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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Pipeline and Railway Surveillance Using IP Megapixel Technology

25 August, 2010
Axis Communications explains why IP megapixel surveillance technology provides an ideal answer to the challenges of securing remote railway lines and pipelines
I asked Phil Doyle, the regional director of Northern Europe for Axis Communications to explain to ProSecurityZone readers what advantages are offered by IP Megapixel technology for use in remote facility surveillance applications.

What does megapixel technology contribute towards solving pipeline and railway surveillance issues?

With a megapixel camera, the resolution is at least three times better than an analogue CCTV camera. This higher resolution means that people and objects can be more easily identified. This is crucial when it comes to solving both pipeline and railway surveillance issues as criminal incidents and vandalism are commonplace and those responsible need to be readily identified.

Megapixel network cameras cover larger scenes than non-megapixel network cameras at a given number of pixels per area. For example, a single 2.0 megapixel network camera will cover an even larger area than four non-megapixel network cameras combined, without loss of image resolution. Pipelines and railways are similar in that they cover large distances and are often in remote areas, so an effective surveillance system needs to be able to monitor wide areas. By using megapixel technology, users are able to benefit from better coverage from less cameras, often making real cost savings.

In addition, some megapixel cameras offer "multi-view streaming", which means that the same camera can deliver different video streams from different areas of a scene, which essentially leads to one megapixel camera replacing several standard cameras. This could be used to closely monitor different areas on a platform, for example. Again, this is a more cost-effective solution than analogue CCTV.


How can other IP technologies be combined with surveillance systems to provide a holistic approach to protecting these kinds of facilities?

IP technologies can be combined with surveillance systems in a number of ways to protect both railways and pipelines.

For example, the active tampering alarm is often used in both railway and pipeline applications. If someone tries to tamper with the camera by spray painting or covering the lens, the camera immediately sends an alert through the network to the user. This helps to ensure that all cameras are fully operational thus providing an effective surveillance system.

Motion detection is another IP technology that can be successfully combined with surveillance systems to capture criminal activity. This is where the camera either sends an alert or initiates recording when an object moves in a selected part of the image. Subway and rail stations often use motion detection to produce an alarm when a trespasser is on the tracks.
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