Bosch Cameras Weather Tough Climate at the Gulf of Mexico

Cameras from Bosch Security Systems have been selected to feed a Coastal Remote Monitoring Program for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division. Chosen for the camera's ability to withstand wet conditions, high temperatures and corrosive salt water, the thermal cameras capture high-quality images in tough climatic environments along Alabama's 200 miles of coastline.

Alabama's Marine Resources Division enlisted the assistance of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center/Geospatial Training and Application Center (GTAC) to design a ruggedized video surveillance solution that would be accessible to all of its law enforcement personnel in the field. The system produces useable images in light, dark and foggy conditions. The system enables Marine Resources Division officers to remotely view video and still images from cameras and control PTZ functions, using a smart phone or laptop computer to investigate potential security risks. Featuring up to 36x optical zoom, Bosch cameras enable officers to identify vessels and read markings on ships nearly two miles away. And, with dual thermal/optical operation, the cameras provide round-the-clock surveillance.

With more than 750 square miles in Mobile Bay and 11,000 square miles in the Gulf of Mexico patrolled by less than 20 officers, the video system helps secure strategic locations throughout the area.

“The Coastal Remote Monitoring System is a force multiplier,” said Major Chris Blankenship, Acting Director for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division. “In one incident, our officers were able to remotely investigate a suspicious vessel near a chemical plant and determine the boat was not a threat. Having mobile access to video from the cameras saved the officers 50 miles of boating and several man-hours.”

Using fiber and wireless connections, the cameras send video to appliances created by Crystal Data. The appliances convert video to the format preferred by the individual user. “The appliances allow the law enforcement officers to have access to video or still images from the cameras whether they are on a boat, in a car or at the Marine Resource Division's central office,” said Tim Erwin, President of Crystal Data.

The system records all video and retains it for extended periods. Archived video is watermarked with the department's logo and stamped with the location, date and time and can be used as evidence for legal proceedings.

“Many of the currently installed locations push the capability and functionality of the cameras to the maximum and we have been thrilled at the way they perform,” said Chris Johnson, Senior VP, U.S. Space & Rocket Center/Geospatial Training and Application Center. Cameras are designed to provide surveillance in tough environments. The cameras feature a six millimeter thick housing. The IP 68-rating makes them ideal for ports, industrial and critical infrastructure locations. An integrated silicone wiper enables the cameras to capture the quality images regardless of conditions.

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