A4S ShiftWatch Video Product Survives Explosion Testing

Product was able to withstand blast similar to those in London transit bombings


LOVELAND, Colo. - A4S Security, Inc. has announced the results of a test on the company’s ShiftWatch Video Surveillance product simulating last year’s London bus bombing.  The ShiftWatch product withstood a blast using 10 pounds of explosive material, and provided data and video of the event up to within seconds of the blast. 

The test was devised to demonstrate that the ShiftWatch product, designed with two types of storage, including a Sony Advanced Intelligent Tape (AIT) drive, could withstand such a catastrophic incident and continue to provide video of the event. This is the fourth successful bombing test the product withstood. 

“The vast majority of public transit systems in the U.S. and around the world are not equipped with video surveillance systems,” said Michael Siemens, president of A4S Security, Inc.  “The few transit systems that do use video surveillance are not able to recover the video in catastrophic incidents, such as crashes and explosions.”

Under the supervision of the Larimer County (Colorado) Sheriff’s Department, explosive experts conducted a controlled explosion of a retired city bus. For verification purposes, a representative from Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. was on site to witness the test explosion per A4S Security, Inc. test criteria and methodology.  Also on hand to observe the test were representatives from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The ShiftWatch system, placed directly behind the driver’s seat, withstood the blast that traveled in excess of eight thousand feet per second, and was so severe that it tore off the roof of the bus and stripped most of the bus down to bare metal.

“The dual redundant video recording to the internal hard drive and Sony's AIT digital tape is what sets A4S apart from the offerings currently in the marketplace,” said Michael Siemens.  “This test showed us the value the Sony AIT tape has brought in the way of data survivability, no matter when or how the recording was interrupted. Our technicians were able to retrieve the tape, place it in the video command center and recover video, including the placement of the explosives just moments before the detonation.”

“The results of the test were outstanding and Sony is very pleased,” said Alan Sund, general manager for tape storage solutions in Sony Electronics Component and Business Solutions Division.  “We felt this test was severe in nature and clearly demonstrated the robustness of our product and the design of the total solution.”

“With key evidence provided by the ShiftWatch solution, forensic reconstruction of the event will be possible,” said Suzanne Mencer, former Director of the Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP) in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and currently senior policy advisor for Brownstein, Hyatt & Farber.  Mencer, who witnessed the test, continued, “the technology of the Sony AIT tape and ShiftWatch’s ability to retrieve the information through the ShiftWatch command center, even in an explosive event such as this, will increase law enforcement’s ability to detect, deter and prevent terrorist activities.”

To view the video of the explosion test, please visit the ShiftWatch website at www.shiftwatch.com.