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Jefferson County Waterway adopts Milestone VMS

Jefferson County Waterway adopts Milestone VMS

Editor / Provider: Milestone Systems | Updated: 1/8/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

Milestone Systems open platform IP video management software (VMS) is at the center of operational overview for the authorities who handle the Sabine-Neches Waterway running 55 miles through Jefferson County, Texas, to the Gulf of Mexico. This area includes a commercial and military out-load port in the United States and is the fourth largest port in terms of processed tonnage. They need to ensure the safety of those working and traveling through the port, and to keep traffic flowing for the commerce that relies on clear passage.

A vast traffic-monitoring network has been deployed here to ensure that all vessels (civilian, military and commercial) can safely navigate the waters with minimal interference such as collisions or other stoppage. The new surveillance system also monitors the many petroleum refineries that line the channel. Backed by a Verizon Wireless 4G connection, the county cameras along the waterway are networked through Milestone XProtect Enterprise VMS for managing high definition video of live vessel movements and incident reporting from the archived footage.

“Milestone truly is the best IP video open platform on the market. It integrates with all of the cameras seamlessly and provides the sheriff's department with more high definition images for significantly better views of the waterway than their previous system. We now have camera ‘eyes' located on an array of tall locations in challenging environments. Our solution design includes live mobile video on tablets and smart-phones to dispatchers and personnel on watercraft,” says Mark Nolan, Sales Engineer at systems integrator Knight Security Systems.

Vessels range in size from small tugboats to huge tanker ships hauling hundreds of tons of oil and other commodities. When an incident is called in to port security, authorities must assess the situation and respond immediately. Milestone XProtect provides the user interface where reported incidents are checked in the video to determine if the port must close to resolve a situation or can continue operating. Closing the port for any amount of time is an expensive procedure, so having virtual eyes on the scene is imperative to optimal operations.

The previously installed system was very limited - only viewable and navigable in 1 control station building. Knight Security Systems therefore designed and installed a Milestone XProtect Enterprise IP video surveillance solution managing AXIS Q1604 and Sony SNC-ER550 cameras, and more than 8 terabytes of storage to provide 24 hours of archiving. With the Milestone Mobile client, the sheriff's department and port authorities now have instant access to video from anywhere.

The Milestone solution consolidates the 24-hour monitored cameras into 1 centrally managed solution, viewable by all administrators in their offices, in the main monitoring station and on mobile devices. With high-level national security implications, live camera views and the ability to quickly check recorded video is essential to the port's operational standards for efficiency. Every second between an incident report and confirmation of the validity of the report is crucial to the response process.

Protecting the Port
The only ways to access Jefferson County through the waterway is via Sabine Pass or 2 entry points on the Intracoastal Waterway. With an advanced communication system and screening process, no vessel is unaccounted for. The cameras give verification to confirm radio transmissions. The Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) at Port Arthur acts as the “keepers of the gate” aided by the Milestone video management solution, issuing advisories and minimizing blind spots.

“If we pick up a radar blip that's not transmitting an identification signal, it is imperative to identify that blip before it enters the port,” explains Michael Measells, Director of Vessel Traffic Service. “The cameras can do what radar can't achieve - put an eye on a vessel through the Milestone XProtect software, allowing us to know what's moving, from a marine safety and security standpoint. That's the number-one mission.”

Cameras line the river and port entrance, placed in strategic locations from the roofs of buildings to the top of the Verizon Wireless 4G towers. A Jefferson County Sheriff helicopter also hosts a mounted camera ready to be called into action at any time, whether it's monitoring an incident or making rounds.

“We've adapted to the ease of application, connectivity and versatility of the Milestone interface very quickly – it's so easy to use,” says John Moore, Electronics Materials Officer, United States Coast Guard. “Milestone is always up and running, and it loads extremely fast on any mobile operating system. The versatility of our Milestone setup also allows us to remotely provide access to our Sector Command Center in Houston.”

Incident Confirmation and Control
The port is a vital, active entity, responsible for millions of dollars in assets and manpower. If an incident is reported to the Sheriff's Department or Coast Guard, there are established procedures to follow before any response is made. Any event, whether a boating accident, cargo spill or personal injury, has the potential to shut down the channel for an extended length of time.

“This is a high-traffic waterway and with a limited width, there are bound to be close calls and incidents,” says Measells. “It's good to have more eyes on each vessel.”

When an incident is reported, officials must immediately confirm the report. Then the proper authorities are contacted and ground or water personnel deployed as needed. The sheriff's department jurisdiction covers the entire 55 miles of critical infrastructure.

“If I get a report of an incident, I'll pull Milestone Mobile up on my tablet or phone to assess the situation,” says Deputy Chief Mark Dubois, Jefferson County Sheriff. “XProtect helps us respond quickly, allowing us to view video from any cameras immediately, from any location, any time, to confirm or deny an event.”

“We can move from evaluation of a report to initiating a response in a matter of minutes, if not seconds,” Moore adds. “There's time and money there. Once we confirm, all responders' mindsets are immediately shifted into response.”

Magal S3 received 2 orders to secure critical sites in Africa

Magal S3 received 2 orders to secure critical sites in Africa

Editor / Provider: Magal Security Systems | Updated: 11/19/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Magal Security Systems announced that it received 2 orders for projects in Africa, amounting to $6 million.

The 1st order is to secure a government-related critical site in Africa, which is expected to be completed by summer 2014, representing an initial order from the customer and has potential to be expanded to further locations and additional orders.

The 2nd order is an expansion of a contract with the Kenya Port Authority for the security system at the port of Mombasa to include an area which was not covered in the initial contract. Early 2013, Magal commissioned the initial integrated security project. These orders in Africa are encouraging Magal to expand customer base in this important target region, at the same time leveraging the base of satisfied customers.

Abu Dhabi seaport and industrial zone set sail to advanced access management

Abu Dhabi seaport and industrial zone set sail to advanced access management

Editor / Provider: CEM Systems | Updated: 5/31/2013 | Article type: Infrastructure

The Khalifia Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ) in Abu Dhabi recently deployed CEM Systems, a Tyco Security Products company, access control and gate management system to secure its perimeters. The access control system consists of 700 card readers and fingerprint readers, portable card readers, and more than 300 PoE door interface units (DIU), were installed by Tyco Fire & Security in United Arab Emirates.

Khalifa Port was officially opened in December 2012. The port is crucial to the Abu Dhabi Ports Company megaproject which includes Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi. Featuring the latest technology and designed to accommodate the world's largest ships. Upon completion of all construction phases, the port will be at an estimated size equivalent to two-thirds of Singapore.

“This was an exciting yet challenging project for CEM who delivered not one but two systems for the port; the access control system and a highly customized gate management system, providing high level integration to multiple port security systems to ensure the monitoring and control of vehicles coming onsite,” said Philip Verner, Regional Sales Director, EMEA, CEM.

The gate management solution integrates with a number of third party systems all interfaced to ensure multiple checks are made before a vehicle can enter site. The driver first swipes their card then passive or active long range RFID tags are used on trucks and light vehicles and then finally ALPR recognition is utilized and the gate opens. “Khalifa Port required a highly secure and flexible access control system, which could be used for more than just access control” said Craig Menzies, Security Division Manager, UAE, Tyco Fire & Security.

The multi-technology IP card readers installed at the port are IP 66 rated to protect against dust and water. The reader features a keypad for additional PIN code security, and features an internal database for offline card validation. The database holds up to 200,000 card holder records internally and up to 8,000 records offline. This means that should communication be temporarily lost at the seaport, staff can still validate cards throughout the port at all times.

Fingerprint readers will also be installed on critical doors/areas throughout the port. For high security areas users will be prompted for three identity checks (card, PIN and biometric verification) using one device. Being such a large and expansive site, the port required mobile security. The portable reader is ideal for roaming security. The reader can be used at remote port sites or temporary entrances which have no power during the construction phases. 

PoE DIUs was chosen by the port authorities to ensure cabling was kept to a minimum. The DIU utilizes PoE technology to power readers and heavy duty maglocks on two doors. This created sizable cost savings on the project as it eliminated the need to fit mains power supplies/ fused spurs above each door. The security management system was also used to its maximum efficiency taking advantage of software applications such as alarm event display, visual image pass ID badging system and visitor management module

ImageWare to Provide Ecuador Port Biometric Capability

ImageWare to Provide Ecuador Port Biometric Capability

Editor / Provider: ImageWare Systems | Updated: 6/29/2012 | Article type: Infrastructure

ImageWare Systems has been selected as the exclusive provider of biometric identity management for a prime contractor responsible for the implementation of cargo scanning security at seaports in the Republic of Ecuador. While the full value of the contract cannot be immediately determined since it will be partially based on the eventual number of credentials issued during the seven year prime contract, it is expected to exceed $3 million. The award follows a similar contract ImageWare received earlier this year from the Los Angeles World Airports, operators of LAX and two other regional airports.

The initial deployment of ImageWare's biometric identity solution is planned to commence during the fourth quarter of 2012 at the Port of Guayaquil, the main seaport that handles the majority of Ecuador's imports and exports. The implementation is intended to help the country's port authorities satisfy the requirements of the U.S. Safe Port Act of 2006. Since global seaports have historically inspected less than 5 percent of the containers imported into the U.S., congress passed the Safe Port Act to protect U.S. seaports from various security threats.

More than 700 ports worldwide that export to the U.S. must comply with the act before July 1, 2012, which stipulates that all containers loaded on a foreign port cannot enter the U.S. unless scanned by both radiation detection and non-intrusive imaging equipment at the foreign port prior to loading on a vessel.

“As the world's security needs expand, our channel partners are realizing the unique value, power and flexibility of our patented multi-modal biometric solutions,” said Jim Miller, ImageWare chairman and CEO. “This includes a turn-key solution based on a seamlessly integrated single platform, which allows for both small and large scale enrollments, and the fusion of multi-biometric inputs resulting in a higher degree of authentication. Building upon two recent successful and major contract wins related to port security, we are aggressively pursuing a vast number of similar opportunities in the global market.”

Samsung Introduces Video-Optimized Ethernet Switches

Samsung Introduces Video-Optimized Ethernet Switches

Editor / Provider: Samsung Techwin | Updated: 6/14/2012 | Article type: Security 50

Fast speeds, high performance and system intelligence are just a few of the features available on new Video Optimized Ethernet Switches introduced today by Samsung Techwin America. Developed in-house to maintain cost competitiveness, the new Samsung iES4028FP L2 and the iBG2016 L3 Ethernet Switches provide PoE and/or non-PoE switching ports in a single RU chassis with a choice of 10/100/1000 uplink speeds as well as a full suite of WAN connectivity. Advanced QoS (quality of service) features ensure minimal latency and maximum bandwidth utilization while on-board intelligence allows up to 36 switches to be managed in a logical group using a single IP address.

“Samsung's new Ethernet Switches offer powerful functionality and ensured reliability for mission critical video surveillance systems at a competitive price,” said Dr. Edward Wassall, CTO IP Product Development / Application Engineering, North America. “The Ethernet Switches easily integrate with existing or new systems, and are a further reflection of Samsung's commitment to developing robust, standards based intelligent solutions for the network video surveillance applications.”

The high performance 10/100 Layer 2 and Layer 3 Ethernet switches, with gigabit options, offer 24 ports that can be managed from anywhere on the network through a standard web browser. Both port-based and 802.1Q (tagged-based) VLAN configurations as well as layer 3 IP based VLAN's are supported with additional capabilities for monitoring traffic and managing multicast groups as well as QoS for IP telephony. PoE is supported in all access ports. Other supported protocols include L2-L4 ACL, Radius, TACACS+, SSH, SSL, 8021x based port security and DHCP snooping.

Already a key player in network video surveillance systems with its iPOLiS cameras and devices, the addition of the ieS4028 and the iBG2016 switches positions Samsung and its reseller partners to better serve the security industry's migration to a networked platform.

Russian Trading Port Enhances Efficiency With Axxonsoft Management

Russian Trading Port Enhances Efficiency With Axxonsoft Management

Editor / Provider: Axxonsoft | Updated: 2/17/2012 | Article type: Infrastructure

The publicly traded Murmansk Sea Commercial Port was founded in 1994 as a state enterprise and is the forth-largest port in Russia - the second-largest port in all of North-Western Russia. With seventeen berths and a total of 120,000 square meters of outdoor storage space, more “black gold” is exported through the Murmansk port than through the ports of Saint-Petersburg, Kandalaksha, Vyborg and Vysotsk combined.

From 2001 to 2005, the port's cargo turnover grew from 5.52 million tons to 14.6 million tons. Of all cargo flows passing through the Murmansk port, 97 percent are for export, and most are headed to Western European countries, making the port not only a prominent local port but a significant enterprise on the international market, as well.

After approximately ten years of steady growth, the port's management realized that some key issues were interfering with the port's profits - namely quality control, cost efficiency, damage and theft prevention, and fire safety.

At the time, the port's management was supported only by radio communication. "We could not see the work being done, so we had no way of evaluating procedures or ensuring compliance with quality and safety standards," explains Chief Engineer Igor Prischepov.

Visual quality control was key to preventing damage caused by employees who neglected to uphold procedures and standards. At the time, careless crane operators, in a hurry to increase their output, were causing damage to the equipment, which in turn caused considerable expense for the port, including penalty payments to the railway, repair costs, and the maintenance of a special work team. Similarly, over-ambitious loaders were transporting 1.5 – 2 times more weight than was acceptable by safety regulations, thereby causing unnecessary expense related to servicing and replacing the equipment.

In addition, because it keeps extremely valuable property in its territory, the port was also at risk of theft and vandalism.

Down Under? No, Up Above!

Down Under? No, Up Above!

Editor / Provider: Hayden Hsu | Updated: 10/27/2011 | Article type: Hot Topics

While mature markets like the U.S. and Europe are bracing for a possible second dip due to long-term debt imbalances, Australia's export and economic figures are looking particularly ripe among growth markets worldwide. Security is in for a treat, as the country continues to upgrade its network infrastructure and beef up its protective mechanisms and measures.

Australia is the world's 13th largest economy, with a GDP of US$1.3 trillion. GDP grew by 2.7 percent over 2010; it is forecast to grow more than 4 percent in 2011. According to US Commercial Service, Australia's per-capita GDP of $60,000 is among the highest in the world.

Since 9/11, the Australian federal government has committed more than $4 billion to counter terrorism. Current priorities for upgrading security include border protection, airport security, port security,critical infrastructure protection, mining facilities, street safety (city surveillance), health care and educational institutes, as well as new commercial and residential establishments.

The Dollar and NBN
To thrive in the Australian security market, two things should be kept in mind: the Australian dollar and the national broadband network (NBN).

Australia has a large services sector (80 percent of GDP), but is also a significant exporter of natural resources, energy and food. Australia's abundant and diverse natural resources attract high levels of foreign investment and include extensive reserves of coal, iron ore, copper, gold, natural gas, uranium and renewable energy resources. A series of major investments, such as the $25-billion Wheatstone project and the $43-billion Gorgon project, both led by Chevron, have significantly expanded the resources sector, according to US Commercial Service.

Asian demand for minerals, metals and energy resources has been an engine for growth nationally. With many mining sites in the state of Queensland (the country's largest coal-exporting state) suffering temporary production delays due to the January floods, liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects are moving forward, such as the contract signed between Australia and China to supply China with LNG for the next 20 years.

The result is a higher-than-ever Australian dollar, pushing many local end users of high-end technology to go for only the best of breed at much more affordable price points. Physical, commercial security is no exception.

Another buzzword is the NBN. The NBN is a wholesale-only, open-access data network initiative. A trial rollout of the fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network began in Tasmania in July 2010. The FTTP rollout is planned to reach approximately 93 percent of the population by June 2021. Construction of a fixed wireless network is planned to begin in 2011, delivering its first services in 2012 and to be completed by 2015; two satellites will also be launched by 2015, with an interim agreement with Optus and IPStar to provide satellite services to some customers from July 2011. The network will gradually replace the copper network, owned by Telstra and currently used for most telephony and data services. As part of an agreement with the NBN company, Telstra will move its customers to the NBN and lease access to its exchange space and extensive network ducting to assist in the rollout.

This nationwide broadband initiative is very well-received by security solution providers, as most transmission and streaming headaches with IP-based systems will be alleviated. It could also help yield more business opportunities and open up possibilities for different business models

Market Potential
According to the Australian Security Industry Association, expenditure on security hardware and software (video surveillance, access control and intrusion alarms) in 2007 amounted to $690 million. For this year, consensus was that recovery has been rampant, but the overall projected market size is still shy of the 2007 peak, only at roughly $450 to 500 million.

Distributor Pacific Communications estimated that the Australian video surveillance market could be worth $150 to $170 million this year. “We're seeing a lot of demand from street surveillance, transportation, mining, health care and education,” said Rob Rosa, National Sales Manager. “We, therefore, need proper product coverage with a good cross-section range as the largest distributor in Australia and New Zealand.”

Bosch Security Systems' projections for video surveillance were higher at $200 to $230 million. “Leads are mostly from mining, defense, commercial and street surveillance,” said Sean Borg, National Video Systems Manager.

For Sony Corporation, more than 90 percent of new tenders opt for IP-based systems. “People's understanding is improving, from pure cost considerations to picture quality and accessibility,” said Steve Charles, Sales and Marketing Manager for Security Solutions, Australia and New Zealand. “For my region, the video surveillance market is estimated to be worth $220 million, with IP sales expected to outweigh analog by 2015. Confidence in IP has increased noticeably.”

In terms of growth , Axis Communications is seeing 40 to 70 percent, depending on market segments. “While the overall market size here in Australia is not the biggest in the region, it does generate the most revenue for us,” said Oh-Tee Lee, Regional Director of South APAC. “Five years ago, some installers and integrators wouldn't listen and were scared to change (to IP). It's not that case any more. We now focus our education efforts on the building blocks of IP-based video (beyond cameras), such as storage and capable channel partners.”

For Lan 1, key market segments include government buildings and departments, residential buildings and retail outlets. “Education is good as well, but a bit slower; you get one or two projects from universities per year, and then a few smaller but ongoing projects from K-12,” said Basil Delimitros, Project Manager of IP Video and Access Control.

In physical access control and intrusion detection, a similar transition to IP can be seen as well, thanks to the NBN. “More hybrid converters and wireless transmitters are being demanded,” said Brett Lancaster, Sales and Technical Support for Security Distributors Australia. “While average prices are coming down, support and warranties are getting more comprehensive; now, you can see products with 10-year warranties and iPhone support very easily.” [NextPage]

Solution Requirements
While IP is gaining a lot of attention, analog is not “dying” anytime soon, Rosa said. “In terms of sales, analog and IP are about 70 versus 30; we are still seeing good growth on analog products. For bigger projects that require more than 100 cameras, IP gets specified, but it still depends on project type and available infrastructure.”

For existing establishments that require replacements or upgrades, local consultants and end users prefer devices or systems with hybrid capabilities that allow existing analog infrastructure to transmit signals over IP networks. “It is a strong selling bonus,” Charles said. “We tripled our sales in the first quarter over the same period last year, and we continue to work with more IT-level system integrators to service the entire spectrum of the market.”

To Borg, Australia is indeed in dire need of better IT and IP infrastructure. “While the economics around the NBN don't make much sense, we can definitely use newer, more reliable networks.” Analog technology is still robust, though. “A lot of system integrators, consultants and real-estate developers still ask for analog products, so we are still seeing singledigit growth; overall, sales figures split between analog and IP at 50/50.”

Started as an IT specialist 18 years ago, Lan 1 provides advice and support on network infrastructure. “Australia is a tech-savvy country, and growth in IP has accelerated for the last two to three years. With dollar appreciation and a number of budget offerings, users are enjoying 20- to 30-percent discounts (if not more), getting the biggest bang for their dollar,” Delimitros said. And more training is available today, further lowering t h e market's entry barrier.

For EOS Australia, the smartphone market is a good indicator. “We were a late adopter of smart cellphones, but look where we are today,” said Jeff Perrey, National Sales Manager. “The same goes for IP-based security systems; we are now seeing more organizations running multiple networks in parallel to support bandwidth requirements. The market is about solutions, not single products; Australians will use it if it is a robust, easy and open solution. It is a growth market beyond what people realize.”

Channel Challenges
With greater IP capabilities come both opportunities and challenges. While easier access and mobility are granted, the initial installation, integration and configuration can be very complicated, at least for the traditionally analog channel community in security. “Education is critical,” Rosa said. “It's our job to help the marketplace understand how to better leverage added benefits from IP-based systems. Product features and system limitations should also be made clearer.”

Keeping up with market growth and momentum is also a concern for Lan 1. For example, a number of Tier-1 suppliers are reevaluating and looking for more IT/IP-savvy distribution, installation and integration partners. “Aside from infrastructure shortcomings, we also need to think about our location. We live in isolation here, and not all manufacturers have local representation and support. So, we take device and system reliability very seriously, and we need more partners to help deliver that consistently,” Delimitros said.

Altech Computers, an IT distributor carrying brands such as Vivotek and GeoVision, has had similar observations. “The market has turned 180 in one to two years,” said Adam Storo, Surveillance Manager. “We need to keep up with different demands and requirements from various verticals, such as government, transportation, education, residential and SMBs. Having an IT background is, therefore, a massive advantage. With technology rapidly changing, it does take delivering functional hardware, software, solutions and services to a whole new level.” And “converting” integrators and installers and making them grow with you are no small feat.

Another IT distributor, ACA Pacific, deems end users having fully functional IP networks as the biggest challenge. “It's a slow process, as is training,” said Henry Patishman, Sales Manager. “On top of that, everyone wants control within an organization.” As a result, channel partners have to take it upon themselves to demonstrate to their end users that having open APIs and interfaces does not mean giving up departmental turf.

The IT cusp and bubble a decade ago could serve as a good reminder and lesson. “Support, beyond warranties, is critical. When faced with market pressure and ‘leveling' of real value and prices, we need to think about real-life implementations and implications,” Perrey said. “Our biggest challenge is having futureproofed solutions and partners.” [NextPage]

Up Above!
Depending on whom one talks to, the Australian security market has experienced growth between 5 to 70 percent over the last year or so. Political and financial brouhaha aside, the fruition of the NBN will level the playing field for many, catapulting Australia into a new digital age. From one camera or entry point to thousands of cameras, doors or detectors, the market will need to be serviced by professionals of different calibers. “Just like the Internet provided new access to trade, the NBN will enable service providers to cover all corners of the country with the same level of quality and efficiency,” said Kobi Ben-Shabat, MD of Open Platform Systems. “The direction and future of physical security have also been redefined. Being able to provide open but unified platforms and effectively manage explosive growth will be one of the defining factors of any business' success.”

Are you ready to move up or down?

Loading Up Seaport Safety and Operational Efficiency

Loading Up Seaport Safety and Operational Efficiency

Editor / Provider: INTELLIGENT SECURITY SYSTEMS, AVIGILON AND INDIGOVISION | Updated: 8/1/2011 | Article type: Infrastructure

Strategically positioned and high-quality surveillance cameras allow port authorities to monitor expansive areas with greater ease. Efficiency and management precision of day-to-day activities are also improved in recent years with newer surveillance devices.

The Southern Africa Transport Investments (SATI) of South Africa wanted to address the problem of inside theft and to boost automated recordings for when containers arrive and depart, with easy access across the enterprise to relevant video footage.

SATI's previous vendor had installed a video surveillance security system that proved highly unsatisfactory as images were unclear. “Along with the problem of inside theft, arrival times and departures of cargo were done manually,” said Eugene Kayat, Country Manager for South Africa, Intelligent Security Systems (ISS).

The advanced algorithms of ISS software provide a level of intelligence, flexibility and accuracy for video management and analytics that were previously only available for government and military applications. Its container recognition and LPR software translates into the ability to clearly identify and easily read license plates and the sides, back and top of containers, both vertically and horizontally in the most challenging of weather conditions.

Kayat and the integration team proceeded to integrate the software into existing video cameras supplemented with ISS' encoders. SATI now has a security solution in place that provides clear, usable images. It is crucial to verify that container seals have not been tampered with, and because of the inherent flexibility and accuracy of SATI's current solutions, verification has become a seamless process for this seaport.

A sophisticated monitoring system at a container terminal at the Port of Malaga, Spain uses IndigoVision's IP-based system consisting of video surveillance, public address/ intercoms, analytics and integration with access control, to provide the port with site-wide security and support for its logistics operation. The facility covers 450,000 square meters and can accommodate the largest type of container ships in a 723-meter long, 16-meter deep berth. The IP video system was installed by port security specialist Enyca, with equipment and design support provided by authorized partner Ralco Networks.

The system can also transmit high-fidelity synchronized audio alongside the video. Enyca used this feature to deploy IP-based communications at the access points to the terminal. When an arriving truck driver presses a button, which is connected to a digital input in the transmitter module, an audio link is established with the operations center. Operators can then relay instructions to the driver for the safe drop-off or collection of containers.

Works tation srunning IndigoVision's management software are distributed around the facility: the security access control room, main operations center, planning department and the director's offices. These allow operators to monitor live and recorded video from the 40 PTZ and fixed cameras. The cameras are mounted around the perimeter, at the access points to the facility and on poles and cranes to monitor container movements. All the cameras are high-performance analog units connected to the transmitter modules, which convert the camera feed to DVD-quality, digital video for transmission over the network.

Enyca's own access control system is seamlessly integrated with the IP video. This allows events or alarms in the access control system to trigger actions in the management software. For example, an access alarm can automatically move a PTZ camera to a preconfigured position, display that camera on a spot monitor and identify its location on an interactive map.

Real-time analytics built into the transmitter modules are used to enhance perimeter security. The virtual trip-wire analytics function has been configured on several fixed cameras. If an object crosses the trip wire, then an alarm is raised in the management software and operators are automatically alerted.

With 21 ports and more than 1,500 employees, Associated British Ports (ABP) is the largest port operator in the U.K. and a top cruise terminal operator, moving one quarter of the country's seaborne trade ranging from coal and containers to iron ore and vehicle imports/exports. ABP deployed Avigilon's HD surveillance system at the Ports of Grimsby and Immingham to boost security and improve operational efficiency and ensure the successful management of international trade.

With the assistance of Global Vision CCTV, a local provider of surveillance system design, installation and service, when ABP began to roll out its new internal network infrastructure, the team determined that network cameras would more effectively meet their needs. Also, ABP deployed Avigilon's control center enterprise network video management software (NVMS) and installed Avigilon's megapixel cameras, analog video encoders and NVRs, all connected wirelessly and accessible across both ports at 11 kilometers apart.

At the Port of Grimsby, ABP installed two 11-megapixel cameras to monitor the vehicle entry and exit and to provide driver identification and license plate detail, and one 3-megapixel camera for complete coverage of the junction leading to the control room. Security personnel use the NVMS with HD stream management to seamlessly manage the system 24/7 and store 30 days of continuous footage on two NVRs.

Six 5-megapixel cameras are used at the Port of Immingham to monitor and control the lock gates, which open and close to allow ships to pass through, and to ensure that there are no obstructions. All six cameras are connected through the fiber network back to the marine control room where the system is monitored live and footage is stored on one NVR. At the Bulk Park Terminal, four Avigilon analog video encoders are used to integrate a new analog PTZ camera and existing analog cameras into the surveillance system for greater performance and manageability. Four 1-megapixel cameras provide site overview and monitor the entrance and exit to the weigh bridges, where cargo is weighed. An additional NVR was deployed to store footage from this installation.

ABP can now contain its operational staff costs at each location, while boasting a scalable, future-proof surveillance solution that can expand to meet growing needs.

Prioritizing Seaport Stakeholders

Prioritizing Seaport Stakeholders

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 8/1/2011 | Article type: Infrastructure

Security priorities differ considerably for different departments and agencies within a seaport. a&s examines
how each party's needs could be met when taking on seaport projects through an integrated approach.

When multiple stakeholders, such as law enforcement, port authority, freight handling, customs, inspection and quarantine, administration, parking and more, are present operating side-by-side on a daily basis, how each party's security risks and priorities are assessed and determined becomes the million-dollar question.

Most seaports strive to understand the requirements from various stakeholders before consulting system integrators or solution providers for system design and implementation. “Making sure every stakeholder's needs are considered and prioritized assures the investment in technology and infrastructure, has the greatest return and increases the likelihood of successful technology adoption,” explained Larry Bowe, President of PureTech Systems.

Each party has a specific function and security burden, which includes the security and safety of visitors and employees alike, said William Moore, Business Development Manager for Oil and Gas, Schneider Electric. For instance, at the Port of Houston in the U.S., there are more than 11 agencies — including state and municipal bodies — involved in the security process, and also other end users like oil and gas and shipping companies. “Oftentimes, this structure results in independent and uneven security systems,” Moore said.

Security efforts (and related accountability) used to be quite dispersed. After the introduction of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code in 2004, a collaborative approach has been adopted to bring security at seaports to the set standards, as different agencies began to share resources, including budge t s , for their security system installations. “The stakeholders began working together to prevent overlapping of technologies,” said Ed Merkle, Director of Port Security and Emergency Operations, Port of Virginia.

“Redundancy is not necessarily a bad thing, but with this approach the different agencies are able to pool in and ensure prudent use of resources for maximum quality of security.” Often, the agencies convene for committee meetings to understand what solutions are offered by system integrators (SIs). “These security committees are responsible for finding the best products available within budgetary parameters,” Moore said.

“The committee members are usually open to the SI's suggestions on the best security technology in the industry, as none of these committee members want to integrate subpar products that could harm employees and visitors.”

All stakeholders should be informed, during project implementation, of the value of the technology, and those using and managing the system should receive proper training, Bowe said. “For seaports that are currently in the process of designing a security system, this would be a great time to speak with other ports in adjacent areas that have used this collaboration approach.”

For seaport projects since 2004, port authorities or port management companies usually take lead in putting the required equipment in for all. Each stakeholder advises the information it requires and other needs it might have. Under normal circumstances, port authorities would have a central security team to oversee the entire security infrastructure on the site, said Donal Colfer, Integrated Solutions Group Manager in the U.K., ADT Fire & Security.

“At seaports, law enforcement is usually of leading importance, and they are mainly interested in a reliable surveillance system of high forensic value,” explained Aluisio Figueiredo, COO of Intelligent Security Systems.

“Some law enforcement teams keep a ‘face book' of incoming/outgoing people by using facial capture capabilities native in the video management software. This provides the team with good references when suspicious activities are reported.”

Many border/customs agencies across the globe focus on a good container recognition and tracking system. “It is important for customs officers to know the track of every single container transported through a port,” Figueiredo said. For instance, a clear record is required of the arrival of Container XYZ on which ship, where it is moved to upon unloading, how much it weighs, if it has gone through radiation detection and with which truck it has left after clearing the customs. “If any discrepancy is picked up during any stage of the process, the officers would be able to deal with the situation immediately,” Figueiredo said. This is especially effective when targeting illegal-substance trafficking or detection.

“Typically, what we see is the agencies coming together to determine who does what for certain situations,” said James Chong, CTO of VidSys. “The organizations talk through the potential risks and priorities for known situation types and assess and determine each agency's role. Without this process, there is no clear delineation of responsibilities, so coming to agreement on situation procedures prior to an event and then having clear communication with stakeholders when a situation arises are critical.”

With cutting-edge technologies, seaports are able to pool in resources for an integrated security solution that addresses needs of different on-site stakeholders, while maintaining central management. “The integrated security approach acts as the glue that affixes together technologies, processes, human resources and concept of operations,” said Hagai Katz, Senior VP of Marketing and Business Development, Magal Security Systems.

Central management software is capable of addressing each unit's special needs by allowing each unit to access the information most desired. “The GUI is customizable, and depending on which user is logged in, the credential could be used to show only the information this particular user is looking for,” Figueiredo said.

“This means that law enforcement personnel are able to focus on surveillance data and looking for faces, while the customs officers could focus on container records for effective container recognition and tracking.” The physical-IT convergence is bearing fruits at seaports, providing unified on-site security management and response, as well as operational efficiency. “Over the past seven years at the Port of Virginia, our physical and IT departments have gone from tolerating to cooperating with one another, and are now finally collaborating as a team,” Merkle said.


Integrating Equipment and People for Seaports

Integrating Equipment and People for Seaports

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 8/1/2011 | Article type: Infrastructure

Thanks to continued R&D efforts, the integration of old and new systems, as well as people and
machines, is a much smoother experience than before.

The need to integrate various security systems for a seaport transcends from safety reasons to operational efficiency concerns. Installation and integration works can be challenging for solution providers as seaports operate almost 24/7, said William Moore, Business Development Manager for Oil and Gas, Schneider Electric.
“Solution providers need to be able to work around the port schedule, and the best practice is to keep an open line of communication with the security committee and all parties at the port. For example, down time needs to be addressed when security measures are implemented.”

Smooth and quick installations and integrations can be done when the operations team at the seaport is involved. “Once the needs of the security team, the operations team and other stakeholders are understood, it is much easier to select a security solution that meets most objectives,” said Larry Bowe, President of PureTech Systems.

Among diverse choices, seaports particularly look for smooth, total site management. “There actually are best practices for continuous system integration that maintains backward compatibility while making new system capabilities available,” Bowe said. “With the increased popularity of XML, interfaces between products and subsystems can be extended without breaking previous integrations. This method is sometimes referred to as loosely coupled integration. When engineered properly, systems can process the information they understand and simply ignore the information they don't understand. Existing functionality continues to work, and new functionality is available if the receiving system knows what to do with the new information.”

Central management software, such as physical security information management (PSIM), takes full advantage of this open system practice in order to make sense and use of the mass amount of data at hand. “The PSIM should not only integrate all systems on site for real-time data streaming, it should also connect to agencies outside the seaport, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the U.S., for crucial and relevant information that affects seaport operations,” said Ed Merkle, Director of Port Security and Emergency Operations, Port of Virginia. When a situation occurs, a PSIM solution should present SOPs based on the organization's policies and processes, said James Chong, CTO of VidSys.

“One weekend, the live feed from NOAA to our PSIM reported a thunderstorm warning 27 minutes before it was reported on the local news outlets, and the PSIM was able to guide the operator what should be done as preparatory procedures,” Merkle recounted.

Without exceptions, many perimeter and VCA setups at seaports produce false alarms. “The combination of basic perimeter fences with simple or smart cameras does not yield an adequate level of security in many cases,” said Hagai Katz, Senior VP of Marketing and Business Development, Magal Security Systems. “Ineffective perimeter protection can create many false alarms, which, in addition to being both time-consuming and costly to verify, can cause security personnel to lose vigilance.”

Fine-tuning the entire system should be carried out during initial installation, and should be performed by a trained integrator, recommended Aluisio Figueiredo, COO of Intelligent Security Systems.

One way to facilitate the process of phasing out the old and bringing in the new is to use encoders and digital virtual matrix switches, Chong said. This kind of hybrid infrastructure is common for today's seaports before becoming fully IP-based.

When migrating, vendors of older technologies/equipment may no longer be around, rendering APIs/ SDKs impossible to get. The standard work-around is through dry contacts, but then the network and some functions might be lost, Katz said.

“Usually, we try to find out what the protocol is via analyzers and network sniffers,” Figueiredo said. “If this proves to be unseccessful, we then use dry contacts and relays to integrate such systems.”

In the U.S., if solution providers go out of business, the support organization that received the rights and ownership of the software for interface support would be reached, said Pat Kiernan, Marketing Director for the Americas, Nice Systems.

“Almost all software providers have their code stored with a law office or similar entity as a protection for the customer in case of bankruptcy. It is usually a requirement in requests for proposal.”

“At the onset of a project, the seaport can request manufacturers to place designs in escrow that can be released to the port should they cease to offer a viable replacement or cease to exist,” Bowe added. “That way, the port can hire an integrator directly to maintain the applicable system component.”

Wouldn't ripping out the old system and switching to a completely new system be better? This comes down to a cost/benefit analysis of the end user. “Of course, if there is no one available to support the system, then little choice is left but to replace the old system when it begins to fail,” Bowe said. Also, once the seaport security personnel notices video loss or distrust in the existing system, it would be better to make way for a completely new system, Moore added.

For old equipment that is still up and running, Moore suggested moving it to a low-traffic, less critical area for a small cost without sacrificing security coverage. “The use of new technology in critical and high-traffic areas is highly recommended. With the advances made in HD, wide dynamic, megapixel and low-light cameras, seaports would be better off converting to better, newer technology.”


For large areas, using 100-percent wiring equates high TCO for the seaport authority. Conversely, using completely wireless connections may lead to instability of signals and bandwidth restrictions. Most seaports today use a combination of both for maximum ROI and performance.

“Starting in 2001, we began putting in both wired and wireless connections at the Port of Virginia,” Merkle said. “We used wireless to support areas with insufficient fiber capability, and it was less expensive, easier and faster to put in. However, wireless transmission is not as reliable, as there are still many disruptions during data streaming. In fact, for almost all areas we have converted to wired transmission.”

At many ports, wired transmission is used for places like the entrance, where many cameras need to be supported. The benefit of opting for wireless is the port's ability to leverage the network connection for other nonsecurity systems, said Donal Colfer, Integrated Solutions Group Manager in the U.K., ADT Fire & Security.

Increased usage of secured wireless technologies has been noted; however, bandwidth restrictions need to be taken into consideration, Chong said. “With LTE 700MHz frequency becoming available, there are wireless solutions that folks are beginning to try out. Yet, we will continue to see a hybrid of wireless communications and more traditional landlines for seaport environments in the near term.”

Wired or wireless transmission also affects the performance of so many new technologies now used by seaports. “For VCA to perform well, it needs sufficient video image quality and frame rate. If the connection from the camera to the command center is wired, the VCA processing can be performed anywhere along the connection,” Bowe said. “But if the connection from the camera to the command center hops across a wireless link at some point, it is best that the VCA be performed on the camera side, prior to the wireless hop.” This will afford it the best chance of successful image processing and notifications.