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MOBOTIX AG

Case study

MOBOTIX IP video surveillance solution protects Glencairn Museum’s unique collections in Philadelphia
The MOBOTIX D25, S15D and Q25 5-megapixel IP camera models deliver high-contrast images without motion blur, even in poorly illuminated environments
The museum installed 49 MOBOTIX cameras including the Q25 Hemispheric IP dome, S15D FlexMount and MonoDome D25

Located about 20 miles northeast of Philadelphia, Glencairn Museum is home to an impressive collection of religious artefacts from around the world. The museum is part of the Bryn Athyn Historic District, a National Historic Landmark that also includes the Bryn Athyn Cathedral and Cairnwood Estate. Erected between 1928 and 1939, the Glencairn Museum features a Romanesque-style architecture and consists of 90 rooms on 11 floors.

Opened in the early 1980s, the museum boasts a collection of 8,000 artefacts, depicting religions from the time of ancient Egypt to Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and various other faiths. Some of the museum’s most notable pieces include 11th capitalise stained glass from the Abbey of St. Denis and a life-sized statue of the goddess Minerva.

Aesthetics: A primary concern

Having never had a surveillance system in the past, the administration at Glencairn knew it was time to update the museum with a state-of-the-art video solution to provide security. However, it was important that the solution also blends seamlessly into the building’s surroundings. According to Drew Nehlig, Project Manager of Historic Buildings for the Academy of the New Church, which manages the site, the organisation reviewed three or four camera vendors over the last several years but none met the stringent needs of the museum. That is, until they were introduced to MOBOTIX.

"We are a museum in a museum," Nehlig explains. "The building is unique with lots of great aesthetics in it, and it was going to be a real trick to install cameras, conceal the devices and run wires. MOBOTIX offered technologies that streamlined the installation process, limited infrastructure requirements and fit in with our existing environment."

The administration at Glencairn saw a demonstration of the capabilities of the MOBOTIX cameras, and Nehlig says the high-resolution video surveillance solution "blew everybody else out of the water." Of course, more work was yet to be done in terms of raising funds and building a robust IT network to support the new MOBOTIX system.

With the installation of a new fibre optic network and nearly 50 MOBOTIX cameras phase one of project has been completed
The new MOBOTIX-based video system is completely PoE, and museum ran fibre optic cabling throughout the building

"As a museum, security is always a concern," adds Nehlig. "Our administration was pushing for new technologies to enhance the protection of our unique collections. We have a secondary school and a college across the street that we’re a part of and, traditionally, they have installed what you would consider ‘typical’ camera systems. But once they saw the capabilities of the MOBOTIX system, they copied us and installed their own MOBOTIX solution."

Building the backbone

To get the surveillance coverage officials wanted, the museum installed 49 new MOBOTIX cameras in the first phase of the project, including the Q25 Hemispheric IP dome, S15D FlexMount and MonoDome D25.

The new D25, S15D and Q25 5-megapixel IP camera models deliver high-contrast images without motion blur, even in poorly illuminated environments. As a result, the devices are more light sensitive and have twice as many pixels as Full HD.

The D25 is a compact dome camera designed for indoor and outdoor use that can also be equipped with vandalism protection. The S15D FlexMount is a weatherproof IP camera with two miniature sensor modules. Thanks to the hemispheric dual lens, two separate rooms can be secured simultaneously without any blind spots.

The hemispheric Q25 delivers 180-degree panoramic images with further improved details. The panoramic image technology uses a single camera to secure an entire room without any blind spots, ensuring a better overview than several individual cameras.

All MOBOTIX cameras are based on the decentralised concept. All recording can take place internally on an SD card, or externally on a USB stick or via the IP network on NAS hard drives. The recording of the cameras themselves via the network makes it possible to use up to 10 times more cameras per server, compared to the central VMS based recording of the competitors. No PC or additional software is required.

In the future, adding cameras
will be very economical due
to the system’s inherent
scalability. We could probably
double or triple our camera
count

Before the cameras could be installed at Glencairn, the museum invested in a new, more robust network infrastructure to replace the existing IT backbone, which was limited in terms of available bandwidth. The new video system is completely Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), and the museum ran fibre optic cabling throughout the building to six individual node locations. There are PoE switches within those nodes, which are all connected via fibre to the server. The switches can be expanded as the museum scales the camera network.

"In the future, adding cameras will be very economical due to the system’s inherent scalability. If we needed, we could probably double or triple our camera count on the existing IT backbone right now," explains Nehlig.

Nehlig says their integrator on the project, Feasterville, Pennsylvania-based Starlight Digital Media, was vital to the success of the installation and responsible for designing the network. Although a separate electrical contractor ran the cabling, Nehlig credits Starlight with being able to set up the switches, servers and cameras to maximise system efficiency and surveillance coverage.

High-resolution and flexibility

Now that new MOBOTIX system was up and running, Nehlig says he is very happy with the image clarity and functionality of the system. The museum also benefits from remote viewing and management options, allowing operators to change camera settings remotely.

With the installation of a new fibre optic network and nearly 50 MOBOTIX cameras completing phase one of this project, Nehlig says he expects they will double the camera count over the next couple of years. In fact, the servers and PoE switches were all purchased with future scalability in mind.

Installed in about four and half months, the MOBOTIX surveillance system is already proving its value at Glencairn.

"We haven’t had any major break-ins, but we’ve had situations in the museum that you typically run into with guests and vendors in which we’ve pulled the video footage and said, ‘Well, that’s not exactly what happened.’ If somebody upstairs calls me and says, ‘Can you go back and look at this?’ Within a couple of minutes I have an answer for them," concludes Nehlig.

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