When the final seconds of the Super Bowl play clock had ticked away, the Seattle Seahawks emerged victorious, walking away with a 43 –8 win and the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy. Their Super Bowl dreams had come true and they could finally breathe a collective sigh of relief.
Amidst a sea of sports fans swarming MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., the Seahawks were not the only ones exhaling. For the scads of security personnel charged with ensuring the safety of NFL players, fans and the many other people behind-the-scenes at the first outdoor, cold-weather Super Bowl, the real win was in pulling off the mega sporting event without incident.
Private security detail for Super Bowl XLVIII was overseen by S.A.F.E. (Security, Athletic Facilities & Events) Management, a specifically tailored crowd management company that specializes in stadium, facility, and special event management. S.A.F.E. is the primary private security provider for the Super Bowl campus, which includes MetLife Stadium, the Izod Center, and the Meadowlands Racetrack. Although mostof the firms/vendors are N.J.-based, some large, global companies versed in providing security for major events also worked to ensure football’s biggest Game Day was a safe one. Among them were a couple of our own industry companies —Fluidmesh Networks and Mobile Pro Systems (MPS).
As Steve Dunker, vice president of business development for Minnesota-based Mobile Pro Systems explains, “We started working with the New Jersey State Police Department last year. They commanded our video surveillance trailers for special events, emergency management applications and the like to allow them to put surveillance units where they needed them most.”
A Mobile Pro system combines detection technologies with vision analytics to provide alerts on-site and/or remotely to notify security personal as soon as there is unauthorized entry into a protected area. Their Mobile Pro surveillance solutions enable rapid deployment of remote mobile camera systems into the field for instant monitoring to provide covert monitoring of possible illegal or terrorist activities.
Wireless mesh networks are MPS’ standard for wirelessly linking mobile units together or as a backhaul to an Internet source. It is highly reliable and cost effective and can be used in a mesh, point-to-point, or a point-to-multipoint configuration. They turned to Fluidmesh Networks for this to lock in the win for a secure Super Bowl.
The combination of 20 Commander 3400 MPS Video Surveillance Trailers, which feature a mobile power platform and an on-demand generator —coupled with numerous MPS HopBox-GS units (portable gateway servers) and equipped with FM1200 VOLOs, Fluidmesh latest generation 2×2 MIMO radiosrunning Prodigy 2.0 proprietary MPLS wireless protocol and capable of creating point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, and mesh networks —were deployed around the stadium and other key event areas.
These mobile surveillance units were deployed at Super Bowl Week events prior to the game as well as during the game by New Jersey State Police with assistance, support and network configuration from MPS and local technology providers.
In addition to meeting surveillance needs and being fully mobile to be used where needed, as needed, the Fluidmesh-equipped MPS trailers also met a huge need in terms of filling the communication void that a packed MetLife stadium would be faced with. As Dunker pointed out, “Once MetLife stadium gets filled up, their dependence on cellular would have surely become an issue. The communication levels reduce to nothing because everyone uses their cell phones. So you have big events and communication goes down, and that wouldn’t have met their needs for an effective command center for surveillance. So we maximized their communication capabilities by bringing in secondary communication links to reduce dependence on cellular.”
“The New Jersey State Police contacted us because they needed mobile technologies and, from there, we worked up a system design and mobile systems,” Dunker continued. “It’s an overall rollout, so now that it is in place and implementing Fluidmesh connectivity where trailers are used, it will be much more efficient with a long-term benefit. Our trailers and Fluidmesh technology are providing infrastructure and communication links to meet security and safety concerns and needs. It’s about communication and video.”
Configurations of the systems on these mobile trailers were being worked on well in advance of Super Bowl, so that the New Jersey Police could quickly and easily roll them out a few days before the events and get them up and running.
Cosimo Malesci, Fluidmesh co-founder and vice president, added, “We are very proud and privileged to have played a part in ensuring the security and safety of so many thousands of people at this major sporting event. It is great to see our technology deployed at the most important sport event in North America where network performance and reliability are a priority. This is exactly what our wireless networks are designed and engineered for and we consider ourselves very fortunate to partner with Mobile Pro Systems to make this happen. The added bonus for New Jersey is that these mobile trailers are now available and easily set up for use at other events and security applications wherever and whenever needed, so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Everything is already in place and literally, ready to go!”
As Dunker pointed out, everyone needs to protect the gateways to their network. “Getting the cellular to work around these challenges, working with commercial entities in the area, determining lines of site and making it all mobile, allowed us to get everything back to the stadium with multiple modes of connectivity. That’s the beauty of this — our Hopbox is a power box on wheels that you can roll out as needed. It has various wireless and connectivity capabilities so it can tie into cameras and audio and deliver whatever is needed at each spot it is needed at. And, the battery lasts up to four days before it needs charging.”
Regardless of which team you rooted for on Super Bowl Sunday, and whether your team reveled in the sweet beauty of victory or the agony of defeat — Mobile Pro Systems and Fluidmesh Networks delivered a win, securing the safety of so many people who took part in this huge football event.