Sensors protect military base

A US military base is being used to test a network of sensors, alarms and video surveillance directly linked to the emergency services.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has installed a collection of systems for the detection, identification and assessment of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, known as SensorNet, into FortBragg military base. Located in North Carolina, Fort Bragg is home to more than 30,000 family members and contains 11 shopping centres, 28 restaurants, a major medical centre, 11 churches and 183 recreational facilities.

Unlike conventional public safety mass notification networks, SensorNet provides plug-and-play sensors and applications invisible to the user. SensorNet requires no complicated computer programming and sends information in real time to command centres or the emergency services.

One of the main objectives at FortBragg will be to assess and evaluate the range of sensors and detectors being trialled. The sensors that emerge as the best will be incorporated in other SensorNet military installations around the country.

The integrated surveillance systems will link to the US 911 emergency services network so a dispatcher can provide first responders with better information that could ultimately save lives.

The project, funded by the Department of Defence, is scheduled to last five years.