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law enforcement personnel, resulting in the Concept of Operations (ConOps) to determine user-defined
The embedded rules are generally not dynamic, i.e., they apply to preset conditions and situations and do
not automatically adapt to situational changes – which is why no SOC can be totally automated, since
unanticipated events for which there is no written protocol will always happen, and may or may not appear
in the SOC as anomalies.
The point is three-fold:
It is impossible (and probably unnecessary) to consider all such scenarios at any airport.
Those that remain in consideration cannot possibly be detected and managed by anything less than
either a massive infusion of manpower, or more realistically, a major enhancement of technology
that provides an ongoing assessment and prioritization of all available incoming information,
augmented by sufficient staff to monitor and respond to unanticipated events.
Automated data collection, fusion, analysis, prioritization and decision/deployment
recommendations to the SOC operator are the most efficient manner of processing massive amounts
of information, but still requires a well-trained, experienced operator to manage the understanding
and appropriate application of that information on the fly.
Continuing Domain Awareness in the SOC
Raw data for its own sake is rarely useful. A SOC operator should not function simply as a sensor that
monitors access-controlled gate and door alarms, but rather as a “refined data user”. Decision-making and
responses occur at a SOC operator level after the technology provides all available data. While technology
can reach some pre-defined generic conclusions and provide options, it is up to a human SOC operator to
synthesize multi-sensor data into the optimal response, making necessary real-time adjustments. To assist
the operator in making optimal responses, CCTV cameras may also be used for security assessment. Then,
“refined data” choices facilitated at the edge by technology as much as possible, are further analyzed,
assessed, and prioritized by the operator for a better balanced security response, since all security anomalies
are not necessarily violations or risks, or often not even real (false alarms).
Detailed design information for the SOC applications, networking, communications, CCTV and
supplementary functionality can be found in complementary chapters throughout this RTCA document, as
well as in industry and government guidance documents [Refer: Appendix A: References].
The configuration and functionality of the SOC depends on its role and relationship with responder dispatch
and incident management functions. All of these functions may be performed in the SOC, but at many
airports, the dispatch and incident management functions are performed in a separate and/or consolidated
Police Dispatch Center. Either arrangement is workable with the proper information flow. This begins with
all the sources of detection and event data, including PIDS, video, access control, and numerous types of
sensors flowing into the SOC via data lines, IP video, telephone and other communications protocols. After
assessment and analysis by the operator and the software algorithms, resulting information is sent as
appropriate both to an IT data center for storage and post-event analysis, and simultaneously via both
hardwire and/or radio and wireless delivery means to security, operations, and law enforcement response,
all of whom provide continuing feedback from mobile devices to the SOC to maintain continuous
situational awareness in the evolving information cycle.
□ Develop a Concept of Operations
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