IP-CCTV for busy rail network

November 2008 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

IndigoVision and its UK Partner ATEC Security have devised a successful solution for a massive new IP-based video surveillance, recording and transmission system on the UK’s busiest rail network operating between London, Brighton, Bedford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn, and managed by First Capital Connect (FCC), one of the UK’s newest train operating companies.

The project involved upgrading 1194 existing analogue CCTV cameras across 63 train stations, which are now all monitored at a new central control room at Enfield, using FCC’s existing network infrastructure.

John Loftus, managing director of Norbain, IndigoVision’s partner in Africa, comments: “The success of this enormous project demonstrates that large-scale transport systems can now be cost-effectively secured – which is highly relevant to the South African transport situation where crime is a pressing issue both for commuters and operators.”

The FCC project is just one of many large-scale infrastructure projects that IndigoVision has deployed for the rail industry, including the Berlin S-Bahn, the Dutch National Rail network and the 900+ camera system for SkyTrain, the world’s largest automated light rapid transit system in Vancouver, Canada.

The first challenge was to integrate various local, independently monitored analogue CCTV systems to monitor and manage them centrally. In addition, the existing CCTV systems had to remain operational while the new IP-based solution was installed. Multiple video streams from each camera can be configured for different applications, for example, high-frame rate/high-bandwidth for recording and local viewing and low bandwidth for remote monitoring over the WAN. Loftus comments: “IndigoVision’s advanced compression and bandwidth management technology were vital for the success of a project of this size.”

Control Centre, IndigoVision’s enterprise IP Video and alarm management software, is used by operators, both locally and in the central control room to view and analyse live and recorded video. A Control Centre workstation can be located at any point on the network and allow an operator with the right permissions to view video from any camera or NVR no matter where they are located. “This is where cost-effectiveness comes into play. Because Control Centre software is licence-free, workstations cost no more than an entry-level PC,” explains Loftus.

Extensive research and development by ATEC Security resulted in a new server platform that enabled over 100 IndigoVision Windows-based network video recorders (NVRs) to be installed at the 63 train stations and throughout the network, providing 31 days of recording using a total of 473 terabytes of RAID 5 storage. Loftus adds: “Another significant benefit of the new server platform is the special configurations that allow physical disks to be quickly and safely replaced in the event of a major incident. This is important because only the very highest quality video is suitable for evidential analysis and investigation by police and other agencies.”

All cameras (947 fixed and 95 PTZ) are connected to an IndigoVision 8000 IP Video transmitter/receiver module. The 8000 converts the analogue feed to DVD quality MPEG-4 digital video for transmission over the network. IndigoVision’s advanced compression technology allows high quality, low-latency video to be transmitted around the network using FCC’s existing WAN. The combination of the network and Control Centre creates a virtual matrix that allows video feeds to be switched to any workstation or NVR. This replaces the many original local analogue hardware matrices and removes the ‘islands of video’ that have come to represent the fundamental shortcoming of large-scale analogue CCTV systems.

For more information contact Michelle Korff, marketing/HR manager, Norbain, +27 (0)11 887 1546, www.norbain.co.za


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