Security At The US Open

It’s a sad statement that in our day and age we have to worry about terrorist threats at the US Open. It’s not exactly new; in 1977, Hubert Green and the USGA had to deal with an credible death threat. And I would’t be surprised to find that Tiger and other top golfers get them on a semi-regular basis. The world is full of crazies.

But with professional terrorists on the loose, marquee events such as the US Open now must take extraordinary precautions. Technological solutions are surely part of this. And I’m a tech geek.

That’s why I was interested when I read a press release about how the USGA was deploying Augusta Systems’ “ThreatViewer” at the Open. It’s a 360 degree camera system that deploys automatically when it detects dangerous gases, or other conditions that could pose a threat.

The entire press release follows:

Security Officials to Deploy ThreatViewer at U.S. Open Golf Tournament
Augusta Systems technology to be utilized at major PGA Tour event near Pittsburgh
June 12, 2007

Pittsburgh, Pa. – In an effort to bolster security and monitoring capabilities at the upcoming 2007 U.S. Open Championship golf tournament, Pittsburgh-area security and emergency response personnel will deploy ThreatViewer™, an integrated security product from Augusta Systems®. ThreatViewer provides remote monitoring capabilities in military, industrial and homeland security efforts.

“Sporting events and other high-profile entertainment venues draw large crowds and, therefore, require stepped-up security measures. These measures include deploying advanced monitoring technologies, like ThreatViewer. ThreatViewer will provide us with additional security enhancements, such as the capability of seeing in all directions at once from a single location,” said Chief Robert Full, emergency management coordinator for Allegheny County and chairman of the Pennsylvania Region 13 Task Force, a regional anti-terrorism and emergency response consortium consisting of 13 counties in western Pennsylvania and the City of Pittsburgh.

Full’s group will coordinate public security efforts for the 2007 U.S. Open Championship, held this week at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa. The event will draw thousands of spectators, news outlets and some of golf’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and others.

Multiple ThreatViewer systems featuring 360-degree imaging technologies, image data processing capabilities and wireless communications capabilities will be deployed during the U.S. Open. The 360-degree imaging technologies, which leverage components from Augusta Systems partner EyeSee360, Inc., will enable Region 13 personnel to “see” in all directions at once from a given location.

These features will enable security personnel to deploy multiple ThreatViewer systems wherever needed to remotely monitor a location or situation in real time, as ThreatViewer captures and processes surveillance data and transmits it to personnel at operations centers and in the field. ThreatViewer will be utilized in conjunction with the Allegheny County Mobile Command Center.

“ThreatViewer provides a flexible security option for the U.S. Open. It can be placed wherever it is most needed to collect, process and transmit data to security personnel,” said Patrick Esposito, president and chief operating officer of Augusta Systems, Inc. “Because of its flexibility, ThreatViewer can assist security and emergency response personnel in a host of applications, including urban and homeland security, public safety, law enforcement, port and border security, national defense and industrial monitoring applications, among others.”

The U.S. Open deployment is the second major sporting event to utilize ThreatViewer. It was deployed for critical infrastructure security during 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star Game events. Also, ThreatViewer was recently selected by Allegheny Energy to provide remote monitoring and perimeter security capabilities at an electricity substation, and is in use in projects related to military facility protection, maritime security, and other applications.

ThreatViewer features multiple sensing options, including sensors with panoramic imaging, pan-tilt-zoom camera, infrared imaging, gas detection, temperature measurement and humidity measurement features, among other options. ThreatViewer systems generally consist of multiple ThreatViewer sensor packages, rugged computers with ThreatViewer user interfaces, wireless long-range communications, dedicated power supplies, and all associated sensing, computing, and software features. ThreatViewer can be utilized as a stand-alone security system or integrated with other security systems or assets.

“Events like the U.S. Open and baseball’s All-Star game highlight the need for advanced technologies. The threats to the public are evolving and security operations are evolving as well. In fact, sporting events and other mobile deployments are become the proving grounds for some of the most advanced security technologies. By deploying ThreatViewer along with Allegheny County’s mobile command center at the U.S. Open, we are working to ensure that the best technologies are put to use to protect our citizens and visitors to the region,” added Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato.

About Augusta Systems:
Augusta Systems, Inc. technologies power distributed, intelligent networks. The technologies extend enterprise networks by enabling rapid integration, intelligent processing, and enterprise utilization of data from sensors, actuators, and other edge systems and devices. Augusta Systems products enable the most efficient and effective convergence and use of data from edge systems and devices for numerous applications, including security, monitoring, automation, and asset tracking, among others.

The company’s core products are SensorBridge™, EdgeFrontier™, and SensorPort™. SensorBridge is a suite of software components for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 for building and managing intelligent networks, systems, and applications featuring data from edge assets within an integrated development environment. EdgeFrontier provides an extensible edge application server and enterprise service bus for distributed, intelligent networks. SensorPort is a reconfigurable network appliance for distributed, intelligent processing at the edge of the network.

Augusta Systems also offers its core technologies in conjunction with partner technologies to develop advanced, intelligent sensing and control products. One such product is ThreatViewer, which provides remote monitoring capabilities for industrial, military, and homeland security. ThreatViewer leverages technologies from Augusta Systems partner and leading panoramic imaging company, EyeSee360, Inc.

Augusta Systems technologies enable sensors, actuators, systems, and devices relying on a variety of protocols and systems, including wireless sensor networks (featuring ZigBee and other protocols), RFID systems, and imagery devices. The technologies support network-centric systems, IPv6, physical/IT security convergence, M2M communications, and other applications. As a result, the technologies reduce the total cost of ownership for distributed intelligent edge networks and maximize enterprise return on investment for enterprise network assets.

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