Guest OpEd by Ilia Rosenberg, Vice President Federal Sector, PureTech Systems
PureTech Systems Inc. was formed in 2010 and since then it has operated with the one mission of providing the world’s best autonomous video surveillance systems for critical infrastructure perimeter and border protection.
The company’s efforts have resulted in the issuance of 14 U.S. patents but more importantly, we continue to help new and existing customers more efficiently and effectively protect their critical infrastructure and borders.
Presently the C5ISR Common Operational Picture, powered by PureTech’s patented AI software PureActiv, is installed in numerous locations along the US border as well as multiple nuclear power plants where it serves as the backbone of a multilayered security system mandated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
(See how PureTech’s patented location and AI-based intrusion detection software automates wide area and perimeter protection for the most critical applications, where high probability of detection and low nuisance alarm rates are mandatory. Courtesy of PureTech Systems and YouTube.)
In each market segment, the PureTech go-to-market strategy is based on the two fundamental pillars – recognition of what the threats are and where our customer’s priorities lay.
Once we have a solid understanding of the needs and threats, we develop the system design, implement it, and begin testing.
While this approach has remained the same over the years, the implementation in each particular offering has been very diverse from the beginning and can change over the lifecycle of the program.
Besides the gradual improvement in sensors performance, such as cameras and radars ranges and sensitivities, we have observed major changes in the operational concepts with two relatively new capabilities that have been adopted at a very fast pace by the DHS at large and CBP in particular.
Those are Android Team Awareness Kit (ATAK) and small drones (sUAS). ATAK is quickly becoming a force multiplier by enabling cross-collaboration across multiple units between individual agents, teams, and central command.
In addition, ATAK provides the tool to communicate data from the field that includes geolocation, media, and tactical information that can immediately become actionable intelligence and disseminated across one or more areas of responsibility.
(Learn More about the Android Team Awareness Kit (ATAK), a GPS communications tool that runs on a mobile device. It improves situational awareness by allowing users to know where their mission partners are located, regardless of affiliation. It also improves communications through a variety of applications. Courtesy of DHS Science and Technology Directorate, which was recognized in the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, and YouTube.)
The use of sUAS has also become an important tool in providing a tactical “bird’s-eye” view in the field that is not available from any other sensor unless the threats are detected in the area of coverage of deployed stationary and mobile infrastructure.
As the adversaries also use sUAS for smuggling illegal drugs over the border there is a much-needed integrated counter-UAS capability that has to be enabled over the areas where illegal sUAS traffic is used to transport drugs.
PureTech has numerous federal government and commercial critical infrastructure protection installations, each adhering to its own set of performance requirements and operational concepts. Leadership at PureTech Systems have been working with the Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology and programs of records since 2006.
After more than 15 years of research, testing, and field deployments PureTech’s PureActiv AlertView C5ISR/Common Operational Picture (COP) integrates C5ISR technologies that continue to enhance border patrol agents and other security force’s real-time ability to respond to existing and evolving threats on land and maritime domain.
This COP currently operates over multiple towers of Remote Video Surveillance Systems and Mobile Video Surveillance Systems on the border as well as multiple deployments in the commercial security sector.
Overall, the current COP integrates a multitude of sensors deployed over physical barriers, fences, towers, subterranean, aerial, and water domains.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and other critical infrastructure installations have their own requirements. The PureTech Systems deployed PureActiv C5ISR in those cases is designed to detect, track, and classify attackers whose purpose would be to destroy or damage key equipment.
The system is routinely tested by the special inspection programs where a specially trained red team conducts periodic force-on-force exercises. A zero-tolerance to false negatives, i.e., a strict requirement to detect all trespassers going through three concentric circles of security in those deployments imposes very stringent levels of precision and recall for object detection.
Several other public sector agencies, such as airport and seaport authorities develop their own threat profiles and corresponding security system designs addressing those threats and designing to cost.
The same PureActiv central software is the foundation for each installation that PureTech Systems deploys in the US and internationally. PureActiv provides a combination of geospatial video analytics and AI/DL that allows us to dramatically reduce the nuisance alarms rate.
PureActiv Features include:
Among the highest probability of detection,
Deep Learning application, resulting in near-zero nuisance alarm rates,
Tightly integrated complete real-time virtual perimeter solution,
Geospatial map integration drastically enhances situational awareness, and
Highly scalable solution that can cover a small runway perimeter or multiple nationwide geographically dispersed large linear areas of the border at once.
The main PureTech product for the HS applications, PureActiv, is integrated with the following systems:
Multiple sensor technologies (radar, fiberoptic sensors, etc.) for the most cost-effective detection coverage,
Loud hailers and spotlight/lighting systems to deter people and other threats from perimeters,
Blue-force tracking (people, land and sea vehicles),
License Plate Recognition systems,
ATAK/TAK, and AIS
Use of AI in PureActiv C5ISR
The use of AI in surveillance systems has become widespread, often with big success, but sometimes with mixed results.
As we have often observed in the recorded surveillance photos and videos, adversarial methods and techniques are sometimes able to defeat the standard AI/ML neural nets training by changing shapes, adding layers of clothing to become low observables, etc. It is no surprise that in order to solve the standard “Detect-Identify-Classify” problem a complex approach extending beyond the AI is imperative.
The current DoD Digital Modernization Strategy guidelines include four key priorities –
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Command, Control, and Communications (C3)
These elements are all embedded in the PureActiv base architecture as well as in the individual security designs that we have used successfully in the US and internationally.
Working with DOD JAIC since 2016 allowed us to understand and implement many guidelines and techniques early and test them at field installations, gradually refining the software algorithms and taking full advantage of sensor correlation.
One of JAIC early recommendations was to not only put the bounding boxes around the detected objects but also include relevant metadata to deliver more information for the mission.
The special features implemented in the PureActiv solutions include auto-verification. Our edge devices and servers receive events from multiple sensors and then command PTZ cameras to go “inspect” the target detected by motion analytics, radars, fence sensors, and ground sensors to automatically confirm target type BEFORE issuing an alarm, i.e., provide auto-verification.
As a result, we developed a very robust approach that fused the standard video analytics with AI/DL and radar tracks to disambiguate the objects of interest. That allowed us to also eliminate a substantial, up to 95%, amount of nuisance alarms while maintaining a very high level of detection.
Another important lesson that we take to heart is the AI-assurance.
It is important that we always remember to continue to validate how much confidence we have in the existing system and remind ourselves that AI can do wrong things and it can learn wrong things. Those errors can have big implications.
Analytics at the Edge
In the past several years a trend of edge computing is on the rise. As the GPUs and batteries are getting cheaper, lower power, and better, certain tasks can be performed at the edge, thus allowing to avoid transmitting a large amount of video to the central C5ISR and deliver only the actionable detections processed by the AI-enabled embedded vision cameras.
The decision of whether to use embedded systems, edge devices, cloud, or hybrid approaches depends on the image resolution, speed of networks, and the use cases.
In the case of the critical missions related to national security the variety of shapes that threats may take are so diverse and observation conditions so challenging that camera embedded systems presently cannot perform well against the cloud or a hybrid system with inference on the edge.
Consequently, in most of PureTech deployments that require long-range monitoring of large geographic areas under different environmental and lighting conditions the system design utilizes edge devices and/or central processing.
The pictures below are screen captures that show (1) detected crawler and (2) people walking along the trail; in both situations, the intruder would be near impossible to detect, even by an experienced system operator, yet PureActiv detected and tracked the intruder in both scenarios.
Modern surveillance operational concepts and large-scale human-centric system designs often have gaps that cannot, without going into a great expense, be closed easily.
The autonomous systems can eliminate the risk to the human operator; offer freedom from human limits on workload, fatigue, and stress; and be able to assimilate high volume data and make “decisions” based on time scales that far exceed human ability.
In response to this need by the DoD, DHS, and international markets, PureTech System has designed the Rapid Deploy Autonomous Perimeter Surveillance System (R-DAPSS) that provides airports, borders, military bases, seaports, and utilities the ability to quickly deploy a temporary or permanent high fidelity virtual perimeter system at substantially less cost and time than a hard-wired solution.
While powered by the same PureActiv C5ISR software and different sensors, depending on the environment and threats, R-DAPSS can provide a versatile autonomous surveillance infrastructure that operates with or without high-speed networks and with or without shore power.
Additionally, the inherent ability to change the detection characteristics over the air (OTA) makes it an indispensable tool to address changing operational objectives.
The R-DAPSS system is available through both a purchase and lease option, depending on your needs and security budget.
(See how PureTech’s PureActiv Rapid-Deploy Autonomous Perimeter Surveillance System (R-DAPSS) enables airports, borders, military bases, seaports, transit agencies, and utilities to quickly deploy a temporary or permanent high fidelity virtual perimeter system at substantially less cost and time than a hard-wired solution. Courtesy of Puretech Systems and YouTube.)
How to do business with PureTech
PureActiv software solutions and systems can be acquired off the GSA schedule. For additional contracting vehicles and technical information please send your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 602-532-7554.
We look forward to hearing from you and appreciate the opportunity to provide you with PureTech cutting-edge surveillance technology.
If you have a current or upcoming perimeter or wide-area surveillance project that requires a camera and sensor design, the PureTech team can help you with your design. Upon request, we will provide access to our proprietary camera layout design software and imaging calculator to help ensure a properly designed automated, and effective perimeter protection system with full coverage at the most economical cost possible.
About the Author
Ilia Rosenberg serves as PureTech Vice President of the Federal Sector.
In his prior role as Managing Director for Blue Ocean Advisory Group and ISR GeoSensing, he was responsible for managing programs related to national defense, and security.
From 2016 to 2019 he was VP of Programs at a Silicon Valley AI start-up where he successfully brought AI technology to DoD and the intelligence community.
From 2011 to 2015 he served as Chief Technologist for AGT International Global Delivery Organization in its Headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland leading the worldwide engineering team to assure the effective development and transition of new products and creative solutions for Smart and Safe Cities and Smart Borders programs.
Before joining AGT International in 2011, Ilia served as the Director of Technology Assessment for the Boeing Company Security Solutions division in Arlington, VA. Before joining Boeing he worked in the field of atmospherical physics and completed his postdoctoral studies at the Department of Chemical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.
He published extensively in the peer review journals and his projects were covered by the New York Times, Time Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, New Scientist, The BBC, Discovery Channel, and Washington Technology.
 Figure adopted from DoD Digital Modernization Strategy, Page 4
 GSA Contract # 47QTCA21D009V
PureTech Systems is a privately owned company that develops, markets, and supports patented location-based AI video analytics software, PureActiv©, for real-time safety and security applications.
The company’s software improves situational awareness with AI video analytics, sensor integration, and information fusing for automated real-time event detection and forensic video content analysis with primary emphasis on automated intrusion detection and camera tracking for borders and coastlines, facility perimeters and critical infrastructures (pipelines, railroads, dams, bridges, ports, utilities, power plants, military bases, and airports).
To find out more about PureTech Systems’ award-winning solutions for perimeter protection, please visit puretechsystems.com, call 602-424-9842, or email info@PureTechSystems.com.
American Security Today’s Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program, and now in its Seventh Year, continues to recognize industry leaders of Physical and Border Security, Cybersecurity, Emergency Preparedness – Management and Response, Law Enforcement, First Responders, as well as federal, state and municipal government agencies in the acknowledgment of their outstanding efforts to Keep our Nation Secure.
PureTech Systems (First of Six)
Best Perimeter Protection Solution
PureTech Systems has been recognized with a record Six 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards for it’s PureActiv fully integrated automated outdoor wide-area and perimeter protection system.
PureActiv integrates with a vast array of short- and long-range perimeter sensors such as radar, buried or on-fence fiber detection systems, and ground sensors either singularly or in a combination to provide just the right level of protection to cost-effectively meet the most secure perimeter requirements.
And PureActiv delivers among the highest probability of detection with the lowest nuisance alarm rates for securing facilities, infrastructure, and borders.
(See a brief introduction to PureTech’s PureActiv automated outdoor wide-area and perimeter protection system in action. Courtesy of PureTech Systems and YouTube.)
PureTech Systems (Second of Six)
Best Long Range Surveillance Solution
Controlling national borders is an important part of a nation’s security, and the ability to effectively monitor vast areas in varied weather conditions and terrain, while accurately identifying potential threats at great distances is a complicated scenario.
The solution calls for knowledgeable personnel and accurate sensors that work together to quickly assess a situation and enable border agents to effectively intervene.
Ideal for Border Security, the PureActiv Automated Perimeter Intrusion Detection System enables detection, and classification of intruders up to 6 miles away.
Once PureActiv automatically identifies an intruder, the system has the ability to automatically track them and quickly provide accurate intruder location on a GIS map to the end-user.
(The MVSS platform utilizes PureTech Systems’ PureActiv software as its central command and control, providing AI enhanced video detection and classification, user interface display, and sensor collaboration logic for the surveillance suite. The suite consists of visible and thermal cameras, laser illuminators and range finders mounted on telescoping masts located in the back of commercial pickup trucks. Courtesy of Fox 5, PureTech Systems, and YouTube.)
PureTech Systems (Third of Six)
Best Maritime Perimeter Protection Solution
Our nation and the world depend on safe and efficient shipment of goods around the globe.
Threats to seaports and the resultant potential loss of lives and economic losses due to service interruptions make it imperative that seaports throughout the world are properly protected from terrorist and safety-related events.
PureTech’s PureActiv wide area and perimeter protection solutions help Port Authorities improve the safety and security of seaports with a tangible return on investment, and automates the protection of land and water-side perimeters to help ensure the safety and security of personnel and critical assets.
By detecting intrusion events at the perimeter before they result in more catastrophic events, loss of life, and operational downtime, port authorities, and law enforcement can intervene to deescalate situations and quickly return to normal operations.
The PureActiv system provides detection, alerting, and proactive deterring of potential safety and security events, which helps protect lives, cargo, and critical assets.
PureTech Systems (Fourth of Six)
Best Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence
PureActiv AI Auto-verify Analytics eliminates 95% of nuisance alarms from radar, fence sensors, and motion video analytics.
With expertise from 16 years of real-world deployments and cutting-edge innovation, PureTech Systems patented Video Analytics are AI Deep Learning and Geospatially boosted and provide among the highest in probability of detection, and lowest in nuisance alarm rates for electronically securing perimeters around facilities, infrastructures, and borders.
(See how PureActiv’s deep-learning trained automated perimeter protection system includes intrusion detection, auto-verification, PTZ Auto-follow, and invoking non-lethal acoustic deterrents. Our enhanced capabilities detect, geolocate, classify and track intrusions, alerting only on verified threats ensuring near-zero nuisance alarms with market-leading detection rates. Courttesy of PureTech Systems and YouTube.)
PureTech Systems (Fifth of Six)
Best Video Analytics Solution
Key benefits of PureActiv AI Deep Learning Geospatial Video Analytics include:
Automatically detects, classifies, geolocates, tracks and alarms only on Objects of Interest.
Technology backed up by 13 patents and over 16 years of innovation and field training data.
Lower total cost of ownership when considering infrastructure cost and maintenance,
Effective in the most challenging of outdoor conditions.
Uses Convolutional, Neural Network Deep Learning, and Geo-spatial data for high fidelity classification.
Longest detection ranges in the industry (over 5 miles)- requires fewer cameras.
Higher accuracy – Industry-leading Probability of Detection and low Nuisance Alarm Rate.
Simplified configurations support rapid deployment.
Autonomous PTZ camera lock-on-target tracking enhances situational awareness.
Object geo-location on map enhances situational awareness.
Combines with other detection sensors (radar, fence, ground, etc.) for most demanding applications such as nuclear power plants.
PureTech Systems (Sixth of Six)
Best Mobile Tech Solution
Scalable to small and large perimeters, the new Rapid Deploy Virtual Perimeter Unit (RDVPU) provides a temporary or permanent virtual perimeter protection system that requires very little deployment time.
The smart and effective protection system uses a wireless connection to transmit alarms and video to a co-located or remote command and control center and is enhanced with the use of radar, a pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera, and optional loud hailers and light deterrents.
The RDVPU is equipped with PureTech’s patented AI and geospatially boosted video analytics, PureActiv, which provides among the highest probability of detection while maintaining near-zero nuisance alarms.
Additionally, the RDVPU is solar-powered, needing little to no backup fuel, thus providing an environmentally friendly protection system that does not require ground penetration and has no impact on local wildlife.
(Click Image above to view a Rapid Deploy Virtual Perimeter Unit Deployment in Action. Courtesy of PureTech Systems.)
*PureTech Systems was recognized with Multiple Awards Wins in the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, and also won a Platinum ‘ASTORS’ Award in the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program.
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