JAXPORT Deploys Thermal Video Analytics for Port Security

Both the railroad line facilities and the people of Jacksonville, Florida are now safer with the installation of SightLogix thermal video analytics surveillance solution for port security. Overseen by the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT), the railroad line facilities include long stretches of perimeter adjacent to residential neighborhoods. These areas present a hazard for vandalism, theft or even potential terrorist activity as intruders could enter JAXPORT property at these points. Liability is also a concern as intruders could be injured or killed by trains, high-voltage power, large vehicles or other dangers in the heavy industrial environment.

To secure and protect their facilities, it is vital for JAXPORT to protect these vulnerable perimeters. In case of an intrusion onto port authority property, port security operators in the JAXPORT command center must have the capability to assess an incident quickly, record video of the intruder for future use, and to respond immediately. All of this is essential – and also a challenge, given the lack of power, lighting and network infrastructure along the perimeter.

After careful evaluation and multiple on-site demonstrations of perimeter security solutions over the course of three years, JAXPORT selected a SightLogix smart thermal camera system to keep their perimeter secure. For several weeks during this appraisal period, a thermal analytics system was installed at JAXPORT for evaluation. This testing confirmed that the SightLogix system functioned with a high degree of detection accuracy and low nuisance alerts, accurately detecting intruders over long distances. Testing also demonstrated that SightLogix’ edge-based camera system was compatible with the port’s existing command-and-control system.

As a result of the successful evaluation, SightLogix thermal video analytics systems were detailed in the bid specification for the port’s physical security enhancement project, which was partially funded by a Homeland Security grant. The JAXPORT project was awarded to W.W. Gay Fire & Integrated Systems, Inc., a SightLogix dealer headquartered in Jacksonville, after evaluation of multiple bids received for the project. System installation is being completed this summer. W.W. Gay Fire & Integrated Systems, Inc. is one of the largest independent systems integrators in the Southeast. The integrator has an in-house engineering staff and numerous field certifications, offering local services and support for JAXPORT’s security infrastructure needs with experience in large IP video, fiber backbone and sophisticated network-centric video projects.

At the JAXPORT sites, SightLogix thermal analytic cameras are installed on poles erected along stretches of the perimeter and accurately identify intruders at 500 meters (1,640 feet). By selecting long-range SightSensors, JAXPORT was able to install fewer poles which were placed farther apart while still ensuring the analytics will catch every intruder with no false or nuisance alarms. This reduction in infrastructure, including fewer poles and less power and network connectivity represented the largest percentage cost savings in the JAXPORT project.

SightLogix video perimeter security systems have been designed to operate with high accuracy in the difficult environments common to ports and other transportation assets, which are often near residential neighborhoods where lighting is poor or nonexistent.  SightLogix Thermal SightSensors provide clear, detailed thermal images night and day, and can detect intrusions in complete darkness. Enhanced image processing enables the thermal cameras to adapt to dynamic conditions and provide good, clear images that are closer in quality to black-and-white photographs.

On-board image processing is used to geo-register each SightSensor camera’s field of view using global positioning system (GPS) technology, providing security operators with the precise location of any intrusion. Geo-registration is also used to determine the actual size of objects in the camera’s view so the cameras will ignore nuisance alarms caused by small animals, birds, blowing debris or moving tree limbs, while still detecting a person-sized object entering the secure area. Upon detecting an intruder, the system determines the exact location of the intrusion and can automatically steer pan-tilt-zoom cameras to zoom in and follow the intruder. At JAXPORT, the system auto-steers high-resolution color day/night PTZ cameras along the perimeter.

To endure the challenges of the coastal environment, the SightSensor thermal analytic cameras are enclosed in ruggedized, NEMA 4X nitrogen-purged housings that protect the equipment from the salty sea environment.

The installation at JAXPORT demonstrates how combining better thermal images with edge-based video analytics yields accurate, dependable and cost-effective outdoor security. Longer detection ranges translate into lower infrastructure costs, and the system’s detection accuracy provides the perimeter protection needed at JAXPORT – and at other critical infrastructure facilities.

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