Away from the bleeding edge

Sometimes following the leader is not a bad idea

William Crews, chief of security at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, doesn't like taking unnecessary chances.

'I'm responsible for the protection of all the research aircraft assets we have,' Crews said. 'I don't want to be on the bleeding edge.'

So he did his homework before selecting a video surveillance system that could be rapidly deployed at a remote site. 'When I was doing my research for the procurement, one of the things I was looking at was installed base.' He checked with several law enforcement agencies. 'Everybody was using Firetide.'

From the Super Bowl and NASCAR to railroads and law enforcement agencies, the Firetide wireless mesh network used in the surveillance solution from AgileMesh has been able to provide the throughput for the high-quality real-time video NASA needed in a rapid-deployment format.

'This was by far the best answer I've seen,' Crews said. 'The purchase of this equipment solved two issues for me. I can find myself out in the Mojave Desert very quickly' at crash investigation sites. 'When I get the permanent equipment installed, I will put the AgileMesh equipment in my emergency response trailer' for use at remote sites.

However, the deployment wasn't completely trouble-free. They had to figure out how to secure the tripod-mounted units to the ground in the high desert where winds can reach 60 mph. The answer was to anchor them with 20-gallon water containers.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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