Successfully tested new intelligence and surveillance system for Airport security

11 March, 2013 - 17:04

A new European airport security platform, called TASS, was recently successfully tested at Heathrow Airport. Acreo Swedish ICT contributed to the proof-of-concept trial with significant sensor technologies.

 Airport defence and security is the biggest challenge of them all. Airports are extremely busy public places and therefore prime targets for terrorism. The European research program, TASS, has for the last two years developed an airport security monitoring system with a strong emphasis on the end-users insights and demands. Based on these requirements, as well as the travelers need for privacy, a threat analysis has been performed and the system architecture has been developed, meeting different operational scenarios.

At the proof-of-concept-trial, last fall at Heathrow, four separate security scenarios played out at Terminal 5, engaging the participants as well as the staff. Chemical attack inside terminal, on terminal forecourt (outdoor), two suicide bombers at evacuation point, Mumbai style gunmen hidden in a sealed cargo delivery truck. The results: TASS monitored, and avoided, all threats without affecting the passengers and flow of commerce.  

“The TASS proof of concept was a huge success, delivering much more than originally planned as part of this stage of the project. The PoC demonstrated the possible system capabilities of TASS and successfully show cased the art of the possible with respect to a total integrated, monitoring  and alerting security system.” says Andy Cowen, Security Development Manager, Heathrow Airport


Acreo Swedish ICT contributes to TASS with development and integration of sensors systems for indoor air flow and temperature, motion detection, chemical gas sensors and water contamination detection into the TASS wireless sensing platform. The purposely considered sensor system design and their data fusion create information intelligence and possibility for less fall alarms. More than 35 different sensors were installed at Heathrow airport. TASS stands for Total Airport Security Solution and is specifically designed to help airports advance their threat detection capabilities. The TASS system will now be tested at the medium sized Athens airport as well as the small Faro airport (Portugal) in order to cover a wide range of needs at different levels of airport protection. TASS is financed by the European research program FP7.