May 2004 
Volume 03, Issue 1 
Special Features

Worldwide security


Here’s a scary thought from Erik Peterson, senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies: “The flow of information and technology are allowing groups to put together elements of superviolence.” In addition, more than 100 countries are believed to be seeking to develop offensive information warfare capabilities, CSIS said.

Addressing current and long-term threats requires a systemic approach. Since November 2001, Boeing has used technologies and knowledge from enterprisewide programs through the Homeland Security organization, housed in Phantom Works but coordinated strategically across the company by vice president John Stammreich.

Looking ahead, Stammreich said emerging technologies such as “threat correlation software” being developed for the U.S. government will plug into open-architecture systems that permit the incorporation of improved technologies. “As you have a network,” he said, “you can put these software tools in that don’t just allow for monitoring, but predicting” of future security threats. Another example: unmanned systems, such as those the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is evaluating for U.S.-Mexico border use, and military force protection.

Boeing technologies are helping equip government customers with situational awareness and the ability “to be able to pre-empt threats and look for trends,” said Stammreich, who also leads Phantom Works’ homeland security technology development.

Another example of work designed to pre-empt threats: the Homeland Security and Services unit of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. This unit has managed the installation of explosive detection systems at every U.S. commercial airport and demonstrated technology to improve the security of cargo entering Los Angeles and New York (see the March 2004 issue of Frontiers). And Boeing is applying network-centric technologies to the movement of goods through various modes of transportation.

When it comes to the traveling public, said Dennis Floyd, director of Strategy and Business Development for Homeland Security and Services, HS&S is investigating advances in sensor technologies designed to make inspections less intrusive, yet more thorough. Case in point: Without missing a step (or removing a shoe), passengers at airport terminals would walk through portals that would automatically scan them and their carry-ons. X-ray machines would use computer algorithms to inspect people while still maintaining respect for privacy.

“The pieces are coming together. It’s our vision to help integrate these pieces to provide more security and more value. We want to start doing more through non-invasive systems and more proactive.” Floyd said. To date, he added, “everything’s more focused on finding the bomb. Ideally, you’d like to be collecting, analyzing and providing intelligence data to find the bomber, not [just] the bomb.”

Meanwhile, one boon to security in the skies is the ability to track the growing number of airplanes in flight. Because air traffic management across country borders is not yet seamless, Boeing Phantom Works Advanced Air Traffic Management Vice President Kevin Brown knows how critical it will be in coming years for governmental bodies to communicate. Last year, Boeing and the Europe-based Air Traffic Alliance (which includes competitors EADS/Airbus and Thales) announced plans to cooperate on interoperability issues and to move faster toward new global standards and procedures that make operations safer and more efficient.

In addition, Connexion by Boeing’s mobile broadband service could permit voice and video security components aboard Connexion-installed airplanes, said Sean Schwinn, who heads Connexion’s Business Development and Strategy. This would allow flight attendants to notify responders on the ground during a crisis and transmit a visual of the airplane cabin.

“What the future’s going to be dependent on,” Stammreich added, “is [the fact that] we’ll naturally put in systems that allow us to see what’s happening in real time.”


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