Transportation is a critical infrastructure element which is vital for the continued and smooth operation of businesses and residential communities across the globe. Whether local, regional, national or international, security and safety are major concerns, and when the deployed technology can add efficiencies too, the benefits of smart solutions are obvious.
Transportation is a challenging sector when it comes to the delivery of smart solutions. When tasked with moving people and goods around a location, region or country, there are many criteria which must be met, and there is no room for compromise.
Passenger and staff safety ranks very highly, as does security. In a huge number of applications, these two aspects are so important they often underpin the purchasing decision when smart solutions are specified. Indeed, in recent years, many of the other added-value benefits available from modern solutions have been ignored because the risks associated with missing a safety or security incident are too great. Thankfully, for transport operators, this need no longer be the case.
There can be no argument that with increased pressures on costs and service provision, transport operators are also having to increase their focus on efficiency. As technologies advance and communications become more fluid, it is increasingly considered foolhardy to pass up on many of the available benefits.
As processing capabilities grow in terms of power, and the value of big data is realised by more departments within a transportation organisation, so the information being gathered is more valued and can play a role in an increased number of management tasks. With higher levels of resilience on offer, operators can be assured the added value is achieved without any risk to the continuity of safety and security roles.
Even where systems are deployed solely to address safety and security concerns, performance of smarter systems can deliver more efficient operation, with faster and more accurate results, simpler searches and reporting, trend identification and detection of anomalies or unusual behaviours.
Developments in analytics, for example, mean that video can be employed to monitor level crossings or trackside locations for blockages, ensure platform edges in railway stations are clear, detect left bags or other items in airports, ports and stations, etc..
Sensors are available with increased accuracy, which can deliver X,Y coordinates to allow plotting of events or incidents on GPS-enabled maps. Tracking of moving assets can be carried out in real-time.
For transport operators, smart solutions have never offered so much value.
360 Vision Technology supports Felixstowe Coastwatch
The Predator Ultra HD PTZ video surveillance camera from 360 Vision Technology has entered service at the NCI’s Felixstowe lookout station, to help protect lives along the coastline of the River Deben estuary. Felixstowe Coastwatch is a charity funded organisation with over 50 highly trained volunteers available to man lookout shifts. It’s also part of the NCI, an organisation established in 1994 to restore a visual watch along UK shores after many Coastguard stations were closed.
Under Felixstowe Coastwatch’s territory is the Deben estuary. Its treacherous shifting shingle banks and bar can present a challenge for maritime navigation.
Ian Clarke of Felixstowe Coastwatch stated, ‘Half of all call outs from the RNLI Harwich Lifeboat Station during 2016/17 were to attend incidents in this area, so it was clear that additional observation of the area would be beneficial and help to make it safer.’
Felixstowe Coastwatch’s Lookout is built on top of Martello Tower P, one of the towers built in the 1800s as a defence against invasion by Napoleon.
The first consideration to tackle maritime issues in the estuary was to build an additional lookout tower, but was decided against as it was a prohibitively costly exercise. Following a visit to the NCI Station at Portland Bill, the use of video was investigated. Visits to the Port of Felixstowe, the Felixstowe Town CCTV centre and the Great Yarmouth Port Authority allowed the team to see 360 Vision Predator in action. Impressed by the quality of its images, a demonstration was arranged and a business case developed.
Approval of the project was granted and the Predator Ultra HD was installed after budget was obtained from council-allocated monies and fundraising events organised by Felixstowe Coastwatch volunteers.
With no line of sight from the camera to the lookout tower, a wireless transmission solution was employed, using a belfry tower at a midway point in Felixstowe, where the signal is relayed to enable control and recording of the high definition images back at the lookout station.
All surveillance video is archived for retrospective investigation, and the system also enjoys seamless ONVIF integration into Cambridge Pixel’s RadarWatch, a flexible client display application for radar display and target tracking. This allows Felixstowe Coastwatch’s operators to set up virtual tripwire lines across dangerous areas of the river and shallow waters close to the main shipping channel.
Once crossed by a vessel, the alarm alerts operators and provides immediate verification of a vessel’s precise location, along with high-definition visual verification from the Predator camera.
Also displayed as an overlay on screen is Automatic Identification System (AIS) ship transponder information for each vessel, including a compass bearing supplied by the Predator camera’s head, which indicates which way the camera is pointing.
The innovative installation has been so successful that Felixstowe Coastwatch are currently looking at other areas of the coast where cameras could assist with their daily operations, protecting the public and maritime traffic.
Karsa Oy cargo screening
Karsa Oy’s innovative Chemical Ionisation Mass Spectrometry technology has been adapted for the detection of explosives in air cargo. The Finnish start-up launched the ultra-sensitive chemical threat detection technology to help with climate change research, but it has been proven to detect developing chemical threats with high sensitivity and specificity to provide dramatically increased detection capabilities at lower costs than current technologies available in the aviation sector, according to the company. It is claimed the technology can transform civil aviation security, beginning with air cargo screening.
ATG Access protects Changi Airport
The prestigious Jewel complex at Singapore’s Changi Airport has enhanced its perimeter protection. Changi Airport has launched Jewel: a mixed-use, lifestyle hub for visitors.
With building costs of $1.25 billion and a footprint of 1.46 million square feet, Jewel includes sky gardens, the world’s largest indoor waterfall, aviation lounges, restaurants and over 300 shops.
As the main airport site is fully operational around the clock, the security measures placed around the terminal needed to be installed quickly and effectively. With this in mind, ATG Access utilised its shallow mount technology, which delivers maximum security with minimum disruption.
More than 1,000 impact-tested Shallow Mount Bollards and Shallow Mount Lift-out Bollards, requiring a foundation depth of just 112mm, were deployed around the airport. To ensure the security products complemented the aesthetics of the terminal and surrounding areas, they were coated in varying shades of silver.
In order to meet client specification, ATG worked with its local partner in Singapore to test and certify the lift-out product, meaning it was one of the first impact tested lift-out bollards in the industry. Following this, all of the products were developed at ATG’s manufacturing facility in Singapore.
Changi airport has taken security very seriously over the last eight years, ensuring all terminals are protected from potential terrorist attacks or security breaches.
AMG Systems supports Belfast traffic management
AMG Systems has been commissioned to help digitise the traffic monitoring system for newly-extended hard shoulder bus lanes on Belfast’s main motorways, to make them more efficient, secure and reliable. A new IP-based video system was being installed as part of the extension project, so the underlying fibre network needed to be upgraded in order to handle the video images being transmitted back to the city’s Traffic Information and Control Centre (TICC).
AMG, working with Juniper Networks, implemented the project working together with numerous government agencies and private construction contractors to create a cost-efficient, robust solution for Belfast’s M1 and M2 motorways.
The tender was to work on the extension of hard shoulder bus lanes along the M1 and M2 motorways, intended to improve journey times and service reliability for bus passengers without affecting general traffic flows. The work included the provision of new and upgraded PTZ cameras for traffic monitoring purposes by the TICC in Belfast.
Hikvision PTZ cameras – installed by Chubb – were used for traffic monitoring, but connecting them to the legacy Pelco system was not straightforward, which is where AMG Systems and Juniper Networks came in.
On each motorway, the existing fibre network had only two spare fibres, so all images had to be combined, allowing for a resilient ring so if one fibre broke, the other would be able to transmit all the images.
The network design utilises nine AMG switches on the M1 fibres and 15 switches for the M2. At the TICC control room, there are a further four AMG switches which allow the cameras to connect to the existing Pelco monitoring equipment.
Network connections were further complicated as the existing system required use of multi-casting and VLANs, and an existing firewall had to be factored in.
CEM Systems protects Bahrain Airport
Johnson Controls has delivered the aviation specific CEM Systems AC2000 Airport access control solution to secure Bahrain International Airport. The software and hardware is installed at the airport to ensure the highest level of integrated security and assist in controlling passenger flow across the airport.
Bahrain International Airport is located in Muharraq, an island about 7km northeast of the capital Manama. The airport is currently undergoing a $1.1 billion expansion that will boost the airport’s capacity to fourteen million passengers per year.
CEM Systems’ AC2000 Airport has a proven record as one of the most reliable and resilient access control and security management solutions available for aviation security. It not only provides Bahrain International Airport with advanced access control throughout terminal buildings and along the airside and landside boundaries, but it also provides a range of software applications to enhance the airport’s on-site operations and increase business efficiency.
IPS Public Transport Protection
IPS Public Transport Protection is an intelligent video analytics module for real-time alerts in the event of potential emergencies in underground or overground railway installations. It recognises people and trains, determines the presence and behaviour of people on the platform and identifies people in the track bed.
The analytics facilitate the reliable detection of dangerous situations, even under difficult weather conditions.
Installation and configuration is straightforward, and the module is suitable for indoor and outdoor applications.
Machine learning technologies are used to identify trains and sense potential incidents or causes of disruption. With real-time alerting, potential emergencies in monitored areas can be reduced.
Users are able to configure safety strip and track bed zones, and define object sizes, perspectives and application variants.
Hanwha Techwin Serverless ANPR
Hanwha Techwin offers a range of Intelligent Traffic Management solutions, and recently added a cost-effective serverless ANPR solution.
The use of easy-to-configure camera-to-camera IP-based communication technology enables up to four Wisenet ANPR cameras to simultaneously capture and transmit ANPR data to a convenient user interface. The cameras are configured as a single master unit and three slave units; the latter send data back to the master, ensuring a unified system is in place.
By taking advantage of powerful integral chipsets, the serverless ANPR solution is both easy to configure and delivers high levels of reliability, with a quoted 95 per cent accuracy rate capturing number-plates of vehicles moving at up to 31mph.
The ANPR camera-based solution provides the opportunity to automatically control the movement of up to 1,000 white-listed vehicles, with barriers or gates controlled via camera relay outputs.
The system can also provide car park management information, such as time spent on site, as well as overall occupancy rates, all without having to incur the cost of installing and running the application on a server.
Siqura protects tunnel traffic
Siqura has delivered bespoke cameras and software for an integrated solution in three major tunnels in the Czech Republic. The technology has been fully modernised with upgrades for security, lighting, air conditioning and control systems.
Siqura made use of its XCU Fusion and TrafficPTZ cameras.
The XCU Fusion is a rugged dual imaging (thermal/optical) camera for demanding environments, with protection against corrosion as it is entirely made of powder-coated stainless steel . The housing is hermetically sealed against water and dust ingress.
The TrafficPTZ Ultimo is a high-precision, full-featured PTZ camera providing high-quality, high-definition images. The integrated 30x optical zoom, in combination with the dual LED illuminators and embedded image stabilisation, makes it ideal for traffic applications.
Axis P39 Cameras
The AXIS P39 Network Camera Series is a family of high-performance network cameras specifically designed for mobile video surveillance on board vehicles and rolling stock, like buses, trains and emergency vehicles. The cameras feature protection against dust and water ingress, and can withstand harsh conditions such as vibrations, shocks, bumps, and temperature fluctuations.
The cameras feature a compact, rugged design to ensure resilience when mounted in public areas of the vehicles. Designed to comply with transportation industry regulations, the units also feature audio inputs and outputs, allowing for two-way communication in the event of an incident.
The AXIS P39 Series cameras feature a number of video enhancement tools, such as technologies for challenging lighting in the form of WDR – Forensic Capture and Axis Lightfinder, as well as Axis Zipstream technology.
Axis Zipstream is a dynamic encoding technology which reduces bandwidth and storage needs, an important consideration for mobile systems, while preserving important video footage which contains details required for evidence or forensic investigations.
Hikvision DS-MP5604N Mobile NVR
The DS-MP5604N is a four channel NVR for mobile applications such as transport vehicles. The cameras are connected via an integral PoE switch, eliminating the need for power to the edge devices. Resolutions of up to four megapixels are supported, using H.264 or H.265 compression.
The NVR can support two 2.5 inch HDDs or SSDs, and hard disk vibration damping technology is used to deliver reliability when on the move. As a back-up, the NVR also store video to an internal SD card if the HDDs or SSDs are damaged.
The NVR is equipped with a 3G/4G module and Wi-Fi module, providing flexible data transmission options. A built-in GPS module allows precise positioning data for the vehicle to be transmitted via satellite, with the location information also recorded in the video stream.
Driving information, such as vehicle turns, braking, reversing, etc., are also recorded.
NorParc is a Windows-based counting and parking guidance system from Nortech, which provides centralised count management, monitoring and guidance control for parking facilities which) have multiple entry and exit points.
Nortech’s counting solution includes a comprehensive range of high-intensity RGB variable message signs that use low profile LED matrices offering bright, clear messages indicating available spaces and status messages.
Each panel can display count values of up to 5 digits and, depending upon the sign variant, there are options to display FULL, OPEN or SPACE and direction arrows.
The range includes single level internal and external signs plus self-contained multilevel information signs.
External signs meet the EN 12966 standard for visual, physical and durability, and provide high optical performance. External models are housed in robust weatherproof aluminium housing (IP65). Signs are available as single count displays or multilevel displays with additional information such as headings, logos, symbols and individual titles.