In a major surveillance upgrade, Eurotunnel's French passenger terminal has deployed a distributed IP video solution from IndigoVision. Used for security, traffic management and immigration control, the networked surveillance system has transformed Eurotunnel's surveillance operation.
Eurotunnel manages the Channel Tunnel fixed link between the U.K. and France and operates the shuttle service for tourist vehicles or trucks. It also shares the track with rail freight and passenger trains passing through the tunnel. As with any major transport hub, Eurotunnel has a demanding and diverse environment for surveillance and security, requiring a distributed system that can deliver high-quality live and recorded video to many different users located throughout the site. The new 340-camera upgrade, which was designed and installed by IndigoVision's approved Partner, ClearView Communications, monitors all areas of the operation including passenger terminal, parking areas, loading operation, ticket booths and offices.
"Recent changes in French regulations meant that we decided to upgrade our existing surveillance equipment to a higher specification," said Sylvain Pamart, Chief PM at Eurotunnel. "We knew we wanted to replace the analog system with a digital virtual matrix to give us the flexibility and scalability required for the new regulations and for future expansion."
The existing analog system was replaced because it could only record at 1 fps in SIF resolution video for three days, considerably less than the new regulations require. The switching matrix also had little spare capacity and would have been expensive to upgrade. Eurotunnel now has a surveillance system that can record 25 fps at 4SIF for 31 days. In the future, cameras can be added at any point on the network, including HD network cameras, which can be freely mixed with the existing standard resolution cameras. The hardware footprint has also been considerably reduced, freeing valuable space in the equipment room.
"One of the many reasons we chose IndigoVision was their flexible licensing and pricing model," Pamart said. "The company's security management software is free of charge for viewing camera feeds. We only pay for the channels we record based on the frame rate and resolution. Eurotunnel only needs to record at 6 fps/2SIF, thereby saving us money; however, should the regulations or our requirements change in the future we can increase this by simply changing the license."
Operators located in multiple control rooms view live and recorded video using PC workstations running Control Center, IndigoVision's security management software. The wide distribution of the system allows these workstations to be located at any point on the network. The various control rooms have combinations of stand-alone workstations with monitors and traditional video walls and are operated by the security and traffic management departments. With the correct permissions any operator can view any camera from any part of the system.
"The features and analysis tools offered by Control Center are excellent," Pamart said. "The user interface is very intuitive, which ensured the new system was quickly and easily adopted by the operators. Control Center software also ensured that Eurotunnel surpassed the requirements of the new regulations, including a full operator audit trail and tamperproof evidential video."
Eurotunnel uses advanced analytics to aid their video analysis within control center. For example, analytics can be used to automatically detect vehicles moving in the opposite direction to the normal flow of traffic. These powerful functions allow operators to quickly identify relevant video clips following an incident.
It was important for Eurotunnel's IT department to manage a system that was easy to configure and maintain. Using a Control Center workstation located in the maintenance office, the support team is instantly notified of a problem or fault with any component in the system. Video recording is achieved using IndigoVision's stand-alone NVRs, which are rack-mounted in the equipment room. Nineteen 1.5GB NVRs have been installed, together with an additional three that are used as backups.