IP Video On Board
- By Brian Leland
- Mar 01, 2010
Safeguarding people moving across a city, such as the Sao Paulo mass transit system, or shipping freight by air around the world has become a major security challenge. Terrorists have all too often selected transportation venues as their targets for mayhem.
Not only do security officials need to watch the hundreds of thousands of passengers who travel day in and out, but also keep a continuous eye on all transportation infrastructure locales. For instance, not only must a railroad’s surveillance system be on the outlook for suspicious passenger behavior but it needs to consistently monitor tracks whether or not a train is going by.
With the emergence of ever-increasing security demands, transportation hubs -- from airports and seaports to transportation infrastructures including freight haulers and subways -- have recognized the need for advanced video security management systems.
The complex surveillance systems of a these organizations can be quite expensive. Thus, most transportation venues are installing systems that embrace both new and legacy surveillance components within a large-scale, open-architecture video platform that provides optimal networking performance.
While digital systems constitute only 15 percent of all installed video surveillance systems, the percentage of IP video systems dramatically increases when discussing video solutions at transportation venues. For instance, traffic monitoring systems are now 30-40 percent IP while digital already constitutes 40 percent of all airport surveillance systems.
Today, there are many transportation customers who will specify nothing but an IP video solution. Almost all airports, seaports and other transportation hubs install IP video surveillance systems.
Continued Area Of Growth
With IP digital video solutions, transportation security staff can better validate what they are seeing with an increased clarity of image. This helps staff stop a possible incident as soon as it is detected. They can also often prevent incidents before occurring. And along with enhanced recording tools, perpetrators can be easily identify afterwards.
Megapixel cameras, especially, are inciting the above-average growth of IP video in transportation surveillance solutions. There are several reasons why.
First, megapixel cameras produce very clear images. Without clarity, facial, license plate recognition software and other video analytics systems that transportation managements want to deploy cannot be effective. Transportation security managers are selecting megapixel cameras, which provide higher resolution progressive scan images, instead of analog PTZ, with lower resolution interlaced scan images, or even standard digital IP PTZ cameras for these locales.
In some applications, a megapixel network camera covers the same area as other cameras but with a greatly improved of picture quality. For example, a high resolution analog camera provides a resolution of 704x480 while a megapixel camera provides a resolution of 1280x1024, a significant difference.
In other applications, megapixel cameras cover a much wider area than standard cameras. This means a transportation venue can choose a megapixel camera with four times the resolution of a standard camera or even a 3.1 megapixel camera with 10 times the resolution of a standard camera.
The cameras display perfect picture quality equal to what people see with the naked eye. For example, motion adaptive DNR takes the typical dark gray images and makes them clear. Digital image stabilization removes the blurs of motion, providing a crisp still image.
The cameras also incorporate a low light noise reduction and color suppression function. In addition, the extended dynamic range feature corrects the problems of darkness and brightness which render images unreadable. Wide dynamic range provides clear images even under back light circumstances, removing problems of glare.
Such technology increases exposure in shadowed areas and decreases exposure in bright areas, delivering a light-corrected image that shows crucial details clearly. It even adjusts for different lighting conditions within the same image.
While ordinary surveillance cameras are affected by glare, reflections, backlighting and shadows that obscure important details, megapixel camera technologies let users see everything.
In the large areas that transportation surveillance applications cover, there is always the possibility that either a camera or the network itself can become inoperable.
So it is highly suggested that the camera used be vandal-proof and weatherproof plus provide on-board storage.
Preferred is flashcard storage of up to 12 Gigabytes, approximately two days of gathered video. Better yet is the ability for the camera to be able to store the surveillance video in standard analog, JPEG and MPEG-4. Most users want to deploy both. JPEG assures high quality video while MPEG-4 provides more efficient streaming. With a dual streaming IP camera system, the application gets the best of both worlds.
Mobile Cameras On The Go
Increasing numbers of subway, rail line and bus line operators are incorporating mobile cameras to protect passengers as well as shield from lawsuits resulting from slips and falls.
Incidents range from drivers reporting the dangerous driving of other road users, and elderly passengers tripping and falling all the way to car crashes. From the moment the system is installed on the bus, it starts reducing false claims. After an incident, security personnel can access stored video footage from the bus and clarify who was at fault.
The system also cut down on vandalism, which can be a major expense for any transit agency. Experience has shown that once the graffiti artists are aware of surveillance, they’re less likely to perform acts of vandalism.
A transit police vehicle can also be equipped so that it can be used to pursue a bus if problems develop onboard. The vehicle is fitted with a mobile access point that allows the pursuit vehicle to discreetly access the bus’s system and monitor events in real-time from a safe distance.
These systems’ cameras offload their video wirelessly via 3G and 4G networks. The car’s DVR is addressed remotely using a cellular network.
The monitor needs to be high resolution as well. Many integrators overlook this aspect of the system and customers are initially very disappointed in the quality of the image.