A maritime nation since antiquity, today Greece is one of the centres of the world shipping industry. At over 250 billion Euros annually, shipping accounts for more than six percent of the country’s GDP and employs nearly three-hundred thousand people. In an industry of this immense scale, onboard security is a primary concern.
The demands on a sea-borne surveillance system for today’s shipping industry are as complex as they are challenging. Such a system needs to ensure crew safety and security, continuously monitor a vessel’s condition, ensure that proper procedures were being followed at all times, guarantee live monitoring of vessel alarm and loading procedures, and provide evidence in the event of emergencies, accidents, or piracy incidents. Of particular difficulty was the need for a camera to be installed above the main engine, where extreme heat and steam would destroy most camera systems. Salt air and weather conditions are a further challenge.
A bulk vessel in Greece recently installed a complete shipboard system of IP-based security cameras in order to monitor the safety and adherence to procedure of onboard employees as well as to secure the cargo. Technet Informatics has experience in working in information and communications and together with Vivotek they developed a Robust Shipboard System for the project to deal with a variety of shipboard conditions.
Most important amongst all the Vivoteck devices used is the FE8181V fisheye camera with hard casing, installed above the main engine. Also included were two IP-9171HP and two IP-8162 full HD fixed network cameras for exterior views, an FE8181 on the bridge, and six high-performance, low-profile FE8180s to monitor the decks, all linked together by two ND8422P/ND8322P eight/sixteen channel embedded plug-and-play network video recorders in the ship’s office for easy monitoring.
FE8181V is the latest fisheye fixed dome network camera from Vivotek. It features a detailed 5 megapixel resolution sensor which produces superb image quality. Equipped with a fisheye lens, this camera is ideal for placement above the main engine because it is encased in a weatherproof, IP66-rated housing, and is further strengthened by the adoption of a rugged, IK10-design housing, enabling it to handle a wide range of operating temperatures and rendering it both weather- and vandal-proof. The FE8181V true day/night camera features a removable IR-cut filter, maintains clear images 24 hours a day with built-in IR LEDs enabling the camera to provide uniform 360° surround illumination for clear and bright viewing at up to 10 metres, even in completely dark environments. This tiny fisheye camera is not only extremely low-profile, with a diameter of only 90mm, but is also able to be mounted directly on the wall to capture 180° panoramic views, or on the ceiling for a 360° surround view, with zero blind-spots. A single FE8180 is capable of doing the job of three to four standard CCTV cameras, dramatically reducing costs while blending in with any interior or exterior. It was an ideal solution for the wide open spaces of a ship’s decks – seeing everything, but remaining unobtrusive.
ND8422P is a 16-channel embedded Plug-and-Play Network Video Recorder. Because of the large number and wide variety of cameras used in and around the ship, two ND8422P sixteen-channel NVRs were installed. The plug-and -play functionality of these NVRs frees security staff to concentrate on their jobs, not installation or maintenance, and allows them to monitor ship conditions on-the-go.