In a country blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, Table Mountain remains one of South Africa’s most recognisable and popular tourist destinations. Estimated to be approximately 260-million years old, the flat-topped mountain has become an iconic landmark and the central character in many haunting legends and myths that feature apparitions, magical flutes and even gnome-like spirits with poltergeist tendencies.
The mountain also plays a pivotal role in establishing Cape Town as the ultimate Feng Shui city. According to the ancient Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui, Cape Town’s configuration in the shape of an armchair – protection from Table Mountain at the rear, two armrests provided by Lion’s Head to the west and Devil’s Peak to the east – creates the perfect energy.
For more than 85 years, the TMAC has been providing visitors with a world-class experience. During the past 8.5 decades over 24 million people have made use of the cableway to reach the top of this spectacular mountain.
“The high volume of visitors to the site means that operational management has to be exceptional. Traffic control, parking control, queue management, grounds management, security, retail management and food and beverage management all form part of the daily activities of the cableway,” explains Meycom’s Andrew Briton (project director of the system upgrade). “The surveillance solution has to support all of these processes in an integrated and reliable manner.”
Overcoming disparate weather conditions
“There were significant challenges that we needed to consider regarding the environment in which the cameras were to be installed,” says the project’s technical director, Roshen Kajie. “Weather conditions at the top station are completely different from the conditions at the lower station. The top station is exposed to both extremely high altitude and the corrosive effect of the salt air. We selected robust network cameras rated for external use for both the exterior and interior of the top station.”
The AXIS P3364-VE is an outdoor HDTV fixed dome camera. Its weatherproof and vandal-resistant casing makes it perfectly adapted for harsh environments. It is capable of operating in extreme temperatures that range from -40° to 55°C.
“The top station is 1067 metres above sea level and the weather patterns in Cape Town are notoriously changeable. It is imperative that our solution hinges on high performance products that persistently deliver – even under extreme conditions,” says Briton.
Yet another trial faced by the project consultants was to provide TMAC technical staff with adequate visuals of a control board that is located in a closed shaft at the top station.
“The AXIS T90C Fixed Dome IR-LED is an infrared illuminator for AXIS P33 Network Cameras. It enables the cameras to deliver quality images in complete darkness,” explains Kajie. “Cableway staff now have a live view of the control board and are easily able to monitor the various control indicator lights from the lower station, even in these low light circumstances.”
Strategically placed PTZ network cameras assist with security and traffic and visitor control matters, while compact HDTV network cameras are integrated with the point-of-sale software to ensure the integrity of the retail data.
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