ISRAELI TECH SEALS THE DEALS
Last November, the Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute held its second Homeland Security Industry Trade Fair. The conference included the entire spectrum of homeland security – on land, sea, air and cyberspace. It addressed critical issues facing decision makers and first responders and provided a platform for Israeli companies to exhibit new technologies and know-how for infrastructure and transportation security, smart city management, cyber security, law enforcement and emergency prevention and management.
Nowhere is the need for effective and efficient security more acute than in seaports. Often singled out as the soft underbelly of homeland security, the challenges of seaport and maritime security are as vast as the sea itself. Threats include terrorism, human trafficking, theft, smuggling and the handling of dangerous materials. From an economic standpoint, ports must be as open as possible in order to handle the flow of goods and people efficiently. They must interface with ground transport systems, logistic facilities and vital infrastructure, such as pipelines and must operate effectively 24-7. To accommodate tourism, they should be attractive and welcoming. Yet from the security aspect, ports would be better off closed with highly restricted access.
A Broad Spectrum of Security Solutions
Israel has gathered extensive experience and know-how in the development and implementation of homeland security systems. The high concentration of companies in Israel which provide a very extensive range of products and services, coupled with the need to be constantly on the cutting edge, sets Israel apart.
Security solutions come in all shapes and sizes, from comprehensive turn-key systems to very specific technologies and applications. MAGAL S3 and MER Security have attained world renown for their comprehensive security solutions. These combine physical perimeter control and monitoring with surveillance, detection and access control technologies and Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) software to provide a coordinated end-to-end solution for seaport security.
MER’s award winning Secure-M PSIM system creates a central dashboard from which port managers can monitor and control all security devices deployed throughout the port. It’s a unifying platform which is capable of accommodating the port’s existing devices and software as well as new devices which may be purchased in the future. This system is integrated into the security system at Ashdod Port. Magal S3 has positioned itself as a one-stop shop for port security and offers integrated solutions for perimeter control, intrusion detection, video analytics, smart gate access control and information management. The company recently announced that it is expanding its activities to cyber security as well. Magal is no stranger to Scandinavia, counting the Danish and Norwegian Ministries of Defence and the Swedish Air Force among its portfolio of clients.
Perimeter Control without Perimeters
Perimeter control is problematic when at least one perimeter is the deep blue sea. A number of Israeli companies have developed technologies addressing this very problem. RBtec Electronic Security Systems has supplied systems for over 1000 security projects in more than 25 countries. The company’s Marinet is an underwater fence and detection system which can be installed either as a standalone barrier or as part of an existing structure. It is made of a special (patent pending) steel cable with sensors embedded in the cables’ core. The Marinet dual sensor system provides a 99.9% detection rate with an average false alarm rate of 1 per 1 km per year. It is designed to operate in temperatures ranging from -25˚ to +75˚ C.
Controp Precision Technologies, a subsidiary of Rafael Advanced Systems and Aeronautics, secures ports by building a “virtual fence” over the water. The company develops and manufactures electro-optical and precision motion control systems, including cameras for unmanned vehicles. The system is capable of observing and tracking naval vessels in the port and at sea, providing surveillance and support for harbour traffic control operations, environmental monitoring and maritime safety. Controp’s system was selected to secure the Gioia Taurro harbour, Italy’s largest sea port.
While a good fence, be it physical or virtual, may be instrumental in deterring and containing security events, it may not always be enough. Windward is a global maritime analytics company which extends the reach of the long arm to the open sea. Windward’s Marint, a satellite based marine analytics system, keeps an eye on what happens not only in port but off-shore as well. Marint monitors and analyzes the movement of incoming vessels prior to their arrival at port and identifies those vessels whose behaviour warrants suspicion of possible illegal or unsafe activity. It filters and consolidates information generated from various maritime sensors and open source intelligence sources through advanced data processing and behavior analysis algorithms. Marint addresses traffic control, fishing control and security issues for ports and offshore installations.
Unman the Decks!
Modern seaports integrate marine operations with a growing array of multi-modal transport and logistics services. From a security standpoint, the sprawl of modern seaports contributes to their complexity and vulnerability. Unmanned vehicles can expand a port security system by providing mobile surveillance, patrolling, and if need be, policing capabilities.
G-nius develops and manufactures unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) which while being combat-ready, have a softer, civilian side which is well suited for port and coastal security. The product of collaboration between Elbit and Israel Aircraft Industries, the G-nius Guardium UGV can be deployed in either closed perimeter or open terrain locations and is easily integrated with a port authority’s existing computerized security systems. It is designed to perform routine programmed patrols but can also react to unanticipated events. It can be operated remotely from either a fixed station or mobile platform and can be outfitted strictly for surveillance or for active engagement. It is an inclusive solution comprising the vehicle, command and control applications, a communications suite and array of payload options. The G-nius UGV is currently deployed at the Ashdod Port.
With the Protector, Rafael takes unmanned surveillance, patrolling and emergency response to the harbour and coastline. Designed for maritime security, this speed-boat unmanned surface vehicle (USV) can be dressed up or down for a variety of seaport and off-shore installation assignments. This past summer, Rafael unveiled a new version of the Protector, which is longer, faster and more reliable than its predecessor. Among other things, it can be outfitted with a high-pressure water hose for non-lethal enforcement applications. The new Protector is equipped with two engines and cameras providing 360-degree visual coverage. It was displayed last October in Paris at Euronaval 2012.
Perimeter and access control are not the only facets of sea port security in which Israel excels. Developed by Lola-tech, a company specializing in mobile control and reporting solutions, the PeleMarine is a portable system designed specifically for ship inspections. All digital and all online, PeleMarine enables inspectors to write less and inspect more, while allowing the ship’s personnel to receive immediate inspection confirmation. The unit is comprised of a digital tablet and wireless printer. It provides the port operator with online data, including high-resolution images and audio recordings to facilitate smart and timely information management.
A leader in portable x-ray equipment, Vidisco has developed light weight and compact systems which render high quality images for effective baggage screening “on the go”. The Vidisco FoXraylle battery operated system is a CCD (charge-coupled device) based system that renders a 10-bit /1.4 lp/mm resolution image in a matter of seconds. It comes in a ruggedized backpack which doubles as a working platform and enables convenient operation anywhere, at anytime and from a safe distance. Vidisco’s systems are not limited to security applications alone. They can be used for non-destructive testing (NDT) of vital infrastructure, composite materials and shipyard welding.
The Missing Piece in Cargo Inspection
Tracetech Security addresses what is seen as the Achilles heel of airport and passenger seaport security. A member of the EU’S 7th Framework Programme SNIFFER Consortium, Tracetech has developed a system that enables 100% cargo screening coverage. Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) devices deployed in airports and sea passenger terminals today rely on manual trace sampling through swabbing, which is time consuming and not entirely reliable.
Tracetech’s patented and patent-pending technology does not replace the ETD device but rather takes the guesswork out of trace sampling by automatically extracting traces of illicit substances in baggage and cargo. It manipulates the air around and in the item being inspected to extract particles and vapours which have accumulated in the headspace. The system can be used for carry-on bag inspection, providing a more expedient, secure and hassle-free solution for this too. It has been operationally tested at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, as well as other sites.