Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - EUROSKY (Single European Secure Air-cargo Space)

Executive Summary:
Within the "security research" priority of the 7th EU Framework Programme for Research and Development the Commission funded EUROSKY, an innovative project on the security of Air Cargo. This has delivered significant improvements in the operator inspection of air cargo (a) by a reduction in “dark regions” of the X-ray image through better X-ray penetration of cargo due to an increase in X-ray energy, and (b) by increased material discrimination (reflected in the X-ray image) due to the use of multi-energy detectors. Both improvements result in improved images for visual inspection, and allow the operator to make more informed decisions regarding the content of the cargo. These feature improvements will lead to an increase in air cargo security whilst supporting a reduction in cargo-screening times that improves the flow of commerce.
EUROSKY brought together one of the largest pure cargo and mail airports in Europe, industrial providers of X-ray and mass spectrometry technology and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). EUROSKY is a 4-year project which started in 2013 and which has now entered its demonstration and benefits assessment phase. Compared to currently-deployed technologies, the improvements in X-ray image quality mentioned above, and the improved sensitivity and selectivity of mass spectrometry are significant and attractive to stakeholders. Thus, the prospects for exploitation of the results are excellent.
Air cargo today is screened using conventional single- or dual- view dual-energy systems. The measurement of two energies allows for a rough calculation of atomic number for the material the X-rays pass through and this gives the ability to differentiate between organic (e.g. explosives) and in-organic materials that are not surrounded by “cargo clutter”. However, when a relatively-small threat object is placed within palletised cargo of significant density, the presence of the threat object often goes undetected because dual-energy detector technology cannot measure the small difference in the X-ray data resulting from the modified cargo. However, advanced multi-energy detectors, by their ability to resolve slight changes in X-ray energy, are better able to detect these anomalies within otherwise benign cargo. This same high “X-ray energy” resolution capability of multi-energy detectors can also distinguish two materials of similar but unequal atomic properties, so that an attempt to conceal a threat object within cargo of similar material is more likely to be detected. The automation of cargo screening is much more difficult to achieve than that of checked baggage. There are a number of reasons for this centred on the capabilities of large format imaging systems and the nature of cargo itself. Cargo is not homogenous and contains all kinds of items made up of a multitude of materials. Checked baggage, on the other hand, is quite homogeneous as it mostly consists of personal effects dominated by clothing, which is why automated detection works in an operational setting. To improve the performance of cargo screening and thus to facilitate the flow of legitimate trade without compromising security it is crucial to develop mechanisms that can speedily and accurately resolve any alarm raised by the primary X-ray system. To achieve this, EUROSKY has developed a highly sensitive and selective method for capturing vapours emanating from both military and improvised explosives, and analysing them within a few seconds using a transportable mass spectrometer. The sensitivity is one order of magnitude above that of present systems.

Project Context and Objectives:
While air cargo security issues came to prominence in 2010 after two explosive devices were discovered on freight aircraft in Dubai and the UK disguised inside ink cartridges shipped from Yemen to the US, there is a long history of related incidents. These incidents provide clear examples of how existing risk management capabilities and detection technologies may fail and have raised transport security high on the EU’s agenda. The EU’s aims include further consolidation and strengthening of policy, legislation and monitoring of air cargo security including cooperation with major international partners. It is evident that security breaches in any airport across the world could lead to an explosion mid-air or at a different airport, making the international dimension intrinsic to the problem.
Global air cargo security regulation has in general been driven by developments in the United States. The USA legislation has had global implications and has driven requirements in air cargo security. The European Commission has adopted a layered approach which takes also into account the requirements from the USA. The “Known Shipper Programme” (and validation/vetting of agents and operators) form the base of the EU layered security concept. Further layers for air cargo inspection, screening and control requirements, as well as air cargo facility security measures, create a comprehensive security approach. Recent changes in the EU customs approach to air cargo security create additional harmonisation challenges. The joint statement on supply-chain security by EU and USA points to ‘international cooperation for ensuring policy coherence, establishing compatibility of national systems and reducing costs."
Momentum towards international co-operation and harmonisation of approaches is gathering pace. Importantly the joint statement advocates “facilitation and expedition of the smooth flow of legitimate international trade through the use of multi-layered risk management tools”
Specific actions to improve air cargo security measures are spearheaded by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) who have formed a joint "Technical Experts Group on Air Cargo Security" to analyze issues including electronic advance data on shipments, information sharing and "risk management." In the EU, DG-HOME is working with DG-MOVE to establish data elements for air cargo shipment screening and is proposing to utilise the DG-TAXUD pre-arrival screening mechanism updated with new air cargo threat assessment rules. Further the EU Detection Technology Project Group is working on the minimum set of detection technology and equipment required to perform custom controls for the different commodities and transport modes in the most effective and efficient way.
From a business perspective, the industry is looking to co-operate with authorities in securing the airspace with effective measures that maintain the speed of cargo flow needed to support global trade. The common goal is achieving a ‘truly seamless Single European Sky’ across efficiency and security dimensions. A major challenge is dealing efficiently with the evolving EU and US regulatory regime, and more importantly, the significant variations in the way regulations are implemented and enforced at national level. This has a double negative impact. First, it creates inefficiencies in actually securing air-cargo. Secondly, it prevents integration of security management in seamless operational processes. International harmonisation of regulations and improved uniformity of their implementation across Europe is therefore a common requirement of the stakeholders in air cargo security. It will also create the foundations for building a single European air-cargo space with each node of the European air cargo system equally strong and with optimised cargo flows.
The way ahead is already charted by IATA’s five principles: “Our actions should take a risk-based approach, involve globally coordinated action by all stakeholders, harmonize best practice across borders, be practical to implement, and be strategically focused on defined objectives”.
EUROSKY delivered a high impact programme for improved air-cargo security and facilitation to safeguard international supply chains and the security of citizens whilst fostering international co-operation and a broad stakeholder engagement from all segments of the industry. The main project objectives were to:
a. provide systemic solutions for European air cargo security addressing prevailing complexities and vulnerabilities aligned with international initiatives and building on complementary on-going projects
b. offer different stakeholder groups enhanced capabilities for integrating preventive and reactive controls to address their threats in a timely and effective manner with optimised cost
c. secure air cargo supply chains (from accepting cargo from the customer to putting it on the plane) whilst also facilitating the overall process (i.e. achieving security without stoppages (i.e. facilitation), keeping the cargo movements unimpeded at all times).

The EUROSKY approach is shown in the Figure below.


Figure 1 EUROSKY Approach

The EUROSKY objectives, mapped to the structure depicted in the Figure, are:
1. Undertake Requirements Analysis from security, legal, policy, market and technology perspectives (guided by the EUROSKY Demonstrators) to produce the EUROSKY Vision and Project Success Criteria clarifying, both inside and outside the project, the expected contribution of each EUROSKY output to air-cargo security and operational efficiency gains.

2. Develop the EUROSKY Blueprints to provide an industry endorsed target Europe wide cooperative model for air cargo security and facilitation including KPIs for each stakeholder group.

3. Develop a multi-energy based automated detection and alarm resolution (which we term Next Generation Screening Solution) to provide faster and more accurate detection of dangerous substances with reduced false positive rate. The focus will be on combining innovations in Automatic Detection of Explosives (ADE) with innovative alarm resolution technologies to offer operationally effective solutions that will enhance the ability to prevent aircraft damage as well as collateral damage to its surrounding while lowering costs on a global scale. Four different levels of screening will be demonstrated, enabling stakeholders to choose the correct balance between security requirements and costs.

4. Develop the EUROSKY Ecosystem to provide a technological infrastructure (standards that Ecosystem participants must comply with) for electronically connecting together and amplifying their security capabilities through faster communications, shared scans and intelligence (e.g. through remote monitoring and fusion services), shared resources (e.g. of alarm handling equipment) and most importantly through synchronised actions.

5. Provide Integrated Air-cargo Security Solutions bringing together the partners’ industrial expertise in leading edge airport solutions with the project innovations outlined above. Emphasis will be given to:
a. cargo profiling shifting from today's investigating the container and the identity of consigners, consignees, carriers, shippers, etc. to screening the identity and the intent of the people who had their hands on the container
b. integration of detection technologies in supply chain flows with remote monitoring options offering enhanced security and economic benefits.

6. Provide EUROSKY Demonstrators to be used across representative operating scenarios characteristic of the air-cargo security sector to evaluate outputs and to provide data for impact assessment. Detailed descriptions of the EUROSKY Demonstrators including KPIs will be specified at the beginning of the project and will provide a key input to projects’ requirements analysis and a practical context for developing the EUROSKY Blueprints.

Provide diffusion of project outputs suitable on global scale and practicable for a broad range of stakeholders across European member states and create a solid basis for sustainable development


Project Results:
The ability to exchange information instantaneously at zero marginal cost is changing the paradigm for airport security. While in the past, security was orientated purely towards checks that could be carried out locally, on site, with no real integration with agencies outside the airport, now we look towards a future where airports are simply one arm of an integrated security apparatus for cargo.

The EUROSKY vision is to progress the integration of air-cargo in secure supply chains by developing and demonstrating advances both at the screening technologies and information management enabling data from every data source to be provided and consumed as a service on-demand.

The strategy for achieving the vision which was followed in EUROSKY was:

1. To put in place pilot studies to harvest the information, which is available, and make it available to selected researchers on an on-going basis.
2. To engage research to study this data to establish patterns related to risky behaviour, establish effective techniques for its use in the domains of regulation, security, risk analysis, and optimisation.
3. To roll out a European wide infrastructure capable of supporting the collection, processing and distribution of this information across the European Union.

The harvesting of Big Data allows researchers to create interesting and efficient algorithms for the purpose of aiding security, where the free flow of information through large data warehouses allows security services to automatically process the data and have security risks flagged without any human intervention.

The project structure diagram in Figure 1 above highlights the four Innovation Packages within EUROSKY that are aligned to the demonstrator requirements and the exploitation strategy of the project.

The EUROSKY Innovation Packages, shown in Figure 2 are:


• Blueprints
• Next Generation Screening Solutions
• Integrated Air-cargo Security Solution
• European Secure Air-cargo Ecosystem

Figure 2: EUROSKY MAIN COMPONENTS

The EUROSKY Innovation Packages are described below, highlighting strategies and value propositions that guided the project developments. The scope was developed though an iterative process with pilot requirements. The EUROSKY Innovation Package is comprised of the 4 main components with 6 live demonstrators. Table 2 provides an integrated view of EUROSKY:

Table 2: Integrated View

EUROSKY
Innovation
Packages (Pillars)
Focus Areas
Key Features
Advantages


EUROSKY Blueprints FA1: Integrated Model of air- cargo security management Cargo Terminal Access and Cargo Acceptance processes addressing current gaps and weakness The Blueprints will provide common
knowledge assets in the form of
reference models (organisational, technical, process models, reference data and service descriptions), reflecting emerging directives, international standards, and best practices.


FA2: Operational Model EUROSKY Dashboard model will facilitate the linking of information
from FA1 related applications, to the Next Generation Screening
Solutions and to existing systems

FA3: Supervisory strategic management model Information sharing model for both businesses and authorities to
serve potential benchmarking of FA1 related practices and information exchange between different authorities


Next Generation
Screening Solutions

A multi-energy, X-ray based automated primary inspection system, and trace-based alarm resolution systems X-ray data is acquired in multi-energy "bins" in order to better
differentiate organic threats (e.g. explosives) from benign materials. Atomic Number Mapping Upon the X-ray Image provides additional information of value to the operator. Mass spectrometry and infrared spectroscopy will be used to detect
volatiles (e.g., precursors and degradation products), semi-volatiles
(e.g., CWAs), and particulates (e.g., explosive residue). Faster and more accurate detection
of dangerous substances with reduced false positive rate

Integrated Air- cargo Security Solution EUROSKY Dashboard for Cargo Terminal Access and Cargo Acceptance (FA1) Dashboard for each stakeholder involved in Cargo Terminal Access
and Cargo Acceptance processes Advanced information management
to improve air-cargo security. Advanced information management to reduce air-cargo inspection operational costs.
Remote monitoring to support improved management oversight and quality control.
EUROSKY Dashboard as extension of the Next Generation Screening Solutions (FA2) a. Reading and interpreting air-cargo documents via an automated
process
b. Integration of IATA air waybill (AWB)
c. Remote Monitoring Centres
Airports and Authorities
Dashboard (FA3) Supervisory information sharing
Real-time Cargo Handling & Screening Optimiser Updated expected volume throughput profile through scanners
and cargo handling areas interfaced to Staff Rostering

European Secure Air-cargo Ecosystem


A technological infrastructure and solutions for cooperation of air cargo security stakeholders


Access Points to EUROSKY Participants to connect and transact Participants to publish and consume air cargo security services Transformation of air cargo security processes (specifically associated with pilots) into EUROSKY Software Services Interconnectivity between the EUROSKY Dashboards

This will provide an infrastructure to connect and increase security capabilities through faster and efficient communication, intel exchange, pooled resources and synchronised actions.
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Next Generation Screening Solutions:
Multi-energy based automated detection and alarm resolution systems provide faster and more accurate detection of dangerous substances with reduced false positive rate. The focus was on combining innovations in automatic detection of explosives with innovative alarm resolution technologies to offer operationally effective solutions that enhance security while lowering costs on a global scale. Four different levels of screening were demonstrated, enabling stakeholders to choose the correct balance between security requirements and costs.

The next-generation screening solution is comprised of the following cargo-inspection technologies:

• Dual-view Transmission X-ray Using Multi-energy Detectors
• Atomic Number Mapping Upon the X-ray Image
• Explosive Trace Detection: Mass Spectrometry
• Explosive Trace Detection: Infrared Spectroscopy
• Passive Radiation Detection.

Each technology demonstrated value—to either air-cargo security or cargo- handling operations—beyond current capabilities.

Dual-view Transmission X-ray Using Multi-energy Detectors. Through many years of technology evolution and cost-benefit assessment, it has been determined that the optimal primary means of inspecting air cargo for the presence of explosive threats is through the use of transmission X-ray systems. Achieving sufficient X-ray penetration and minimizing material superposition (clutter) to produce useful image data was the technical challenges. For the inspection of certain complex air cargo, a dual-view X-ray system can be helpful by providing the operator with X-ray imagery in two views—horizontal and vertical. Also, the system's X-ray energy and tunnel size must be sufficient to support the inspection of pallet-size shipments. The Rapiscan 632DV X-ray system, a dual-view 200-kV X-ray system with a 1.5 m x 1.6 m tunnel size, met these requirements and was selected as the most cost-effective primary- inspection platform for the EUROSKY project.

The standard 0.5-mm square X-ray detectors used in the 632DV are of "dual-energy" design, meaning that they collect the transmitted X-rays into two energy groups. By this data- acquisition method, information related to the cargo density and atomic number (material properties) can be learned. Replacing these dual-energy detectors with smaller multi-energy detectors delivered significant advancements in spatial resolution and atomic-number resolution. Benefits to air-cargo inspection were seen (a) in the image quality, where cargo objects are identifiable with greater clarity, and (b) in the precision of the atomic number values assigned to each object.

Atomic Number Mapping Upon the X-ray Image: The gains in spectral resolution of the X-ray screening system due to the use of multi-energy detectors delivered benefits in the imagery provided to cargo-inspection operators. Before EUROSKY, dual-energy X-ray systems could classify screened objects as organic, inorganic, or metallic. With X-rays collected into multiple-energy groups under the EUROSKY project, high-precision atomic number values are assigned to each region of the horizontal and vertical images, and additional classifications are possible. This "mapping" of atomic number information, i.e., the "Z map", will better assist the operator in identifying explosive threats.

Explosive Trace Detection: Explosive trace detection (ETD) is also in common use at air-cargo inspection facilities, either as a supplement to X-ray inspection or for alarm resolution. Ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) has limited selectivity and sensitivity, but it remains the only ETD technology in wide use. The potential consequences of an ETD-based alarm are highly disruptive, time-consuming, and expensive, so improved ETD selectivity and sensitivity will bring obvious value to air-cargo inspection.

As with any screening process, ETD requires the effective collection and processing of information. IMS systems typically inspect surfaces for explosive particulates, and this often requires the unpacking of palletized cargo. The ETD technologies developed within the EUROSKY project are able to screen for explosive vapours and airborne particulates by capturing pockets of air found within the cargo envelope. The primary challenge associated with analysing vapours surrounding air cargo was to establish an adequate method of sampling, since the concentrations of explosives is extremely low. The development of efficient sampling techniques for more selective and sensitive technologies improved detection and false alarm rate while eliminating the need to break down palletized cargo.

Mass Spectrometry: The EUROSKY project demonstrated the practical use of mass spectrometry (MS), an ETD technology that is widely recognised as having higher selectivity (fewer false alarms) and higher sensitivity (greater detection probability) than IMS. In addition, mass spectrometry is inherently "future-proofed", in that it can be configured to adapt to new threats as they arise. With the application of an effective sampling method, a mass spectrometry system with adequate sensitivity is highly accurate with low false alarm rates.

Infrared Spectroscopy: With an improved sampling system, ETD systems using infrared (IR) spectroscopy to analyse vapour provide significant security benefits. The sampling technique used prior to EUROSKY was not sensitive enough to be used for screening air-cargo vapours, but with the improvements created in EUROSKY the detection of traces in lower concentrations became feasible. This enhances the air-cargo screening process by increasing the number of identifiable threats, thus reducing the need for manual inspection and providing increased support to the decision-making process in the supply chain.


Passive Radiation Detection: Passive radiation detection monitors can add value to a number of aviation-security applications. However, before EUROSKY, only the radiation screening of trucks through the use of portals could be found at airports; no regular screening of packages was deployed. Truck monitors have inherent limitations, however, for they utilize low-resolution detectors that typically require high signals to trigger an alarm.

For the screening of air cargo, the EUROSKY solution expanded on this basic truck-screening approach to demonstrate advanced capabilities in radiation detection. Because air-cargo inspection is performed on a much smaller scale and encounters less shielding material typically, increased sensitivity over truck inspection could be realized. More importantly, the EUROSKY system used high-resolution detectors, which can provide nuclide identification through the processing of spectral information. Identifying the radioactive material that triggers the alarm and comparing results with the cargo manifest improves security, lowers false alarm rates, and reduces secondary inspection times.

Blueprints
EUROSKY Blueprints consolidated EU policy, international regulations, standards, best practices and maturing innovative solutions to guide the project’s developments and to support interoperability. EUROSKY Blueprints help all actors involved in air cargo security to have a shared understanding of the relevant concepts, processes and objects relevant to air cargo security. The initial set of stakeholder challenges to be addressed were:

1. Authorities

a. International co-operation and harmonisation of regulations is accepted as a ‘must’
but there are major challenges in reaching agreements.

b. International customs and aviation authorities employ different risk management approaches and therefore the way these should interact is not completely clear.

c. Authorities need to monitor policy implementation to drive continuous improvements.

2. Technology providers

a. Automatic distribution to and comparison of images and integration with cargo information


3. Air-cargo businesses

a. Need cargo handling and screening best practices that can improve security and operational performance for different segments of the cargo handling sector

b. Logistics operators need to integrate security systems with supply chain operational systems to improve supply chain visibility and security and utilise the information to optimise operational efficiency.


An overview of the EUROSKY Blueprints, can be seen in Figure 3 below:

Figure 3: EUROSKY Blueprints overview

The three Focus Areas shown in Figure 3 are defined as follows:
FA1. Integrated Model of air-cargo security management: end to end best practice cargo handling process, with emphasis on Cargo Terminal Access and Cargo Acceptance process description from CARGO 2000 which were reused as much as possible;
FA2. Operational Model depicting the implementation of air-cargo security management processes as per FA1 through the EUROSKY Dashboard. The Dashboard model facilitates the linking of information from FA1 related applications, to the Next Generation Screening Solutions and to existing systems;
FA3. Supervisory strategic management model describing an information-sharing model for both businesses and authorities to serve the benchmarking of FA1 related practices and information exchange between different authorities (re: the EU Common Risk Management Framework).

A specific goal for the EUROSKY Blueprints was to facilitate interoperability for managing air-cargo security and operational processes. For this, 'standard' information exchanges between stakeholders were utilised from on-going standardisation and additional requirements were channelled into the standardisation activities. For example, the IATA Consignment Security Declaration was modelled as part of the EUROSKY Blueprints.

A major objective was the integration of air-cargo security blueprints in the overall supply chain security framework. The major advantage of this approach is that it facilitates interoperability across planning, operational and compliance dimensions in the broader context of supply chain management. Another very important advantage is that the development did not have to start from scratch in all areas but just in some of the more innovative ones.

European Secure Air-cargo Ecosystem
The Business Ecosystem for Air Cargo has its origins in the latest developments and technology trends towards creating Digital Ecosystems and European Wide Services Infrastructures that promote new modes of sustainable e-business practices, on the basis of open, collaborative environments, for information exchange and B2B transactions. The developments in DBE research manifests the reality of businesses increasingly depending on IT technologies as a source of innovation and sustainable competitive advantage, and aligning with the business needs.

The Business collaborative models are founded on the premise that participating organisations can share information, expertise and create value in inter-organisational supply chain networks, where partnerships are forming trust relationships. Business ecosystems can be seen as similar to integrated value chains; a business ecosystem is the field for symbiotic relationships to be created and evolve between organizations. The EUROSKY Ecosystem stakeholders will dynamically interact, exchange knowledge and information resources, capabilities, promoting the secure operations in cargo supply chains.

In the EUROSKY business ecosystem participants will achieve efficiency, and even more, manage to setup processes not possible before due to the lack of vital and timely information through interactions with the other organisations/business entities in the ecosystem; e- collaboration capabilities deployed by the Ecosystem maximize an organization’s ability to leverage collaborative or co-competitive relationships. To this end vital information resources for Airport Cargo monitoring and security operations can be obtained by information integration, exchanges and interactions between collaborating parties over the Ecosystem’s reliable information network infrastructure.

Ecosystem Governance & Success Factors

The practices exercised by the organisations participating in the Digital Business Ecosystem must comply with the overall EUROSKY strategic direction, to ensure that objectives are achieved, risks are managed appropriately and resources are used with responsibility. Therefore, a high level governance and control framework had to be setup, tightly aligned with the Air Cargo supply chain security objectives, and regulating the operational issues (a similar field of Service Governance is supported by TOGAF (The Open Group Architecture Framework) providing a comprehensive approach as regards SOA Governance.)

Figure 4: Governance Framework

The EUROSKY governance approach for the Ecosystem Services focuses on the aspects and artefacts covering the services lifecycle and enables the Ecosystem participants to realise the benefits of their collaboration. It is an approach aiming at exercising control and mitigating risk by establishing organisational structures, processes, policies and metrics suitable to ensure that the adoption, implementation, operation and evolution of the EUROSKY solutions portfolio, monitoring in particular whether the environment as defined by the EUROSKY participants and stakeholders, is in line with the strategies and objectives and complies with laws, regulations and best practices (as shown in Figure 4 ).

Ecosystem Business Mapping

The Air Cargo domain is large and complex, with various actors fulfilling different combinations of roles. To deal with this EUROSKY produced a methodology based around the concept of a Core Block. This methodology concept provides a set of business-driven guides for the design of IT project portfolios over an Ecosystem infrastructure. A Core block is a grouping of activities based around a single theme. For example, the Core Block relating to physical security might be applicable to many actors in the supply chain, whereas the Core Block for Screening might relate only to Cargo Handlers.

Since the main purpose of this work was to define the operations and information that require the support of the EUROSKY Platform, the models in each core block are split into two groupings. One describes what might be termed the `user experience’, which describes how a human managing the process views his day job.

A second group is referred to as the `interface’, and this describes the details of the processes to be carried out by software and the EUROSKY platform, including information models for data etc. These processes were used to define the necessary functionality to be provided by the ecosystem. This is illustrated below in Figure 5.

Figure 5: EUROSKY Ecosystem

Ecosystem Solution Architecture overview
The capacity building (engagement of participants) of the Business Ecosystem depends on the supporting technologies and the communication infrastructures, systems, resources and capabilities infrastructures to facilitate those. The EUROSKY Ecosystem provides a technological infrastructure and solutions for air cargo stakeholders to connect and increase their security capabilities through faster and efficient communication, intelligence exchange, pooled resources and synchronised actions. Specifically The EUROSKY Ecosystem:
• Provides entry points (Access Points) to EUROSKY Participants to connect and transact
• Lets participants publish and consume air cargo security, services with improved speed and accuracy for a risk-based approach to targeting and threat detection
• Facilitates the transformation of air cargo security processes into EUROSKY Software Services
• Enables Interconnectivity, exchange of information and supports the operation of the EUROSKY Dashboards

The EUROSKY Ecosystem Infrastructure provides:
• Business applications to implement the business level innovations defined before;
• Generic components to support data exchange between maritime logistics organizations;
• An Ecosystem infrastructure for smart deployment of these applications and components. The lower infrastructure layer delivers cross-functionalities for the implementation and deployment of these applications and components.

The most relevant technology Ecosystem architecture highlights are the following:

The solution Infrastructure holds the mapping of business ecosystems scenarios to the specific implementing infrastructure components.

The data exchange is managed and handled by Access Points. Access points act as a bridge between a user’s information systems the EUROSKY Ecosystem security business applications and components, and services exposed through other Access Points.

In simple terms an Access point is the main entry point to the Technology Ecosystem and provides controlled access to software services. Access Points include interfaces that are used to dialogue with services or other Access points and so incoming requests can result in one or more responses to activate other services and retrieve information.

Access Points are an important device of the Ecosystem Technical Architecture: instead of a peer to peer connection, each participant is only connected to an access point, which then takes the responsibility to handle all communication inside the network.

Figure 6: EUROSKY Ecosystem Architecture

Figure 6 shows the different layers (Business and Infrastructure) of the EUROSKY Ecosystem Architecture. The ISF infrastructure components involve the resources to create the Technology

Ecosystem. In the Ecosystem Architecture, Access Points (AP) are the device that every performing organisation within the Business Ecosystem uses to connect, interact, perform its business operations, publish services and subscribe to services, enact and monitor the services execution, exchange information via a common set of messages. To this end, the connectivity infrastructure lets the creation of communication channels through which an entity can exchange information with other entities.

To enable the exchange of security and monitoring data in the Ecosystem, integration of the collaborating parties’ IT systems is needed. This is supported by the Ecosystem Network Access Infrastructure, enabling controlled access to information with no need to know how and where the data is stored and which type of hardware; operating system and database are being used.

The Information Architecture processes the description attached to the available services in order to setup and release automatically the necessary infrastructure for their deployment, including ways for providers and participants to access such services. In a similar manner, services can be modified or altogether withdrawn from the infrastructure.

Three are the main innovations introduced by the Technology Architecture:
• Ease of Definition, Deployment, Discovery, Access and Transactions through Services, ensuring quality of service for all the connections between information providers and consumers,
• Access to information and Security and Business Transactions enablement through a single entry point, independent of the physical infrastructure that contains such information, and
• Dynamic Services composition and Reuse, in a Model Driven environment, managing services through their entire lifecycle.

The supporting Infrastructure (Technology Architecture) performs the management of Data, Semantics and Connectivity. The Supporting Infrastructure may be deployed in the Cloud with the aim to remove technical barriers for the Ecosystem participants, facilitating the implementation of on-demand and single Access Point connectivity with a minimal overhead for the new-entrants, kick-starting them to engage in consuming and providing Business Services activities through the ecosystem.

Ecosystem Security Overview

The Access Points implementations for security are strict and are based on the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), promoting increased safety in operations. Further and above to this, one must ensure that the participating organisations are taking proper security measures to protect the Ecosystem Infrastructure, applying the governance framework. The security framework involves Controls (Preventive, Corrective and Detective) to deal with intrusion risks. That is, a security risk management set of controls will have be set in place during operation of the Ecosystem to identify and manage the vulnerabilities, reduce the damages in cases of attacks and security violations, take corrective actions, and detect attacks so to engage the preventive and corrective actions.


The security and privacy issues concern the Identity management for the participating organisations, the availability guaranteeing access to the Ecosystem Resources, application related security controls which need to be embedded in their testing and acceptance plans, and privacy with regard to specific data types, access to information credentials and identities.

Integrated Air-cargo Security Solution

The Integrated Air-cargo Security Solution is the EUROSKY Dashboard, which was developed as a reference application to be customised in each case. Three Reference applications were produced (each linking with Focus Areas FA1-3):

1. A EUROSKY Dashboard specifically addressing Cargo Terminal Access and Cargo
Acceptance (FA1)
2. A Dashboard as an extension of the Next Generation Screening Solutions (FA2) including:

a. Reading and interpreting air-cargo documents via an automated process b. Integration of IATA air waybill (AWB)
c. Remote Monitoring Centres for multiple airports to carry out alarm resolutions requiring specialist human intervention.
d. Real-time Cargo Handling & Screening Optimiser for updated expected volume throughput profile through scanners and cargo handling areas interfaced with a Staff Rostering module

3. Airports and Authorities Dashboard (FA3)

Integration within the air-cargo security solution provides benefits in the following areas:

• Advanced information management to improve air-cargo security;
• Advanced information management to reduce air-cargo inspection operational costs;
• Remote monitoring to support improved management oversight and quality control.

Advanced information management to improve air-cargo security: Within the air-cargo inspection process, information or data "objects" are generated. Potentially, all of these objects provide useful information to the inspector making the final decision regarding the disposition of the cargo-under-inspection. Thus, having this information readily available, and in an optimal format for decision-making, is essential for effective air-cargo screening.

System integration supports the streamlined management of information by establishing an electronic data filing system with standard quality and security controls. Air cargo can be tracked through the inspection steps by barcode readers to ensure that screening data is assigned to the correct cargo. Cargo weight, dimensions, and inspection data and results are recorded electronically through networked workstations. A final decision to "clear" or "hold" the cargo-under-inspection can be made at the primary inspection, secondary inspection, or physical search workstations. Refer to Figure 7 below.

Advanced information management to reduce air-cargo inspection operational costs: Cargo- handling facilities spend significant time gathering and managing information during the cargo- inspection process. Improvements in information management brought by EUROSKY increase throughput and reduce operational costs.

System integration, through the use of a centralized database that establishes unique files for each cargo shipment, addresses the need for streamlined information management that reduces the burden on operations. By tracking air cargo through the inspection steps by barcode readers, the assigning of data to the correct cargo shipment is maintained. Automatic recording of data reduces inspection times and helps to maintain data integrity. That the up-to- date data file associated with a cargo shipment can be accessed at any time from multiple workstations reduces inspection costs. Refer to the figure below.

Remote monitoring to support improved management oversight and quality control: To provide effective management oversight and improve quality control, remote monitoring of the cargo-inspection process is required. The system architecture created within the EUROSKY project, as shown in Figure 7, provides fast and efficient remote monitoring of all recorded data and decisions (in the diagram, Red/yellow/green symbols indicate that an alarm/hold/clear decision is made).

Figure 7: High-level architecture of Integrated Air-cargo Security Solutions.

Integration / enhancements for EU e-security platforms
Security Information Integration is core to Air Cargo Security. Therefore, the system prior to EUROSKY where different government agencies in different countries, and even within the same country, have established various `secure’ methods for obtaining information from the carriers and cargo handlers, which they then distribute to other actors, represents a problem for cargo handlers who must interface with multiple different systems, belonging to different government agencies, and a potential security breach in the supply chain.

To address this weakness EUROSKY developed a set of requirements:
• Implement standardisation, which will streamline processes, justify investments in enabling technology and eliminate unnecessary redundancies;
• Establish a global standard for cargo security;
• Improve international co-operation and harmonisation of regulations;

• Clarify and harmonise different risk management approaches employed by international customs and aviation authorities, as well as their interaction across different states and regions.

In line with the outlined requirements, specific project impacts leading to improved EU e- security platforms are listed below:

I. Operational Strategic Impact

• Improving the EU’s awareness and coordination of activities within and between EU Member States in the field of Air Cargo Security and developments in Supply Chain Security.
• Encouraging all European airport offices and related authorities to assume responsibility in securing their own processes within a European wide cooperative distributed model.
• Creating transparency on the way Air Cargo security measures are enforced, and providing benchmarks.

II. Harmonisation of regulatory systems
• Establishing a common approach and associated infrastructure for international cooperation and for enforcing air-security regulations and risk-based approaches in a uniform manner across EU Member States.
• Providing a platform for harmonisation of regulatory systems.
• Monitoring the effectiveness of regulations and standards.

III. Technological Impact
• Specifying detection technology requirements.
• Providing Cloud Infrastructure.
• Selecting further technology research areas.

Using the project as a ‘trial’ for the sought impacts, a European Secure Air-cargo Ecosystem was developed. The EUROSKY Ecosystem provides a technological infrastructure and solutions for air cargo stakeholders to connect and increase their security capabilities through faster and efficient communication, intelligence exchange, pooled resources and synchronised actions. Specifically:

• It provides entry points (Access Points) to EUROSKY Participants to connect and transact;
• It enables participants to publish and consume air cargo security services particularly data fusion services with improved speed and accuracy for a risk-based approach to targeting and threat detection;
• It transforms air cargo security processes (specifically associated with pilots) into

EUROSKY Software Services;
• It provides interconnectivity between the three Dashboards (Cargo Terminal Access and Cargo Acceptance, Next Generation Screening Solutions, Airports and Authorities).


In conclusion, EUROSKY contributes to the integration and enhancement of EU e- security platforms in the following areas:

Operational Performance – by streamlining the flow of information, particularly when it comes to the handling of paper documents. Also by reducing the number of cargos that are either rejected or sent for secondary alarm resolution, the overall rate of processing will be accelerated.

Security Benefits – By enhancing perimeter security and increasing the visibility of the cargo at all stages, EUROSKY makes it harder to put unauthorised cargo onto the plane.

Risk Analysis – By providing a one stop shop for security services and customs to get all of the available information from origin to destination EUROSKY makes possible a more comprehensive approach to risk profiling to detect smuggling before an incoming plane touches down.

Potential Impact:
Multi-energy detector
Currently, there are no currently available, operationally viable palletised air cargo screening technologies, leading to concern on the part of regulators that existing systems that rely on manual operation are not effective enough.

The results of test of the prototype Next-generation Air-cargo X-ray Scanning System with advanced material discrimination, as developed in EUROSKY, have shown an improved performance. For example, they indicated that it may be possible to identify objects such as the modified printer-cartridge that was used in the device found at East Midlands Airport in November 2010 on board a plane bound for the USA.

The availability of more accurate X-ray spectrometric information in EUROSKY will improve detection performance and the imaging capabilities by enhancing the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) along with improved material discrimination.

In addition, the effective and efficient management of supply-chain and screening data, allied with advanced imaging features for the operator, together with remote monitoring for improved security and quality control, mean the NGDS is positioned very well for long-term exploitation.

When not mandated by regulation, investment by cargo handlers in new screening technologies such as the NGDS requires an acceptable return-on-investment. It must be deliver significant operational advantages, e.g., by increasing throughput or reducing labour costs, or anticipate future regulatory requirements.

The market for large format, conventional transmission x-ray systems is estimated to be over 300 units per year. There are at least five commercial entities that service this market. At the same time, whilst there are currently no regulatory requirements for explosive detection performance, it is expected that a number of countries, such as the USA, may soon require high risk cargo to be screened with an improved capability to detection explosives.

The new system will confer significant market advantages over today’s offerings. In addition, this will also enable those airports and cargo handlers that install the new system to meet anticipated future regulatory requirements.

Radiation detector & IR spectrometer
The passive radiation detector serves as a primary-inspection device for the detection of radioactive materials. Providing information to the operator, it delivers the following:

• An Alarm/No-alarm Result
• Material Identification: The nuclide that produced the alarm is identified.
• Spectral information: A “gamma spectrum”, a plot of number of photons vs. energy
that provides detailed information on what was detected.

The results from EUROSKY, allied to the prototype systems for data processing also developed in EUROSKY, demonstrate potential for further development and adaptation to fit the needs of governmental agencies. For example, the experience from the work on radiation detection will be useful in national preparedness for radiological/nuclear emergencies.

The software prototype tool, developed in EUROSKY for detection, recognition and alarm for radioactive material, can be used with the type of (fixed) sensor configuration used in EUROSKY, but also with mobile detectors. This makes the prototype suitable for use by Customs, Police and Rescue services, specifically when searching for lost radioactive sources and in mapping of radioactive fallout/contamination.


Real-time Risk Alerting Dashboard (RRAD)
The RRAD provides security staff with up-to-date information regarding driver/transporter access to the air-cargo processing areas, and their corresponding cargo and transportation routes. This module will contain an interactive Drivers Arrival Control bar chart and a content- enriched map displaying real-time drivers' routes (if global positioning data is made available).

The Real-time Risk Alerting Dashboard will increase the probability of detecting access threats and reduce the risk of tampering with cargo or placing unauthorised/dangerous/illegal items in cargo after it has been screened. In addition, the system provides real-time information to assist security personnel with investigating suspicious behaviour, shortening response times.

The systematised capture of truck/driver activity data enables more detailed reporting and analysis (e.g. road routes that are often subject to delays, drivers who might need retraining) that will help with forward planning of activity to reduce risks.

The real-time availability of data about inbound trucks and corresponding freight allows security personnel to prepare for arrivals thus speeding up processing time and making security questions/processes more focussed.

Advanced warning of arrivals assists with resource planning. For example, if several trucks are expected in the next 10 minutes (as determined from the latest real-time data available) the security gatehouse staff may choose to move an extra person from non-urgent work to assist with the short-term “spike” in demand. Similarly, if it can be seen that very few arrivals are expected for the next 20-30 minutes, staff may schedule a break accordingly. This will lead to a better prepared and “refreshed” security team.


Real-time Cargo Handling and Screening Optimiser (RCHSO)

The Real-time Cargo Handling & Screening Optimiser (RCHSO) uses real-time information about flights, cargo and inbound truck movements to maintain minute-by-minute an updated expected volume throughput profile through screening equipment and cargo handling areas. Additionally, the system shows where human resources are potentially overloaded, and where opportunities exist for training staff (e.g. during quiet periods). Thus the system enables the optimisation of cargo handler operations using the real-time data made available by the EUROSKY Ecosystem.

The RCHSO provides major benefits to the airlines, airports, cargo handlers and freight forwarders in the air cargo supply chain:

• Optimisation of capacity utilisation – the RCHSO allows planners and order takers to make informed decisions about available capacity along the whole supply chain when taking customer bookings. This will allow airlines and cargo handlers to take on more business with confidence that the supply chain can support the additional volume.
• Reduction in queuing – the advanced, detailed model in the RCHSO provides managers with an accurate projection of activity and potential bottlenecks so that resources can be re-allocated or re-scheduled in anticipation. This will achieve a smoother flow of cargo into screening centres and improve end of scan times accordingly.

• End-to-end visibility – a detailed view of the expected flow of each consignment through the handling process, linked to relevant information in the EUROSKY Ecosystem (AWB, CSD, etc.)

• Dynamic response to operational issues – the RCHSO provides tools to help planners and managers respond to issues such as delays, unplanned staff absence, changes to flight schedules (e.g. bad weather), unexpectedly high freight volumes, etc. The real-time simulation model in the RCHSO enables the impact of such issues to be projected forward to anticipate future problems (e.g. a delay may not cause an immediate problem but could have a knock-on effect in a few hours due to the resulting backlog).

• Employee training and productivity – the RCHSO shows where there are expected
“troughs” in activity that could be used for training staff or assigning them to other duties, reducing “dead time” and therefore costs. The real-time scheduling capability ensures that staff can easily be switched back to normal duties if required (e.g. the workload turned out to be higher than originally expected).

• Reduced stress and increased security – the real-time visibility allows staff breaks and resourcing levels to be planned more accurately, reducing stress on, for example, screening staff who will therefore have a higher level of concentration and less fatigue.

• Strategic Planning of Air Schedules and Cargo Facilities – although capable of real-time planning, the RCHSO can also be used to analyse scenarios like “what if a flight departs 1 hr earlier/later?”, “if I take on new customer X will I need to employee more staff?”, etc.

Risk assessment tools
Information regarding the ownership, movement, and description of cargo provides insight into the cargo's suitability for air transport. Analysis of this information, both by security personnel and by automated rule-based algorithms, can be used to determine the level of scrutiny warranted in the screening process.

Risk Profiling is the processing of supply-chain information to characterise the state of cargo prior to screening. Risk analysis is performed using a rule-based algorithm, and the output is a risk score delivered to the cargo screener to help define the inspection protocol.

Within the air-cargo inspection process, information or “data objects" are generated. These objects provide useful information to the inspector making the final decision regarding the disposition of the cargo-under-inspection. Thus, having this information readily available, and in an optimal format for decision-making, is essential for effective air-cargo screening.

The performance of the Risk Analysis Device in improving security performance in the cargo supply chain, especially at the cargo airport was assessed. The main benefits of the solution in this respect were:

1. Reducing human factor in the clearance decision making process.
2. Improving the record and transparency on supply chain.
3. Reducing waiting times for transporters and manual workload for handlers.

The main emphasis in the demonstrator was to test a new platform to work better, and this objective was achieved and the qualitative feedback was the key. In addition, Airport Security considers the RAD helps the stakeholders to record the track of the security chain, which is very important.

The use of the cargo-security application services developed in EUROSKY, integrated within the cargo-handling process, can deliver improved effectiveness and efficiency of air-cargo inspection. Benefits to stakeholders including the following:

• Brings clear instructions to operators for cargo screening and alarm resolution.
• Reduces the human factor in the screening process.
• Data inputs are upgradeable and expandable to adapt to changes in the cargo- handling process, emerging threats, and new regulations.
• Provides a means of quality control.


Airports
As a result of all that is mentioned above, EUROSKY will have a great impact in the security and operationality of EU Airports. Some of the innovations and benefits introduced include:

• New cargo process flows, incorporating notifications and facilitating early reaction for involved stakeholders (such as in the case of delay during Customs clearance). Mobile applications to transmit eventual irregularity/delay notifications. Business benefit: Timely flow of info to allow for corrective actions in order to expedite the process.

• Information from different and currently disconnected sources consolidated and displayed on Airport’s Web based Dashboard, enabling the Airport Authority or any other central entity (e.g. Customs, Police etc.) to implement and monitor the efficiency of intermodal fast lanes.

• A predefined sequence of milestones, allows for automated monitoring both of the appropriate sequence of events, as well as the compliance with specific maximum duration among those events. Any violation is automatically logged and reported to the operator of the Dashboard.

• Pre-completed e- CSD form, are ready to be transmitted to the Airline or the Freight Forwarder, significantly speeding up the entire process, and ensure its integrity.

• Security milestones data is stored

• Improvement in the Risk Assessment approach and related mitigation measures with screening.

• Improve Estimated Time Arrival (ETA) for cargo delivery by transporter and therefore improve resources allocation in real time

• Optimize the usage of X-ray machines through the improvement of information
about upstream security and risk assessment.

• Reduce the waiting time in queues at cargo terminal .

• Reduce unload and load times of trucks (queues at balances due the resources allocation).

• Reduce security checks for secure cargo and certified operators.

• Facilitate the electronic exchange of transport and security documents;

• Communicate the pre-announcement of the cargo to be arrived in the Airport, by exploiting available capabilities of electronic communication;

• Improve traceability of the transport chain.

• Ensure security along all phases of the transport chain

• Easy creation of electronic documents, with less errors and validation for correctness/completion.

• Electronic communication between transport stakeholders with minimum adaptations cost.

• Improvement of the current fragmented information flow towards timely and uninterrupted communication.

• Improvement of performances in the cargo acceptance process thanks to e- submission of AWB (50% time reduction).

• Implementation of an eSEAL technology for cargo security and integrity: broken seals are reliably detected, and it is possible to track missing and mismatched ones.

• Real time Information about transport progress, arrival and departure from nodal points, loading and unloading status resulting to better control of the operations and corrective actions;

• Sharing of information to the level that the users’ want;

• Clarity of the transactions, so each partner of the supply chain bears the share of responsibility that deserves;

• Control at the interchange points;

• Creation of an organized/updated environment to get logistics and security information.

• Advanced information available to the Ground Handling Agent (GHA);

• Reduction of queues at the GHA doors;

• Faster offload of trucks at the doors;

• Quicker decision making on screening due to advanced imaging features;

• Quicker pallet building;

• Faster delivery to the aircraft resulting in shorter cut off times.

List of Websites:
Project website address: http://www.euroskyproject.eu
Contact Name: Ms Claire Gray
Contact email: enquiries@euroskyproject.eu

Reported by

BMT GROUP LIMITED
United Kingdom
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