Wa. mesh IT touted for surveillance capabilities
By John Trumbo
KENNEWICK, Wa. — A wireless security camera system installed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has scored another honor, less than one year after being set up to keep a remote-controlled eye on the Department of Energy lab in Richland.
CIO magazine, a trade journal for chief information officers, cited the campus security system as why PNNL is one of the top 100 organizations worldwide "that exemplify the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in information technology."
It is the first time a national laboratory has received the designation in the competition's 21-year history.
But it's the third time the lab's high-tech camera system has drawn an award.
The lab's wireless security system earned a Hugi Award for technology infrastructure excellence from the Northwest Academic Computing Council and a GITEC Award for outstanding project management from the Government Information Technology Executive Council.
The system, which was a team effort by PNNL's security and information technology staff, set up 81 cameras and 14 emergency call stations to create "a virtual fence around the lab," said Mike Kluse, lab director in a statement issued Wednesday.
Kluse called the campus camera system a team accomplishment.
"Our information technology and security staffs partnered with vendors to build it," he said.
The key to the system's efficiency is the wireless mesh network and capability of expanding as the campus grows. Each of the outdoor cameras can be directed from any of the 14 call stations. The wireless mesh technology uses radio signals to control wireless cameras and connect them to a distant wired network.
The CIO 100 awards will be presented in August during the CIO 100 Symposium in Colorado Springs.
Other 2008 recipients include IBM, Hewlett Packard, Lockheed Martin and the Department of Homeland Security.