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Special Projects Group | Projects
Project management, R&D, product development, network & systems design, integration, manufacturing & logistics services.
 
 
 
Situational Awareness Mobile Video Surveillance System
Problem: A US government agency tasked with keeping visiting dignitaries safe while traveling in the United States needed a video surveillance system that would achieve the goals of tracking vehicle location and maintaining situational awareness around motorcades.
 
Solution: The Special Projects Group developed the Visuality Situational Awareness Mobile Video Surveillance System to accomplish these goals. The system included vehicle-based equipment and a command center for collating information from multiple vehicles and simultaneous missions. Each vehicle unit consisted of four cameras, GPS tracking, and a cellular connection for transmitting data to the command center.
 
Cellular bandwidth limitations at the time limited the amount of video that could be sent back, so the system dynamically managed video resolution (to achieve situational awareness around the vehicle) while transmitting the vehicle's GPS coordinates. The cameras were mounted to observe areas in front, behind, and the sides of the vehicle. The side view enabled the command center to monitor and confirm ingress and egress of VIPs.
 
Besides sending a video feed to the command center, the vehicle unit recorded and time-stamped a high-resolution version of all the video in case greater detail was needed for later analysis or possible evidentiary requirements.
 
Everything was accomplished in real-time. Using Visuality, operators in the command center could immediately know if something was awry in terms of location, schedule, or activity.
 
Rugged Industrial Design Environmental Hardening Network Implementation Hardware Design Embedded System Design Product Validation Software Design Project Management and Program Management
Secure Phone for Government
Problem: Secure phone communications at the government level are vital to the national interest. Most government agencies have protected their phones by securing lines when in use, but an equally significant threat has been largely overlooked: protecting phones that are not in use. The threat comes in the form of a phenomenon known as microphonics.
 
Microphonics effects occur when sound vibrations (such as normal room conversations) create mechanical/electrical vibration in the components of a device like a regular telephone, from which an electrical signal can be transmitted, making conversations vulnerable to eavesdropping, even when the phone is not in use! With the right equipment, malicious parties can detect the transmitted signal and convert it back to audio—thereby enabling them to hear what is said within range of the phone. This is how microphonics results in a security breach.
 
Solution: Special Projects was asked to engineer a solution and modify phones to secure them against this type of breach. Such modified phones were required to pass testing at a government lab. To pre-test our modified versions of these phones under similar government lab conditions, Special Projects built a microphonics chamber at Patton's offices in Gaithersburg, MD. The chamber is one of few in the United States that can perform this kind of pre-test.
 
Manufacturing and Deployment Environmental Hardening High Volume Capacity and Low Volume Capability Hardware Design Product Validation Project Management and Program Management
 
 
 
Monitoring Electrical Service
Problem: For businesses that use appliances requiring a lot of electricity, going "green" makes sense, both for the environment and for the bottom line! The Special Projects Group was asked to design and manufacture a monitoring/management solution that would enable fast food restaurants to actively manage their energy usage in near real-time.
 
Solution: Special Projects developed electrical current measuring devices that could be hooked up to high power appliances and lights in restaurants, and created the application programming interface (API) for the system. The measuring devices took electrical current readings, and transmitted over wireless links to the client's database. The API enabled bi-directional communication with the measuring devices, so the client could add analytics, and create a "smart" monitoring network. The ability to remotely control electrical usage (for example, turning off appliances or parking-lot lighting according to demand) resulted in thousands of dollars of utility bill savings.
 
Rugged Industrial Design Manufacturing and Deployment Environmental Hardening Network Implementation High Volume Capacity and Low Volume Capability Hardware Design Embedded System Design Product Validation Software Design Project Management and Program Management
Extending Ethernet Connections in Coal-Mining Country
Problem: Modern advancements in mining technology require that data be transmitted though the harshest of environments. A client needed an Ethernet data network that would reach deep into their customer's mines, and function in an electrically noisy environment filled with rock and coal dust.
 
Solution: Special Projects created a repeater and end-point topology that applied Patton's CopperLink 2300 series of commercial-grade Ethernet extenders. The commercial technology was ruggedized and packaged in tough metal enclosure. Circuitry was conformally coating with epoxy insulation to protect against the dusty environment. Locking connectors provided reliable, foolproof installation in low-light settings. Custom software enabled the Ethernet extenders to operate in frequency ranges that avoided the abundant electrical noise found in the mine.
 
Rugged Industrial Design Manufacturing and Deployment Environmental Hardening Network Implementation High Volume Capacity and Low Volume Capability Hardware Design Embedded System Design Product Validation Software Design Project Management and Program Management
 
 
 
The "Cloud" Gets Support from Physical World Services
Problem: A major VoIP service provider offered sophisticated analytics as a part of their cloud-based services. But those services needed a connection to the physical world.
 
Solution: Special Projects designed a next-generation data-gathering probe to facilitate the analytics service, and manufactured the probe in high volumes. A software-only version of the probe was integrated into Patton's Trinity OS so Patton could extend the reach of the service provider and bring enhanced VoIP analytics to Patton's customers as well.
 
Today, Patton manufactures the data-gathering probe with increased memory, more processing power and the ability to handle the latest protocols. Our Logistics Services team has enabled the service provider client to outsource warehousing and fulfillment of their high-volume "probe" server Patton builds, configures, provisions and delivers the product on behalf of the VoIP service provider.
 
At the network device and OS level, Patton's services in the physical world are ready to support your cloud service offerings.
 
Manufacturing and Deployment Original Design, Manufacturing and Distribution (ODMD) Network Implementation High Volume Capacity and Low Volume Capability Hardware Design Embedded System Design Product Validation Software Design Project Management and Program Management
 
 
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