July 24, 2006 It's the one super ability which every security officer would choose first from SuperMan's armoury of powers – to be able to see in all directions at once. As thousands gathered for Major League Baseball's All-Star game in Pittsburgh on July 11, a new technology known as ThreatViewer was being deployed for the first time that enables security personnel to do just that. Designed as a technology for critical asset protection and remote monitoring, ThreatViewer was used to enhance security surrounding the All-Star week events and monitor critical infrastructure in Pittsburgh. Typically in such circumstance, multiple cameras are utilized to monitor a location, each providing images within a narrow line of sight. ThreatViewer provides 360-degree, panoramic images from a single position, can be integrated with existing systems or used on a stand-alone basis and can be wireless or hardwired. Interestingly, developer Augusta Systems was recently awarded a US$750,000 grant to research automatic target recognition technology for UAVs. As the complexity of homeland security and military missions increase, both robotic vehicles and security systems will need the ability to instantly recognize relevant objects and behaviours on their own without the direction of human operators.
ThreatViewer is powered by Augusta Systems' enabling technologies, including SensorBridge, a sensor-based toolset, featuring design-time and run-time components, which allows developers and engineers to rapidly develop and deploy diverse sensor-based applications. It features the company's sensor processing system that enables at-point processing and long-range wireless communications, as well as panoramic imaging technologies developed by EyeSee360, Inc.
The Sensorbridge technology is also a fascinating part of this solution as it enables software developers and engineers working with sensors and sensor networks to reduce development time up to 90 percent.
"Before SensorBridge, developers were required to code for weeks or months on end to produce sensor-based applications. With SensorBridge, weeks become days, or even hours," said Patrick Esposito, president and chief operating officer of Augusta Systems. "Using SensorBridge, developers can deploy more robust and diverse sensor applications whether for security, monitoring, asset tracking or other purposes. They can incorporate different types of sensors or groups of sensors, such as wireless sensor networks, radio frequency identification (RFID) systems, electro-optic sensors and others, while using the programming language of their choice."
SensorBridge enhances the development of Windows-based applications using Microsoft Visual Studio 2005. When deployed, SensorBridge operates on end-user computers, servers and at-the-point of sensors or sensor aggregators.
"SensorBridge provides standardized run-time code so that developers and engineers can focus on the presentation-level, application logic," said Clint Harvey, vice president of software development at Augusta Systems. "For example, prior to public launch, SensorBridge was utilized as part of a military project. An end-user display for image sensor data was produced in less than one week. Under ordinary development cycles, the effort would have taken ten weeks. SensorBridge makes a huge difference for sensor-based applications."
SensorBridge is available through annual developer licenses and implementation run-time licenses, which can be purchased online at www.augustasystems.com. Developer licenses are available for enterprises, groups of developers or single developers. Additionally, to assist enterprises and developers with obtaining information on the power and capabilities of SensorBridge, a 30-day, limited evaluation version of the software is available for use. Features and benefits of SensorBridge include:
* An extensive design-time environment that features drag-and-drop components used to streamline the process of developing and deploying diverse sensor-based applications; automatic code generation in common object-oriented programming languages (VB.NET, C++, C#, and J#) that are compatible with Visual Studio 2005; direct data binding to common Visual Studio 2005 controls; and one-click component cloning so that multiple instances of a component can be used simultaneously; * A coding environment that allows for intuitive creation, modification, and event capturing of SensorBridge components; programmatic cloning of existing SensorBridge components; and support for all Visual Studio 2005 coding languages (VB.NET, C++, C#, and J#); * Rule-based data structuring components that provide a robust data structuring system; automatic building of data structures based upon existing data structures; custom built data structures using the designer interface; automatic population of data structures based upon events; a relationship link to be established between data structures and components; and behind-the-scenes data-type conversions; * Unmanaged code wrapping components that simplify the wrapping of unmanaged third party SDK and API functions to allow for easy, efficient incorporation of sensor data into the Visual Studio 2005 environment; automatically generate the code needed to wrap unmanaged functions during run-time and stores each wrapped function in a separate assembly within memory; and support structured parameter types and callback functionality from delegate parameters defined by SDK/API functions; * Data filtering components that allow user-defined data filtering via filters and conditions; the addition of multiple filter conditions, including bitwise operational filter conditions (i.e. And-ing, NAnd-ing, and Masking); and filtering based upon current and historical data; * Data grouping and merging components that perform low level data fusion on multiple sensor components; allow data or partial data sets, from various sensor components to be grouped into a single, logical sensor component; allow data or partial data sets, to be merged based upon event subscriptions of various sensor components; and allow data or partial data sets, to be merged based upon common primary keys; and * Data logging components that automatically create and populate databases in common formats (i.e. MS SQL Server, Oracle, Access, MySQL, etc.) based upon existing component data structures; automatically create and populate common data files (i.e. text files, Excel files, XML files, binary files, etc.) based upon existing component data structures; and allow database/data files to be populated either row-by-row based upon sensor component event subscriptions or by invoked bulk logging functions.