Coastal responders, DHS S&T, Integrated Maritime Domain Enterprise - Coastal Surveillance System | Homeland Security Newswire

Maritime respondersCoastal surveillance benefits from enterprise information sharing

Published 20 April 2018

Initially, DHS S&T wanted to empower maritime responders with better surveillance technology. Adding more radars and cameras alone was expected to make the difference, but further evaluation of the input from operational sponsors told a different story—it extended the benchmark for what S&T was asked to provide. Today, the Integrated Maritime Domain Enterprise - Coastal Surveillance System (IMDE-CSS) has evolved well beyond the initial information-gathering requirement into an information-sharing capability.

Initially, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) wanted to empower maritime responders with better surveillance technology. Adding more radars and cameras alone was expected to make the difference, but further evaluation of the input from operational sponsors told a different story—it extended the benchmark for what S&T was asked to provide. Today, the Integrated Maritime Domain Enterprise - Coastal Surveillance System (IMDE-CSS) has evolved well beyond the initial information-gathering requirement into an information-sharing capability.

S&T says that, commensurate with a flood of ever-interconnecting technologies on the rise, S&T recognizes the importance of integration, on several technological and operational fronts, to the efficiency of the Homeland Security Enterprise (HSE). S&T IMDE Program Manager Shawn McDonald and his team sought technologies that empower officers with greater surveillance capability—more powerful sensors, cameras, computers and other communication devices—but realized at some point they needed to form a data-sharing network. This has been one of the S&T missions of late, as they work to bridge different systems together for the holistic awareness of the enterprise, not just for any one agency.

If different agencies working in the same area of responsibility had access to the same data, their ability to coordinate operations would significantly increase. Responding to distress calls, interdicting and processing criminal activity would be faster and consume fewer resources. Through a shared, richer databank, the optimal course of action is made more visible to operators across the different agencies. They can know who and what is needed to do the job in any given situation.

This is not a projection of some distant future—the IMDE concept has already fared well with U.S. Coast Guard and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO), Air and Marine Operations Center (AMOC) as an initial testbed. Several technical demonstrations have laid the groundwork for connecting system owners.