Video security at 180 railway stations

Issue 6 2021 Transport (Industry)

Wherever large numbers of people gather, unpleasant things happen too. Not only thefts and physical altercations, but also vandalism of parked trains or drug offences are numbered among the daily incidents in railway stations and sidings. In order to be able to take prompt and efficient action in such cases, Danish State Railways (DSB) relies on a video security solution from Dallmeier.

The solution allows the video images from all locations to be accessed individually by an unlimited number of operators at the DSB main operations centre in Copenhagen. Comprehensive display and incident case management functions ensure that an incident can be tracked, counteracted and investigated.

From the main operations centre in Copenhagen, the security operatives tasked with these activities can keep a watchful eye on everything that happens in the railway stations at all times using the HEMISPHERE SeMSy video management solution. And the most important software components run in the Microsoft Azure cloud, which is operated by the DSB as its IT backbone. This enables all processes, such as systems management, rights and user administration and also the allocation of computing power, to be executed flexibly and from one central location.

Completing tasks without distraction

Since the components are made available centrally, the operators can also access every one of the 2500 single-sensor cameras as well as all Panomera multi-focal sensor systems, and with an optimum overview. Each workstation and all user views can be configured individually, so that only the widgets needed for the specific activities are visible. This enables employees to concentrate on their specific tasks without distraction.

Besides classic video management, the modules of the platform enable all pertinent case information such as photos, videos or witness statements to be collected and recorded quickly and conveniently, and then compiled in a digital incident file. HEMISPHERE also integrates accurate site plans of the individual locations. Operators and security managers can use this map function to easily select the camera they need to respond to observed incidents.

The operators manage the systems via Dallmeier workstations and a monitor wall consisting of 22 HEMISPHERE SeMSy variodecoders. Simple, lossless switching to each individual railway station is guaranteed by Dallmeier PRemote HD, a routine which uses transcoding to conserve bandwidth and enables access to high-resolution video material even when the Internet connection is less than ideal.

“HEMISPHERE SeMSy replaces or supplements many of the systems used previously by DSB, so it improves the efficiency and quality of our workflow. By combining Dallmeier camera technology, cloud deployment and the HEMISPHERE management components, we are now in possession of an extremely powerful system which offers far more than standard video management,” declares Søren H. Nielsen, technical director at DSB.

Long distances and large areas

Most of the railway stations in Denmark occupy large areas. Parking areas, shopping facilities and platforms all constitute areas that must be monitored. The difficulties lay in the need to ensure that the minimum resolution quality allowed for recordings to be used in court (described in DIN standard DIN EN 62676-4) was satisfied over the entire expanse.

In the patented Panomera technology implemented by DSB, up to eight sensors with different focal lengths are combined in one optical unit. The result is a total image in consistently high resolution, in which additionally an unlimited number of detail zooms can be carried out both in the live feed and in the recording. In this way, Panomera captures enormous distances and expanses in real time with a resolution pattern that is consistent over the entire object space – with very few camera systems. This in turn not only ensures that recordings are always usable in court, but it also allows a big chunk of the infrastructure costs, compared with conventional solutions, to be eliminated.

Danish State Railways employs over 7000 personnel. Of these, over 1000 jobs are in administration. Figures of this magnitude entail complex user and rights management challenges in the video surveillance of currently 180 railway stations. Moreover, it is not only the employees but also public authorities such as the police which are authorised and even required to access the video information system. In this context, it is absolutely imperative to be able to maintain an overview of rights assignment for reasons of data protection and data security. This is why HEMISPHERE can be integrated seamlessly into the DSB’s User Administration Active Directory.

System updates are another challenge in large-scale environments. In complex projects running for many years, it is imperative to implement a system that allows for incremental updating. In the context of such programmes, it is usually most important for the newly implemented systems to be downward compatible. HEMISPHERE offers the capability of integrating existing systems in a new environment – regardless of the original provider – thereby enabling the customer to migrate incrementally. Comprehensive test phases such as the Dallmeier Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) complete this integration and guarantee not only full security but also optimal functionality of the system upon commissioning.


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