Alarm, Service and Surveillance Central (ASTC) is the living lab for operational products and services for control rooms and control centres. One of the characteristics of these control centres is that they take over and control systems, buildings and homes remotely. Products and services in this domain are no longer isolated. They are part of a complex world in which everything is interconnected and connected.
Because of this complexity, it is important that innovations are properly tested and tried. They must be able to work seamlessly with other products and services in the market. ASTC has a virtual control centre available for this purpose. In addition to experimenting with products, it is also possible to develop and test protocols, processes and procedures in this environment.
All innovations are developed and tested within ASTC's virtual control centre. The physical location is in Schiedam, but experiments can be carried out from all over the country within the environment of ASTC. The basis of all innovation are technologies that send a signal. This can be anything: a computer, simulation techniques, IoT detectors, location locators, large infrastructural works and so on. This signal is then processed by the control centre and passed on in the chain of connected equipment. An incoming alarm signal, for instance, can automatically prevent the bridge from opening or closing and activate surveillance cameras. Based on all kinds of sensor information, it is also possible to call in a volunteer or medical caregiver because a client living at home no longer behaves according to the fixed pattern. This way, technical innovations make new alarm, service and surveillance services possible.
Many types of innovations are conceivable within the virtual control centre. Some concrete examples can be found below:
- Integrated traffic control centre
In cooperation with a province, all objects and processes related to traffic have been merged into one traffic control centre. In the past, bridges, tunnels and traffic control systems were operated separately, but in the living lab they have been brought together. Everything is now controlled from one control centre. Incident reports are automatically prioritised and handled by operators who are alerted at that time. This results in considerable operational savings.
- Overview of assets
Disabled travellers are provided with a wheelchair at an airport. If necessary, an employee will assist them to the gate. Wheelchairs are scattered all over the arrival and departure halls. The same applies to electric trolleys for passenger transport and ambulance lifts. This is why they are equipped with a small IoT device that connects every two minutes. The control centre knows exactly where they are. In combination with the location of the employee, the system will show the nearest wheelchair.
- Cyber security
A Security Operations Centre (SOC) processes signals about cyber-attacks and reacts according to certain protocols. Innovations in this area are tested within the virtual environment of ASTC.
- Broad scope
Techniques such as deep learning and artificial intelligence are used to analyse images. Process management is being renewed. The way of working is changing. And existing regulations may not be sufficient. ASTC involves ‘the environment’ and takes care of partnerships and stakeholder management.
The core activity of ASTC is: receiving signals and then doing something with them. The intention is to connect as many innovative products as possible via a control centre to enable new services and applications. ASTC is not focused on testing standalone products and pushing products, but on combining products into a joint service.
The threshold for participation is low. Anyone who has a good idea and can explain it with passion is at the right address at the ASTC. For small businesses, ASTC can act as an incubator. A prerequisite for participation is that companies want to work together as a team and enter into dialogue with each other to jointly develop new products and services for alarm, service and surveillance centres. ASTC is looking for specialists in all kinds of areas.
Ron Knaap CPP
Business Unit Director Alarm Service Centre
T: +31 (0)88 298 6200
M: +31 (0)6 11 39 30 14