Remote monitoring security applications
Founded in 1871, Fulton County School System is the fourth largest school district in Georgia, United States. It consists of 101 schools and administrative support buildings, including 67 elementary schools, 19 middle schools, 17 high schools and eight charter organisations. Fulton’s mission is to provide a safe and secure environment for its more than 96,000 students and more than 12,000 full-time employees. To help enhance safety Search Technology at more than 100 schools, Fulton has in...
VMS software and IP products from Hikvision, a supplier of innovative video surveillance products and solutions, are now being used by the Government of Gujarat Directorate of Technical Education (DTE), to protect and administer education facilities and services across Western India. A government organisation that provides qualitative and higher level technical training for students from a diverse mix of financial and social backgrounds, the Directorate of Technical Education’s (DTE) goal...
In the Biatta family, the craft of producing excellent wines is passed from generation to generation. Back in 1985, Giovanni Biatta, the forefather of the Le Marchesine operation, purchased the first three hectares in the area of Franciacorta, but the family has dedicated itself to a single passion for at least five generations: Excellence in wine-making. Heir of an ancient family from Brescia, the great-grandfather of Giovanni, Camillo Biatta, was a negociant eleveur, a noble and ancient t...
Users can now enjoy complete control of their wired and hybrid security systems with the brand new Pyronix PCX46 APP. Users can experience unparalleled control over their entire security system, from anywhere in the world, on a smart device with the fully compatible HomeControl+ App. Wired and hybrid: The best of both As the PCX46 APP can be both wired and hybrid, there are a multitude of wired and wireless security and lifestyle devices to choose from, meaning users' systems can be tailo...
The internet helped revolutionise the security industry, and technology continues to evolve at a speed and depth that is changing the way people protect their premises. Vanderbilt flagship products Cloud technology has resulted in a society that is always connected. For the security industry, this means it is now possible to remotely monitor many locations from hundreds of miles away. This is an area where Vanderbilt solutions carry particular depth. A browser and an internet connection are a...
Trust and track record are vital attributes in any locking system designed for critical infrastructure. French water utility Eau de Valence set themselves a challenge upgrading an old-fashioned mechanical locking system. They demanded access control that could manage multiple and dispersed utility sites; perform reliably outdoors in any weather; and log and monitor all system users from a single control point. CLIQ® key-based access control technology from ASSA ABLOY was the solution. PROTE...
I have been thinking a lot about the U.S. government’s ban on video surveillance technologies by Hikvision and Dahua. In general, I question the wisdom and logic of the ban and am frankly puzzled as to how it came to be. Allow me to elaborate. Chinese camera manufacturers Reality check: the government ban is based on concerns about the potential misuse of cameras, not actual misuse. Before the government ban, you occasionally heard about some government entities deciding not to use cameras manufactured by Chinese companies, although the reasons were mostly “in an abundance of caution.” Even so, I find the targeting of two Chinese companies – three if you count Hytera Communications, a mobile radio manufacturer – in a huge government military spending bill to be a little puzzling. I can’t quite picture how these specific companies got on Congress’s radar. The government ban is based on concerns about the potential misuse of cameras, not actual misuse What level of lobbying or backroom dealing was involved in getting the ban introduced (by a Missouri congresswoman) into the House version of the bill? And after the ban was left out of the Senate version, was there a new wave of discussions to ensure it was included in the joint House-Senate version (with some minor changes, and who negotiated those?). It all seems a little random. Concerns for the U.S. Furthermore, the U.S. ban solves neither of the two main concerns that are generally used as its justification: Concern: Cybersecurity. The U.S. ban “solves” the issue of cybersecurity only if both of the following statements are true. No security system that uses a Hikvision or Dahua camera or other component is cybersecure. Any system that does not use a Hikvision or Dahua camera or other component is cybersecure. What level of lobbying or backroom dealing was involved in getting the ban introduced into the House version of the bill? The ban ignores the breadth and complexity of cybersecurity and instead offers up two companies as scapegoats. Our industry has sought to address cybersecurity, and the one principle that has guided that effort is that cybersecurity is an issue that must be addressed by manufacturers, consultants, integrators and end users – in effect, everyone in the industry. Cybersecurity does not begin and end with the manufacturer and banning any manufacturers from the market does not ensure better cybersecurity. Concern: “Untrustworthy” Chinese companies. Hikvision and Dahua are only two Chinese companies. Any response to concerns about whether Chinese companies are trustworthy would need to cover many more companies that manufacture their products in China. Australian TV recently claimed that “all Chinese companies pose a risk. Because of Chinese laws, there is a requirement for companies to be engaged in espionage on behalf of the state.” Even if one embraces that extreme view, the logic fails when only two companies are targeted. One source told me that 60 to 65 percent of the global supply of commercial video cameras are manufactured in China, so it’s a much bigger issue than two companies.The Chinese government has much more effective ways of conducting espionage than exploiting security cameras And is U.S. security at risk unless or until it is cut off from more than half of the world’s supply of video cameras? Even Western camera companies manufacture some of their cameras and/or components in China. Why name only two (or three) companies, only one of which has ties to the Chinese government? If the goal of the U.S. ban was to address the possibility of cybersecurity and/or espionage by the Chinese government, shouldn’t there be other companies and product categories included? Clearly, video surveillance is not the only category that has the potential for abuse. The Chinese government has much more effective ways of conducting espionage than exploiting security cameras. Global response to U.S. ban And now that the U.S. ban has been passed, how is the ban being misused to justify a new level of alarm about Chinese companies? Australian television effortlessly made the leap from “software backdoors” to a concerted and organised effort by the Chinese government to use cameras to be the “number one country for espionage.” And it’s not just about government facilities: “Even on the street, [cameras] have the potential to inadvertently contribute toward Chinese espionage activity by providing real-time information about the situation on the ground,” says the Australian TV report. If all Chinese companies pose a risk, why is the U.S. government targeting specific companies rather than all Chinese companies? If all Chinese companies pose a risk, why is the U.S. government targeting specific companies rather than all Chinese companies, or at least those with electronics or computer products that could be used for espionage? What about the espionage potential of the 70% of mobile phones that are made in China? What about other consumer electronics such as PCs or smart TVs? How many government facilities that are eliminating Dahua and Hikvision cameras have employees who use iPhones or use other electronic equipment from China? Artificial intelligence & IP-over-coax Also, consider the impact of the ban on business. Hikvision and Dahua have had many successes in the video surveillance market, including in the U.S. market. They have added value to many integrators and end user customers. They have been on the forefront of important trends such as artificial intelligence and IP-over-coax. And, yes, they have made technologies available at lower prices.Cybersecurity issues have plagued several companies in the industry, not just Hikvision and Dahua Cybersecurity issues have plagued several companies in the industry, not just these two, and both Hikvision and Dahua have worked to fix past problems, and to raise awareness of cybersecurity concerns in general. Is a U.S. ban on two companies an appropriate response to a series of geo-political concerns that are much bigger than those two companies (and bigger than our entire market)? Should two companies take the brunt of the anti-Chinese backlash? Video surveillance cameras Is the video surveillance market as a whole better or worse for the presence of Hikvision and Dahua? Is it up to the U.S. government to make that call? In some ways, thoughts of Chinese espionage are a sign of these uncertain political times. Fear of video surveillance is perfectly congruent with long-standing anxieties about “Big Brother;” suspicion about China taking over our video cameras just rings true at a time when Russia is (supposedly) controlling our elections. But should two companies be targeted while broader concerns are shrugged off?
Governments and corporations face crisis events every day. An active shooter terrorises a campus. A cyber extortionist holds a city for ransom. A hurricane washes away a key manufacturing facility. Not all critical events rise to the level of these catastrophic emergencies, but a late or inadequate response to even a minor incident can put people, operations and reputations at risk. Effective response plan In 2015, for example, the City of Boston experienced several record-breaking snowstorms that forced the city to close the subway system for three days. The extreme decision cost the state $265 million per day and was largely attributed to a lack of preparation and an inadequate response plan by the transportation department. The reputation of the head of the transportation department was so damaged by the decision she was forced to resign. Being able to better predict how the storms would impact the subway system’s aging infrastructure – and having a more effective response plan in place – could have saved the state hundreds of millions of dollars (not to mention the transit chief’s job). A comprehensive critical event management strategy begins before the impact of an event is felt and continues after the immediate crisis has ended. This full lifecycle strategy can be broken into four distinct phases – Assess, Locate, Act and Analyse. Assessing threats for prevention Security teams might have complained about not having enough intelligence data to make accurate predictionsIdentifying a threat before it reaches critical mass and understanding how it might impact vital assets is the most difficult challenge facing security professionals. In the past, security teams might have complained about not having enough intelligence data to make accurate predictions. Today, the exact opposite might be true – there is too much data! With crime and incident data coming from law enforcement agencies, photos and videos coming from people on the front line, topics trending on social media and logistical information originating from internal systems it can be almost impossible to locate a real signal among all the noise and chatter. Being able to easily visualise all this intelligence data within the context of an organisation’s assets is vital to understand the relationship between threat data and the individuals or facilities in harm’s way. Social media monitoring Free tools like Google Maps or satellite imagery from organisations like AccuWeather, for example, can help understand how fast a storm is closing in on a manufacturing facility, or how close an active shooter is to a school. Their usefulness, however, is limited to a few event types and they provide only a very macro view of the crisis.Data from building access systems, wifi hotspots, corporate travel systems, among others, can be used to create a profile Critical event management (CEM) platforms, however, are designed specifically to manage critical events of all types and provide much greater visibility. Internal and external data sources (weather, local and national emergency management, social media monitoring software, security cameras, etc.) are integrated into these platforms and their data is visualised on a threat map. Security teams can quickly see if there are actual threats to the organisations or communities they are protecting and don’t lose time trying to make sense of intelligence reports. The more they can see on a ‘single pane of glass,’ the faster they can initiate the appropriate response. Locating a threat Once a threat has been deemed a critical event, the next step is to find the people who might be impacted – employees/residents in danger, first responders and key stakeholders (e.g., senior executives or elected officials who need status updates). Often, this requires someone on the security team to access an HR contact database and initiate a call tree to contact each person individually, in a specific hierarchical order. This can be a time-consuming and opaque process. There is no information on the proximity of that person to the critical event, or if a person has skills such as CPR that could aid in the response. Ensuring ahead of time that certifications, skill sets, or on-call availability is included with contact information can save valuable time in the middle of a crisis response. Going even further, data from building access systems, wifi hotspots, corporate travel systems, among others, can be used to create a profile of where a person just was and where he or she might be going in a CEM platform. This information can be visualised on the threat map and help determine who is actually in danger and who can respond the fastest. The emergency response then becomes targeted and more effective. Security teams can quickly see if there are actual threats to the organisations or communities they are protecting Acting and automating The third step is to act and automate processes. If there is a tornado closing in on a town, for example, residents should not have to wait for manual intervention before a siren is activated or a message sent out. Organisations can build and execute their standing operating procedures (SOPs) fully within a CEM platform. Sirens, alarms, digital signs and messages can all be automatically activated based on event type, severity and location. Using the tornado example, an integration with a weather forecasting service could trigger the command to issue a tornado warning for a specific community if it is in the path of the storm. Summon security guards Warning messages can be prepared in advance based on event type so there is no chance of issuing a misleading or unclear alert Warning messages can be prepared in advance based on event type so there is no chance of issuing a misleading or unclear alert. All communications with impacted individuals can be centralised within the platform and automated based on SOP protocols. This also includes inbound communications from first responders and impacted individuals. An employee confronted by an assailant in a parking garage could initiate an SOS alert from his or her mobile phone that would automatically summon security guards to the scene. Conference lines can also be instantly created to enable collaboration and speed response time. Additionally, escalation policies are automatically engaged if a protocol is broken. For example, during an IT outage, if the primary network engineer does not respond in two minutes, a designated backup is automatically summoned. Eliminating manual steps from SOPs reduces the chance for human error and increases the speed and effectiveness of critical event responses. Analysis of a threat Looking for ways to better prepare and respond to critical events will not only improve performance when similar events occur again It’s not uncommon for security and response teams to think that a critical event is over once the immediate crisis has ended. After all, they are often the ones pushing themselves to exhaustion and sometimes risking life and limb to protect their neighbours, colleagues, community reputations and company brands. They need and deserve a rest. In the aftermath of a critical event, however, it’s important to review the effectiveness of the response and look for ways to drive improvements. Which tasks took too long? What resources were missing? How many times did people respond quickly? With a CEM platform, team performance, operational response, benchmarking data and notification analysis are all captured within the system and are available in a configurable dashboard or in after-action reports for analysis. Continuously looking for ways to better prepare and respond to critical events will not only improve performance when similar events occur again, but it will also improve response effectiveness when unforeseen events strike. Coordinate emergency response Virtually every organisation has some form of response plan to triage a critical event and restore community order or business operations. While many of these plans are highly effective in providing a structure to command and coordinate emergency response, they are reactive in nature and don’t account for the full lifecycle of a critical event – Assess, Locate, Act and Analyse. Whether it’s a large-scale regional emergency or a daily operational issue such as an IT outage, a comprehensive critical event management strategy will minimise the impact by improving visibility, collaboration and response.
Using a smart phone as an access control credential is an idea whose time has come – or has it? The flexible uses of smart phones are transforming our lives in multiple ways, and the devices are replacing everything from our alarm clocks to our wallets to our televisions. However, the transformation from using a card to using a mobile credential for access control is far from a no-brainer for many organisations, which obstacles to a fast or easy transition. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: When will mobile credentials dominate access control, and what are the obstacles to greater adoption?
In 1973, a brilliant economist named E.F. Schumacher wrote a seminal book titled ‘Small Is Beautiful:’ taking an opposing stance to the emergence of globalisation and “bigger is better” industrialism. He described the advantages of smaller companies and smaller scales of production, highlighting the benefits of building our economies around the needs of communities, not corporations. In almost every industry or market that exists in the world today, you're likely to find a difference in size between companies. Whether it’s a global retail chain versus a small family-owned store, a corporate restaurant chain versus a mom-and-pop diner or a small bed and breakfast versus a large hotel chain — each side of the coin presents unique characteristics and advantages in a number of areas. Disparity in physical security industry Customers are drawn to products and services from large enterprises as the big names typically imply stability This disparity very clearly exists in the physical security industry, and differences in the sizes of product manufacturers and service providers could have important implications for the quality and type of the products and services offered. All too often, customers are drawn to products and services from large enterprises, as the big names typically imply stability, extensive product offerings and global reach. And that's not to say that these considerations are unwarranted; one could argue that larger companies have more resources for product development and likely possess the combined expertise and experience to provide a wide range of products and services. But the value that a company’s products and services can bring isn’t necessarily directly related to or dependent on its size. In an age where the common wisdom is to scale up to be more efficient and profitable, it’s interesting to pause and think about some of the possible advantages of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Typically, “small” companies are defined as those with less than 100 employees and “medium” with less than 500. Providing social mobility Schumacher argued that smaller companies are important engines of economic growth. Indeed, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a group of 36 member countries that promotes policies for economic and social well-being, SMBs account for 60 to 70 percent of jobs in most OECD countries. Importantly, SMBs provide resilience in that there are often large economic and social impacts when big companies fail. Smaller companies are better for regional economies in general, as earnings stay more local compared to big businesses, which in turn generates additional economic activity. SMBs are also better at providing social mobility for disadvantaged groups by giving them opportunities and enabling them to realise their potential. Smaller companies are often more innovative, bringing to the market novel technologies and solutions such as Cloud, analytics, AI, and IoT New companies introduce new technologies There's no denying the role of start-ups when it comes to innovation. In the security industry, many new technologies (e.g. Cloud, analytics, AI, IoT) are first brought to the market by newer companies. In general, smaller companies’ products and services often have to be as good or better than others to be competitive in the marketplace. They are therefore often more innovative, bringing to the market novel technologies and solutions. And these companies are also more willing to try out other new B2B solutions, while larger companies tend to be more risk-averse. Customer service Aside from the quality of products and services, arguably one of the most important components of a security company’s success is its ability to interact with and provide customers the support that they deserve. Smaller companies are able to excel and stand out to their customers in a number of ways: Customer service. Customers’ perceptions of a product’s quality are influenced by the quality of support, and smaller manufacturers often possess a strong, motivated customer service team that can be relatively more responsive to customers of all sizes, not just the large ones. A superior level of support generally translates into high marks on customer satisfaction, since customers’ issues with products can be resolved promptly. Flexibility. SMBs have a greater capacity to detect and satisfy small market niches. While large companies generally create products and services for large markets, smaller companies deal more directly with their customers, enabling them to meet their needs and offer customised products and services. And this translates to adaptability, as SMBs become responsive to new market trends. By having a pulse on the market, smaller companies have much more flexibility in their supply chain and can adjust much faster in response to changing demand. Decision-making. Smaller companies are much more agile in decision-making, while larger enterprises often suffer from complex, tedious and lengthy decision-making processes. Communication is easier throughout SMBs, as smaller teams enable new ideas to flow and can solve problems faster. Job satisfaction Employees working for SMBs connect more directly with the company's goals and objectives, which in turn increases motivation and job satisfaction Employees working for SMBs connect more directly with the company's goals and objectives, which in turn increases motivation and job satisfaction. SMBs are also generally more connected to local communities and participation in community activities leads to a greater sense of purpose. Additionally, SMBs have a much smaller impact on the environment, which is increasingly becoming an important consideration for today’s employees and customers. Though Schumacher's book takes a much deeper dive into the large global effects of scale on people and profitability, the general impact of a company’s size on its products and services is clear. It’s important for all players in the security industry to remember that the commitment and dedication to product quality can be found in businesses of all sizes. Ensuring safety of people, property and assets Large manufacturers may catch your eye, but small business shouldn’t be forgotten, as they can offer end users a robust set of attributes and benefits. While all security companies are aiming to achieve a common goal of providing safety for people, property and assets, smaller businesses can provide extensive value when it comes to driving the economy, innovating in the industry, providing quality employment and offering superior customer service.
Repercussions are rippling through the physical security industry since President Trump signed into law the ban on government uses of surveillance equipment by Chinese manufacturers Hikvision and Dahua. In addition to the direct and indirect consequences of the new law, there have also been other developments likely to impact the future of Chinese companies in the video surveillance market. The ban has raised awareness of Chinese companies’ role in video surveillance, and other developments are related to tariffs and possible sanctions, all playing out amid the backdrop of an escalating trade war. One Chinese manufacturer previously dismissed security concerns about its role in video surveillance as “Cold War rhetoric.” There has been an almost nostalgic tone recently to the escalating concerns about video cameras being used for spying. Hikvision and Dahua have both stated emphatically that they have not conducted any espionage-related activities. Even so, the U.S. government ban has emboldened the concerns. However, to be clear: No one has alleged that technologies from either of the companies have been used for espionage. Rather, the concerns are about the potential for misuse, not actual misuse. Also aggravating the situation are Chinese companies’ previous, actual problems with cybersecurity, which the companies say they have addressed. Here are some recent developments related to the U.S. government ban and Chinese manufacturers in general: Tariffs and trade concerns Additional rounds of U.S. tariffs have targeted an expanding array of Chinese goods, including data storage and processing components such as printed circuit boards, as well as video camera lenses. The escalating trade war has kept generalised concerns about China and its trade practices in the public eye and fomented a level of uncertainty in many markets, including physical security. Additional rounds of U.S. tariffs have targeted an expanding array of Chinese goods Involvement of surveillance in Chinese human rights violations Concerns have surfaced in a Congressional hearing recently about the Chinese government’s surveillance activities targeting the Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in the Zinjiang Urghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Specific attention is being directed at the region’s surveillance system including “thousands of surveillance cameras, including in mosques,” and Hikvision and Dahua were mentioned in the Congressional hearing as profiting from security spending in the area. Increased global media attention The ban has not been widely publicised in the U.S. mainstream media, but the topic has attracted global attention. For example, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation broadcast a 10-minute expose on the use of Chinese-made cameras in Australian government facilities, including “sensitive military facilities.” The report, which mentioned the U.S. ban, noted that “Both [Hikvision and Dahua] have had security flaws be exposed leading to fears that some of the flaws were placed there to help the Chinese government spy.” The report continues: “China is trying to set itself up as the number-one country for cyber-espionage, and this is part of that platform.” How broadly should one interpret the inclusion of "critical infrastructure" mentioned in the bill? Broader interpretation of the bill beyond the federal government The language in the bill leaves a level of ambiguity in terms of the scope of its application, and the security marketplace as a whole has been struggling to understand its full impact. Does the ban only restrict an integrator’s use of Chinese technology on a specific government job, or does it eliminate an integrator who installs the technology (even in non-government projects) from consideration for government jobs? How broadly should one interpret the inclusion of “critical infrastructure” mentioned in the bill, for example, non-governmental facilities? Will other governments and private entities assume they should ban Hikvision and Dahua in order to be compliant? For example, Suffolk, Virginia, has announced it will not to use Dahua or Hikvision cameras because the federal ban applies to “U.S. government-funded contracts and for critical infrastructure and national security usage.” The result of these developments is a kind of snowball effect, simultaneously drawing attention to the issues and adding new elements to an overall narrative. Taken together, these developments suggest the U.S. ban has set off a level of concern about Chinese companies that will have an industry-transforming impact in the months to come.
Newly modernised halls with lots of daylight will house hundreds of exhibitions and conference events at the upcoming Security Essen 2018 at Messe Essen, Germany. A new layout and hall numbering system will be unfamiliar to past attendees but promises to simplify the experience as it brings together attendees and exhibitors. European physical security market Security Essen is an international trade fair, but the emphasis is more on German, Austrian and Swiss companies. In all, Security Essen will feature 1,000 exhibitors from 40 nations. The trade fair has more of a continental European “flavour” compared to IFSEC, which focuses more on the U.K market. At the last Security Essen in 2016, organisers reported about 40,000 visitors including conference participants, VIP guests, members of various delegations and journalists. Security Essen 2018 has more of a continental European “flavour” compared to IFSEC, which focuses more on the U.K market “This year, we have sharpened the profile of Security Essen,” says Oliver P. Kuhrt, CEO of Messe Essen, a trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. “The trade fair has become considerably more digital, more modern and more interactive. Due to the optimised hall layout, we are offering our exhibitors and visitors the best possible experience with short paths and direct communication.” Newly modernised Messe Essen The newly modernised site of Security Essen will encompass eight halls, newly renumbered and with the subject areas reorganised, too. Visitors will find Services in Hall 1; Access, Mechanatronics, Mechanics and Systems in Halls 2 and 3 and the Galeria; Perimeter Protection in Hall 3; Video in Halls 5 and 7; and Fire, Intrusion and Systems in Halls 6 and 7. A helpful smart phone app, downloadable free from the Google Play Store (Android) or the Apple App Store (iOS), will be available two weeks before the event and include a show floor plan; the exhibitor list with booth numbers and contact information; and an overview of the supporting programme. A separate hall – Hall 8 – will house new Cyber Security and Economic Security categories. Cyber Security Conference At the new Cyber Security Conference, located prominently at the new East Entrance, experts will share their knowledge about the more pressing challenges and potential of cybersecurity. The programme opens and closes on 25 and 28 September with the main topic “Opportunities and Risks of Cyber Security”. On 26 September, discussions and lectures will centre on “Entry, Admission, Access: Identification Options”.A helpful smart phone app, downloadable free will be available two weeks before the event and include a show floor plan On 27 September, the topic will be smart homes and focus on “Connected Building, Security in the Buildings of the Future”. Speakers will include the president of Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security, who will address cybersecurity as a challenge for politics, business and society. The fair organises the conference in cooperation with the BHE Federal Association of Security Technology and the technical support of the Federal Office for Information Security. In Hall 8, a new Public Security Forum will enable visitors to experience digital security technologies for public spaces from the areas of sensors/IoT, cyber security and surveillance. The products and solutions will be installed in four different building scenarios (town hall, school, hospital and library) and it will be possible to test them extensively. The forum, including lectures and discussions, will target municipal decision makers and planners of public spaces. Comprehensive programme A Security Expert Forum in Hall 2 will present a continuous programme with more than 90 presentations during the period of the fair. Visitors will obtain information and solution ideas about all six subject areas covered at the fair, and the programme will begin with a keynote lecture each morning and finish with a live demonstration in the evening. On the first day of the fair (25 September), Security Essen’s Career Forum will introduce retrainees, students, trainees and graduates to companies from the security industry. Targeted and professional communication will be established between companies and job applicants to facilitate making contacts, developing networks, and filling actual vacancies. Thursday (27 September) will be observed as Fire Prevention Day, and a Drone Course will be provided each day in Hall 7. One day admission to Security Essen is €41; a four-day ticket is €105. Advance sale tickets are discounted.
GRW is one of South Africa’s leading providers of sophisticated road transport trailers; designing, manufacturing and servicing a wide range of bespoke vehicles, each configured to provide a solution to the unique transportation needs of an individual client. GRW has now invested in a state-of-the-art IP CCTV system to protect its premises against unauthorised access and monitor the large, modern production facilities, and is already reaping the benefits from the integration of analytics with the IP cameras. GRW transport operations Founded in South Africa in 1996, GRW’s operations have always revolved around the transport of commercial goods. Whether it’s carrying petroleum, chemicals, temperature-controlled perishables, FMCG, pallets or bulk general cargo, the trailers manufactured by GRW are specifically designed to meet the individual transportation requirements of customers throughout Southern Africa, the Middle East, Australia and the UK. All the company’s products emerge from its large, ultra-modern manufacturing complex in Worcester, in South Africa’s Western Cape. As well as housing the extensive production facilities and spare parts department, the facility is also home to GRW Services and GRW Financial Services, which are responsible for worldwide customer care and after-sales contract servicing and the supply of rental units. Surveillance of the perimeter of this large facility and protecting the plant from unauthorised access was a key security concern for the company. However, manned patrols of the perimeter proved ineffective and Sensor Security was tasked with designing a solution that would automate the process of securing the boundary and eliminate the possibility of human error. At the same time, GRW recognised that an intelligent camera infrastructure might enable remote monitoring of the production process and Sensor Security was asked to investigate.Surveillance of the perimeter of this large facility and protecting the plant from unauthorised access was a key security concern for the company Integration of analytics with IP cameras “From the outset we knew that the proposed CCTV system should successfully serve a dual purpose, helping supervisors and managers monitor the workshop operations during opening hours and securing the perimeter 24 hours a day,” says Edmund Casaleggio, Sensor Security’s Sales Executive. “There was also a need to make the combined system as simple and easy to operate as possible, ensuring that operations staff had unrestricted access to the workshop video feeds while not being distracted by the security cameras and vice versa for the security officers, who are best served by complete concentration on securing the premises.” Following extensive consultations with GRW staff, the final design of the dual-purpose system involved a total of 18 Hikvision cameras, eleven on the perimeter and seven in the workshop area, all feeding in to a 32-channel Hikvision NVR at GRW, and to Security Sensor’s control room. “GRW was actively involved in the whole consultation and design process, right from day one, with suggestions on key sites needing monitoring and protecting and information and advice on the flow of work and personnel around the workshop area” continues Edmund Casaleggio. “This was hugely beneficial and one of the main contributory factors in the successful installation. In my experience it is always more challenging, risky even, to install any security-related system without sufficient input and collaboration from the end-user client.” A smart perimeter Perimeter patrolling with guards having proved ineffective, GRW was also keen that the introduction of cameras did not mean that an individual would have to be assigned to constantly manage the CCTV system around-the-clock. Therefore, the Hikvision DS-2CD4012F-A Smart 1.3MP low-light box camera was selected to monitor the perimeter of the plant, with active use of the cameras Smart Analytics intrusion flags ensuring that GRW’s security officers and Sensor Security’s control room are pro-actively notified of any unauthorised movement around the premises. According to Edmund Casaleggio, “The integration of analytics with the Smart IP CCTV cameras is a significant added advantage, flagging alarms only when intrusion occurs within the specified range. We do not have to use alarm inputs and outputs to connect passives and actives on the DVR/NVR, which saves significantly on maintenance of the system. It also reduced installation time significantly. What’s more, the accuracy of these Smart cameras with analytics is far better than beams, as long as the cameras are correctly calibrated when installed. In this regard, the Auto Back Focus on these Smart cameras greatly assists the installation technicians to achieve the best possible viewing quality.” As well as the Smart Intrusion Detection, the Hikvision DS-2CD4012F-A also features Smart Codec, Smart Focus, Smart VQD, Smart Face Detection and Smart Audio Detection. They also benefit from 3D DNR and Digital WDR, and the Day & Night IR cut filter allows successful video operation down to 0.001 Lux. Remote monitoring of perimeter and workshop Seven Hikvision DS-2CD2132-I 3MP Mini Dome Cameras keep watch over all operations in the workshop area, assisting the supervisors and managers to remotely monitor processes on the floor. This process is made much easier and more efficient for these staff due to the integration of the Hikvision DS-9632NI-ST 32-channel NVR with a PC, ensuring that operational staff are only presented with images relevant to the production area.GRW is already reaping the benefits from the integration of analytics with the IP cameras and is set to continue for many years" “The full HD, 1080p real-time video is a huge asset for the supervisory staff and the camera itself, protected within its IP66 vandal-proof housing, has withstood the rigours of a harsh industrial environment really well,” continues Edmund Casaleggio. “True day/night operation thanks to its 30m IR range and Digital WDR and 3D DNR also contribute to the high-quality video at all times.” A real success “This newly-installed state-of-the-art IP CCTV system automates the process of protecting GRW’s premises against unauthorised access and monitoring the production facilities while eliminating the possibility of human error,” says Edmund Casaleggio. “GRW is already reaping the benefits from the integration of analytics with the IP cameras and is set to continue for many years. “At the same time, they are benefitting from the user-friendly nature of Hikvision’s technology. This deceptively “simple” platform helps GRW staff to operate the software easily with minimal training while Smart features, such as ABF, aids our technicians to achieve the best possible video quality. “However, the quality of Hikvision’s hardware and software does not come with an unaffordable price tag. In fact, since Hikvision’s iVMS-4200 software allows for the integration of analogue and IP cameras free-of-charge, this serves to increase the affordability of their products. What’s more, the free Hikvision software allows the feeds from analogue and IP cameras to be integrated on one screen. “In conclusion, Hikvision’s huge range of cameras, NVRs, DVRs and software allows us to propose unitary solutions to their security needs and to more successfully back-up and service the installation over many years. Quite simply, it is easier to provide post-sales service and support with a single, reliable brand.”
A five-acre logistics site in the UK blighted by break-ins and theft of diesel is now being protected by a system that includes a combination of 30 highly reliable detectors from OPTEX, one of the world’s leading detection technology manufacturers. Established in 1995, Intake Transport operates one of the largest fleets on the British road today with one main depot and three satellites around the country. The main depot experienced a number of incidents where diesel was being stolen directly from the tanks of the lorries, most severely over a bank holiday weekend when it was closed for three days. Each vehicle holds at least £600 worth of diesel, and added to the cost of the damage to the bespoke painted vehicles when intruders tried to enter the cabs and steal scrap metal from the trailer, the overall cost to the business ran into many thousands of pounds. OPTEX intrusion detection sensors Eyewatch Security was approached by the Director of Intake Transport for a solution. The system designed by Eyewatch includes 30 OPTEX intrusion detection sensors to provide a layered protection around the site. Five AX infrared beams create a ‘virtual perimeter fence’ around the compound where the lorries are parked; six BX-80 outdoor PIRs provide a curtain of detection to protect the outdoor perimeter along the fence. Ten battery-operated high mount HX-80 sensors provide volumetric detection to secure the approach to the office building; and 25 VX-402 hardwired detectors add additional security at the entrance and around the rest of the site. The extensive system is linked to five cameras that are remotely monitored at Eyewatch’s HQ so that if an intrusion is detected, the incident can be ‘seen’ and responded to. Each of the Intake drivers is given a code to set and unset the system so that they do not cause any false alarms. System success Richard Burgin, director of Intake Transport: “Since the system was installed, we haven’t had any attempted break-ins and no false alarms either, now that the drivers have become used to the routine. I am incredibly impressed with the reliability of the OPTEX detectors and the peace of mind this has provided us as a business. “Diesel and scrap metal theft has become a prevalent problem nationwide and in Scunthorpe, we are seeing many businesses suffering from similar problems as Intake Transport,” says Dean Bolton, Managing Director of Eyewatch. “We have now installed a top level security system that will protect the compound and all of the valuable lorries within it for many years to come.”
Customer Located in the Meadowlands and part of the MetLife Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, MetLife Stadium is home to the New York Football Giants and the New York Jets. The $1.6 billion stadium was financed and built by a joint venture between the two teams, who operate it through the New Meadowlands Stadium Company. The stadium opened in April 2010 and boasts a seating capacity of 82,500, making it one of the NFL®'s largest stadiums. On February 2, 2014, MetLife Stadium played host to Super Bowl® XLVIII. Challenge MetLife Stadium wanted to replace 26 IP cameras located at the perimeter gates of the stadium and also to deploy 180° panoramic-view cameras in place of the 27 pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras that covered the exterior perimeter. Given the large crowds they attract, each football game, concert or other event has its share of unique challenges, including monitoring fan conduct, crowd management situations and dealing with medical emergencies. MetLife Stadium's main goal in upgrading its surveillance system was to ensure a safe, secure environment that would contribute to a memorable guest experience. Incident prevention and monitoring were additional key goals of the project. MetLife Stadium staff members are challenged with trying to determine what happened after an incident occurred. There are often various versions and accounts from those involved and from independent witnesses. Clear recorded video is needed to reveal what actually happened. Prior to the new camera system being installed, MetLife Stadium used four PTZ cameras to monitor the seating bowl area and these cameras were only used reactively when an incident came to the attention of the stadium's Command Center. With the new camera system, every seat in the seating bowl is monitored at all times. Being able to have their Command Center personnel go back in time and review everyone's actions is an extremely valuable investigative tool for stadium security personnel and for public safety agencies. Among the stadium security management team's other goals are to identify and examine objects left behind, monitor security screening procedures, investigate slip-and-fall incidents, observe staff performance and provide surveillance for counter terrorism efforts. Solution Because MetLife Stadium was designed to be a network-controlled building, IP cameras were part of the original design. When it came time to install cameras to cover the seating bowl, IP was the only platform considered, according to Daniel DeLorenzi, Director of Security for MetLife Stadium. "To run an analogue system would have been cost-prohibitive due to cabling, and the cables would be single-purpose. If upgrades were necessary, the project would have to be completed all over again," DeLorenzi said. The excellent image quality provided by the Arecont Vision megapixel cameras makes it possible for stadium security to identify individuals DeLorenzi and the rest of MetLife Stadium’s security management team turned to Robert McCabe, owner of Corporate Security Services, Inc., located in Edison, N.J., to assist in selecting IP surveillance components and to design and implement the video surveillance solution. After a careful evaluation process, an optimal surveillance solution was built around megapixel imaging technology from Arecont Vision to ensure wide area coverage with extreme detail and to enable forensic zooming on live and recorded video. Corporate Security Services deployed more than 130 Arecont Vision megapixel cameras throughout MetLife Stadium, including MegaVideo® Compact 10-megapixel (MP) cameras located around the bowl of the stadium to provide a view of every seat in every section; SurroundVideo® panoramic 8MP cameras provide 180° coverage of entrances and common areas; and MegaDome® 2 3MP cameras with remote focus and wide dynamic range (WDR) are located in the stadium's security entrance areas. Arecont Vision WDR cameras provide detailed video where bright and dark images exist in the same scene. The Arecont Vision megapixel cameras are controlled using Genetec Security Center, a unified video management system (VMS) which is monitored by a centralised security command center within the stadium. Arecont Vision worked with Corporate Security Services' designers to provide a layout of the camera locations required to cover the area, which McCabe says helped with the installation. In the end, all the cameras were installed in easily accessible and serviceable locations. Megapixel benefit Because of the high level of detail it provides, one Arecont Vision SurroundVideo panoramic camera covers the same area as multiple IP VGA resolution cameras. By using Arecont Vision cameras to reduce overall camera counts, MetLife Stadium's security team was able to achieve its goal of implementing an unobtrusive high-performance video surveillance system. With a reduction in the total number of cameras implemented, the system can be more efficiently managed. MetLife Stadium's policy is to initiate real-time recording 24-hours prior to game day, at which time every camera within the stadium is recorded at its full frame rate. Incidents are recorded prior to, during and for several hours after a game or other event. This allows the security staff to easily search and play back detailed video of any reported incidents from any of the cameras to determine what happened. Because of the high level of detail it provides, one Arecont Vision SurroundVideo panoramic camera covers the same area as multiple IP VGA resolution cameras The excellent image quality provided by the Arecont Vision megapixel cameras makes it possible for stadium security to identify individuals, and the high frame rates allow them to see actions that occur. Additional benefits of the Arecont Vision cameras include Day/Night video capabilities where mechanical infrared (IR) cut filters are used for clear images in low light, H.264 compression to reduce network and storage costs and Power over Ethernet (PoE) to reduce cabling costs. Arecont Vision MegaVideo Compact series box cameras are available in 1.3MP to 10MP resolutions with features that include dual H.264/MJPEG encoding, fast frame rates, privacy masking, pixel binning to increase light sensitivity in 3MP, 5MP and 10MP models, extended motion detection grid, flexible cropping and PoE. They are available in colour and Day/Night configurations. SurroundVideo series megapixel cameras from Arecont Vision are all-in-one 180° and 360° panoramic solutions that are available in 8MP, 12MP WDR, 20MP and 40MP resolutions. Housed in environmental rated IP66 domes, the units feature dual H.264/MJPEG encoding, true Day/Night functionality, IR corrected megapixel lenses, privacy masking, extended motion detection, bit rate control, binning mode to increase light sensitivity in 12MP, 20MP and 40MP models, fast image rates and WDR in 12MP models. Arecont Vision MegaDome 2 all-in-one cameras with remote focus and remote zoom are available in 1080p, 3MP, 5MP and 10MP resolutions. Features include an IP66-rated / IK-10 impact-resistant dome chassis with a 3-axis camera gimbal for easy adjustment, dual H.264/MJPEG encoding, integrated megapixel vari-focal lens, optional WDR in 1080p and 3MP models, pixel binning in 3MP, 5MP and 10MP models, total PoE and optional IR illumination, audio functionality and heater kit.
Moinesti, a city in Bacau County, Romania, recently upgraded its municipal surveillance system for the sake of its safety improvement and criminality prevention by installing Dahua Megapixel surveillance system. With strong support from Dahua’s local distributor and system integrator, KMW Systems and Mobilis, the project has been successfully implemented to safeguard city of Moinesti. Monitoring multiple sites The challenge of this project is covering multiple monitoring sites from roads, parks, schools and public areas alike. These sites have one thing in common which is open areas and it requires a monitoring centre to manage hundreds of network cameras and to process and store massive data flows as well as to respond quickly if any incident or unusual signals occur. Meanwhile, when choosing cameras, several factors were taken into consideration, such as detailed image quality, outdoor environment and variations of monitoring backgrounds; the suitable lens applied to the network camera is also a big concern. Without a doubt, the IP solution is definitely the answer to all the challenges. Therefore, the whole project lays importance on three dimensions — IP data transmission, video surveillance devices and central management software (CMS). Monitoring centre optimises police operations The project is covering multiple monitoring sites from roads, parks, schools and public areas alike The finalised solution consists of nearly 200 units of Dahua megapixel network cameras and speed domes, a pair of high-channel network video recorders as well as 11 units of network keyboards. The monitoring centre is situated in the local police department where hundreds of megapixel cameras are managed and mass data volume is centrally processed and stored. The office uses seven units of Dahua servers equipped with a quad-core processing chip and HDDs of high capacity to run Dahua CMS and NVRs, in order to fully ensure the smooth operation, data safety and system stability. Meanwhile, the bureau adopts 7 units of 42-inch 1080p LCD video-walls to take control of all on-going images. At the transmission front, optic fibre is featured in the project as physical support for data transmission while the auxiliary devices are wirelessly deployed. A local municipal official pointed out that the project is designed to combat crimes in an effective and friendly way, which also leads to an optimisation of police operations. “The municipal government has received quite a lot credits from our citizens since the deployment of the project,” unnamed official added. "Through this project, it demonstrates Dahua’s HD network solution is lived up to high standards that city of Moinesti requires,” said Michael Chen, Vice President of Dahua Technology. “With ample city surveillance projects in China, we surely have the capabilities for the projects alike.” "Our HD network solution includes front-end, back-end as well as TV wall, given that our products and technologies are differentiating with other suppliers can offer,” added Chen. “We will continue to offer solution-based solution to our customers not only for city surveillance projects but also other vertical markets, such as retail, hotel and transportation.”
For 121 years, National Lutheran Communities and Services (NLCS) has provided lifestyle, residential and health care choices to seniors through a variety of retirement community options. These include The Village at Rockville, a National Lutheran Community in Maryland; The Legacy at North Augusta, a National Lutheran Community in Staunton, Virginia; and The Village at Orchard Ridge, a National Lutheran Community in Winchester, Virginia, which is currently undergoing Phase 1 of construction and will open in Spring 2013. Security challenges NLCS prides itself on maximising independence to let residents live fulfilling, exciting lives with the assurance of health care at their fingertips. While their mission is rooted in the Lutheran heritage, they are proud to serve seniors of any faith and about 55 percent of their residents are non-Lutheran.NLCS is undergoing rapid expansion, with current renovations to The Village at Rockville and the construction of The Village at Orchard Ridge. With significant growth, comes security challenges and the community faces these head on by deploying technology to help combat potential issues. The security risks at any National Lutheran community, and any senior-living facility, for that matter, go beyond deterring and solving crime. An environment that supports the health and well being of all residents, while maintaining an atmosphere of independence and safety is essential to the day-to-day operations for any community. Privacy and respect a priority One of the challenges The Village at Rockville experienced is that many independent living residents requested use of an exercise facility, but without full-time personnel managing the exercise room, the associated risks seemed far too great. How could they make it safe without sacrificing independence of residents who wished to workout at their convenience?"Safety and security are selling points for our community," said Courtney Malengo, Director of Public Relations, National Lutheran Communities and Services, Rockville, Maryland. "One of the first questions adult children will ask is ‘how are my mom and dad going to be taken care of and how are you going to ensure their safety?’ They are essentially trusting strangers with their loved ones. Whether it’s 2 a.m. or 2 p.m., we need to make sure everyone is safe and secure while keeping privacy and respect paramount."A couple of years ago NLCS installed a single IP camera to monitor a small space in The Village at Rockville, a 300-bed healthcare facility with 144 independent living cottages, hospice, respite and short-term rehabilitation facilities. Its current four-year renovations include enhanced rehabilitation services and assisted-living suites. This single test served as a pilot to see how the analogue surveillance system could be enhanced with new technology."Our old analogue system ran off copper but the interface wasn’t very friendly or reliable," said Drew Tannahill, Technical Services Manager, National Lutheran Communities and Services, Rockville, Maryland. "We were looking for a more friendly and robust interface so we could do more with the cameras. Plus, we needed a system that could be easily expanded upon if needed because of our rapid growth and renovation." MOBOTIX solution MOBOTIX cameras at The Village at Rockville Kim Hartman of MOBOTIX partner and leading systems integrator Surveillance Secure, in collaboration with Global Surveillance System, Inc., the largest distributor of IP video surveillance and low-voltage security equipment in the Washington, DC Metro area, installed 37 MOBOTIX cameras throughout the Village of Rockville, 27 of which were installed externally and 10 internally. Surveillance Secure is a full service provider of IP, digital, wireless surveillance cameras and services in the Washington, D.C. Metro area and throughout the United States. Surveillance Secure works diligently with Global Surveillance System, Inc. to provide strong value, the latest surveillance and access control technology and competitive pricing for all installation projects and cameras that meet client budgets and timelines. The cameras installed by Surveillance Secure at The Village of Rockville cover all of the main entrances and exits, the parking lot and other high-traffic areas. 24/7 monitoring day and night Six cameras are monitored 24 hours per day; three are configured for facial recognition so the staff can ‘buzz in’ residents and visitors, and keep unwanted guests out; all are set to activate and record when motion is detected; and several MOBOTIX DualDome cameras with night and day features that allow the staff to easily see outdoor activity at night, and have pan, tilt and zoom capability to see specific areas when needed. They also have six cameras at The Legacy at North Augusta and plan to install the same surveillance at The Village at Orchard Ridge community when it is complete.One of the key reasons NLCS chose to deploy a MOBOTIX surveillance system was due to the cost efficiencies delivered by its decentralised approach to surveillance technology. With this unique concept, each camera incorporates a high-speed computer and internal flash memory card (SD/MicroSD card) to enable all recording and storage to occur within the camera, reducing the need for a separate PC or DVR. MxControlCenter VMS The addition of MxControlCenter, a professional video management software package that connects any number of cameras at any location with centralised or local, user-based operation and evaluation, with the cameras at no additional charge was also deemed to be an ROI enhancer. The usability of the VMS platform enabled NLCS to get its staff up-and-running in no time. They are simultaneously protecting their residents from any day-to-day risks and employees from any situation that could harm them "Working with Kim we were shown how easy it is to operate and everyone got up to speed really quickly," Tannahill said. "The motion detection, PTZ and IP features have met our needs without bogging down our network, and it can easily be added to or changed based on where our renovation takes us."Furthermore, the MOBOTIX cameras provide a high level of video quality through its use of megapixel sensors. One single MOBOTIX camera with 3.1 megapixels records 30 times more detail than traditional CCTV cameras. As a result, larger image areas of up to 360-degree views are possible. This reduces the number of cameras needed in any environment and therefore, upfront and long-term costs are minimised. Results It may seem like a small addition, but not to the residents that have been demanding it for years: The Village at Rockville now has a gym. Thanks to the surveillance system, the staff can keep an eye on the workout room and quickly react to an emergency without making the residents feel as though they are losing their independence."The residents always wanted a place to workout," Malengo said. "But we were faced with the challenge of, ‘how do we provide this to allow them to maintain their independence and health, but also ensure their safety?’ What if someone slipped and fell on the treadmill, how would we handle that? With the camera system in place they can workout at their leisure and we can make sure they’re safe without interfering."The benefits of the surveillance solution from MOBOTIX have also helped prevent problems that are fairly unique to the senior communities. Residents suffering from dementia are often prone to wandering, or attempting to leave the premises unknowingly. The situation might cause a severe panic at similar places, but the team at NLCS can easily use the cameras to see where the resident was last seen in the building, in addition to several other security measures that are in place.Finally, NLCS’ proactive approach to safety provides its obvious purpose: peace of mind. They are simultaneously protecting their residents from any day-to-day risks and employees from any situation that could harm them."It’s also been great for the staff. It gives them the peace of mind and they don’t feel like they’re completely alone," Tannahill said. "It’s nice to know the cameras are around. We aren’t faced with much crime but it’s nice to know the cameras are there." Save
Temperatures ranging between -40°C and -5°C, storm wind speeds of more than 100 km/h, constant daylight during summer and darkness during winter. This must be Antarctica. This is where the Belgian Princess Elisabeth Antarctic base is situated, the first "zero emission" polar research station which was designed, built and operated by the International Polar Foundation (IPF). Since the station went into service on February 15, 2009, it has been already hosting a multiple of scientific projects by Belgian and foreign scientists in geology, geodesy, biology, air chemistry, and climate research. MOBOTIX monitors state of research instruments at zero emissions Station At this station a MOBOTIX Allround M24 camera helps researchers of the HYDRANT project to monitor the instruments they work with to get comprehensive measurements of the hydrological cycle of Antarctica. The project focuses on studying the atmospheric processes: it looks at the transport of the water vapour, formation of clouds and precipitation, snow accumulation, and meteorological conditions behind. The goal of the HYDRANT project is to have continuous observations of both meteorology and cloud properties, which then will be used to validate regional climate models. Thus cloud instruments were installed for the long-term operation which monitors the cloud and snow fall properties and meteorology all at the same time. "The final goal of the project is to contribute to understanding the current and future evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet and its contribution to sea-level changes," says project scientist Dr. Irina Gorodetskaya of K.U. Leuven. "There is a lack of data on the clouds and precipitation processes in the Antarctic, which are important for the ice sheet surface mass balance. With this project, we want to establish a database that can be used for an in-depth model evaluation". As the Princess Elisabeth Station is a zero emission station Dr. Irina Gorodetskaya was looking for a camera that could work at low cost and low maintenance. Irina Gorodetskaya: "The idea of the station is to do scientific measurements using as low power consumption as possible. Furthermore, the station is unmanned during winter. At that time, we do the monitoring remotely from Belgium or any other country that is involved. So the instruments have to be working fine during the period when there is no one there. This is when the MOBOTIX camera helps us". The MOBOTIX cameras have to survivetemperatures of -40°C and extremeweather conditions Complimentary function: The camera shows weather changes But besides monitoring the instruments and checking the state they are in the MOBOTIX camera also has another function. The camera gives complementary information about the environment. It shows how the weather changes: how the cloud types change, if there is precipitation, if there is blowing snow during clear skies, etc. "From our instruments we can determine the cloud height and cloud temperature but it is difficult to determine the type of clouds. The camera helps us analysing this when we are not there. "We have wide - 180 degrees - angle images. We can see the sky, the cloud types, the weather, the mountains and then we can also see if the instruments are covered with snow or not. During May-July there is complete darkness at Princess Elisabeth site, the so called polar night. That is why we have installed a spotlight that illuminates the instruments in winter so we can see the state they are in. For example: the radar that is made to detect the snowfall is sometimes covered with snow, which is then blown away by the wind. When snow accumulates on it the signal changes. So if we would not have the camera monitoring we could not check if the strange signal is due to the snow cover or because the radar is damaged. We can also see if there is blowing snow or precipitation as the white snowflakes are illuminated by the spotlight." In addition to monitoring the instruments and weather the camera also films the beautiful natural phenomenon Aurora australis (also known as the southern lights and southern polar lights) now and then. These are magnificent displays of light that appear in the Antarctic skies in winter. Even though the camera cannot capture the light of this distant phenomena, it shows spectacular movements. Cameras endure extreme winter temperatures and weather In winter temperatures at the station drop to -40 °C. These extreme temperatures, combined with storms, are a real challenge for people and technology. Here the MOBOTIX cameras can prove their efficiency and skills. MOBOTIX cameras have no mechanical parts for lenses or movements. The absence of mechanically moving parts minimises maintenance, expands the usable temperature range, improves overall reliability of the total system and operating costs. "We are really satisfied about the MOBOTIX solution. It is a robust camera with low-maintenance and it is weatherproof", Irina ensures. "This type of camera has been recommended by our colleagues at University of Cologne, who are employing several of such cameras at Zugspitze high mountain observatory. The camera was working perfectly from the beginning of its installation in Antarctica and we receive good quality images. It can also see far enough, when the sky is clear it can reach more than 1 km. Also technical support was satisfying, we ordered the camera very last moment and it was delivered very fast." The decentralised processing and storage in the MOBOTIX camera also reduce the required bandwidth to a minimum and significantly cuts system costs. The camera is integrated into the station’s LAN and provides real-time images. A picture is taken every minute and recorded on a local PC. The images are transferred every 15 minutes to the FTP server of K.U. Leuven. The 1-minute resolution is important to be able to make high quality videos showing weather conditions and cloud movement.