New World Trade Center site to deploy situational awareness platform

In an effort to create a state-of-the-art security system for what is seen by many as one of the premier terror targets in the world, the new World Trade Center site in New York City is installing a situational awareness platform with the help of systems integrator Diebold.

To implement the robust solution the stakeholders in the project are looking for, Jeremy Brecher, vice president of technology services for Diebold, said that the company is combining VidSys' physical security information management (PSIM) software with identity and access management software from Quantum Secure to create what they're calling a comprehensive Situational Awareness Platform Software (SAPS) system.

"In terms of a software project like this with a PSIM type of product, it is very large and very unique," he explained. "What you have is a small city going up on a 16-acre site. From the deployment of software perspective, this is one of larger ones out there."

The SAPS platform will eventually integrate a wide range of systems and devices including; identity and access credential management; video surveillance; intrusion and fire alarms; building management systems; intercoms; radio communication; vehicle scheduling and management systems; and, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) detection systems.

"There are definitely challenges associated with integrating all of these different subsystems. We're identifying the systems and products up front and trying to talk with these manufacturers way ahead of the game and talk about integration options," Brecher said. "I think a lot of these technologies are being chosen on their ability to integrate with other things, so that's part of the screening factor for them. It's really about coordinating the different technologies and the communication (protocols associated) with them."

In addition to integrating systems together for when these facilities open, Diebold has also implemented video and access control solutions at the construction site.

"It's not like your average construction site where thousands of workers can come and go as they want," Brecher said. "There is a security model in place around the construction itself and we've participated in that for a few years now."

While each facility on the site - which consists of 11 primary buildings including the new One World Trade Center skyscraper and WTC Transportation Hub - will have their own security management infrastructure, Brecher says this SAPS system will give them the capability to coordinate their security efforts with a variety of stakeholders including the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, NYPD and FDNY.

"Everyone agrees (this project) has to be handled with a certain sense of security just because of the uniqueness of the site," Brecher added. "The overall security plan, the technology plan and all the agencies working together, that started a long time ago and having that understanding of what needs to be achieved and everyone agreeing that they have to work together to figure this out has really added a lot of (cohesion) to the process."