Tyco Fire & Integrated Solutions - Traffic & Transportation - boxes clever around Birmingham’s Motorways with advanced digital CCTV system
All-digital CCTV system gives Highways Agency traffic controllers instant access to high quality real-time or recorded video around the Birmingham Box
Tyco Fire & Integrated Solutions - Traffic & Transportation (Tyco) of Cambridge, a leading global supplier of integrated systems for CCTV surveillance, traffic control, public address and specialised communications, has completed a major digital upgrade to the CCTV surveillance system covering Birmingham’s motorway system known as the Birmingham Box.
The new Birmingham Digital Ring system was installed by Tyco as part of a large contract worth in the region of £2 million from the Highways Agency to provide their West Midlands Regional Traffic Control Centre with a complete, real-time view of traffic flow cameras right around Birmingham’s motorway box including the M5, M6, M6(T), M40, M42, M50, M54 and A38(M) motorways.
Designed and installed by Tyco, this system replaces older analogue point-to-point video links between various control rooms with a completely digital dual-optical fibre network that allows high quality uncompressed digital audio to be transmitted in either direction round the ring along with voice, Ethernet and other data communications. Each fibre allows high quality full bandwidth video to be transmitted from up to 80 cameras and the dual cable allows video from up to 160 cameras to be simultaneously transmitted from anywhere on the network. Images from every camera are recorded and archived using multiple digital video recorders at local collection points and the images can be searched and replayed via the integrated Ethernet channels carried by the transmission equipment.
The transmission system has been designed with a dual redundant routing mechanism. This allows continued operation at the system in the event of damage to the fibre optic cable at any point. Video and data circuits can be routed in the opposite direction. Currently more than 450 cameras are installed around the Birmingham Digital Ring and the new digital system allows future expansion to over 700 cameras.
According to Charles Hattersley, Traffic Business Group Manager for Tyco in Cambridge, “This new system gives the Highways Agency a highly versatile traffic management capability with every control room having unrestricted access to live or recorded video streams from any of the large number of cameras around the motorway system. And the uncompressed video brings exceptionally high quality images without any degradation due to distance, direct to the controllers’ desks” he added.
Ian Harrison (Senior Traffic Technology Engineer), a spokesperson for the Highways Agency (HA), said that one of the major benefits of the fibre-optic CCTV system supplied by Tyco was “a doubling of the video monitoring capacity of the West Midlands motorway system without the need for any additional expensive ‘trunk’ cabling. Another was that the high quality recorded video from all cameras can be used to analyse traffic patterns over long periods helping the HA to plan future traffic control more effectively.”
“We worked closely with AMG who provided some of the specialised fibre-optic transmission equipment to integrate the new digital system with the various control rooms and cameras across the network,” said Charles Hattersley of Tyco. “As a result, the Highways Agency has one of the most advanced digital CCTV systems available to help manage the growing motorway traffic in the West Midlands area,” he added.
About Tyco Fire & Integrated Solutions
Tyco Fire & Integrated Solutions designs, installs and services fire detection, protection and suppression systems, integrated access control and CCTV surveillance systems and other integrated solutions across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. With more than 6,400 employees, Tyco Fire & Integrated Solutions provides these leading products and solutions to the Oil & Gas, Marine, Traffic & Transportation, Commercial, Education, Healthcare and many other industries.