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Chemical Sensors Aid Port Surveillance System

The Providence Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) is promoting the chemical sensor integration project worth $593,000, in the Rhode Island’s Port Area Waterside Surveillance System (PAWSS), with an endowment from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The project initiated in 2006 after the Department of Environmental Management, Port of Providence secured a grant to install marine radars and cameras on the lower areas of the Narragansett Bay. The port of Providence was awarded another grant to integrate additional radar system to video cover the entire bay. The surveillance system has now enveloped the southern and northern area of the port.

The PAWSS is based on the Athena data and analysis compilation technology of Raytheon, furnishing simultaneous access to the both the Automatic Identification System of the port and the radar, cameras and sensors (Smiths Detection Centurion II). Peter Gaynor said that by simply clicking upon the moving ship, entire information about the ship can be obtained.

The sensors fitted with video cameras can monitor warfare agents and chemicals used in the industrial applications. The PEMA is surveying the entire port to identify strategic locations to install the cameras and sensors as the sensors could not sketch the whole port.

Following the chemical sensor evaluation and installation, four automatic warning sirens will also be incorporated into the sensors to alert people about the mishap. The alerting sirens will be installed in Providence, campus of Johnson & Wales University and in Cranston’s southern port.

Three chemical sensors were already established at Rhode Island’s Port of Providence in Aug 16. Gaynor added that an advanced e-mail alert will also be furnished with the sensors to alert the community on time and the capability to potentially utilize the PAWSS, sirens is due to the co-operation between the city, the port, Cranston, Johnson & Wales University, and the East Providence.


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