Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals, located in downtown St. Louis, MO, is Major League Baseball’s newest showcase venue. Aside from providing the latest fan amenities and attractions, the new facility features a Panasonic Security Systems i-Pro networked video surveillance system. The comprehensive IP-based system was selected by Ed Heisler, president of Facility Control Systems Inc., the security consultant on the project. Will Electronics, an authorized Panasonic Premier Integrator (PPI), performed system installation and training under the supervision of company president Kurt Will.
The i-Pro system features the newest innovations in networking technology, including a unique real-time virtual matrix camera switching system, network video recording (NVR) solution, megapixel IP cameras, hybrid video servers and Super Dynamic III (SDIII) technology, all running on a Cisco Systems network backbone.
A Creative Combination
To ensure comprehensive coverage throughout the stadium and the surrounding grounds, the system features more than 100 Panasonic cameras of various models. This unique combination was selected based on several parameters.
Megapixel color network cameras are installed at all main entry gates to the stadium to provide accurate video identification. They deliver a resolution approaching HD quality of 1280 x 960 pixels.
Panasonic’s Compact Color Indoor Cameras are used for general surveillance of interior corridors and office locations not open to the public. Vandal-proof network and analog day/night color dome cameras are situated throughout the facility, including in exterior ticketing areas. And the Panasonic SDIII Unitized Day/Night Color Dome PTZ Systems provide coverage of all activity in the stands as well as exterior locations, such as the main highway that runs adjacent to the facility.
SDIII technology elevates this camera’s dynamic range to 128 times that of conventional cameras to capture high-quality images even in the harsh lighting conditions typically experienced when sunlight and artificial light sources overlap—such as light filtering through seating runways in the stands, food court areas and gate entrances—and outdoors in areas that transition from day to night with bright headlights and street lights. Additionally, the unit features 30X optical zoom and 10X electronic zoom (total 300X zoom) to provide extensive camera coverage and accurate identification capabilities.
Redundant and Reliable
Although the majority of the cameras installed at Busch Stadium are network cameras, several units are analog. The analog cameras—including the SDIII PTZ units—are integrated on a network platform using Panasonic i-Pro Network Video Servers. The high-throughput units provide the processing speed required to process video images from the moving PTZ units in real time without image lag, which was a critical factor in system selection.
All cameras are routed through transmission closets strategically located throughout the stadium to the main control center located deep in the recesses of the stadium structure. They stream IP video to nearly a dozen Panasonic i-Pro Network Video Recorders (NVRs). The NVRs offer scalable operation and auto IP detection for fast and easy setup, a refresh rate of 960ips at 32 cameras (MPEG4), multi-format recording, and data stream control between live and recorded images. All NVRs at the stadium are equipped with RAID 5 expansion modules to deliver real-time recording over a two-week period for all the networked cameras.
The system is networked on a Cisco Systems backbone with 48-port Ethernet switches and was intentionally designed as a stand-alone system, despite its integration capabilities. Stadium security management maintains parallel networks for its security systems to prevent cross corruption, virus infection or system failure resulting from a single system defect. The network redundancy has resulted in ’round-the-clock flawless operation.
Command and Control
Panasonic’s unique virtual matrix configuration allows all of the cameras in the system to be recorded in real time with networked primary and digital back-up recording.
Busch Stadium’s security control room features several Panasonic Joystick System Controllers that provide access to all camera control and switching functions. Camera images are multiplexed on 15” and 20” Panasonic LCD displays as well as two 42-inch Panasonic Plasma displays. Any live or recorded camera or combination of cameras can be isolated for detailed viewing. During games, security command functions are shifted to a field-level control center that houses satellite system controllers that provide access to all Panasonic cameras multiplexed for viewing on LCD displays.