Integration Drives Stadium Security
a&s International | Date:
- Integration helps to minimize security loopholes.
- Mobile security, connected security and expanded security networks are key features of upcoming security technologies.
- Stadium security is extending beyond the gates of the stadium and into the surrounding city.
The coming few years promise to be filled with exciting sports competitions. The technologies that are protecting stadiums are rising to the security challenge. Current trends are pushing security technologies to be better integrated, expand their area of protection and have better mobility.
Recent advances in stadium and sports event security technologies are seeing greater integration, expanded protection areas and increased mobility. The first trend is linking of security efforts. Integration helps to minimize security loopholes. Putting in automatic processes or procedures uses security technologies in a more efficient manner.
The second trend is the expansion of security efforts outside of the event venues and into the cities. More coordinated and comprehensive security strategies are possible now with innovations in networking, integration and communication.
The third trend is mobile security technology that can move and adapt to changing security needs. These three trends will emerge again as different sports event security technology is discussed.
The arrival of PSIM technology allows connectivity between disparate security systems. “The PSIM software system enables city agencies to connect and leverage any number and variety of disparate physical security and information systems available across multiple agencies and private organizations into one common operating picture, including legacy security systems, without having to purchase new or additional hardware or implement custom coding,” said James Chong, founder and CTO, of VidSys.
This connectivity stretches security networks beyond traditional stadiums. “In the past, security was only configured within the stadium,” Chong said. “With PSIM, security now extends beyond the stadium to areas within the vicinity that are impacted by the event. Any physical security device — video cameras, sensors and so on — in the immediate areas can be integrated with the system, extending the security zone to increase situational awareness and management capabilities.”
Outside the arena, PSIM can manage traffic flow in cities by integrating with advanced traffic management systems. Organizers can see where congestion is, look at other security and event factors and react accordingly.
PSIM also demonstrates great security mobility. Since PSIM is software-based, it can be used to establish mobile command centers. Traditionally, only the fixed command center would receive all security feeds, but now mobile command centers can act as backup command centers to provide redundant coverage and additional eyes on the event as needed, Chong said.
Mobile security, connected security and expanded security networks are key features of upcoming security technologies. Finding ways to further push security technologies in these directions may help to further strengthen security efforts at stadiums
Wireless networks are easily deployed without major infrastructural changes, as opposed to wired networks. In the past few years, advances in wireless technology allow networks to be more stable with greater capacity. Often, these wireless networks are designed with video surveillance in mind, and can easily extend surveillance networks. For large-scale events, as there are usually several layers of security before reaching actual event venues, wireless networks can extend security into the city.
“The fact is that wireless is becoming more widely adopted and more recognized globally as a very fast, cost-effective way to deploy cameras around stadiums and transportation arteries,” said Geoffrey Smith, VP of Business Development and Strategic Accounts, Proxim Wireless. “It's one-tenth the cost of running fiber, and they can deploy it immediately, versus having to wait months and months for all the permits to be done, to trench the equipment and dig up the streets.”
For the 2010 Winter Olympics, wireless networks were deployed around Vancouver to backhaul video surveillance footage. These wireless networks were not only deployed around the Olympic venues, but throughout the city to keep an eye on the influx of people. In particular, transportation routes, like traffic signal controls, needed to be outfitted with security technology. In preparation for the 2010 Olympics, Vancouver also deployed an intelligent video solution into its public transportation system. Such security measures helped city management to keep an eye on crowds, congestion problems and evacuations from a venue, in the case of an emergency.
As networks extend into the city, they make it possible to implement security measures and catch threats before they reach the stadium. “We're seeing a big emphasis on safety and security around stadiums, but mostly around providing surveillance connectivity outside of the stadiums even throughout the city,” Smith said. “There is a lot of focus on the ports, on the cities, to prevent anything that is trying to get in. The city tries to address problems before they get there. That's why people are trying to secure the roadways, also related the stadium security — to control things when an incident happens. It's a coordinated effort between the city, transportation and the stadiums.”
At these large events, security is a national issue, and security is deployed far outside of the realm of a traditional stadium. Prior to an event, names of potential disturbances are solicited from other countries. At the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the North American Aerospace Defense Command monitored the skies for unusual activity. For the upcoming London Olympics, biometric information in the form of fingerprints and facial scans are being taken from more than 10,000 Olympic athletes and coaches for identification. Prevention is key for sports event security, which is exactly what extended networks help to do.