Smiths Detection Expands Advanced Metro Safety System in Washington, D.C.

PROTECT system provides early warning detection capabilities to mitigate terrorist attacks on transit systems

Smiths Detection was awarded multiple contracts for the expansion of the PROTECT security system at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The system to be upgraded and expanded is designed for early warning detection of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) materials.

Smiths Detection will provide WMATA with engineering, installation and maintenance services for the expanded system. New generation sensors and software will be integrated with the current system including redundant failover hardware, enhanced video surveillance capabilities and improved response and recovery options.

Cherif Rizkalla, President Security and Inspection, Smiths Detection, said: “We are pleased with the success of the PROTECT system and WMATA's continued efforts to expand and apply new technologies to enhance public safety. PROTECT is the premier integrated sensor solution for mass transit and is a vital tool for subway operators, first responders and law enforcement.”

PROTECT, which stands for the Program for Response Options and Technology Enhancements for Chemical/Biological Terrorism, is designed to save lives in the event of terrorist attacks. Initially developed by the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory as a response to the 1995 Sarin gas attacks in the Tokyo subway, PROTECT has become the leading early warning crisis management solution for high threat infrastructures such as subways, transportation terminals, buildings and airports.

Receiving funding grants from the US Department of Homeland Security to create and advance the critical infrastructure solution, PROTECT has been in operation for over five years in Washington, D.C.; New York and Boston. Smiths Detection has worked closely with Argonne National Laboratory on the program since 2002, exclusively licensing the technology in 2007.

Brook Miller, VP of Government Affairs for Smiths Detection, said: “Mass transit continues to be one of the most challenging environments for security systems, partly due to high passenger throughput, confined spaces and harsh environmental conditions. The PROTECT solution is a proven transit security strategy, which adds a flexible layer of sophisticated detection that can grow and expand as needs arise.”

Smiths Detection's PROTECT solution provides:
  • Advanced CBRNE detectors for rapid alert of a threat
  • Digital video cameras for verification of detector activations
  • Real-time modeling of hazard zones in and out of a facility
  • Firemen jacks for outside responders to view the threat before they enter a facility
  • Command, Control & Communications (C3) software integrating real-time data on chemical detectors, video and hazard zones into one operational picture for decision-making
  • Integrated Concept of Operations (ConOps) plans and training programs
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