A complete detection, management, and control security system is absolutely essential to preempting criminal and terrorist assaults on key assets and critical infrastructure. According to Tom Ridge, former Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, "Voluntary efforts alone are not sufficient to provide the level of assurance Americans deserve and they must take steps to improve security." Further, it is expected that Congress will mandate private sector investment of over $20 billion in infrastructure protection between 2007 and 2015, which is incremental to funds currently being allocated to key sites by the department of Homeland Security.
Nearly 500,000 individual sites have been identified by the US Department of Homeland Security as critical infrastructure sites that would suffer severe and extensive damage if a security breach should occur. In fact, one major breach in any of 7,000 critical infrastructure facilities threatens more than 10,000 people. And one major breach in any of 123 facilities--identified as "most critical" among the 500,000--threatens more than 1,000,000 people.
Current visible, nightvision or near infrared imaging technology alone has limited foul-weather viewing capability, poor nighttime performance, and limited nighttime range. And many systems today yield excessive false alarms, are managed by fatigued operators, are unable to manage the voluminous data captured, or lack the ability to pinpoint where an intrusion occurred.
In our 2006 paper, "Critical Infrastructure Security Confidence Through Automated Thermal Imaging", we showed how a highly effective security solution can be developed by integrating what are now available "next-generation technologies" which include:
Thermal imaging for the highly effective detection of intruders in the dark of night and in challenging weather conditions at the sensor imaging level - we refer to this as the passive thermal sensor level detection building block
Automated software detection for creating initial alerts - we refer to this as software level detection, the next level building block
Immersive 3D visual assessment for situational awareness and to manage the reaction process - we refer to this as automated intelligent situational awareness, a third building block
Wide area command and control capabilities to allow control from a remote location - we refer to this as the management and process control building block integrating together the lower level building elements.
In addition, this paper describes three live installations of complete, total systems that incorporate visible and thermal cameras as well as advanced video analytics. Discussion of both system elements and design is extensive.