Texas Airport Protects Black Hawk Helicopters With Wireless Video Surveillance

Airport officials at the Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport in Temple, Texas, can now watch over ground crews and protect military assets using a wireless video surveillance network.

Located near Fort Hood, one of the largest military bases in the world, the Central Texas airport helps control access to Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and other military aircraft being refurbished by AMCOM/Dyncorp. Solutions provider RedMoon Inc. used equipment from Firetide Inc., a developer of wireless mesh and access networks, to provide the critical wireless infrastructure required for this video surveillance deployment.

Central Texas airport officials took every precaution to help AMCOM/Dyncorp protect and prevent tampering with government property worth millions of dollars. Airport officials are able to monitor live video feeds from cameras located around the tarmac. Fixed cameras also photograph license plates as vehicles enter airport property.

“Firetide helps the airport mitigate risk by giving us more control,” said Alan Deloera, information technology director for the City of Temple. “We house significant national assets on our property, and knowing that we are using one of the most advanced video surveillance networks to protect them gives us peace of mind.”

The installation on the 1.5 square mile airport also provides airport workers with increased visibility of airplane ground traffic. The fact that airport personnel can see what’s happening in real-time on the airport property helps deter theft, increase traveler safety, and quickly react to tarmac intruders. The video surveillance network has also increased efficiency of the 300-strong airport workforce by improving aircraft traffic management.

“The alternative to the Firetide network was to trench and install fiber, which easily would cost $200,000 to $300,000 more,” said Bill Young, government sales representative for RedMoon Inc. “Security, flexibility and cost-effectiveness are the criteria for security officials, and the Firetide mesh network delivers all of these while quick and simple to install.”

Firetide HotPort nodes stream video footage from nine surveillance cameras to a local command center. Video footage is stored for 30 days at the airport for later review before being transferred to CDs for permanent archival. The airport network is connected to the city-owned-and-operated wireless network, allowing officials at city hall -- located six miles from the airport -- to tap into the live video feed. The City of Temple used the network to provide security for a recent air show, which drew 25,000 spectators, including many families.

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