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Case Study
WiFi Mesh for Homeland Security


Strix Systems offers robust performance for strategic applications defined by the Department of Homeland Security. Utilized in DHS applications today, Strix Access/One is the industry's robust high performance platform for stable and secure WiFi coverage for critical homeland security efforts including transportation, railway, ports and borders.


The most quantifiable and meaningful way to improve command and control, foster security and demonstrate progress toward mission-critical objectives in an emergency/crisis situation is to provide an interoperable and secure network infrastructure that enables immediate, effective and higher quality communications between previously disparate groups than ever before.

All previous first responder communications have been unique to themselves enabling groups of communicators and no effective primary or alternative method of versatile high bandwidth communications capable of operations for static and completely mobile situations.

First responders are critical to homeland security, whether the nature of the crisis is a terrorist attack, chemical disaster, or any other emergency. Real-time, secured/encrypted information for emergency departments with seamless wireless broadband interoperability throughout federal and state responder departments for law enforcement; fire/EMS, healthcare; and security, first responder agencies enables instant access to government leadership at virtually every level.

Intelligence and Warnings
Advanced detection and monitoring systems allow law enforcement agencies to identify criminal activity before citizens and critical infrastructures are affected. Strix Access/One enables intelligence and warning solutions for detection, identification, location and observation of criminal activities as well as the track of dangerous goods.

Border Control
Securing a border involves more than securing checkpoints. Strix Access/One provides the wiireless infrastructure for border control solutions and enabling protection against the illegal intrusion of people, vehicles and merchandise into a country, restricted zone or vital facility.

Critical Infrastructure Protection
Effective security and public safety programs must protect critical infrastructures in crisis situations. Strix Access/One provides products and professional services enabling the for the deployment of WiFi wireless systems to help safeguard critical infrastructures against attack/sabotage.

Public and Professional Safety
First response units need reliable, interoperable communications to maintain awareness during emergencies. Strix Access/One provides the highest performance multi-radio broadband WiFi wireless mesh networking solutions enabling vital and secure field communications and full interoperability among agencies and jurisdictions.

Network Security
Network security threats can disable business, disrupt public communications and cripple public security and safety systems. Strix Access/One provides provides secured, encrypted protection for wireless mesh networks and is fully interoperable with external devices such as intrusion detection systems and firewalls.

Federal and state agencies are taking steps to include multiple technologies for homeland security, border protection and disaster preparedness. One such method is through Grant awards. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to provide grant awards to strengthen the ability of ports, transit, and intercity bus systems to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies. The awards are part of fiscal year Infrastructure Protection Programs (IPP), which provide nearly $2 billion in grants to strengthen critical infrastructure facilities and transportation systems.

“These grants help to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure from threats and hazards that could cause major loss of life, economic impact, and disruption of services,” said Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson. “These risk-based investments will increase security for vital assets such as ports, mass transit systems, long-distance bus carriers, chemical facilities, and nuclear power plants.”

Current funding is allocated as part of the IPP to Tier I Transit grants, the Buffer Zone Protection Program and the Trucking Security Program. Today’s announcement outlines the final competitively-bid portions of these grants, which includes Port Security grants, Tier II Transit Security grants, and Intercity Bus Security grants.

Homeland security efforts require unrelenting robust high performance for real-time broadcast of critical alerts for time-sensitive information that must be relayed to field units via local dispatch and strategic empowerment and enforcement. Immediate real-time mobile access to stationary and real-time information maintained by county, state, national or federal and international law enforcement agencies. Immediate mobile access to critical information delivered while moving at high speeds to an incident such as emergency response to bomb threats and assaults, shooting, fire or other incidents. Instant access to infrastructure blueprints, chemical information, hazardous materials and interoperablity with state and local agency networks to retrieve localized geographic (GIS) information, street maps, and up-to-date traffic reports assist police, fire and ambulance personnel to optimize responsiveness and more.

Strategic homeland security applications take advantage of Strix's Access/One robust high performance, flexibility and interoperability to enable cohesive infrastructure for homeland security applications. Click here for one example of a DHS related deployments.

Strix Access/One OWSincorporates secured frequency long-range high power 4.9 GHz access with simultaneous 2.4 GHz access, and high-capacity integrated dual-radio 5.8 GHz backhaul for the industry's highest performance. More significant still is that the combined multi-radio solution enables the combined deployment of public safety and commercial networks from the same architecture which results in lower overall total cost of ownership and greater potential for new applications without sacrificing performance.

The Directorate of Science and Technology within the DHS is devided into the following responsibilities:

  • Explosives Divisionfocuses on the detection, mitigation, and response to explosives such as improvised explosive devices and suicide bombers.
  • Chemical and Biological Divisionconducts analyses for better characterization and prioritization of the threat, develops detection systems to provide early warning of a possible attack so as to minimize exposure and speed treatment of victims, conducts forensic analyses to support attribution, and works with federal partners who have lead responsibilities in decontamination and restoration, agrodefense, and food security.
  • Border and Maritime Security Divisiondevelops, evaluates, and demonstrates technologies and tools for better securing our land and maritime ports of entry. We are pilot testing surveillance and monitoring capabilities to cover vast expanses of remote border and developing and testing security devices and inspection methods to secure the large volume of cargo entering U.S. ports daily.
  • Command, Control, & Interoperability Divisionfocuses on operable and interoperable communications for emergency responders, security and integrity of the Internet, and development of automated capabilities that “connect-the-dots” to recognize potential threats.
  • Human Factors Divisionapplies the social and behavioral sciences to improve detection, analysis, and understanding of threats posed by individuals, groups, and radical movements; to support the preparedness, response and recovery of communities impacted by catastrophic events; and to advance national security by integrating human factors into homeland security technologies.
  • Infrastructure/Geophysical Divisionfocuses on identifying and mitigating the vulnerabilities of the 17 critical infrastructure and key assets that keep our society and economy functioning.

Spending on Homeland Security.

The Civitas Group, a strategic business consultant in the homeland and national securities markets, recently released a market study, title “The Homeland Security Market”, that estimates $55 billion was spent in 2006 worldwide on homeland security and anti-terrorism measures, with the U.S. market accounting for $31 billion of that. Civitas expects a growth rate of ~eight and 10 percent annually for the next five years and projects that “the addressable U.S. market over the next five years will be in the range of approximately $140 billion, a 21 percent increase over our five-year estimate made in 2004,” according to the report.

The five-year forecast is further broken down into the following categories:

21 % - Intelligence
17 % - Law Enforcement and Counterterrorism
12% - Bioterrorism and Chemical Agent Prevention
10% - Emergency Preparedness and Response
8 % - Cyber-Security
8% - Physical Security
7% - Aviation Security
6% - Border Security
6 % - Port Security
2% - Nuclear/Radiological Prevention
2% - Ground Transportation Security

Naturally, the biggest spender in the U.S. is the Federal Government. In 2006, the Feds spent $18 billion out of the total $31 billion. The private sector and “quasi-government” – such as transit and port authorities - spent just over half of what the Feds spent, and state and local governments shelled out a total of $3.5 billion.

Grant award programs enable strategic deployment of Strix Access/One wireless mesh networks including:

  • Port Security Grant Program (PSGP)
    The PSGP provides funding to 183 public and private entities to create sustainable, risk-based efforts to protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism. Eight of the highest risk port regions were placed in Tier I and were eligible to apply for 60 percent of total PSGP funding. Port areas in Tiers II, III and IV were eligible to compete for the additional 40 percent of available funds. Funding priorities included training, exercises, and other activities to mitigate the risk of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and to improve employee credentialing and access controls. In some cases, multiple port areas were grouped together to reflect geographic proximity, shared risk, and a common waterway.
  • Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP)
    The TSGP has provided moneys to high-risk urban areas. Funding has been made available for the eight highest-risk Tier I urban areas including 24 Tier II urban areas, ferry systems and the National Passenger Railroad Corporation (Amtrak). In order to provide local transit agencies greater flexibility in allocating TSGP funds the DHS combined transit rail grants and transit bus grants to allow them to decide where they can better focus their resources.
  • Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP)
    The IBSGP will provides funding to owners and operators of fixed route intercity and charter bus companies servicing one or more defined Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) jurisdictions. Approximately half teh funding has been allocated for Tier I to six recipients with the largest bus fleets and most extensive services to high-risk urban areas, and the remaining has been allocated for eligible recipients in Tier II. Proposals from 33 Tier II companies were selected for award. DHS places a strong emphasis on preventing and detecting IEDs. Other funding priorities included: the protection of high-risk/high-consequence assets; use of visible, unpredictable deterrence; targeted antiterrorism training emergency preparedness drills and exercises; and public awareness and preparedness campaigns.

The following grant programs received direct allocation funding and were previously announced:

  • Transit Security Grant Program – Tier I
    The eight highest-risk urban areas will receive moneys to protect their mass transit systems. This represents roughly 90 percent of the total TSGP funding for intracity rail and bus systems. The DHS identified specific target investment levels for each of these eight areas. Each Tier I applicant must still submit a fully compliant application, which will undergo a preliminary review prior to final submission. Once completed, these grants will be awarded through cooperative agreements with the state, who in turn works with the transit system. Final Investment Justifications are due 90 days from the date the grant is awarded by DHS.
  • Buffer Zone Protection Program (BZPP)
    The Buffer Zone Protection Program (BZPP) is awarded to states through their State Administrative Agency. BZPP provides grant funding to build security and risk-management capabilities at the state and local level to secure pre-designated Tier I and Tier II critical infrastructure sites, including chemical facilities, financial institutions, nuclear and electric power plants, dams, stadiums, and other high-risk/high-consequence facilities.
  • Trucking Security Grant Program (TSP)
    The Highway Watch program is operated under a cooperative agreement with the American Trucking Associations. The TSP recruits and trains truckers and other highway professionals to identify and report security and safety situations on our nation’s roads. It also operates and maintains a Highway Information Sharing and Analysis Center located at the Transportation Security Operations Center in Herndon, Va.

The IPP grants affirm Homeland Security’s commitment to risk-based funding and deepen the department’s commitment to assisting with regional planning and security coordination. The risk-based methodology for the IPP programs is consistent across the modes and is linked to the risk methodology used to determine eligibility for the core Homeland Security state and local grant programs.

Strix Access/One gives federal contractors, integrators and service providers the robust and infrastructure-critical technology for WiFi interoperability with critical systems and delivers the most cost effective single-package solution required for quick deployment, immediate use and absolute cost effectiveness.

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