Technology first at airport

November 2001 Surveillance

Roy Wyman, Technology Manager for Securicor Gray North, notched up a first for South African security with the application of techniques on a fibre-optic backbone to link a battery of CCTV cameras across South Africa to a central monitoring station in Johannesburg.

Wyman has designed, managed and commissioned projects worth several million rands to upgrade and link remote monitoring systems at the national centres of South African Airways (SAA) Cargo, and the giant hangars and repair bays of SA Technical.

Freddie Esterhuizen, Manager Research and Development, Protection Services at the Johannesburg International Airport, said Securicor Gray has created a platform that enables proactive monitoring of valuable cargo and or suspects throughout South Africa.

Explained Wyman: "We upgraded our dated analog recording systems to the latest digital standard at SAA cargo centres, and have since designed a totally new R2m system to monitor the huge hangers and parking bays where the aeroplanes are serviced."

Apart from designing and commissioning the system, Securicor Gray Central also provides staff who received intensive training to monitor 30 screens and digitally record all data for possible use as evidence. Esterhuizen is confident that the systems will set a new security standard for airports worldwide.

"We have moved the focus from reactive surveillance to proactive monitoring. Wyman has enabled us to integrate smartcard technology with the CCTV cameras to create a system that can, for example, automatically track a valuable parcel, or follow a suspect through the building," he explained.

The system entails dense wave division multiplexing, which crams dozens of different wavelengths of data-bearing light onto the same fibre. Light wave multiplexing limited the use of expensive fibre optics to only 11 km in a network of more than 55 km of cabling.

"We send the camera images at 15 frames per second, which means we effectively have a live picture. The data-bearing light enables us to manipulate the cameras from the control room, call up names and access clearances as staff swipe their access cards, or activate covert cameras," Wyman said.

For further details contact Securicor Gray on tel: (011) 616 1218/28.

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