Iconic Shanghai

Iconic Shanghai

Video system watches over WorldExpo Culture Center

Shanghai WorldExpo Culture Center, shaped like a flying saucer—and often referred to as the “Spaceship”—is one of Shanghai’s iconic buildings. Its total area is 125,945 square meters with a building height of 40 meters. When the time came to create a surveillance system that would protect people and property, organizers wanted the video system to be as modern and flexible as the rest of the center. It was especially important to ensure that there would be no “dark spots” throughout the entire complex.

Organizers chose Infinova cameras, modems and matrix switches to provide security for the multiple six-story facilities that make up the complex, including its 18,000-seat theater. Cameras have been installed at entrances and exits, garages, fire control passages, stairways, control rooms, elevators, elevator halls and other important areas. The video surveillance system is linked with the WorldExpo Center’s burglar alarm, access control and parking lot management systems.

Both fixed-color cameras and mini-dome cameras are installed at indoor corridors and halls. Among the attributes of the fixed cameras are a high-resolution 1/3-inch CCD sensor and excellent low-light operation. Areas with lighting fluctuations, such as at the entrance and exit, leverage wide-dynamic-range day/night cameras, which can increase exposures in darker areas and decrease exposure in brighter areas. Details otherwise lost are simultaneously captured vividly with more clarity and color vibrancy regardless of lighting conditions.

IP speed-dome cameras also are installed at other important areas, such as at the square, perimeters and basement, where it is important to create high-resolution images. All cameras are configured with auto-iris lenses.

Video signals are managed at the video control center, providing forensic records via transmission and evidence recording. The system automatically and dynamically adjusts camera angles and selects the most effective views and what to display.

Due to the expansiveness of the center, a variety of transmission distances and types of transmission mode for video, control and power signals, the signal transmission system is complex. The distance to many cameras from the control center is longer than standard coaxial cable can effectively handle. For transmission beyond 500 yards, fiber optic modems are deployed with signals from/to the camera being transmitted to and from the control room via fiber. SYV75-5 coaxial cable is used for distances up to 300 yards, and SYV75-7 coax carries transmissions between 300 to 500 yards. A centralized power supply provides power for the camera modules.

All monitoring of the center takes place in the video control room. This control center provides video recalls, priority settings and system linkage. With a large-scale monitor, guards are able to see clear images and respond quickly in any emergency. At the core of the control room is an Infinova V2060 large-scale matrix switcher that supports 4,096x512 channels. With it, WorldExpo Center security management can predefine tours, time events and set alarm displays.

With so many cameras deployed, it is impossible to display real- time video images for all cameras simultaneously in the control center. Instead, when an alarm occurs, an alarm-handling routine is triggered and the matrix switcher calls the live video from the camera that triggered the incident and displays it on the monitor. Using this solution, the video surveillance system can manage alarms from multiple inputs, including the burglar alarm, access control and parking lot management systems.

The system automatically adjusts the camera angle and sets the camera for the best view. Since there are so many cameras involved, it is impossible to get complete real-time video images from all cameras at once in the control center. Thus, an alarm line was configured. When an invasion alarm occurs, the alarm signal drives the relay control module via the RS485 interface and triggers the 32-channel alarm host, calling up the image of the alarm site via the matrix switcher. An image from any channel can be switched and displayed on any monitor at a predefined time.

At the center, video information must be stored for a long time for future search and playback. Images from all devices are stored on a multi-channel DVR that provides image quality identical to that of a DVD. Leveraging H.264 compression, the system also provides multi-view display, motion detection, digital recording, playback, image search and management, back-up, pan/tilt and lens control, speed dome control, video loss alarm and temperature inspection.

As one of the symbolic, and busy, venues of Shanghai, the WorldExpo Center has many guests and dignitaries visiting. Therefore, a system that provides reliable security for today yet offers scalability for future needs was an absolute necessity. The new surveillance system helps advocate the theme of the WorldExpo—Better City, Better Life—by keeping staff and patrons safe.

This article originally appeared in the December 2011 issue of Security Today.

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