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Network / IP - Case Studies

Samsung IP cameras protect exterior and interior of the Museum of Flight’s new building in Washington
The Samsung IP cameras also boost operational efficiencies at The Museum of Flight's new building
Video from the Samsung cameras are used to monitor all activities at the new Space Gallery

Samsung IP-based video cameras watch over the interior and exterior of the new Charles Simonyi Space Gallery building, a newly constructed addition to The Museum of Flight's campus in Seattle, Washington, that will showcase space travel-related artefacts. Beginning in the summer of 2012, the new building will display NASA's Shuttle Orbiter Trainer, known as the Full Fuselage Trainer (FFT). The 15,131 square foot Space Gallery building was constructed just north of The Museum of Flight's existing Library and Archives Building.

Ten Samsung IP cameras provide surveillance of the new building and tie into The Museum of Flight's existing video management system (VMS). A new server was also added to manage the additional video. Samsung cameras were selected over other brands based on Samsung's broad product line, the cameras' low-light capabilities and embedded content analytics. The Samsung cameras help ensure the physical security of the new facilities, artefacts, staff and visitors.

Video from the Samsung cameras are used to monitor all activities at the new Space Gallery including reviewing incidents on the premises to prevent future occurrences, to search for children separated from their parents, and to provide a visual deterrent to crime. Video also enables visual inspection of exterior doors to confirm the status reported by the building's access control system.

Brandon Knutson, Security and Safety Manager, The Museum of Flight, considered other network camera brands for the new facility but concluded that Samsung cameras offered the same or better feature sets at lower prices. “The image quality is on the top end compared to our other IP cameras,” said Mr. Knutson. “Also, the Samsung organization and their local representatives have been genuinely interested and committed to this project.”

New museum addition takes flight

The Museum of Flight was founded in 1965 as a not-for-profit organization and has been at its current location alongside Seattle's Boeing Field (King County International Airport) since 1983. The museum has grown to be one of the largest private air and space museums in the world and has a significant air and space artefact collection. The museum focuses on exhibiting its collection in an educational and entertaining manner, which motivates the young, educates the novice and stimulates the professional.

The new Charles Simonyi Space Gallery was built to potentially house a retired NASA Space Shuttle Orbiter and other space artefacts. Although the Museum was not selected by NASA through a competitive process to receive a retiring orbiter, it will instead display the Full Fuselage Trainer (FFT), a full-scale mockup of the Space Shuttle Orbiter without the wings. The FFT was used as a test bed for upgrades to the shuttle fleet and for astronaut training such as extra-vehicular activity (EVA) and emergency egress. The FFT includes flight quality systems, such as a full flight deck and crew compartment, payload bay, lighting and closed circuit TV.

Ten Samsung IP cameras provide surveillance of the new building and tie into The Museum of Flight's existing video management system (VMS)
Samsung cameras help ensure the physical security of the new facilities, artefacts, staff and visitors
The Charles Simonyi Space Gallery Building is a 110 foot wide and 157 foot long parallelogram that mimics the shape of the museum's Personal Courage Wing to the east. It is approximately 40 feet high on the eastern edge and rises to 70 feet high on the west, matching the height of the Personal Courage Wing. The eastern face is a 38 x 105 foot glass curtain wall that leans out at a 12-degree angle, and will provide views of the FFT orbiter to anyone approaching along East Marginal Way, or across the museum's pedestrian bridge. The north, west and south faces of the building are corrugated metal siding. The main entrance is at the southeast corner through a glass vestibule opening at the nose of the FFT.

New cameras expand surveillance

Samsung cameras installed to watch the interior and exterior of the new building include three Samsung SNB-5000 1.3 megapixel HD box cameras with Samsung SLA-M2882 auto-iris varifocal (2.8 - 8.2mm) lenses, used to monitor a public entry, service entry and admission sales counter. Another three 1.3-megapixel HD vandal-resistant fixed dome cameras, Samsung SNV-5080, are used to monitor public entries; one is mounted on the exterior of the building to monitor an additional entry point.

Two Samsung SNP-3301H interior H.264 network pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) dome cameras are mounted inside the Space Gallery at opposite corners to provide security staff with the ability to monitor for violations of the museum's established visitor and staff expectations. Two additional exterior vandal-resistant PTZ dome cameras, both Samsung SNP-3120V, are mounted high up on the exterior of the Space Gallery to monitor building parking and the Airpark, an outdoor area with several significant aircraft including a Concorde supersonic passenger jet, the first jet-powered Air Force One and the prototype Boeing 747.

Eight of the Samsung IP cameras are Power over Ethernet (PoE) models with power supplied by a 16-port Altronix NetWay 16M mid-span. Two exterior PTZ cameras are powered near the cameras by a Pelco 24v power supply.  Mr. Knutson created the system specifications and design using the museum's Request for Proposal (RFP) process. The system drawings, installation and integration were performed by Aronson Security Group (ASG).

In addition to security benefits, the Samsung cameras also boost operational efficiencies at The Museum of Flight's new building. After hours, video helps to verify the identity of vendors when providing remote access into the Space Gallery. Customer service benefits from the ability of staff to monitor the size of lines at admission sales counters and to call upon additional service agents as needed. Remote surveillance also enables the staff to confirm remotely the status of tables, stages and other equipment being set up for private event functions.

The video surveillance system is managed using OnSSI NetDVMS software and Ocularis client software
Two Samsung SNP-3301H interior H.264 network pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) dome cameras are mounted inside the Space Gallery

Mr. Knutson acknowledges the responsiveness of Samsung's tech support team, which has “supplied me with the answers to whatever I have needed.” He adds: “The sales team is very professional and committed to a successful installation.

Part of a larger system

The Museum of Flight is a mid-sized campus comprised of several buildings. The museum's security staff monitors the video surveillance system on a regular basis, and the system is always recording to post-incident review. Other museum departments have live access to select cameras via their desktop PCs for operational purposes.

The video surveillance system is managed using OnSSI NetDVMS software and Ocularis client software. The OnSSI NetDVMS video management system runs on two Microsoft servers each located strategically to minimize network traffic. Each server uses onboard HDD storage for live and archived video. An on-board RAID controller provides redundancy for the operating system and applications, but is not used for archived video. The main components of the network are linked by fibre, and subcomponents are linked by network cabling. There are 51 existing cameras in all, including 21 IP-based cameras and 30 analogue cameras connected via video encoders.

The new Samsung cameras all head-end to a local network room where they are connected to a managed network switch. A Dell server is located in the same equipment rack, and provides 4 Terabytes of storage for the 10 Samsung cameras and six other existing IP cameras nearby. The system uses off-the-shelf PCs and 19-in. to 42-in LCD screens to monitor video via the VMS.  All equipment uses uninterruptible power suppliers and emergency generator backup.

“Also, the Samsung organization and their local representatives have been genuinely interested and committed to this project.”

What comes next

The museum has standardized the use of IP cameras moving forward.  IP also provides superior image detail over analogue. Mr. Knutson says he sees a “sweet spot” balance of image quality and bandwidth consumption with 720p HD images provided by 1.3 megapixel cameras using H.264 compression. IP cameras also provide easy camera set-up and settings control using a web browser.

The video system is not integrated with other systems, but the museum has wired-in door contact switches, motion and other sensors to the alarm inputs on nearby IP cameras. This configuration allows the camera to send an email whenever a sensor triggers when it isn't supposed to. Finally, IP cameras provide for easier expansion by using Cat-6 cabling to the nearest network switch and PoE for camera power.

The cameras have been invaluable to monitor exterior doors as contractors and visitors come and go. “The security challenges we anticipate following the public grand opening are people crossing physical boundaries around exhibited artefacts, tampering with the artefacts and too many people occupying the building at one time,” said Mr. Knutson. Such application will likely use the onboard intelligent video analytics of the Samsung cameras, specifically the “Crossing Line Detection” and “Disappearing Detection” rules.


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