Tools to make sense of sensors

DATA POINT: Augusta Systems' SensorPort collects data on-site.

Augusta Systems

Agencies deploy more sensing devices every day, but the data they collect often doesn't have the impact it could. 'Many of these devices are still being stovepiped,' said Patrick Esposito, president and chief operating officer at Augusta Systems. 'There is no correlation between all this data.'

For the Army's project to outfit weapons systems with radio frequency identification tags, Augusta provided its SensorBridge software to build the middleware that converts data from the tags into database-ready information.

The company provides tools to facilitate what Esposito calls sensor convergence, or the tying together of data from multiple sensors into a set of data that standard database and business intelligence tools can observe and analyze.

SensorBridge is a software development kit used in Microsoft Visual Studio. It provides pre-built components to support the integration, correlation, processing and communication of data.

If an RFID reader in a warehouse is collecting data and users want to aggregate that data into a database at the office, SensorBridge can help build the program.

SensorBridge can work with many forms of low-level data transmitted via a network, such as files that result from Web services, or it can be used for direct RFID access via a Dynamic Link Library. It can package the data and ship it to a database or bundle the results into an Extensible Markup Language-based file. It can facilitate complex event processing, filtering, notification, correlation and low-level fusion.

The company also offers runtime middleware called EdgeFrontier and a datacollection appliance called SensorPort.

The Army wants to use RFID data to better estimate when to replace gun barrels, but Esposito said there are many other possible uses of distributed data collection. The Naval Air Systems Command is testing the company's products for a distributed perimeter-monitoring system in which unattended ground systems and unmanned aerial vehicles would collect and transmit data for monitoring. Electric utilities use the platform for remote circuit management. The products could also support a variety of other net-centric applications for border or port security, Esposito said.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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