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Bringing Security up to Par at International Ports

Bringing Security up to Par at International Ports

Security providers devise ways to bring integrated and sophisticated solutions to ports around the world.

Mobotix Watches Over Panama Ports Company
Mobotix installed the video surveillance system at Panama Ports Company (PPC), a member of the Hutchison Port Holdings, which operates 255 berths in 44 ports across the world. PPC operates two ports in Panama: Port of Balboa Container, located at the end of the Panama Canal over the Pacific Ocean, and Port of Cristobal Container, located at the end of the Panama Canal over the Atlantic Ocean.

Specifically, PPC sought the following improvements: overall high-resolution image quality, low-maintenance systems able to withstand weather conditions of an ocean environment, and the ability to survey wider areas in greater detail with each individual camera. Mobotix's high-resolution, intelligent cameras and analytical software better protect ports, employees and cargo from theft, injury and acts of terrorism.

During the initial phase, 54 Mobotix network cameras were installed at PPC, with two cameras 300 feet apart on each crane. The cameras monitor entrances and remote areas to relieve manual surveillance. Multiple configurations include single or dual lens, wide angle or telephoto, and day or low-light, which provide flexibility to deploy the same basic camera type in a wide range of specific viewing requirements with varying lighting conditions — a critical consideration at ports.

Image Quality at Large
The image quality of Mobotix cameras exceeds PPC's original CCTV system, thanks to the integrated image-processing software at the edge. Its megapixel camera system can display and record up to 30 times more resolution than a regular CCTV system.

The dual-lens feature serves PPC's need to cover very large areas — another common problem faced by video surveillance at ports.

Sustaining Weather Conditions
PPC has particular concerns related to the weather conditions of a tropical coastal environment: salty air, frequent wind-driven rain and intense heat and humidity. Mobotix cameras are built to withstand extreme environmental conditions: from minus 30 to 60 degrees Celsius (minus 22 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit). Fiberglass reinforced and shock-resistant, Mobotix cameras protect the network cable and connections against vandalism as well as severe weather conditions. As such, the durability of these cameras overcomes problems of salty air, lenses fogging up or systems being damaged by extreme conditions.

Additional Advantages
Mobotix cameras also have audio features embedded, triggering alarms that warn individuals to stay away from secure or dangerous areas, as well as allowing PPC to communicate directly with employees if they are spotted in danger. The ability to see more with one camera and to preprogram both video and audio alerts, coupled with higher quality images, have been extremely beneficial to PPC's security operations.

Due to its high level of satisfaction, Hutchinson Port Holdings intends to install 400 more cameras from Mobotix over the next few months.

Identica Prevents Unauthorized Access at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
As one of Canada's largest and busiest port authorities, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) handles goods worth more than US$42.3 billion, from and to more than 100 economies annually, generating an estimated $5-billion in GDP.

The VFPA recently chose Identica's vascular scanners for its most restricted areas, to oversee access for a staff of 200 who have varying security clearances. To account for people ranging from executives to longshoremen, the chosen access control system is non-invasive and easy to use every day.

Why Vascular?
Vascular-pattern recognition works by taking a picture of the veins laid out in the back of a person's hand. Related biometric data is stored in a card; a person then presents the card to the reader and scans the back of his or her hand beneath the sensor, and the template on the card is electronically matched to the scanned vascular pattern. The VFPA can now enroll a new person's card in the system in less than 10 seconds, speeding up enrollment and overall system efficiency. Fifty Identica scanners were installed at the IT and utility rooms as well as other high-security facilities on site.

This technology was chosen because it overcomes the harsh conditions of ports that compromise traditional fingerprint technologies, including water, dirt, grime and other obstructions that prevent accurate readings. Additionally, employees concerned about where their biometric template is stored or what the authorities are doing with such personal information have no issues with vascular-pattern recognition because vascular scans are not left behind like fingerprints are. There is no centralized database of each individual's vascular scan; it is read and stored only in the card that each authorized individual carries.

To date, the VFPA has overcome all minor hiccups regarding implementation of this state-of-the-art technology. First, all biometric sensors must be installed at exactly the same height because differing heights might catch slightly skewed vascular patterns, causing a mismatch when the person should be granted access. Second, some existing access control systems did not have the level of infrastructure or sophistication to deal with such high-end technology. The Identica scanners were thus modified to work with existing proximity cards as well as smart cards so users could adopt systems slowly and easily.

Honeywell Security Brings Integration to the Port of Wilmington
The Port of Wilmington, Delaware is one of the busiest import/export gateways on the east coast of North America, handling more than 400 vessels and nearly five million tons of cargo per year. To abide by the new standards set out by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Diamond State Port — the manager of the Port of Wilmington — launched a project to secure 100 percent of its perimeter. Additionally, Diamond State also strengthened its access control systems to better protect employees and prevent potential theft from remote warehouses.

Perimeter Protection
The Port of Wilmington's existing security infrastructure depended on Honeywell Security's partnership with Advantech to bring security measures in line with the port's evolving needs.

For video surveillance, a wide-area system consisting of special fixed cameras monitors the entire perimeter of the port. Ruggedized PTZ and day/night cameras have also been placed along the perimeter for threat interrogation and tracking. Integrated with the original gate security surveillance system, the existing DVRs were reinforced with four terabytes of additional storage and video management software. Initially, the port's varied perimeter landscape made accessing video data a challenge; however, the team quickly came up with a solution, designing a complete fiber-optic network which was placed throughout the port's premises to transmit images back to the recorders.

Access Control
To comply with the Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) initiative, the Port of Wilmington needed a single card solution; however, newer smart cards were incompatible with its existing card readers. Drivers and employees had to carry two cards, making administration more difficult and costly. Honeywell carefully assessed the entire system and devised a solution to enable new cards to work with existing card readers and security software. Now, upon presenting a card to the reader, the transportation worker's picture pops up for the gate operator to verify against the live video feed from the camera. If the operator does not get a match, he or she can override the gate's automatic response.

As a result of the integration, the Port of Wilmington now has one system in place with one card, boasting an up-to-par and easy-to-operate access control system.

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