Countering Threats with Technology

February 09, 2016

Source: Q4 2015 Inside PAE. Click here for the PDF of the article as it originally appeared in the PAE employee magazine. 

Overview

The Software Solutions team develops, configures and supports software products to assess asymmetric risks and perform diagramming and field reporting. Asymmetric risks attempt to circumvent or undermine strengths while exploiting weaknesses, using methods that differ significantly from the expected method of operations.

As a part of the PAE National Security Solutions business unit, the Software Solutions Division “supports a wide variety of users, from the Malaysian Customs Department; to the Brazilian Navy; to the Fairfax, Virginia Police Department; to name a few,” said PAE VP of Software Solutions Steve Schwab. The Division sells and supports two software product lines—Risk Management Solutions and Field Reporting Solutions.

Risk Management Solutions

Before it was acquired by PAE, A-T Solutions acquired GreenLine Systems, a technology company that develops software to help international governments manage risks associated with maritime and the cross-border movement of vessels, goods and people. As a result, PAE now has technology expertise in big data analytics, decision support systems and agile software development. The risk management solutions help national and international government agencies, military, law enforcement and intelligence professionals provide global transportation security and border protection. The solutions share a common technology platform and offer geospatial and data visualization components, and Cloud delivery facilitates secure collaboration.

PAE’s risk management software aggregates and analyzes massive amounts of data, producing accurate, near-real-time risk assessments, which help shape critical decisions. In fact, our risk management solutions manage more than 3.5 billion records. PAE offers four types of risk management software: Vessel Selection System (VSS), Cargo Targeting System (CTS), Passenger Targeting System (PTS) and Electronic Single Window (ESW).

Vessel Selection System (VSS)

VSS develops a holistic maritime picture by integrating data from multiple sources, such as terrestrial- and satellite-based ship position/automatic identification system (AIS) (radio navigation) data; vessel and company characteristics data; entity or vessel watch lists; and agency databases containing details on vessels’ cargo and crew. The analysis, presented in a user-friendly interface that supports collaboration, helps analysts and decision makers identify targets of interest and make interdiction decisions.

Cargo Targeting System (CTS)

Modern customs administrations must effectively mitigate fiscal and non-fiscal risks while facilitating trade and social protection. Increasingly, a number of government agencies share facilitation and protection mandates, such as agriculture, immigration and law enforcement.

CTS allows stakeholder agencies to simultaneously access and review data reported by carriers and importers. Risk analytics within the system help to identify high-risk cargo for scrutiny or inspection while facilitating pre-approved/low-risk trade. This solution protects the border while facilitating trade—the twin principles that form the basis of risk management for cross-border trade.

Passenger Targeting System (PTS)

PTS helps government agencies monitor border crossings of passengers and crews. The baseline risk assessment PTS ingests passenger and crew information (including Advance Passenger Information data) and travel industry Passenger Name Records, and then checks information from these sources against internal border control holdings and other indices. PTS solves challenges posed by country-specific legal and privacy issues by providing solutions customized to country and agency requirements.

PTS consists of an analytical tool kit that includes map layering, data grids, a navigation panel and a configurable dashboard. PTS displays an overall risk indicator for each passenger, based on user-established criteria, such as immigration status and the potential for contraband trafficking or terrorism.

Electronic Single Window (ESW)

ESW integrates with Customs departments’ commercial systems and government border control agencies to provide a one-stop trade hub for initiating and managing import and export processing. It is the single entry point for all the regulatory compliance information for the private sector. Its efficient functionality modernizes border commercial processing, and its streamlined workflow promotes transparency and expedites processing.

ESW manages the Other Government Agency (OGA) permit application and approval process. It is the system of record for OGA license/permit/certificate/other application vetting and approvals. A system of record is an information storage and retrieval system that is the authoritative source for a particular data element in a system containing multiple sources of the same element. ESW connects regulatory and border inspection and control agencies and facilitates interoperable decision making for commercial border processing. “We are currently implementing this for the Government of Barbados Ministry of Finance,” says Steve.

Field Reporting Software

Our Field Reporting software consists of tools specifically designed to solve complex problems unique to public safety personnel, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the U.S. military.

Easy Street Draw is a diagramming tool used by law enforcement and other public safety agencies for crash scene diagramming. It includes drag-and-drop technology of more than 800 symbols, intelligent symbol/object interaction and storyboarding.

ScenePD provides investigators and officers in the field with a large library of objects to quickly and accurately diagram or storyboard any complex crime scene, accident scene or post-incident event.

The Highway Safety Research Group (HSRG) at Louisiana State University (LSU) used Easy Street Draw in the 2005 release of their electronic crash reporting software. In their most recent software release they incorporated ScenePD. “The diagraming programs allow the HSRG to provide an electronic reporting solution to police agencies statewide that collects complete crash data, including diagrams,” explained Sara Graham, Research Associate at the Highway Safety Research Group at Louisiana State University.

“At the time of our initial release, the average number of days from the crash date to the date [we entered data] into the state database was over 100 … In 2014 [most recent full year for which there is data] our average number of days [from crash to data entry] was 16. The increased timeliness in reporting benefits both safety programs and ongoing research.”

FireScene introduces tools built or enhanced for the specific needs of the firefighting and arson investigation communities that enable quick and accurate documentation of facilities and illustrate burn patterns in a single room, an entire building or across a vast wilderness. It includes: fire-specific symbols ranging from apparatus and tools, to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) tags and arson evidence; universal fire pre-plan; and enhanced export capabilities, to include XML, PDF and PowerPoint for real-time reporting.

Asymmetric Threat and Tactical Analysis Casebook (ATTAC) is the U.S. military’s Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Weapons Technical Intelligence (WTI) and Combined Explosives Exploitation Cell (CEXC) standard for diagramming, storyboarding, collecting standardized data and managing digital evidence. ATTAC conducts blast reporting analysis and forensics collection; generates custom agency specific reports and feeds multiple databases simultaneously; assigns an accurate latitude and longitude or Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) location to the individual incident report to support future spatial analysis systems; and attaches various forms of digital evidence, like photographs and audio or video clips, to custom created form sets that enable standardized lexicon.

Data Collection Toolkit (DCT), based on the ATTAC software, improves planning, training and operational effectiveness across industries. The toolkit provides efficient diagramming and documentation tools such as disaster and emergency planning response, insurance investigations, occupational safety, insurance reporting and facility security assessments.

Casebook Explorer integrates with core ATTAC and DCT and provides users in the field the ability to aggregate, manage and query data collected via any number of individual ATTAC or DCT instances. It loads individual or batched ATTAC/DCT casebooks into a single data repository for analysis and information sharing; provides user-designed work flow that supports specific mission activities; and allow operators to create reports and conduct analysis without a dependency on connectivity.

Investigator, an evidence collection and management system, manages crime scene information and enables coordination of searches so that collected evidence is handled according to the highest legal standards. Using handheld and other mobile systems, Investigator allows a team working across a potentially large scene to coordinate their efforts as if they were in the same room.

Investigator helps collect and manage evidence, including latent prints and photos, and enables data transfer to central data repositories. It includes ATTAC capabilities to document and storyboard incidents.

The Software Solutions team sells Investigator to state and local law enforcement agencies and federal agencies such as Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Army Criminal Investigation Department and Naval Criminal Investigative Service