Building the Ideal Video Surveillance System for an Electric Utility
Warm, Dry and Clear Visibility
APS is Arizona state‘s largest electric utility and has been providing the region with electricity for over 100 years. It serves over 1.1 million customers in 11 out of the 15 counties in Arizona, all of whom expect a reliable supply 24/7. The effort that is made to ensure the security of that supply does not occur to the average customer but is nevertheless a vital part of the whole operation.
APS needs to constantly monitor their critical infrastructure and their substations which are located all over the state, often in areas that are difficult to reach. They already had a video surveillance system in place equipped with a series of thermal-imaging PTZ cameras. Due to the high-failure rate and the high cost of maintenance of these units, APS moved to a solution provided by Videotec for effective day/night surveillance. The company produces professional and certified accessories for video-surveillance, such as housings and outdoor positioning systems for cameras, video management systems and devices for digital analysis of the video signals.
Their Ulisse positioning system integrates a high performance P&T head with housing, a telemetry receiver as well as two infrared LED illuminators, and all without external rotating cables. The rotation on the horizontal axis is continuous with a variable speed of up to 40°/s while the amplitude on the vertical axis varies from +90° to -40° with a maximum speed of 30°/s. This positioning system moves with a tracking accuracy of 0.02° on preset position recall and sequences can be set with different speed settings in order to create an ideal patrol pattern. These particular heads have been fitted with twin 20 degree IRBD illuminators, a 1/2" CCD camera and a mechanical zoom lens which gives about 900‘ (275 m) FOV in black and 1350‘ (400 m) FOV in daylight. Where the camera position is used to drive other surveillance resources, the system can optionally be specified with incremental encoders in order to provide real-time positioning feedback.
The elegantly-designed system family has a number of useful options to cope with all the climatic conditions that such surveillance modules are likely to encounter.
The optional wiper attachment will be able to effectively clear rain and dust without impeding the camera‘s view, while the so-called ‚cold pack‘ with a thermostatically controlled heater will equip the housing for reliable operation at temperatures down to -30 °C (-22 °F). Integration with various different cameras and motorized zoom lens combinations is straightforward, thanks to the side opening housing and connection boards with pre-installed BNC sockets. The availability of various control protocols enables the Ulisse system to be integrated into different installations, also into IP-based systems, and it can be seamlessly incorporated into most VMS.
APS deployed 40 of these units during 2010 to monitor their substations, with a typical install consisting of between two and nine units. Night vision is ensured by the illuminators that produce high levels of infrared light, and the resulting images are typically of higher resolution than other night vision technologies. Gianni Viero, VP at Videotec Security said: "Working closely with APS, we were able to provide a valuable solution for effective day and night surveillance." Gary Couch, Physical Security Engineer at APS, confirmed: "Videotec's system has allowed us to make a unit to suit our surveillance requirements." The system also finds application in other environments such as in stadiums and harbors, at coast and border patrols and industrial sites, for highway and traffic monitoring as well as securing prison and military compounds