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Security requirements and capabilities have changed dramatically over the past fifty years. Personal identification and detection of illegal substances including explosives have come to the forefront. With the proliferation of computers the security of information has also become a major concern. Substantial advances have been made over the last three decades in entry control, counter-terrorism, cryptology and airport protection. The utilization of technology has become an irreversible trend. Electronic devices and systems are capable of automatically and tirelessly monitoring and reporting breaches of security. For example, airport security began with physical protection of the facility with fences and area surveillance. The most recent concern is detecting explosives in both checked and early-on baggage, Other techniques relate to monitoring passengers for weapons as they transit the terminal building, especially crowds gathered at the metal detectors and X-ray machines. The application of electronics has produced reliability improvements and cost savings in systems that protect against unauthorized entry and numerous other threats. PCs have become the heart of security command and control systems. Most PC platforms rely on the proven software stability of Windows NT and present data in human-friendly, graphic format. It is expected that in the near future security monitoring will be consolidated in a central location, possibly to be integrated with other command and control functions.

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 10 )