Security on a High Note

Security on a High Note

Musical instrument museum implement surveillance system upgrade with intelligent devices

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix is a 200,000 square-foot building with two floors of spacious, light-filled galleries and a collection of nearly 13,000 instruments and associated objects. The distinctive architecture evokes the topography of the Southwest, suggests the museum’s international scope, and expresses the universal role of music across all cultures.

MIM hosts more than 300,000 guests each year. As the world’s only global musical instrument museum, MIM creates an exciting experience for guests, immersing them in cultural traditions from around the world. Each exhibit includes high-quality audio and video that allows guests to see and hear the instruments being played in the cultures where they originate. Other popular attractions include MIM’s Artist Gallery, which features musical instruments linked to world-renowned musicians and music innovators, such as the Steinway piano on which John Lennon composed “Imagine.”

Spanning the two floors of the museum is the 300-seat MIM Music Theater. Designed with spacious seating and state-of-the-art acoustics, the intimate hall is a premier venue for performances, films and seminars about musical traditions from around the world.

With a mission to collect, preserve, and make accessible an astonishing variety of musical instruments and performance videos from every country in the world, MIM offers guests a welcoming and fun experience throughout the day with multiple live evening performances each week. The safety and security of visitors and staff and the protection of the museum’s extensive collection is an essential aspect of fulfilling its mission. With an active facility during both day and evening hours, the museum sought to upgrade its outdoor security surveillance system to improve the quality of the images around the clock.

The museum worked with IES Communications, a nationwide provider of integrated security solutions, to upgrade its outdoor surveillance system. Choosing HD cameras to replace the existing cameras, the system now consists of a combination of Bosch AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD, FLEXIDOME IP starlight 6000 VR, and AUTODOME IP 5000 IR cameras. The cameras provide high-quality images of the museum’s outdoor areas, which include an impressive courtyard at the main entrance, an additional courtyard at the student entry, an outdoor café and seating area for guests, as well as special events, and two parking lots.

Cameras with starlight technology provide clear images regardless of lighting conditions, delivering full-color images in the dark beyond the point where other cameras turn to monochrome images. As part of the project, the museum also installed new exterior LED lights, which enables the starlight cameras to produce full-color images throughout the night. The intelligent cameras feature built-in video analytics to alert the museum’s security operators to possible risks, such as detecting objects left behind or the gathering of large crowds that may create congestion in an area. With Intelligent Tracking, AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD cameras can also automatically track objects of interest as they move throughout a scene.

“The low-light performance of the starlight cameras is completely unmatched. They are producing beautiful color images all through the night,” said David Burger, security manager at the Musical Instrument Museum.

In addition, Bosch AUTODOME IP 5000 IR cameras are strategically placed in perimeter and other areas of the museum exterior where there is limited lighting at night. These pan-tilt-zoom cameras deliver 30x optical zoom and 1080p resolution and also feature a built-in intelligent IR beam that ensures optimum illumination of objects regardless of the level of zoom. This makes it possible to identify objects of interest at night.

“The quality of the images, the onboard video analytics that are included without an additional cost, and the reliability of the moving cameras were key factors in our decision,” continued Burger. “Our security operators are thrilled with the quality and operation of the cameras.”

One challenge with the installation was how to deliver data from the security cameras over long distances between remote locations and the headend network switches and servers. After receiving recommendations from IES Communications and Bosch, the museum selected Altronix’s Pace Long-Range Ethernet Solutions. Its capabilities translate into a highly-efficient and cost-effective solution that both improves overall security and reduces end users’ total cost of ownership.

Using a Pace8PRM multi-port receiver at the headend, along with Pace1ST transceivers at each device, the museum successfully deployed the Bosch high-resolution IP cameras beyond the standard Ethernet range of 100 meters. Using existing Cat-6 cable, Pace transmits Ethernet data at 100 MBps at distances of up to 500 meters, which exceeded the museum‘s requirements.

With the Altronix Pace solution, the museum did not need to replace existing cabling, which delivered a cost savings for the overall project without sacrificing performance. It also provided a higher return on the museum’s initial infrastructure investment.

“We are definitely pleased with the ease of use of the Pace system,” Burger said. “It’s a completely plug-and-play system. It works great with all of our existing network equipment and infrastructure. It was pretty seamless for us to achieve integration with the new cameras.”

In addition, the design of the Pace solution is rugged enough to handle the intense heat and other weather conditions related to Arizona’s climate, where temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit are normal throughout the summer months. “It speaks to the quality of the manufacturers,” Burger said.

Video throughout the exterior and interior of the museum is monitored around the clock by using Security Center from Genetec. The seamless integration of Bosch IP cameras with the unified security platform ensures security operators can receive video analytic alerts directly within Security Center. Real-time monitoring allows museum staff to proactively address possible risks, as they are happening, to enhance overall security and safety at the museum.

This article originally appeared in the March 2018 issue of Security Today.

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