The Intelligent Island: Using COTS Equipment to Monitor an Island


There are many inexpensive and capable monitoring and information gathering systems available today. They can collect video, sense motion, monitor temperature and humidity, along with a variety of other quantities. This monitoring can be used both for security purposes and for environmental monitoring and control.
Security is a serious concern these days, but it is essentially an overhead cost that adds nothing to the bottom line of most enterprises. Environmental monitoring can result in significant cost reduction that can justify the cost of the system. Providing a system that does both permits cost recovery to pay for part of the system.
One problem is that many cost effective systems have limited communication capabilities and even when they can communicate they often do not communicate with one another. In addition, there are often legacy systems that represent a substantial investment, but which are isolated by their inability to communicate.
In this paper, we present a progress report on the Intelligent Island Project. The goal here is to monitor Ayers Island, a 60 acre island located in Orono Maine. Ayers Island features an old mill building with 360,000 square feet of space along with several other outbuildings including a Civil War era barn. We show how we have been able to environmentally monitor the buildings and to detect potentially malicious activity as comprehensively and inexpensively as possible. The system also provides useful information to fire fighters and other first responders in an emergency.

Meeting Name

2008 IEEE Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security (2008: May 12-13, Waltham, MA)


Computer Science

Keywords and Phrases

Administrative data processing; Communication; Computer networks; Computer systems; Cost effectiveness; Costs; Depreciation; Environmental engineering; Industrial economics; Management information systems; Scheduling; Security systems; COTS system; First responders; International conferences; Safety; Site security monitoring; Landforms

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2008 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2008