Ferry surveillance delivers results in tough conditions

November 2012 Surveillance

Interislander travels the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand and is one of the most spectacular cruises in the world. The 92 km journey between Wellington and Picton is one of New Zealand’s most iconic tourist experiences.

The service operates three ships, carrying passengers, their vehicles, rail and commercial freight. All offer the freedom and ease of exploring New Zealand by road. Taking a vehicle on an Interislander ferry is as simple as parking – just drive on and drive off.

Nor do passengers with vehicles have any luggage restrictions. Offering up to 11 sailings a day, Interislander passengers also have the convenience of a wide choice of travel times. During the Interislander journey, passengers take a stroll on the decks, enjoy a meal, a drink, or even catch the latest movie release. The safety and security of passengers, luggage and staff at the two ferry terminals at Wellington and Picton, is of the utmost importance, meaning a sophisticated and efficient system is paramount. Interislander had an aged analogue system, which had poor image quality and was becoming slow and ineffective.

Network Imaging Solutions (NIS) was chosen to lead Interislander’s system overhaul. Partnering with Teltrac Communications, John Hurford from NIS designed a Mobotix installation that far exceeded the expectations of this important public safety system. Hurford said, “Upgrading to a new Mobotix IP system gave Interislander far more control over its security requirements and increased flexibility, while remaining cost effective.”

He outlined some harsh environmental conditions that created challenges for any security system at the site, “We had to deal with below freezing temperatures, with Picton and Wellington ferry terminals situated at sea level and subject to harsh gales, rain, hail and temperature variations. A very corrosive salt laden atmosphere also makes things difficult.”

IP solution

NIS designed and implemented a surveillance system comprising Mobotix Q24M, D12D, M24M, D24M and M12D cameras. In total over 30 cameras have been installed to date. Ian Gilbert, security manager at Interislander, praised the durability of the Mobotix cameras and their ability to overcome the harsh environmental conditions. “The production of custom stainless steel brackets as mounts meant we were able to protect cameras where appropriate from the difficult conditions at the site. Using these brackets, combined with the Mobotix camera’s built-in protective housing, the system is secure from the elements.

“The salt in the atmosphere where Interislander operates was also a big issue we had heading into this project, but the self-cleaning coating on the Mobotix cameras made short work of this.” MxControlCenter (MxCC) software is also being used at Interislander in conjunction with the Mobotix hardware. MxCC is monitored live in both the manager’s office and operations who have a dedicated PC to view the cameras. This powerful software package bundled with the Mobotix hardware allows for both live feeds and for archiving. “The ongoing updates to the software licence without additional payments made MxControlCenter a logical choice for our security software. Additionally, the software is extremely easy to use and powerful, fulfilling all our needs.”

Gilbert says the Mobotix installation had been a tremendous success.“The Mobotix system has provided a durable, efficient and powerful surveillance system for Interislander. We have been able to reduce the number of lost item claims while ensuring our passengers, luggage, equipment and staff are safer than ever before.” It has replaced an aged analogue system, providing increased efficiency, higher resolution video footage, and increased level of security for all local and international travellers on the Interislander service. The ferry system transports 1 million passengers and 230 000 vehicles per year, making it a vital piece of New Zealand infrastructure with safety and security of the utmost importance.

For more information, contact Raine Sadie, IAC, +27 (0)12 657 3600, [email protected]


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