CCTV camera wipers, demisters & heaters - Expert commentary

Security at sea: where technology benefits marine environments
Security at sea: where technology benefits marine environments

The term ‘marine’ comes from the Latin mare, meaning sea or ocean, and marine habitats can be divided into two categories: coastal and open ocean. Video surveillance (VS) applications can cover both types of marine environment with system for ships, maritime ports, onshore and offshore installations, etc. We should want to further analyse VS for ships and try to explain the types of ships on which it can be used, the ways in which VS can be used on ships, the typical certifications in use and what features a camera station must have to be installed on a ship. Starting with ships that have a minimum tonnage, around the world we have: liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, passengers ships, chemical tankers, crude oil tankers, container ships, general cargo ships and bulk carriers.As the LNG market grows rapidly, the fleet of LNG carriers continues to experience tremendous growth, offering more opportunities for VS Video surveillance for all marine vessels An LNG carrier is a tank ship designed for transporting liquefied natural gas. As the LNG market grows rapidly, the fleet of LNG carriers continues to experience tremendous growth. A passenger ship is a merchant ship whose primary function is to carry passengers by sea. This category does not include cargo vessels which have accommodation for a limited number of passengers, but rather includes the likes of ferries, yachts, ocean liners and cruise ships. A chemical tanker is a type of tank ship designed to transport chemicals in bulk. These ships can also carry other types of sensitive cargo which require a high standard of tank cleaning, such as palm oil, vegetable oils, tallow, caustic soda and methanol. An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a merchant ship designed for the bulk transport of oil. There are two basic types of oil tankers: crude tankers and product tankers. Crude tankers move large quantities of unrefined crude oil from its point of extraction to refineries. Product tankers, generally much smaller, are designed to move refined products from refineries to points near consuming markets. Container ships are cargo ships that carry their entire load in truck-size intermodal containers: a technique called containerisation. They are a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport and now carry most seagoing non-bulk cargo. Today, about 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide is transported by container. A cargo ship or freighter ship is any sort of ship or vessel that carries cargo, goods and materials from one port to another. Cargo ships are specially designed for the task, often being equipped with cranes and other mechanisms to load and unload, and come in all sizes. Bulk carriers make up 15%–17% of the world's merchant ships and they are specially designed to transport unpackaged bulk cargo such as grains, coal, ore and cement in its cargo holds. For all these ships the protection of vessels, cargo and crew is a priority, that’s why the adoption of VS technology plays a key part in terms of security and safety. Human error is regularly named as a major factor in ship accidents, and one way to avoid it is to aid seafarers by providing them with technology and equipment that is reliable and easy to use in all weather and sea conditions. Marine VS encompasses liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, passengers ships, chemical tankers, crude oil tankers, container ships, general cargo ships and bulk carriers Emergency security solutions on ship One of the most important applications for camera stations is during “docking”. Mooring is the securing or confining of a vessel in a particular location with a fixed or a floating object (jetty, pier, ship, barge, buoy, etc.) as various cargo operations are carried out. Docking is the final stage of mooring operations when the ship docks to the jetty. This is a very delicate operation and cameras are very helpful in making sure docking is done without accidents.'Man overboard’ is an emergency in which a person has fallen off a boat or ship into the water, and can happen at any time during the day or night Another important application for camera stations is the Man Overboard detection system (MOB). ‘Man overboard’ is an emergency in which a person has fallen off a boat or ship into the water. Man overboard events can happen at any time during the day or night, in all types of weather and sea conditions, and from almost any location on the ship, ranging from a few tens of feet above the water, to over 180 feet.  When these events occur, the immediate availability of important data is crucial. Accurate confirmation of the event including time of occurrence, location on the ship and location in the sea is critical. A proactive detection system must immediately and accurately detect man overboard events and provide prompt, actionable data to response personnel. A typical man overboard detection system can report a MOB event in under 1 second. VS on a vessel can also monitor the engine room at all times and provide a good view of people working on dock, machinery and stowed equipment. But what are the most important features that a camera station must have to work in one of the most aggressive environments in nature? Marine surveillance must operate in one of the most harsh environments in nature Ruggedised reliability in surveillance First of all, and perhaps it’s obvious, but it’s extremely important to have camera stations with amazing reliability. Housing units manufactured from AISI 316L stainless steel, passivated and electropolished, makes the cameras completely impervious to air, water, rusting and corrosion, therefore offering excellent weather protection and increased reliability. Housing units manufactured from AISI 316L stainless steel, passivated and electropolished, makes the cameras completely impervious to air, water, rusting and corrosion Sometimes ships also use cameras constructed entirely from technopolymer, which guarantees high impact resistance and superior protection from external weather agents. Keeping the camera glass clean at all times is another essential feature, and it can be done via a wiper/wash system that greatly reduces the need for maintenance. In the case of PTZ cameras, the best option would be a great pan and tilt speed (up to 100°/s). What is the operative temperature range for the cameras? Sea is everywhere and therefore ships go everywhere, from the Arctic Ocean to the Mediterranean, so we need cameras that have to be fully operational across a wide temperature range.  -40°C to +65°C covers almost all areas. Analogue or IP Cameras? Actually, both options can be used, especially for applications like docking where it’s important to avoid image delay (as can happen with IP cameras due to the natural latency of data communication over a network). Marine certifications Last but not least, the certifications: Certifications guarantee the quality and reliability of camera stations. There is no compromise! One important certification is the Lloyd’s Register Type Approval which subjects cameras to rigorous testing for performance, vibration (critical on ships), humidity, etc. The application field of the LR Type Approval is VS in public places (e.g. passenger ships), open decks, enclosed spaces that are subjected to heat generated from other equipment, and technical premises. Often, VS cameras used in specific areas of ships, such as hazardous areas, are required to have ATEX and IECEX certifications.

Networking basics for security professionals: The 60 Watt dilemma
Networking basics for security professionals: The 60 Watt dilemma

Standards for camera manufacturers presented a new challenge with the introduction of security cameras that require more than 30 Watts of power Standards for camera manufacturers presented a new challenge with the introduction of security cameras that require more than 30 Watts of power. Many of these involve pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) domes and heaters and blowers that require additional power. This development created two areas of confusion which is highlighted in this article by Neil Heller - Vice President, Vigitron. The first is the ability to define what a 60-watt camera is and what power sources are actually required. The second and more serious is how to provide that power. Both share a commonality in that they lack any form of standardisation. PoE to power 60-watt security camera alone? Let’s start with the definition of the 60-watt camera. As the term suggests, it requires 60 watts or greater, but that doesn’t necessarily mean all the required power comes from a single PoE source. In many cases, camera manufacturers require that PoE only power the camera itself. Looking at these cameras’ power specifications will indicate a required PoE power of 802.3at or 30 watts, thus leaving power to the heaters and blowers requiring a local AC power source. This situation brings into question the value of PoE power if it is restricted to only providing camera power. Another group of PTZ cameras does use PoE for both camera and heater/blower functions, but only when the heater operates within a restricted temperature range. This usually means if your camera is installed in areas where the temperature that can fall below -20 degrees C (approximately -20 degrees F) you will still need a local power AC power source. The third type of security camera relies only on PoE power for both PTZ and heater blower operations.  This is confusing, and is often the source of users finding their PTZ has failed at the most inopportune time. Any attempt to transmit 60 watt power over coax cable that is only a single pair should be considered with a great deal of caution, requesting from the transmission equipment provider that they will accept liability for any damages PoE for greater than 30 Watt applications The three different operations of how these “PoE” cameras are powered brings into question the value of using PoE for greater than 802.3at, 30 Watt applications. Value exists in the ability to centrally control power operations from a single accessible point. Certainly those cameras that are solely dependent upon PoE have the greatest advantage. This brings to the second point of confusion, the composition of the PoE power. To review a brief history, 802.3af (15.4) was the first PoE standard used for IP cameras and is for the most part a standard. 802.3at (30 Watts) was introduced as four different standards, two of which, Type 1 and Type 2 are supposed be compatible, but in reality are not.     Transmission restriction over physical cables 60 watts has no standards. To understand this, we need to look at the limitations of transmitting power over physical cables. Any form of transmission over a physical media has limitations in the form of resistance. As resistance increases, so does the heat generated by this process. The higher the power, the greater the resistance and resulting heat generated. Based on CAT5e cable, a single wire can handle about 0.75 amps. In PoE transmission, power is transmitted on a pair of wires or 0.75amp X 2= 1.5amps.  According to the 802.3at specifications, Class 4 specifications generally are considered to start around 48 volts. So we take 48 x 0.75= 36 watts or 72 watts for the pair. Dual PD (power device) system So how do we get to 60 watts? For “over” 30 watts, camera manufacturers use a dual PD (power device) system. In short, it operates as if it where two IP cameras and requires use of all four pairs within Cat cabling. Exceeding these power limits can be dangerous in overheating the cable and its installation. Therefore, any attempt to transmit 60 watt power over coax cable that is only a single pair should be considered with a great deal of caution, requesting from the transmission equipment provider that they will accept liability for any damages. The need to operate two PDs within a single camera is where the incompatibility exists. There are no standards as to the sequence of turning on  separate PDs in a single camera The need to operate two PDs within a single camera is where the incompatibility exists. There are no standards as to the sequence of turning on separate PDs in a single camera. Most such camera manufacturers provide their own PoE source in the form of a PSE or camera power supply; however, don’t try to interchange these power sources among different cameras from different manufacturers as they will not work. If you attempt to use a third party version, make certain you confirm that the power source manufacturer has actually conducted certification testing and can provide proof of compatibility or provide any operational limitations. Distance of transmission Finally, there is the question of transmission distance. This takes us back to the physics of high-powered PoE transmission. Even with manufacturer-supplied PSEs, the distance limitation is still 328 feet (100m), the Ethernet standard. Most applications such as perimeter and parking lots will be hard pressed to find a power outlet within 328 feet of where the cameras needs to be installed. This is where third-party transmission equipment providers come into play, but again the ability of transmitting 60 watts PoE power for distances greater than 328 is more complex that standard 802.3af and 802.3at, and more limited. This combined with the non-standard make a detailed knowledge and interaction with the manufacturer critical to a successful installation.

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Panasonic unveils state-of-the-art i-PRO X-Series of network security cameras with built-in AI capabilities
Panasonic unveils state-of-the-art i-PRO X-Series of network security cameras with built-in AI capabilities

Panasonic has announced its new i-PRO X-Series of network security cameras with built in AI capabilities making them ideal for the next generation of intelligent applications in business and society. i-PRO X-Series security cameras With its Software Development Kit, the camera range is designed for third party application development that can be tailored to a business customer’s needs. The range includes six new models, with 5MP resolutions available in July, 2020 and 4K resolutions at the end of the year, and indoor and outdoor vandal resistant dome or box configurations. The new cameras can install up to three video analytics applications, with two i-PRO applications plus the Software Development Kit included free-of-charge, if purchased before the end of March 2021. The two analytics applications available as of now are AI Video Motion Detection (AI-VMD) and Privacy Masking. AI Video Motion Detection AI engine enables alarm triggers, based upon predefined parameters, at a  very high level of accuracy AI Video Motion Detection (AI-VMD) is capable of detecting any human, vehicle, two-wheel motorcycle or bicycle and can be used for intrusion detection, identifying loitering, direction detection and many more applications. The AI engine enables alarm triggers, based upon predefined parameters, at a higher level of accuracy than ever before. The second application is Privacy Masking to detect and recognise human figures in a video scene and pixelate their figures or faces for privacy protection. This application is important for many businesses operating in geographies where strict privacy laws are in force, such as Europe with GDPR. It can be used to protect the identities of employees, customers and visitors in a wide range of industries. AI engine with on-board analytics The new i-PRO X-Series employ an AI engine with on-board analytics to detect suspicious changes in scenes, automatically adjust image settings of the scene being analysed, and optimise video compression to conserve network bandwidth and server storage capacities. “This new camera range, with its open Software Development Kit, offers exciting opportunities to tailor a host of next generation AI applications around the specific needs of business customers,” said Gerard Figols, European Head of the Panasonic Security Business Unit. New analytics applications He adds, “Our partners already have a number of innovative additional applications in development for future use with the camera range. We will be announcing more on these applications later in the year but the benefits of the cameras with these new analytics applications are widespread and vary from enhancing security to helping make a change in the post-COVID world.”

Panasonic unveils BizTalk, free online leaning resource for businesses in the ‘new normal’ work environment
Panasonic unveils BizTalk, free online leaning resource for businesses in the ‘new normal’ work environment

Panasonic has launched a free online resource for businesses to help them to continue to learn, change and share in the ‘new normal’ work environment. Panasonic BizTalk Panasonic BizTalk brings together a series of digital talks, webinars, training and Q&A’s with Panasonic experts and partners across its entire range of business technology. Areas of interest covered include mobile computing, security, broadcast, business communication and visual solutions, as well as industrial medical vision camera and integrated technology solutions to address vertical industry challenges. Comprehensive online learning environment “With businesses adjusting to a new type of working environment, our traditional methods of learning and sharing experiences, such as at physical events and conferences, have vanished but our industry and business challenges remain,” said Jan Kaempfer, Head of Marketing at Panasonic System Communications Company Europe. Jan adds, “As a result, Panasonic is focusing on providing its customers and partners with a comprehensive online environment for understanding industry trends, sharing experiences and learning about the latest technology solutions. This free resource will rapidly grow over the coming months and I encourage businesses, partners and media to participate.”

Genetec’s Firmware Vault helps organisations stay up-to-date with latest camera firmware and enhance cybersecurity
Genetec’s Firmware Vault helps organisations stay up-to-date with latest camera firmware and enhance cybersecurity

Genetec Inc., a globally-renowned technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, has announced that Firmware Vault, the industry’s first camera firmware update service developed by an open architecture VMS vendor, now supports cameras from Axis, Bosch, and Panasonic, in addition to existing support for Hanwha Techwin cameras. Firmware Vault Designed to help IT administrators and systems integrators stay up to date with the latest camera firmware, Firmware Vault helps organisations ensure they have the latest protection from the manufacturer against cyber threats. Outdated camera firmware presents one of the biggest weaknesses in cybersecurity defense. But for many security administrators, keeping pace with the latest updates can be very time-consuming. According to recent research conducted by Genetec, 68.4% or almost 7 out of 10 cameras are currently running out-of-date firmware. Enhancing cybersecurity protection  Ensuring that you are running the latest version of your cameras’ firmware can be tricky and time-consuming Firmware Vault streamlines the camera firmware update process so that customers can implement the latest cybersecurity protection measures as soon as they become available, a crucial step in ensuring their organisation’s resilience against cyber-attacks. Firmware Vault is available free of charge with Security Centre Version 5.8 and above. “Ensuring that you are running the latest version of your cameras’ firmware can be tricky and time-consuming. Yet, when the firmware on a single video surveillance camera is out of date, your entire IT network can be at risk of a cyber-attack. Firmware Vault makes it easy to keep on top of the firmware update process,” explains Mathieu Chevalier, Lead Security Architect, at Genetec. Cloud-based locker The Firmware Vault feature relies on the same highly-secure cloud-based locker used by the Genetec Update Service to provide access to Windows and Security Centre updates. When new camera firmware is available, system administrators are notified in the Security Centre Configuration Tool. This allows them to track and download new firmware packages and the latest manufacturer cybersecurity protection measures for the connected cameras in a matter of minutes. The Firmware Vault allows users to have a unified view of all cameras and their update status so that they can take corrective action more quickly and efficiently.