Govt surveillance project a 'blueprint' for other ports

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Govt surveillance project a 'blueprint' for other ports

Brisbane on the watchful eye of NICTA video.

NICTA (National ICT Australia) has won a $1.01m Federal Government grant to develop of an advanced video surveillance system for the Port of Brisbane.

The grant will be delivered in four installments during the term of the project, which is to be completed by 31 December 2011.

It was awarded under the Australian Government's Research Support for National Security Program, which has supported a total of 98 projects since 2006, of which 57 are currently active.

According to the Government's call for research proposals back in August, the program looks to support projects that address national security priorities.

These priorities include: explosives detection; cyber security; command control; climate change, resource and energy security; and transnational crime.

NICTA's system combines commercial, off-the-shelf surveillance tools with custom-built technology to provide a 'scalable situational awareness system'.

Developed at NICTA's Queensland Research Laboratory, it uses software that recognises individual faces from live video feeds and matches them to a database, and technology that improves the clarity of video.

The $1.01m grant will go towards building a demonstrator in the Port of Brisbane, which is expected to host around 40 to 60 cameras that provide information about boats, cargo, and atmospheric conditions.

Once completed, the project could also be replicated at other ports and settings that require dynamic, real-time surveillance.

"We plan to use the funding to develop a world-leading blueprint that will help ports, combat agencies and commercial security companies to secure their personnel and assets," said Professor Terry Caelli, Director of NICTA's Queensland Research Laboratory.

NICTA is reported to have plans to commercialise the system, and be in discussions with overseas ports already.

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