Gulf port taps surveillance app for maritime security

The Port of Corpus Christi, Texas, will use video surveillance software to analyze visual data as part of a $1.8 million security upgrade.

The Security Data Management System from VistaScape Security Systems Corp. of Atlanta analyzes images from remote cameras and alerts security personnel of abnormal movements or objects.

The software helps reduce the need for full-time monitoring of security video feeds, company officials said.

The Port of Corpus Christi, on the Gulf of Mexico, is the nation's fifth largest in terms of cargo tonnage that moves through the port. The contract for security enhancements was awarded to Adesta LLC of Omaha, Neb., and also includes security cameras and fiber-optic links.

The nation's ports are required to prepare comprehensive security plans by the end of the year under rules for the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002. The Homeland Security Department finalized the rules in October. Ports must also identify security officers to oversee implementation of plans and conduct regular security assessments.

The system being used by Corpus Christi runs under Microsoft Windows and uses Microsoft .Net and other data and sensor integration standards.

The port will establish rules for alerts, which will then be used to set parameters for identifying objects that violate port policies based on the system's proprietary algorithms. Offending objects are tracked from camera to camera to determine speed and direction of travel, and forensics-quality data is recorded.

Security personnel can be alerted to violations detected by the system. Alerts can include positioning data incorporated into a geographic information system.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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