The Airport of the Future will improve security, lower acquisition cost, reduce operational burden, enhance passenger screening and the overall travel experience.
A heterogeneous environment better equips airports to deal with continually changing threats – in a highly efficient manner – by leveraging expertise and knowledge obtained at each screening stage. To fully harness the power of existing and evolving screening technologies, it is imperative to rapidly develop and deploy integrated solutions that increase the ability to detect threats while reducing costs.
While a wealth of sensor technologies and threat detection systems exist, a framework for supporting effective vendor-neutral interoperability of technologies is lacking. The airport IT systems of the future will be vendor-neutral, utilize standardized communication protocols, and feature interoperable technologies that are centrally managed.
Stratovan Corporation is leading the way in translating this vision into reality. We are developing standard communication protocols, software platforms, and freely available software to facilitate the adoption of the technologies needed to operate an efficient, effective, and secure airport.
improve passenger protection by screening for multiple and evolving threats as quickly, efficiently and unobtrusively as possible
enable the incorporation of new technologies that facilitate and improve detection capabilities as threats evolve and emerge
support interoperability to lower device acquisition, operational labor costs, and system updates headaches to rapidly respond to new and evolving threats (with minimal vendor involvement)
integrate new concepts, such as risk-based passenger assessment, into the screening process to improve efficiency, reduce operational costs, and minimize passenger burden
minimize the burden of security on passengers and commerce, while reducing operational costs and the space needed to house screening devices
support central management to limit the training staff need on a variety of independent systems
increase confidence that system faults won't significantly disrupt air travel and commerce
Obstacles against the airport of the future include a lack of technology interoperability, inflexibility in selecting vendors, and passenger satisfaction which are key factors documented in the 'TSA Trade Space Framework' and captured in the Transportation Security Strategic Capability Investment Plan Office of Security Capability (May 30, 2014)
The following roadblocks impede interoperability in today's airport security environment
Screening devices are not connected to a common network and cannot communicate with one another, preventing collaborative and data-rich screening assessments
A lack of workflow management and device decoupling leads to inflexible systems and bottlenecks in screening processes.
Screening devices from different vendors connected to a common network cannot communicate with one another because they don't share common communication protocols or infrastructure
The distributed IT management of an array of incompatible and isolated security devices increases the operational costs of screening workflows, complicating tasks such as adding/removing/replacing new devices, handling of faults, load balancing and scalability
Screening devices will be connected via a single, secure, and standard Ethernet network within the airport to support sharing information from one device to another through standardized communication protocols. Any device that makes a screening decision, or has access to information that could be utilized to perform a fused screening analysis, will be connected via the screening network.
Connecting a new screening device to the screening network will not require manually reconfiguring more than one other device. A new device must be able to obtain an IP address, register itself with a central control system and be ready to perform immediately within the screening process. Devices have to be nearly Plug-n-Play, while considering cyber security issues. They need to broadcast their capabilities to a central control system and be configurable remotely.
A centrally configured, managed, monitored and operated system needs to drive the screening process. From a single workstation, an operator will be able to access every security device connected to the screening network to manage, configure and monitor each device. This will accelerate the process of delivering new capabilities, and drive standardization and reduce complexity, to support the TSA’s strategic need to substantially reduce lifecycle costs.
The screening process must be able to continue to operate successfully, even if a device fails.
Screening devices will have the ability to update to new security and/or detection capabilities, independent of other systems.
Screening devices must support adaptive screening levels and respond appropriately in order to support risk-based screening.
Screening devices will automatically report status and performance metrics to a central FCAPS-based management system, which will improve security capabilities and response times, addressing the requirement for reducing operational cost.
The screening process within an airport will utilize devices and personnel in a resource-efficient manner by load-balancing work across devices on the screening network
Screening devices on the screening network need to be protected by network configuration and secure inter-device communication protocols to protect screening integrity.