Whether your profession is football or security, there’s no larger stage than the Super Bowl. In an industry exclusive, SSI goes behind the scenes of Super Bowl XLIV to analyze the security plan for the big game.
Solution Ties It All Together
The municipal/law enforcement market poses unique challenges in providing the right solution for the many different missions of the various agencies. These challenges are further compounded when several different agencies require video surveillance images through a range of delivery mediums. Such was the case for Super Bowl XLIV, which necessitated a keen blend of technology and coordination.
“Video from many different sources, including analog, IP PTZs, microwave, mast-mounted cameras and more, has to be consolidated and distributed out to many different locations and in many different formats such as Mac, PC, flash, iPhone, etc.,” says Mann. “Aware Digital is providing solutions to not only distribute these feeds but also to bring in additional outside feeds from other agencies and devices.”
In a nutshell, the mission was to design a solution that would provide the best quality and highest frame rate to all the agencies involved in the most flexible and efficient manner possible. To achieve this, the integrator and end user selected Sony IP cameras and digital encoders, OnSSI’s VMS platform and recording software, with BridgeWave Communications supplying some of the wireless gear. The FBI, however, is using a Milestone VMS.
As it does on many projects of this scope, Sony worked closely with Aware Digital and MDPD to provide technical expertise and consultation. The project incorporates SNC-RH164 HD IP p/t/z cameras, SNC-RX550 standard definition (SD) IP p/t/z cameras and SNT Series SD IP video encoders.
Among other features, the integrator and end user were impressed with the equipment’s video quality and real-time frame rate of 30 images per second.
“Our new HD p/t/z cameras being deployed at Dolphin Stadium incorporate proprietary Sony technologies such as XDNR dynamic noise reduction and Visibility Enhancer for scene contrast optimization,” says Miguel Lazatin, senior marketing manager for Sony’s Security Systems Group. “Combined they improve overall picture quality, increase sensitivity and make scenes more visible, especially in low light. These technologies and 10x optical zoom of our SNC-RH164 HD cameras are extremely critical when capturing incidents at long distances, and in densely populated environments such as the Super Bowl.”
The stadium’s expanded surveillance system is a semi-permanent installation that allows for quick deployment, removal and redeployment as needed for future events. As such, cabling and mounting equipment is permanently installed and select cameras are add
ed when warranted.
Crowd Control Is Critical
The parking and general public areas surrounding Dolphin Stadium as well as multiple traffic spots will be covered by the IP p/t/z cameras. Selected cameras from the venue’s interior are being integrated via multiple microwave downlinks that flow into encoders to be redistributed, with some feeds routed to mobile devices and even helicopters. In addition, the live game TV feed will be integrated into the surveillance/situational awareness platform.
“The system will be monitored from a command vehicle and multiple other agencies during the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl events,” says Mann. “This will be connected back to the stadium cameras using a gigabit millimeter wave wireless link by BridgeWave Communications.”
The installation itself required placing cameras where they could provide the best possible vantage points for monitoring the tens of thousands of fans, VIPs, facility staff, vendors and the teams and associated personnel. This meant mounting them in some extreme locations, including on top of the scoreboards.
“The NFL is very concerned about crowd control. They want to make sure that people making it to the Super Bowl get there as quickly and as safely as possible,” says Villalobos. “There is a tailgate party between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. that’s also an event where we will need to get people inside as quickly as possible.”
Aware Digital is making sure MDPD is thoroughly trained on operating the sophisticated surveillance solution well before the big game. Villalobos is excited about the system’s capabilities and eager to take full advantage of them.
“Sony covers all the features that we would use and what we would need,” he says. “Their cameras provide an analog and an IP option, which is a big plus. I also like features like day/night, being able to put the cameras on a schedule, the ability to zoom in, the aspect ratio, remote monitoring; it’s just got so many great capabilities. And HD for security is amazing, especially for identifying people.
Surveillance Part of Bigger Picture
It has been demonstrated time and time again that the most effective security involves a layered approach encompassing many different but well coordinated practices and systems. It’s all those vital pieces that add up to create a truly comprehensive solution. As such, video surveillance is only one aspect of the Super Bowl’s multipronged plan.
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