Boston, October 2008 - Not all video surveillance projects are created equal. Some come with very specific challenges and obstacles. The Warwick, Rhode Island Housing Authority can testify to that. Its goal was to protect residents with video surveillance at five of its housing complexes. The five sites are in an area of about 10 square miles, all within one to three miles of each other.
What made a wireless solution particularly challenging was that there were five residential sites with anywhere from 12-18 cameras per site - all in a city with no straight lines of sight. Throw in to the mix the Providence International Airport, and its airspace looming above the complexes, presenting serious interference concerns. To further complicate the challenge, there was no wired backbone that could have been used and trenching would have brought the project way over budget.
Proper design was critical to meeting these challenges. The integrator, MSE Electronics, after attending a Fluidmesh Level I certification, had already handpicked the Fluidmesh wireless technology due to the tremendous amount of tech support he could count on and the ease of installation. The A&E on the project, Dr. Adam Thermos of Strategic Technology Group, wanted to achieve complete distributed information by deploying DVRs, in addition to the numerous cameras, in every building.
The wireless mesh network provided the most cost effective solution allowing the Housing Authority to create a connection between the complexes, which have an average of 15 buildings apiece. Each complex was equipped with an antenna and DVR. Every DVR, in turn, corresponds to 1-5 cameras translating into almost a one-to-one ratio of camera to DVR to antenna.
A Fluidmesh 2200 unit was installed on the roof of each building. There is also a head-end building which is connected to the Verizon Fiber (FIOS) used to connect each site to a central monitoring station.
Simply stated, the network in place for the Warwick Housing Authority is composed of three separate mesh networks. Each mesh network is then connected to a FIOS line which is used for remote monitoring of the cameras from the main viewing station. Each mesh network connects all the DVRs on site to the network drop. The equipment used includes Fluidmesh 2200 with directional patch antennas, GE cameras and DVRs, and Verizon Fiber Optics for connectivity.
The system is running on 5.1-5.8 GHz and uses 2.4 GHz as a back up.
Fluidmesh provided support both in the design and with tech support for the deployment of the system. Dr. Thermos, who managed the project performing survey analysis, survey design, and vendor recommendations, has deployed wireless systems, including some in China prior to the Olympics. After training on the Fluidmesh products, he became a firm believer in their reliability.
“They’re by far more flexible because they can switch frequencies at will and jump bandwidths as needed from 5/8 to 2/4 49. The Fluidmesh Team is extremely responsive,” Thermos adds. “They were there for me and I could reach them whenever I needed them.”
Wireless Mesh technology is a great solution for housing authorities, Cosimo Malesci, Sales Manager at Fluidmesh Networks contends, because they need to connect multiple buildings. “Avoiding any sort of trenching, a mesh network reduces the cost of creating an infrastructure,” he states. “Also, being IP-based, a mesh network can be easily expanded or modified and used for multiple applications in addition to video surveillance such as access controls, SCADA, and wi-fi connectivity.”
The Warwick project, he adds, called for an especially large system. “With an overall count of 83 cameras, it is quite an impressive achievement by itself. In addition, MSE took a very radical approach and decided to record all the cameras at the edge, which is quite innovative. Using Verizon FIOS to monitor different sites across a city is also quite innovative and proves how the IP world is changing how CCTV is done. Without an IP drop at each site, this system wouldn’t have been possible.”
Michael Lyckland of the Executive Team of the Warwick Housing Authority is thrilled with the outcome. “This has been recognized as one of the most ground-breaking projects in New England,” he says.“This is a multi-site facility that surrounds an international airport and presented special challenges. Those challenges were successfully overcome using Fluidmesh and a high speed, land-based network.”
Fluidmesh Networks is the global leader in wireless systems for security and mission-critical applications based on mesh networking technology. The company is focused on the development of superior quality wireless products for a wide array of video surveillance applications. Founded by a team of researchers and engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA and the Politecnico of Milan in Italy, Fluidmesh Networks serves its customers worldwide from its headquarters in Boston, and its European office in Milan, Italy.
For additional information:
Fluidmesh Networks, Inc.
Tel: (617) 850-9007
Fax: (866) 458-1522