South Dakota operation employs security in rural setting
- By Wendi Burke
- Nov 01, 2012
A large agriculture operation in central South Dakota selected Dakota
Security Systems to deploy an IP video surveillance system consisting
of two HD megapixel indoor dome cameras and 12 HD megapixel
exterior dome cameras from IQinVision. All camera input is managed
by Milestone XProtect video management software through an NVR located in
the farm’s central shop office. Surveillance footage is recorded and stored for a
minimum of 30 days at six frames per second.
Wireless Mesh Network
Seven of the exterior cameras are connected to the system remotely by a Tropos
Networks wireless mesh network that transmits the images from various areas of
the farm, some from as far as 4,000 feet away from where the network equipment
is located. Dakota Security’s wireless infrastructure not only transmits the camera
images to be recorded by the NVR but also provides secure wireless Internet access
at broadband speeds. Secure wireless Internet access is available throughout
the main property, fields and the original homestead, located nearly one mile away.
The owner of this farm does not live onsite with the buildings and equipment,
and while the operation has not experienced any major problems with vandalism or theft, leveraging an advanced IP video security system empowers the owner to be well prepared for any trouble that may occur. Farm equipment and outbuildings
can be worth tens of thousands of dollars, or more. One unobserved or unsolved
incident is more than most farming operations can handle.
Having an IP video surveillance system allows the owner to connect remotely
to the cameras from anywhere to view live or recorded surveillance footage of his
buildings, equipment and operations from his laptop, smartphone or tablet device.
This ability to connect remotely when he is traveling.
The owner of this IP video system previously had an analog surveillance system
installed by what he described as a one-man, “fly-by-night” security installer. The
legacy analog system had major limitations: it could be viewed only locally with a
TV monitor, and it did not offer the benefits of IP video, including high-resolution
images, remote access, flexibility, scalability and ease of use. The owner described
installing the old analog system as a “learning experience.” He was never able to
get support for the equipment, and after a power surge, the system never recovered
and lost its value and utility quite quickly.
Benefits of a Connected Operation
Having secure wireless Internet access from anywhere on the expansive property
provides many benefits beyond surveillance for the modern-day agricultural operation.
For example, the owner is now able to record all of his chemical application
notes into his laptop onsite, while he is performing the work, and then email the
paperwork from the field. The site’s agronomist also is able to record all of his
notes and have them uploaded directly from the farm while he is performing the
work. Such accurate, instant information can improve the speed and efficiency of
an operation while safeguarding all the data—all of which contributes positively
to the operation’s bottom line.
The IP video system owner also sees many future benefits of having a connected
farm operation, including bin and fuel storage monitoring. Controlling and
monitoring buildings, equipment and operations from a remote location makes his
operation more efficient, he said. The owner added that he likes the flexibility of
the wireless mesh network and foresees future expansion that includes the ability
to extend video surveillance to more of his buildings and property.
Continued Support is Crucial
In addition to selecting Dakota Security to design and install the IP video and
wireless mesh components, the owner also selected the company to provide continued
support for his system. By selecting a premium support plan, he is able to
control service costs on the system and ensure 100 percent uptime. For an absentee
owner, such support enables him to have a state-of-the art system without having
to worry about maintenance or having the technical know-how required to ensure
its functionality. Such plans usually provide regular inspections, preventative
maintenance and training to ensure that security standards and system performance
Contributing to the Bottom Line
IP video and wireless mesh network systems provide ease of use, scalability, flexibility
and operational efficiencies that have the potential to provide a significant
return in relatively short order and to deliver significant security benefits for many
years into the future. Anyone who knows about farming knows
that employing such technology to increase security and create
greater efficiencies is essential to maintaining the operation and
creating measureable profit.
This article originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of Security Today.