLC, which assisted in the integration process. “We conducted a comprehensive survey and risk analysis and determined that this was the best course of action.”

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