The preparations for the soccer World Cup in South Africa are in full swing. One of the most crucial aspects with such a major event is guaranteeing the safety and security of the thousands of visitors. The Soccer City as well as the Coca-Cola Park Stadium have fundamentally modernized their respective video surveillance systems. They both rely on a consistent IP solution supplied by German manufacturer Dallmeier .
Until the opening match of the World Cup, major reconstruction and modernization works will have to be completed at Soccer City. The building works are so comprehensive that they practically equal a new construction from the bottom up. Once completed, the stadium will accommodate approximately 95,000 spectators. Ninety-nine VIP lounges, 6,000 business seats and exclusive restaurants provide top-class convenience at the largest of the World Cup stadiums. Besides its size Soccer City primarily impresses with its extraordinary architecture. Its facade is reminiscent of a calabash, a traditional African clay pot. Furthermore, the stadium houses a museum dedicated to the history of South African football. Right next to the building are the headquarters of South Africa's football association SAFA, which will also accommodate the FIFA offices for the duration of the World Cup.
On the occasion of the soccer World Cup 2010, the Coca-Cola Park Stadium in Johannesburg, which was originally built in 1928 under the name "Ellis Park" as a rugby stadium, has also expanded its seating capacities. Now, a total of 70,000 enthusiastic fans can be seated at the stadium. The necessary reconstruction works have been completed and so the stadium could already be used during the FIFA Confederation Cup in 2009.
The additional numbers of cheering fans though also consequently increases the risk for potentially dangerous situations. Uncontrolled crowds, a tight squeeze, or physical fights between different fan groups are probably among the scenarios most feared by security staff. In order to be able to prevent any such escalations in the first place a sophisticated video security system by German manufacturer Dallmeier and local system integrator Engineered Systems Solutions, who was subsequently also responsible for the installation and commissioning of the system, provides for the necessary overview. "We rely on Dallmeier products because the technology is highly reliable and, yet, at the same time, easy to use for the security operator," said Jose Oliveira, Manager at Engineered Systems Solutions.
"Besides providing for increased safety and security for the visitors the new surveillance/IP systems also offer the stadiums a clear financial benefit. Considering the numerous international fans it's an advantage that the system can help to rebut potential foreign legal claims in case anything should happen," said Frank Oetjen, SM at Dallmeier.
When it came to choosing the cameras, it was decided to go with Dallmeier network cameras. The system includes both fixed dome and high-speed PTZ cameras.
The network cameras are equipped with the tried and trusted technology, which allows for the recording of clear, high-contrast images, even under the most difficult lighting conditions. Those include frequent changes between shadows and lights as they occur in sports stadiums. Individual persons' faces can also be clearly identified at great distances.
The camera images are recorded on Dallmeier recorders. These video network systems of the "In Memory of Leonardo" series, with up to 24 IP-based video channels, support MPEG-4, M-JPEG, and H.264 compression methods. The integrated functionality far exceeds the usual five Pentaplex standards. The system allows simultaneous recording, streaming, backup, live display and playback at the recorder or via a network. Additionally, remote network access for configuration and transcoding via a network is also possible. Every channel can be recorded up to 25 fps. The Linux operating system on Flash memory guarantees highest reliability and three high-performance fans, with automatic revolution adjustment, provide for optimal ventilation. In the case of a hard disk failure the Easy-Change functionality of the exchangeable hard disks located at the front side of the device ensures for highest possible maintenance-friendliness.
The respective systems are controlled and operated using the high-performance security management system. The system enables the easy control and administration of different streams of media data and offers live display and recording of video/audio data at any point within a networked system. Operating procedures and complex controls can be stored so that the security personnel at both the Soccer City and Coca-Cola Park Stadiums can operate their systems conveniently and intuitively. The GUI, into which site plans of the stadiums were integrated, gives every user a quick overview of the cameras and dedicated monitors via a comprehensive graphic display.
The systems are complemented by several video management centers. With its three components (joystick, jog-shuttle, and keyboard with monitor) it combines, neatly arranged, all the functionalities that one can expect from a modern video management system. Using the functions of the jog-shuttle it is easy to find images within video sequences. By turning the central Jog Dial security operators are able to conveniently move through individual frames. The joystick allows for smooth control of moveable cameras so that PTZ functions can be carried out intuitively. Furthermore, the joystick can also be used for navigating through the on-screen menu of the management software.
Aside from the stadiums themselves the outdoor areas are also monitored by high-resolution Dallmeier network cameras. Depending on the area of application, the system uses high-speed PTZ dome cameras, box cameras or vandal-resistant dome cameras. The latter also provide for the necessary security around critical areas. Therefore the complete surroundings of the stadiums, including streets and access roads, are reliably monitored. The combination of surveillance systems across various locations consequently enhances the security throughout each of the precincts.
The security concept is rounded off by incorporating the two train stations which are close to the stadiums into the surveillance system. The train station alone, which is just a short walk from the Soccer City Stadium, is monitored by more than 100 network cameras, and the same applies to the New Doornfontein Station at the Coca-Cola Park Stadium. In the course of the modernization works, the train stations were also completely rebuilt. After all, thousands of fans will be conveyed there during the World Cup.
Now, the new and well-lit train stations correspond to all the latest requirements, including security precautions. "Actually the stadiums currently have no plan for any further rebuilding and expansion works, but you never know what the future brings," Oliveira said.
In any case, the video systems could keep up with any construction developments as its open architecture makes it flexible and scalable. Thus, modifications and adjustments regarding future requirements can be made at any time. "The fact that the technology offers long-term investment protection was another decisive reason for choosing Dallmeier," Oliveira said. "The stadium operators are very satisfied with the surveillance system."