New research puts the Internet of Things at the forefront of public-private partnerships

New research into Internet of Things (IoT) technologies may help solve national security problems, but it will also provide a wealth of benefits for business.

The Sensor and Platform Technology Center (SP-TC) of the Department of Homeland Security studies and improves Internet of Things applications. While much of the focus is on public safety and natural disasters, early warning systems and sensor technology have applications in the private sector.

“We are trying to take a holistic approach to…

Read more

New research into Internet of Things (IoT) technologies may help solve national security problems, but it will also provide a wealth of benefits for business.

The Sensor and Platform Technology Center (SP-TC) of the Department of Homeland Security studies and improves Internet of Things applications. While much of the focus is on public safety and natural disasters, early warning systems and sensor technology have applications in the private sector.

“We try to take a holistic approach to research and development, looking at the technical, commercial and policy aspects to maximize the impact and benefit of our investments,” said Jeff Booth, Director of SP-TC. Federal Monthly Insights – IoT Security.

One notable example of a public-private partnership in IoT research is the Capitol One Arena. In the wake of COVID-19 ventilation issues, SP-TC worked with arena management to install sensors that tracked changes in air flow and air quality that occurred during various sporting and recreational events. The team developed a digital 3D model of the arena to analyze and improve air quality. While air quality analysis had a direct use for yard management, DHS also had an interest in using the technology for public safety. Sensors installed in the building provide advance information about any public safety crisis for building security and law enforcement. This data can include everything from where a fire broke out to the presence of an active shooter.

“They can save that before the blue power arrives,” Booth told Jared Serbo of the Federal News Network in a newspaper. Federal Drive with Tom Taemin.

Booth said Capitol Square 1 provides a model for what the SP-TC wants to achieve. Equipping the arena with Internet of Things technology to track air quality and public safety events benefits both law enforcement and businesses, enough to provide needed cooperation on financing.

“The federal government can’t fund everything, it’s not practical,” he said.

DHS’s cost-recovery efforts by applying its IoT research to operations and public safety have engaged many partners in many areas.

“In addition to the Cap One arena testing I mentioned, we also participate in a public-private partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as Stafford County, Virginia, several industrial partners like Verizon and Cisco and a whole lot of small businesses. Stafford County Community Testing already has Infrastructure for testing, including IoT edge devices, connectivity, 5G transport, zero-trust structures, and hardware, as well as data monitoring and collection capabilities.”

Wildfires also provided SP-TC with a platform to partner with private companies. Last year, the center announced a partnership with Breeze Technologies UG of Hamburg, Germany, and N5 Sensors, Inc. in Rockville, Maryland, to detect wildfires and monitor air quality. The project included placing sensors in remote areas to create an early warning system. Problem: How do you run it?

Booth said that operating the sensors is a major challenge for IoT technology. The energy has to last, it has to be powerful, and it has to be cost-effective.

“We are now looking at prairie fire sensors. We are going to look at different solar configurations. A traditional flat panel, if desired, solar is really just a test to see the effectiveness of the sensors and their algorithms.” “But eventually, we’re going to need to look at solar panels and batteries that are more flexible and have a longer life. You don’t want to create sensors for fire and with Santa Ana winds the solar panels suddenly become more like a wind sail. So we’re looking at flexible panels that can wrap around a pole As an example, as one mechanism to try to address that.”