Improved surveillance and national security for top hub in nation’s oil supply.
Port Fourchon in Louisiana plays a strategic role in supplying the United States with nearly 18 percent of its oil supply, servicing over 90 percent of the Gulf of Mexico’s deep-water exploration and production.
Securing this essential coast area requires a hands-on team of security professionals to watch for unauthorized activities and safety matters.
When evaluating options for a surveillance system to feed its new maritime domain awareness platform, the port chose Milestone XProtect® Enterprise video management software (VMS).
As the first land point of contact for the Gulf’s activities including more than 600 rigs and platforms within a 40-mile radius, Port Fourchon has unique safety standards to handle potentially devastating issues that may damage vessels, equipment, products, and people.
Obsolete surveillance equipment previously used to monitor the area was not sufficient; a new video system was required to provide clearer imaging, improved storage capabilities, wider coverage, and flexible video management.
Milestone XProtect Enterprise software was therefore deployed by Convergint Technologies to manage cameras from Bosch and Pelco.
With Milestone’s ability to display video in real time and its open platform architecture for integration with analytics from BRS Labs, the port benefits from comprehensive and responsive surveillance.
“The video surveillance system has been taken to an entirely new level, integrating multiple systems for complete coverage. Milestone’s open platform allows us to feed video analytics and disparate cameras through it, and the entire port is benefiting immensely,” states April Danos, Director of IT, Port Fourchon.
Several strategic elements work in unison to create complete behavioral analytics. The biggest advantage is the ability to have the dispatchers pull up all camera views needed to address an alert or an incident.
It is easy to add more cameras to the surveillance network (which the port did in conjunction with the installation of a new radar system), since the Milestone open platform supports the largest choice of manufacturer models.
Key points in the port’s request for proposals included a system with minimal maintenance requirements, video display in real time, user-friendly operation and the ability to easily integrate a variety of components.
“We all agreed that our new video management system should be easy to integrate and allow us to dovetail with our legacy equipment while having an opportunity to shop around for upgraded hardware without any proprietary restrictions,” says Danos. “The ability to scale up over the years to increase the port’s protection was very important.”
Developed in response to requirements by the Department of Defense, the platform aligned with Port Fourchon’s vision for a centralized system into which all elements would be integrated, providing directors and police with full coverage of the analytics, radar, access control, and security systems.
This provides wide area situational awareness and response capabilities to Port Fourchon’s Harbor Police dispatchers, Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office, the parish Emergency Operations Center, LOOP, and the Port Administrative, Operations and IT departments.
“Many companies claim to provide an integrated system, but what they deliver is more likely a large number of windows scattered on a screen, without any data integration,” noted Danos. “Milestone’s integration of video management and very detailed analytics gives our operators one single data feed through which the port’s entire surveillance system can be readily accessed. We don’t miss a beat, which is priority number one.”
All of the port’s surveillance systems work in unison with the behavior analytics system.
Milestone is the only interface that can process this large amount of information, according to Bruce Whitaker of BRS Labs: “Alerts come right through the port’s Milestone XProtect setup. We can provide a brief clip of any target, time-and-date stamp it, and inject it into the alarm. The users are looking at real-time video with the alerts built right in. No event goes unseen.”
“We are very pleased with the way Milestone’s open platform enables us to explore multiple opportunities without worry of technology being rejected or reworking our entire system,” continues Danos. “Milestone has been very impressive as we adapt our system to improve operations every day.”