Airport Network-Based Video Surveillance Solutions

Airport Network-Based Video Surveillance Solutions

The security requirements at airports are extremely high and video surveillance plays a major role in this area. Until now the task of monitoring every part of an airport has necessitated immense arrays of cameras. With its Panomera® multifocal sensor system, Dallmeier introduces an entirely new approach to video security technology. No matter where at the Airport: on take-off or landing runways, the airfield and hangars, the terminal buildings and baggage handling systems, car parks or access roads.

At airports, huge premises with a variety of areas must be monitored around the clock.

In particular, expansive areas such as airfields are especially challenging for video surveillance. In the past, in order to adequately monitor the entire area, it was necessary to use a number of cameras installed in a whole range of locations.

Lots of cameras and lots of installation sites, meaning high requirements for the infrastructure.

That is one of the disadvantages.

The other disadvantage is the fact that despite oodles of cameras, in most cases, a “grand overview” is still not provided.

This is because even top-notch wide-angle cameras reach their limits when they have to capture an entire airfield.

And especially in situations that require zooming into the picture and recognising details at a substantial distance, even with a 12-megapixel camera the image very quickly becomes pixelly and blurry.

Now, a completely innovative camera technology is providing new impulses for the market: Panomera, a multifocal sensor system which was specially developed for the all-encompassing video surveillance of expansive areas.

Panomera is not just a “superlative” in the competition among megapixel camera manufacturers that are constantly surpassing their own cameras with increasing megapixel resolutions, it is a completely new —and already patented— technology.

Unlike conventional HD and megapixel cameras, which only have one lens, Panomera functions with multiple lenses, each of which has a different focal length.

With this novel sensor concept, surveillance can be ensured even for extremely large areas with just a single Panomera system – including permanent recording of the entire image and at the highest possible resolution even at great distances.

This can be done in real time and with high frame rates of up to 30 fps. In so doing, Panomera far surpasses the conventional HD 1080p standard – the “Panomera effect” begins where HD and megapixel cameras reach their limits.

Panomera in comparison to previous systems
In the past, in order to ensure this type of comprehensive surveillance of wide areas, basically three options were available: The first option consisted of installing a large number of single cameras that then either work individually or are linked via a management system. A second option involved controllable PTZ cameras, with the third option consisting of 180°/360° cameras. So what’s the difference between Panomera® and these systems?

Panomera vs HD cameras: Low infrastructure requirements

With Panomera, the same area can be surveyed from a single location as with several HD cameras distributed over several locations.

This offers two advantages: On the one hand, in some areas it is simply not possible to use more than one camera, since there aren’t enough installation sites or the required infrastructure (cables, electricity, etc.) cannot be created to the necessary extent.

This means that Panomera provides images for areas that otherwise could not be monitored at all. On the other hand, since fewer camera installation locations are needed, the requirements for the infrastructure are lower, along with expenditures for servicing and maintenance.

Panomera vs PTZ cameras: Permanent recording of the overall view
PTZ cameras have a definite disadvantage: The operator must constantly decide between the overall view and a detail view.

For instance, if the operator wishes to survey a certain area in more detail and zooms into it, only this detail is recorded.

This means that later, no recording of the overall scene exists, so that incidents in other areas may be overlooked and can no longer be reconstructed.

Here, Panomera works differently: Regardless of the part of the surveillance area the operator focuses on at a particular moment, with Panomera, the overall action is recorded at all times – with maximum resolution of detail. As a result, an incident can also be reconstructed in detail after the fact, no matter where it occurred.

Another advantage of Panomera is its multiuser capability: In contrast to PTZ cameras, with which only one operator can pan, tilt or zoom, with Panomera, an unlimited number of operators can navigate across the entire scene independently of each other.

Although all operators are connected with the same camera, each of the individual users can select their view individually and zoom or pan as they desire.

As a result, a range of different areas can be surveyed in detail at the same time.

And: In contrast to PTZ cameras, Panomera has no movable mechanical parts, which means there is no wear, extending the camera’s lifetime.

Panomera vs 180°/360° cameras: Huge areas in HD quality
At first glance, they may appear to be the ideal solution for surveying wide areas: 180° or 360° cameras that provide a comprehensive “bird’s eye view.”

However, these cameras are only designed for short distances, for instance, for monitoring foyers or entryways. With some models, the “fisheye effect” that distorts the picture at the edges, is also a problem.

This is not the case with Panomera, since the edges are clearly defined, without distortion. And most importantly, with Panomera it is possible to survey and record huge areas with top quality (better than HDTV!).

In addition, with Panomera, the specific quality needed for a particular distance can also be individually adjusted. The multifocal sensor system can be specifically scaled to meet any requirement posed by the customer.

A Panomera highlight: The lens
For the following explanation, let’s reacquaint ourselves with a notion that may seem obvious at first glance: While a real scene is three dimensional, in the camera display, it is only depicted two-dimensionally.

For conventional HD or megapixel cameras, this means that the indicated resolution, let’s say, 12 megapixels, is evenly distributed on the entire viewing angle.

The farther you now “move to the back” of the scene, meaning, zoom into the picture, the higher the loss of detail, causing the picture to become blurry.

Panomera solves this problem with a completely novel lens and sensor concept. With innovative geometric construction principles, Panomera uses its megapixels such that even objects that are farther away can be displayed with the same resolution as objects in the foreground of the picture.

Another advantage of this sensor concept is a substantially higher dynamic range. Panomera works with several sensors, each of which selects its own exposure strategy in order to achieve ideal saturation. While with other cameras an average value is determined, Panomera can make distinctions more effectively: Light areas are exposed for a shorter time and dark areas for a longer time.

As a result, situations with a large dynamic range can also be recorded with good quality, without overexposure or “drowned” black areas.

Various application fields at airports
The multifocal sensor technology can provide a comprehensive overview of all activity around the airport and airfield, including a fully comprehensive documentation of take-offs and landings.

The system provides a visual continuity for both live and retrospective analysis of any incidents or health and safety breaches of airside personnel and vehicles. Panomera can also be used operationally for the detection of foreign objects and debris on the runway as well as assisting in the identification of problems with birds – enabling bird controllers to be directed to the right place at the right time.

Operationally the system can assist with monitoring of aircraft movements from point of landing to parking. Panomera opens up a wide range of analysis options, which were simply not possible with the prior technology.


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