Smart City Tech Would Make Military Bases Safer

Smart City Tech Would Make Military Bases Safer
February 20 20:40 2017 Print This Article

(WIRED) – THE LAST TIME the Pentagon directed all of its bases to raise their threat level, the danger came from an unlikely source: social media. That’s where accounts connected to ISIS posted the names and home addresses of US military personnel and encouraged terrorists to attack them. Military bases around the country began the methodical process of implementing stricter security. After countless meetings and thousands of checklists, the bases were ready.

But in times of crisis, seconds matter. The same connectivity that allows overseas extremists to make personal threats with the click of a button could also enable quicker, stronger, and more comprehensive security responses at the nation’s military installations. Put simply, a base that employs smart technologies is safer.

Of course, the promises of innovative technologies can sometimes be oversold or just plain wrong. But smart technologies are proven and offer significant advantages for military installations. The smart military base is overdue.

A smart base employs technologies—artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, machine automation and robotics, and data analysis, to name a few—to improve the quality and speed of its functions and services. Taken together, they collect and process large amounts of data that enable more economical operations and help military staffers make better decisions.

If a terrorist followed through on those threats to military staffers, a smart military base’s networked cameras and license plate recognition sensors would single out new visitors and direct them to entry gates with tighter security. In the worst-case scenario, a smart base could isolate the sound of gunfire and communicate its location to emergency responders on-base. An alert could be sent to everyone’s smart phones notifying them of an active-shooter and indicating which areas to avoid. Base officials could immediately lock down schools, daycare centers, and hospitals. And the data trail enables easier intelligence collection and prosecution.

Applying smart technologies to military bases is more than hypothetical. Army and Navy bases in Georgia recently opened smart energy solar plants that allow them to operate independent of the local power grid, a critical capability in an emergency. Fort Bragg is experimenting with driverless vehicles to transport wounded soldiers across base to rehab appointments.

Smart cities provide the model for smart military bases, since bases share many of the same characteristics as cities. In the past 10 years urban planners have emphasized technologies like sensors, data analysis, and smartphone apps, to catalyze cities’ advancement.

Columbus, Ohio recently won a $50 million grant from the US Department of Transportation to improve its transit infrastructure; in its proposal to the government, Columbus described how improving its traffic patterns and transportation could reduce infant mortality rates and improve access to health care for all. Other cities are also leveraging the Internet of Things to harness massive amounts of real-time data about traffic, crime, weather, energy consumption, and more to improve governance and quality of life.

See the full article HERE