The Boeing Co.'s (www.boeing.com) Visual Security Operations Console Sentinel, or VSOC, is a common-operating environment, software-based solution that aids network managers by integrating an enterprise's disparate security and communications systems into a single interface, said John Thompson, business development manager for the company's integrated defense and security solutions division. U.S. government agencies have been using the technology for a decade, but it is now available for public use, he said.

The software runs on any Windows operating system and requires a laptop or PC workstation with a high-power graphics card. It offers a workflow management and rules engine as well as application services, such as alarm management, computer-aided dispatch, asset tracking and video surveillance. It also has adapters and plug-ins that facilitate communication from sensor modules to the application services.

The VSOC maps a user's existing security system through 3-D, interactive, geospatial databases and software-integration services. According to Thompson, a 3-D model of a wireless campus is built into the system to provide an interactive simulation of the multiple hardware systems that make up a command-and-control operating environment, such as surveillance cameras, physical security sensors and wireless networks.

“The GUI is what sets us apart, because we are one of the few vendors that has the ability to build a fully 3-D, realistic model of that security environment for the customer,” Thompson said. “And then we place all the sensors in that environment. If you were a city and you wanted to touch a mobile camera device, we build a model of the environment — which could be as large as a city or as small as a building — and the cameras are visible in the model. The end user just has to touch the camera on the screen in order to access it.”

The VSOC currently is used to support the Department of State's Security Management System Enterprise command-center operations at embassies and consulates worldwide. The department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security oversees operation of the system, which provides network-centric situational awareness and command-and-control operations at the global, regional, country, city, compound, building and floor levels.

In addition, the Denver Regional Transportation Department deployed the system throughout its park-and-ride bus and rail stations, Thompson said. “The software mapped all of the hardware installed in the rail stations,” Thompson said. “Police and rail personnel can now access real-time data from all the stations.”

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