IndigoVision Upgrades Scottish Harbor Surveillance System

The UK's largest port serving the North Sea oil and gas industry has upgraded its surveillance recording with a future-proof solution from IndigoVision. Aberdeen Harbor in Scotland has replaced its existing DVR equipment with NVRs to create a hybrid surveillance system that delivers leading-edge video recording and archive analysis tools. The hybrid approach allows the harbor to maintain its existing analog surveillance infrastructure, while accessing the image quality and capability that an IP video solution provides. When deciding to upgrade its system, the harbor recognized the importance of archiving high-quality evidential video and having a surveillance platform that could easily be expanded in the future.

"We are delighted with the new IndigoVision recording solution. The system is a huge improvement on the previous equipment and has greatly enhanced our surveillance capability at the harbor," said Ken Reilly, Engineering Director of Aberdeen Harbor.

Aberdeen Harbor handles around 5 million tons of cargo a year and is the centre of activity for the offshore oil and gas industry's marine support operations in northwest Europe. This creates a complex security environment, with the need to monitor staff and public safety, manage traffic and shipping movements, protect assets, detect criminal activity and combat terrorism. Advanced search and analysis of recorded video is therefore an essential tool for the harbor and law enforcement agencies.

"The approach we took to upgrading the video recording solution ensured that there was minimal disruption to the surveillance operation," said Liam Mowat, Engineering Manager of Scottish Communications, IndigoVision's partner who designed and installed the upgrade. "There was also no retraining required as the front-end surveillance control room remained unchanged. Adding a networked-based IP video solution to the existing equipment has given the port a simple migration path to a fully distributed IP surveillance solution for the future."

IndigoVision's 8000 series MPEG-4 transmitter modules are used to convert the analog camera feeds to DVD-quality video for streaming onto the network. The NVRs, which together with the 8000 modules are rack-mounted in the harbor's IT suite, record video directly from the network. The NVRs provide a 31-day archive, recording all cameras at 4CIF at 25fps. IndigoVision's advanced compression technology ensures both the network bandwidth and recorder storage are minimized. This is reduced by the use of IndigoVision's activity controlled frame rate (ACF) feature, built-in on the 8000 modules. ACF reduces the amount of video that is transmitted from a camera during periods of scene inactivity. As soon as motion is detected, the 8000 automatically starts streaming video at the maximum configured frame rate.

Operators in the IT suite use a workstation running Control Center, IndigoVision's security management software, to review and analyze recorded video. Evidential video clips can be exported for use by the police and other agencies. Should the harbor wish to expand the system in the future any component, such as cameras, NVRs or workstations, can be installed at any point on the network, creating a truly distributed system.

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