Installation of video surveillance systems: beautiful and unfortunate stories with cameras
The VSaaS provider takes care of all the maintenance of the software and equipment, which means that when it comes time to take the corrugations, cables and stripper in hand, we forget about the cloud and work “in the field” - sometimes in the literal sense of the word.
It is pleasant to work on a stack in Python 3, Asio, MongoDB, Docker and Consul in a warm office, but the cameras will not install themselves. We cooperate with installation organizations throughout Russia, and in difficult cases we send our specialists to the project.
So, this post is about installation work on interesting objects with examples collected from our history and world practice. In our examples - hard everyday life, in global cases - instructive cases.
The largest number of cameras
We do not know how many cameras control the territory of the Kremlin, the Pentagon, the Reichstag. We suspect that these and similar objects should be leaders in the “the largest number of cameras per square meter” rating. But the information is classified. Therefore, look at the clusters of security systems that are available for external viewing to anyone.
It is extremely difficult to create a state video monitoring system, similar to the solution in China. Now in the average Chinese city for 10 million people have from a few hundred thousand to a million cameras. For comparison, 160,000 cameras were installed in Moscow.
At the end of 2017, there were more than 170 million CCTV cameras in China, for three years it was planned to connect about 400 million more to the network. In cities, they can even install cameras in excessive quantities. In the picture abovethe usual intersection in Shanghai, which is monitored by 60 cameras.
Initially, 24 cameras watched this place, but then another 36 were added to them (because, presumably, there was no place for the 37th). In fact, such a solution, even for China, remains unique - in this case, local authorities tested various systems to monitor car traffic. After comparing and determining the winner, the number of cameras has decreased.
Mountains, mud, despair
In August 2018, Ivideon and Office-lab specialists helped to broadcast the Motul King of the Hill mountain bike race.
The elevation difference between the start and finish was 1,830 meters. Almost all along the route it was necessary to arrange the cameras and get a high-quality image from them. This is much more difficult than working at our standard facilities - in offices and shops.
100 extreme motorcyclists participate in the race. They move along a route about 25 km long, and the route runs through heavy mountainous areas with natural and artificial obstacles. On the way - steep slopes, a dam dug up, precipices.
During the races in 2016–2017, the cameras stood only at the start and finish. Nobody saw what happens to the athletes during the 8 hours of the race. Most of the time the broadcast took the highlights of other races, interviews with participants and organizers. But the most interesting remained behind the scenes.
Putting several operators with cameras along the route is not so easy, because in the mountains there are a lot of restrictions on finding people. In order to coordinate the work of the operators, I would have to go through several circles of bureaucracy with the administration. It is expensive and long.
Therefore, in 2018, the race organizers chose remote shooting - they decided to install autonomous cameras and broadcast from them. With this task, they turned to Ivideon.
Mountains - this is a special specificity. The weather often changes dramatically, movements depend on the schedule of lifts and tourist flows. All this binds the hands and feet, forcing to make atypical decisions. The team arrived at the site four days before the start of the race. During this time, it was necessary to connect and configure eight cameras at different points on the road.
The route was first studied on a map based on satellite imagery. It turned out that these pictures are quite old, and the mountainous terrain changes very quickly, so the map was quickly changed to OpenStreetMap. Places for cameras were chosen so as to cover the most interesting sections of the route: difficult slopes, passes.
The installation of cameras resembled the seizure of enemy territory. Three or four installers took the equipment in their hands - wooden stakes (about them later), twisted pair hanks and cables, tools, a camera - and went to the elevator. They climbed up, connected to the power supply from the technical premises of the cable car station. Then they dragged the cable for 30–100 meters across the mountains to the point where the route runs.
One of the points was located almost 300 meters from the booth. In order to reach there, we had to chain up several extenders of 20, 30 and 50 meters. This improvised communication line did not let down: during the race, the camera worked properly.
There was also a place that was very far from the power source. Not even dozens of extension cords would save. I didn’t want to lose the entertainment area, so the team attracted local quadcopter operators.
The cameras were installed in an artisanal way: on wooden tripods, which were assembled on the spot from stakes. It would seem, why it is impossible to come with normal equipment and make it beautiful? First, the eight normal tripods simply did not fit into the car. Secondly, even the best equipment will not last long under the wind and rain, and coarse home-made stakes - quite. And there was simply the risk that someone would take off the cameras along with fragile light tripods. And still try wooden steal - you will not inform.
One camera was installed on a board on a dais, dangling it over the track
There was one more problem. PoE switches for cameras were not water resistant. In case of rain, they would quickly come to an end. Then the installers made another elegant decision: they packed the switches into bags and wrapped the bags in a dozen layers of stretch film.
The first three days of work was a cool sunny weather - everyone in the team was burnt. And the day before the race the weather turned bad, it started to rain. Rain in the mountains - this is not something that is on the plain. Water from the top flows down the slope, with each passing meter more and more turning into a stormy mountain river.
Rain blurred part of the track. There was a risk of a landslide, and the organizers adjusted the route. Of the eight cameras installed on the new track, there are only five. Everything was fine with the cameras - they even withstood this bad weather, but the Sochi mountain showers still made their way through the stretch film and ruined the PoE injector and communicator. Because of this, we lost access to two cameras.
Immediately go to the equipment to fix it - not an option. The thing is happening in the mountains, the lifts have already been turned off, and without them it’s impossible to get to the right places. You can proceed to repair only in the morning. Here are just the lifts start working at 9:00, and the race starts at 11:00. There was not enough time for a full repair.
As a result, we could not use one camera. Sorry, but what to do? Even four working cameras out of five are an excellent result with tight installation times and terrible weather.
Ivideon engineers were unable to test the cameras, because the installation took almost all the time before the race (and without that limited). In such conditions, testing is an unattainable luxury. I had to immediately test the camera in combat conditions.
Thanks to PTZ it turned out to direct and zoom the camera remotely, sitting in a warm studio. For example, in a couple of points from the installation site to the object to be removed there were more than 500 meters, but the quality still turned out to be excellent.
The picture from the cameras came to the head console, and the director chose the desired image and worked on the perspective. At the beginning of the broadcast I had to work on the quality of the picture. By standard, it is super fine, because of what it looks like drawn. The director made her more cinematic, correcting the sharpness and color reproduction.
The Ivideon and Office-Lab team dealt not only with translation. On the race day, the guys gave all the riders GPS-trackers, which showed the location of motorcyclists on the track. The trackers had three functions:
- Detector clusters riders. If several motorcyclists are stuck in one place - therefore, they hit the difficult part of the track. So, the operator needs to switch to the appropriate camera in order to include the most spectacular episodes in the broadcast.
- Information panel for the presenter. The presenter of the broadcast on the GPS-beacons could follow the course of the race and give comments to the audience: who came forward and who was lagging behind. At the races in 2016 and 2017 it was impossible.
- Rogue hunter. Fortunately, there was only one crook: the participant destroyed his GPS tracker, and then they saw from the cameras that he was cutting the way.
As a result, at least 6,500 people followed the broadcast. Compared to the races of 2016–2017, the coverage has increased by about one and a half times - people really wanted to finally watch the live broadcast.
The accident on the oil platform Deepwater Horizon
The requirements for a surveillance system for a modern ship industry are among the most complex in the entire market. The on-board system should help ensure crew safety, withstand any weather conditions, constantly monitor the condition of the vessel, ensure that proper procedures are constantly observed, and ensure monitoring of alarms and processes of the ship in real time.
In addition, in special cases, it is necessary to install an additional system for detecting the malicious compromise of the source data of sensors and video surveillance cameras, as well as random and systemic distortion of telemetry signals. Of particular difficulty is the need to install the camera above the main engine, where extreme heat and steam can destroy most of the cameras.
Radar and security camera on the ship Saipem 10000. Even such a camera can be connected to the Ivideon
Security system must be reliable enough to work during the months spent at sea. In connection with the constant presence of moisture and aggressive sea water, impact-resistant cameras are installed on ships with a degree of protection of at least IP66 and IK-10. Camera entry points are protected to reduce the chance of water entering.
The 228-meter deep-water drilling ship Saipem 10000 has become an example of a new stage in the development of video surveillance systems. Here the Furuno radar complex was integrated with advanced Bosch IP cameras.
Special interface combining radar and camera data
Cameras can perform sector scanning regardless of radar, and can also be automatically tuned by radar to specific objects of interest for visual identification. The system is easy to use and requires one operator with a minimum skill level.
CCTV at the edge of the world
Shikotan - the largest island of the Small Ridge of the Kuril Islands. This is a true end of the world - the distance to the next in the south-eastern direction of the land is about 5 400 km. Less than 3,000 people permanently reside on the island, many of whom are employed at the plant of ZAO Kurilsky Fisherman.
In addition to the obvious problems associated with the remoteness of the object, we had to face many features of this area - for example, in winter there are constantly snowfalls and powerful winds that blow, which imposes special requirements on equipment.
Our client was a fish processing plant owned by the Kuril Rybak company. The video surveillance system should monitor the most important areas of the plant on the street and in the internal premises.
We delivered a centner of equipment to the island. Dahua cameras and recorders, TP-LINK CPE510 access points, kilometer of twisted pair and another kilometer of corrugated pipes were delivered.
Winters are much milder here than on the mainland, but frequent guests on the island are fogs and snowfalls. Because of this, it is problematic to use cables. We tried to reduce the number of "problem points" and build a large part of the system on a wireless connection - for the project we chose Wi-Fi cameras paired with tp-link access points.
Point of contact on the hill provide all residents of the village with Internet, cellular and wired communication. A source
Using a video surveillance system with wireless video transmission, we avoided problems with tearing wires and laying communication. For the same reason - the island is located far from the mainland - satellite Internet is used.
In general, most of the problems of the project can be wrapped in a case of “Internet problems in hard-to-reach places”. Compared with fiber, the "satellite" on the islands is slow and expensive to use. It is good for us that the camera consumes Internet traffic only when viewing online video, recording the archive to the cloud and triggering a motion or sound detector while preserving events in the cloud.
With a frequency of 25 frames / s for a resolution of 1280x720 with a standard bitrate, a speed of at least 1 Mbit / s is required. A camera with such parameters for an hour of continuous viewing / recording will generate 0.675 GB of traffic. To reduce the load on the channel through settings in the cloud, we reduce the frame rate (for example, from 25 to 20 frames per second) and the bitrate.
We used another opportunity to save traffic - a hybrid entry. In case of failure of the Internet channel, the video does not disappear, since it will be recorded locally. Thus, the DVR or PC plays the role of a backup server when the main channel fails.
If you purchase several cameras for your home, then installation is not required: home cameras connect themselves in a few minutes. But if there is a task to implement a full-fledged video surveillance project, then it is necessary to understand the specifics of camera installation, viewing angles, data network requirements, power supply capabilities, state standards for the design of regulatory and technical documentation, etc. It is necessary to pick up not only cameras, but also additional equipment. We have included the ability to add installation services when placing an order . Having chosen a suitable business on the solutions page , you can fill in the cost calculation form and learn more about our capabilities for any, even the most unusual installation.