Front Page
Boeing Frontiers
March 2004
Volume 02, Issue 10
Boeing Frontiers
Cover Story

Security’s on everyone’s mind

Other Boeing business units have applications that can help support homeland security efforts. Here's a look at some of the work being done.

Phntom WorksPreparing for the unthinkable
A Boeing Phantom Works team is using its 20 years of experience in chemical, biological, and radiological protection and collaborating with industry, government and academia to develop protection solutions against these kinds of threats. These solutions' objective: Detect a CBR-related threat and determine its nature—its origin, spread and intended target.

Among the activities Phantom Works, Boeing's advanced research and development arm, is undertaking:

  • A team is capitalizing on its network-centric operations skills to tie detection and surveillance systems into a network that combines weather and other data to determine an effective threat response and mitigation approach. The network will generate a threat analysis and suggested responses almost instantly through a process that previously would have taken minutes or hours.
  • An integrated product team is currently developing effective and affordable Boeing air vehicle systems that can sustain operations in a CBR-contaminated battlefield environment for the Defense Department.
  • Phantom Works also plans to conduct technology demonstrations for protecting military and commercial facilities. Systems under long-range development would not only detect a CBR attack but would protect the facility and its occupants and communicate critical information to authorities.

Connexion by BoeingIn-flight broadband has security uses
The Connexion by Boeing technology that permits real-time mobile broadband connectivity has many security and safety applications. Through the Connexion by Boeing system, jetliners, executive aircraft and maritime vessels—Connexion by Boeing's newest market—have high-speed access to the Internet and virtual private networks.

To date, Connexion by Boeing has demonstrated:

  • How marshals aboard an airliner equipped with the Connexion system and personal wireless networking technologies can use handheld devices to communicate directly with counterparts on the ground and elsewhere in the cabin via voice, video, instant messaging and wireless alarms.
  • How the system permits real-time monitoring of activity aboard an aircraft via video cameras and microphones placed in cabins and cargo areas.

Air Traffic ManagementNetwork-centric approach works
Air Traffic Management is adapting the network-centric concept that Boeing Integrated Defense Systems has been developing for the U.S. military to civil aviation. Providing precise information about system performance, aircraft intent, weather and other factors would improve the capacity and efficiency of the National Airspace System and offer inherent security enhancements:

  • Satellites would extend the reach of the network to enable global communications, navigation and surveillance. Controllers and security personnel would know instantly when an aircraft deviated from its approved flight plan. They also could continuously track and communicate with aircraft beyond the range of radar and very-high-frequency radio.
  • A fully networked system also would allow continuous descent approaches and takeoffs straight to cruise altitude, minimizing the time aircraft are in range of potential shoulder-fired missile risks.

Air Traffic Management has demonstrated many of these capabilities under a contract with the Federal Aviation Administration. The team is using the success of these demonstrations to spur interest across the U.S. government.


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