Published on 29 March, 2007
Hundreds of thousands of people attended Independence Square in Accra, Ghana to celebrate fifty years of independence from British colonial rule on 6 March, 2007. Designed by Pro Security Ghana Ltd, in what is understood to be the largest IP CCTV surveillance system in Africa, all celebration events were monitored and recorded for safety and security.
"Being able to bring back high-resolution CCTV surveillance information from just about anywhere in the city has enormous benefits for all the local agencies involved such as National Security, the Department of Sports and the Department of Roads. The monitoring system is used for general security, crowd management, traffic monitoring and health & safety. For Ghana 50-years, the system was used to monitor high volumes of people and traffic at the event" comments Martin Parry, technical adviser and head of system design to Pro Security Ghana.
The opening ceremony held in Independence Square was attended by President John Kufuor who lit the independence flame to the cheering of the crowds decked in national colours, making this one of the largest national events ever to be held in Ghana.
Pro Security Ghana has been providing and maintaining security systems to the Ghanaian Government's National Security for the past five years and has built the system into what it is today.
The company has installed Pelco ESPRIT integrated pan, tilt and zoom as well as static cameras in a number of areas, including Independence Square and numerous road intersections. The cameras are linked to Bosch Video Jet and VIPX video encoders which provide dual stream encoding for local and remote monitoring at defined bit rates as well as real-time control of the Pelco ESPRIT cameras.
All surveillance images are sent back to a number of control rooms via Wavesight radio IP links. These IP bridges provide up to 100 Megabits and provide a seamless network with room for future expansion.
DigiFend network video recording software from Sicura Systems is the key ingredient that combines all the technologies and manufacturers together. UK-based Sicura Systems developed the software around the Bosch hardware. It acts to manage all of the data rates for transmission and recording. The easy-to-use control interface enables operators to easily call up and control any of the cameras on the system from any location. It also allows for faster access to the recorded video.
Nicola King is head of the project for Pro Security and recently joined the company to oversee the development of the system. "It has been a big challenge to put this work together in such a short time scale. It has been very rewarding to see the high-quality video. The network video recording software from Sicura Systems and Bosch hardware is comprehensive, but friendly to the operator and straight forward for installer to configure."
In the control rooms, operations staff monitor the surveillance images using 40-inch GM-H40L2G LCD monitors and several high-resolution CRT monitors from JVC Professional Europe.
Ultra-high resolution evo2sx+ professional DLPTM projectors from projectiondesign are also used for the large-screen display of critical surveillance images and computer data in front of the operators' desks. The projectors were specified and supplied by Iain Ambler, Product Specialist at RGB Communications located in the UK.
"The combination of equipment has been selected for ease of operation and integration and every company involved provided outstanding support. We could not have achieved the same true networking of information using a traditional analogue system. All the functionality can be controlled by the simple click of a mouse and this includes camera call-up, control and replay. We are now looking at the next phase of the system which will focus on distribution of other service information" ends Parry.