Hailed as massively sophisticated yet straightforward in its use, the turnkey security management solution being installed at the World Trade Center (WTC) will provide not only threat and risk assessment to the New York Port Authority, it will deliver immediate actionable intelligence to all buildings and sites throughout the 16-acre site.
The sheer size and scope of the years-long project has attained luminary status in the electronic security industry and beyond as a symbol of perseverance and technological complexity. Also inspiring to many in the industry is the vast assemblage of disparate stakeholders who have united single-mindedly in a mission to achieve something uniquely patriotic and prideful.
“This is my 32nd year in this business and I have never seen a group with this wide of a base and diversity come together for such a project,” says Philip Santore, president of Ducibella Venter & Santore (DVS), a leading provider of security consulting and engineering services for the WTC complex.
To manage security systems throughout the site, as well as provide identity management capabilities, DVS designed what it refers to as situational awareness platform software (SAPS). The platform marries two industry concepts — physical security information management (PSIM) and physical identity and access management.
Diebold Inc. is managing the installation, integration and maintenance of the SAPS. Copious devices and systems are being connected to provide centralized management for 11 primary buildings and facilities, including five skyscrapers, the third-largest transportation hub in New York City, the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum, a retail venue, a performing arts center, a vehicle security center, and critical infrastructure facilities.
Among the interconnected systems: identity, credential and access management; IP-based video surveillance; intrusion and fire alarms; building management systems; vertical transportation; digital intercom; radio communication; chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear detection systems; and vehicle scheduling and management systems.
“We’re integrating elements such as elevator systems and network-based appliances, elements that have not historically been included as part of a security solution,” says Jeremy Brecher, vice president, Technology Services, Diebold. “This project will certainly impact how the industry approaches complex security implementations in the future.”
DVS began its work for individual system projects at the site about six years ago. As technology evolved during that span, so too did DVS’ designs and specifications.
“When we first started designing this project, IP cameras and IP-based systems were still somewhat in their infancies,” says DVS Senior Associate Brian Coulombe. “We were still using analog cameras at first, but we were putting in Cat-6 cable trying to be as forward-thinking as we could.”
The WTC site will be outfitted entirely with network-based designs and systems, complete with redundancies to ensure survivability. Among other design advances, DVS called for a lone fiber-riser system to be made available to other trades in order to consolidate costs. The idea was to also provide potential revenue sources for clients in the future by having spare redundancy and the ease of ability to put in additional fiber infrastructure in the buildings.
“There are some of us that have been involved with the project from the beginning. To finally see it coming out of the ground is like watching a child grow up,” says Coulombe.