Written by Steve Panzer, ObjectFX
Published in Government Security News, April 14, 2009
Protecting our nation’s borders is a daunting task, requiring constant vigilance by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and border and port security officials.
Because border and port security officials face a unique set of challenges at any given point of entry, increased awareness and enhanced security operations are needed. While sensor-based intelligence information is currently being used to enhance security, the ever-expanding number of land-based and airborne sensor platforms is providing an unmanageable deluge of information – ultimately causing some important information to be overlooked.
Government agencies are turning to geospatial solutions as an effective means of making sense of this information and extracting what’s important – identifying actionable intelligence by getting critical information to the right people at the right time. Since it is nearly impossible to patrol every mile of border, or inspect each individual container entering US ports, geospatial solutions can filter through the floods of sensor-based data, enabling security officials to “red-flag” potential problem areas in order to narrow the list of targets.
New technologies – like a spatiotemporal rules engine – can address these challenges, saving time, money, and increasing opportunity for success by more efficiently identifying suspicious activity. Collecting and analyzing information relating to space and time, a spatiotemporal rules engine utilizes existing sensors and databases, condensing multiple streams of information into a single data-stream before applying an unlimited number of customized rule-layers to identify the actionable intelligence. Using rules like vehicle and vessel routing and tracking, cluster detection and geo-fencing, a rules engine sifts through the unruly amounts of sensory information – like any movement across the thousands of miles of remote, un-patrolled border between the US and Mexico – ultimately identifying what port and border security officials need to know, such as which vessels and vehicles are most likely to contain illegal imports or smuggled goods. Deployable at border points and ports across the nation, the spatiotemporal rules engine can enhance national security by supporting our battle against the transfer of illegal contraband — like immigrants, drugs and weapons of mass destruction – into our country.