Technology at Work - Ports, Terminals and Transportation Security - July 2011
Security on the Move
Transportation, like other industries, is under pressure to increase security to protect both travelers and transportation equipment. IP networks are being installed as separate networks or integrated into information or control networks to address security needs in shipyards, on roadways and on airport rail links.
A good example is the Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link (SARL), completed in 2010. It is an airport rail link that extends 28 km from the airport, through six rail stations to a terminus at the Phaya Thai Station in Bangkok. AES Group Ltd was hired to develop a state-of-the art IP-based video surveillance system for the public area on concourses, at platforms, at escalators, stairs, and passageways, as well as station entrances, ticketing and fare collection areas. Five different types of IP-enabled cameras were installed, comprising both fixed and pan-tilt-zoom operation. All cameras stream MPEG4 and MJPG video over a dedicated CCTV LAN back to the network video recorder.
The fixed cameras, located on the train platforms and in the concourse, are equipped with GarrettCom Magnum PES42 Power over Ethernet (PoE) Edge Switches, hardened for installation in environmentally challenging environments, both in terms of temperature and contaminants. The PES42s’ PoE ports eliminate the cost of running new power lines alongside the network cabling, while two additional ports are configurable to support fiber connectivity to the backbone. At remote locations where cameras were installed at distances beyond the operational limits of Cat5e copper wiring, AES Group used fiber runs and Magnum CS14 Converter Switches for Ethernet copper-to-fiber media conversion.
The SARL CCTV communications subsystem provides travelers using the airport, as well as suburban locals with a secure, state of-the-art surveillance system to complement the efficient new rail system that dramatically reduces travel time between Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi Airport. — Contributed by GarrettCom
Port Demands a Rugged Under-Vehicle Surveillance System
When the Port of Praia in the Cape Verdes upgraded its access control security systems, port managers wanted a flexible and easy-to-use system for scanning the underside of vehicles to check for bombs, smuggling, and other illicit activities. Working with Soltráfeg as the prime contractor and system integrator, port officials selected the Flex Series under vehicle surveillance system (UVSS) from Comm Port Technologies.
The Flex Series UVSS is a modular system for real-time video inspection of the underside of vehicles. Appearing like a metal speed bump, the UVSS contains high-resolution cameras surrounded by high-intensity LEDs to deliver bright, crisp video images. The UVSS’s modular design is composed of several 1-foot sections. Each section can be configured with or without a camera, and camera can point forward (towards the oncoming vehicle) or backward (towards the departing vehicle) for maximum flexibility in viewing. Cameras connect to a monitoring system so that security personnel have a real-time view of traffic.
According to Manny Patel, president/CEO of Comm Port, the Flex Series UVSS was chosen for many reasons. “The modularity was a main driver. The ability to include as many or as few cameras, facing in either direction, meant the highest level of flexibility. It also scales in width so that it can handle both narrow and extra wide entry points.” Patel also notes that the cameras are weatherproof and operate under harsh conditions. If the port is open, the UVSS is operating.
Plus the Flex Series UVSS is extremely rugged — from the scratch-proof sapphire camera lens to the sturdy metal construction capable of handling 48-ton vehicles. The UVSS can handle any of the containers that pass through the port with no problems.
The UVSS offers crisp, high-resolution images. The LED-based lighting illuminates the vehicle’s undercarriage so details aren’t lost in shadows. With the ability to place cameras anywhere along the length of the ramp, wheel wells and other details are easy to capture. Focal length, field-of-view, and angle of the camera simulate a person in a pit viewing vehicles passing over.
A license plate recognition system is also part of the UVSS so that security personnel have an identification record of each vehicle.
The flexibility, ease of use, and exceptional video quality has made the Flex Series the UVSS of choice not only for Cape Verde, but for many other ports as well. A large project was recently installed in the port of Chittagong, Bangladesh’s only port. — Contributed by Comm Port Technologies
Visitor Management System Gives Precise Account of People’s Whereabouts
Security personnel who manage our nation’s ports and transportation facilities are keenly aware of the need to account for visitors and contractors who enter their facilities. Consequently a professional visitor management system that screens and reports on every guest entering and leaving the facility is critically important.
EasyLobby Secure Visitor Management is used at many of the country’s ports and transportation facilities to better manage and document the entry and departure of all visitors, knowing exactly who entered the facility and when they checked in and checked out. This includes monitoring the identities of drivers with trucking companies transporting cargo off and onto ships.
Visitor management is also used to track contractors and temporary employees, treating them as guests. In these cases they are provided with a more permanent visitor badge that can be scanned in with a bar code reader when they enter or leave the facility. Time and attendance is another feature used to account for the time contractors are on site.
Internal “watch lists” allows ports to screen out unwanted visitors. Also they often screen against the Government Denied Parties database, which automatically warns lobby guards and attendants of anyone trying to enter the facility listed on numerous federal databases such as the terrorist list and most-wanted lists.
Visitors entering a port facility with an EasyLobby visitor management system are required to present a driver’s license or passport that is then scanned. The scan can determine the validity of the license to ensure that it is not a fake. The system automatically captures the information on the license. Additional information that may be required is also captured with drop-down menus for rapid check in.
EasyLobby permits ports to track and analyze specific data on dock operations, allowing them to manage their operations more effectively and more securely. — Contributed by EasyLobby
Buses Made Safer with Mobile Network Video
When Iñigo Rodríguez accepted the position as security manager of La Empresa Municipal de Transportes de Madrid (EMT), he immediately became responsible for the security and safety of the 2,000-plus buses in the city’s fleet. Crime stats in the Spanish capital had been rising and EMT had several discussions with local authorities about improving security onboard for the city’s commuters, citizens and tourists.
“Only a year ago, we had no active surveillance system on our buses, and they were sometimes exposed to graffiti or pickpockets. It was very difficult to identify a troublemaker unless they were caught in the act, which did not happen very often,” Rodríguez says.
It soon became clear that an onboard surveillance solution would be most efficient to monitor, track and respond to incidents on the buses. During a six-month period, the EMT team evaluated 10 surveillance systems on 10 different buses. The ability to reliably view live, high-quality video soon became an apparent necessity, as was scalability and interoperability.
The evaluation favored a network-based surveillance solution with hardware designed to handle the tough bus environment, which was prone to vibrations, temperature fluctuations and moisture.
To date, more than 1,200 of Madrid’s buses have been equipped with AXIS M31-R Network Cameras, specifically designed for mobile surveillance with HDTV-capable performance. Because of the ease-of-installation features of the Axis cameras, including the modular design and PoE capabilities, EMT was able to complete installation on three buses per depot per day, to a tune of more than 4,500 cameras.
The video from the cameras is recorded locally onboard and transferred wirelessly to a central storage when the buses are in depot overnight. The video from the buses also can be viewed in real-time from an alarm center in Madrid, operated by Segur Control. If a situation arises, the driver can press a button that enables Segur Control to evaluate the situation. Each bus is also equipped with GPS so that responders can have an exact position of any bus at all times.
On top of fighting crime as well as vandalism aboard buses — that is estimated to cost more than $750,000 a year — EMT is considering analyzing passenger statistics with intelligent video in the future. — Contributed by Axis Communications
VMS Streamlines AirportOperations, Enhances Security
The San Jose Airport’s modernization project, completed in mid-2010, was designed to create world-class facilities that reflect the innovative, high-tech community it serves. The project was completed ahead of schedule and under the $1.3 billion budget. In addition to an advanced IP-based physical security solution, work included updating, expanding, and removing terminals, and adding baggage handling, lounges, shops/restaurants, more ticket counters, larger security checkpoints, and advanced baggage handling systems.
The new IP-based video management system selected for the airport was the intelligent Security Operations Center platform from DVTel. The iSOC streamlined day-to-day airport operations by centralizing security management functions into an IP-based platform and integrated other security functions, such as the Software House C•CURE 800 access control system, for improved awareness and response times.
At present, about 400 PTZ cameras monitor the airport’s 1,050-acre property — encompassing two interconnected terminal buildings, two public parking garages, aircraft hangers, and cargo/shipping facilities. Camera operators are now able to easily review archived video of specific time periods or incidents rather than the hundreds of staff-hours spent reviewing tape from the legacy analog system to locate and review specific incidents.
With more than 50 client workstations, and users ranging from an around-the-clock command and control center to airport management, tenants and contractors, the management of access privileges is simple so that critical camera positions are not accidentally altered. Airport management is also able to create flexible user profiles and control very specific user rights within the DVTel IPTV system. Video is stored on archive servers for 30 days or more, depending on the needs of the particular camera or location, and is password protected and time/date stamped to avoid accidental alteration or sabotage.
The project was installed and operators were trained on schedule. The system was deployed with minimal interference to airport operations and it serves as a model for other installations. — Contributed by DVTel
Look to Pre-Built & Fully Equipped Guard Stations & Inspection Booths for Ports
Par-Kut specializes in the manufacture of portable steel buildings. They are used for commercial and industrial port security check points, guard booths, marine and land port-of-entry customs inspection booths, and weatherproof equipment enclosures. Control booths, guardhouses and bullet-resistant enclosures round out the products offered. Welded galvanized steel buildings withstand years of physical and environmental abuse.
Buildings are electrically complete per NEC code and include rigid welded steel frame, door(s), windows, insulation, floor system, countertop, and finish in polyurethane color of choice. They are ready to use immediately after electrical hook up and anchoring. Factory-installed electrical is complete and construction meets or exceeds required building codes.
Standard models and layouts are a good starting point when first considering the purchase of a portable steel building. From there, add options to suit specific site requirements for function and aesthetics. Larger sizes and engineered solutions are also available.
Par-Kut fabricates portable steel buildings with architectural detailing to fit the needs of virtually any setting. Custom features that allow the units to blend in with the environment may include: standing seam roofs, colonial style windows, curved awnings, raised rib walls, base cove or crown moldings, paint color matching, butt glazed corners, rounded corners and radiused ends. Accessories are used to suit the building to location and may include: transaction drawers or windows, tinted glass, interior and exterior lighting, climate control, additional shelving, restrooms, and bullet-resistant construction. Trailer and platform mountings as well as bi-level inspections booths are all available.
Producing top-quality structures has been our only business since 1954, so you can trust Par-Kut to produce your building on time, on budget and per specification. Contact us for a low-maintenance, high-durability solution to your security officer shelter, gate house or tower needs. — Contributed by Par-Kut