Smiths Detection Lands Port Security Pilot Project in R.I.

Smiths Detection has received a contract from authorities in Rhode Island to create a Web application-based sensor management system under a pilot project to enhance command and control between government agencies and first responders for port security in Narragansett Bay.

Under the Rhode Island Port Security Wireless Communications Network (RIPSWCN) Smiths will tie together new and existing networks of video cameras, thermal sensors and radars using a wireless broadband network to provide both consolidated command and control and information sharing with and between first responder and law enforcement personnel.

Instead of just a central command and control node, Rhode Island State officials wanted to make sure that field personnel had quick access to information, Peter Mottur, president of Smiths Detection-Livewave, tells TR2. "The goal here is a complete solution," he says.

These first responders and law enforcement officials from various towns and localities around the bay will be able to receive text, voice, data and video in real time using PCs, laptops and handheld devices.

"Smiths Detection-Livewave's next-generation technology extends interoperability to agencies needing to share critical information in real-time, as it helps to expand the communications infrastructure and increases public safety," says Mottur. "We're network enabling assets to securely share information on the Internet." Smiths Detection, part of Britain's Smiths Group, acquired Livewave last November, giving it more capabilities in sensor networking (TR2, Nov. 30, 2005).

The existing port security infrastructure includes radars deployed by Raytheon [RTN] for vessel tracking under Project Athena, a separate demonstration project for Maritime Domain Awareness. Mottur says the cameras will take their cue from the radars and pan and tilt toward a target of interest.

Mottur says there are three primary ways information will be shared through the new network: one is through a central command and control facility; another is the overarching wireless network called Rhode Island Wireless Innovation Networks, which is a project to make the state the first in the country with border-to-border broadband wireless capability enabling sharing vis-a-vis the PCs, laptops and handheld devices; and finally through the Internet the federal government can have access. On top of that, RIPSWCN will tie into the Department of Homeland Security's Information Network, which links to all 50 states to provide timely data sharing between federal and state governments regarding homeland security matters.

The RIPSWCN project will get underway in March. Among others, Smiths beat out Anteon [ANT], IBM [IBM], Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Motorola [MOT]. Smiths is teamed with Raytheon and Verizon Communications [VZ] on the project.

The project is being carried out under an $856,000 grant from DHS through its Information Technology and Evaluation Program. At the state level the project is a collaboration between the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and the Rhode Island Department of Administration.

[Copyright 2006 Access Intelligence, LLC. All rights reserved.]

(Terror Response Technology Report -- 01/26/06)