Helping TSA with Aviation Security Technology

July 5, 2016

People need to feel safe when they travel. Leading public transportation systems have embraced mobile phone incident reporting as an important resource for enhancing security and safety.  Airports have police, TSA staff and lots of security equipment, but lack enhanced security solutions that combine mobile technology and people. The power of crowd-sourced incident reporting can be extended to improve security at airports everywhere.

One of the most effective and ironically inexpensive, security enhancements for the transportation industry is a crowd-sourced reporting system that enables passengers and staff to report security concerns with their smartphones.  People act as sensors, work for free, and become a force multiplier for police, who can’t see everything. Until they know where a security issue is, first responders can’t respond. People armed with an incident-reporting smartphone app notify police when and where security concerns are observed. Analytics can’t match human powers of observation and intuition. People notice when something just doesn’t look right. See Something Say Something works best when people have an easy-to-use tool to report what they see.


ELERTS see something say something mobile app provides security tips and situation awareness to transit police at 7 of the 50 largest mass transit systems. Atlanta MARTA, Boston MBTA, San Francisco BART and others bolster transit security by making ELERTS See Say mobile app freely available to staff and riders.

Untitled1Moments after bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line, thousands of people tried to notify friends, family and police by using mobile phones. But a cell tower in a mass crisis can only handle so much traffic. Voice calls failed. SMS messages failed. However, marathon bystanders using ELERTS See Say app were able to send photos, incident reports and GPS maps to Boston transit police dispatchers. ELERTS robust, resilient and secure communication technology delivered messages while ordinary methods failed.

Untitled2FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. When FEMA contacted ELERTS and asked to put our 2-way smartphone emergency notification system through a battery of tests for NIMS compliance, we agreed.  The results are well documented in a 39-page report from FEMA’s independent test laboratory.
Spoiler alert: ELERTS system passed all FEMA NIMS tests with flying colors.

Untitled3Incident reports from smartphones, combined with physical security assets, create a powerful tool for first responders. ELERTS patent-pending Attention Engine uniquely allows an incident report from a mobile phone to trigger the display of a nearby surveillance camera. No matter how many cameras you have, based on the GPS location of the mobile phone reporting a security incident, ELERTS system knows which camera your operators need to be watching. We’ve solved the ‘needle in the haystack’ problem; which camera needs to be watched, right now, in real-time.

ELERTS See Say incident reporting system is proven in the mass transportation and has the power to improve national security in and around airports.  Fly safe.


Crowdsourced Situational Awareness

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