IP-Video Keeps Watch on St. Lawrence Seaway

CCTV Upgrade to protect major U.S.-Canada inland shipping channel


A major CCTV upgrade to the Welland Canal section of the St. Lawrence Seaway has been successfully completed using IndigoVision's VideoBridge IP-Video technology. Dubbed Highway H2O, the Seaway is the safe, reliable and environmentally friendly transportation route of choice to the heart of North America. The all-Canadian Welland Canal is 27 miles long and connects Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Eight giant locks along its route lift ships 326 feet between the two lakes. Remote surveillance of the vertical lifts is fundamental for traffic management and the safe operation of the locks for shipping and the public. The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation monitors the entire canal system from a state-of-the-art traffic control center.

When additional remote surveillance at Bridge No.11 was required, a new approach was needed, as the analog fiber network used for the existing video had no spare capacity. Following a review of available technologies and suppliers, IndigoVision's VideoBridge was chosen for its high quality video and excellent transmission technology. IndigoVision's local distributor, Northern Video Systems, supplied 16 VB8000 MPEG-4 quality video transceivers, which were installed by The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation's own specialist team.

The VB8000's digitally compress and transmit the camera video and control data over a newly installed IP-Network, back to the central control room ' a distance of over 6 miles. The video is then converted back to analog and fed to the existing monitors. Apart from very high quality video, VideoBridge transmission technology ensures minimum impact on network bandwidth providing ample spare capacity for the future. The cost benefits of the adopted technology compared to traditional analog solutions for the existing project and future expansion, are significant.

"Any new system had to be transparent to the traffic control center users, they should not be able to distinguish between the quality of existing analog video and the new digital feeds. IndigoVision's video quality was excellent, easily meeting this criterion. The initial phase of the project has been so successful that it is our long-term goal to move all of the CCTV and security systems across to the IP network," said Andrew Nolan, Electrical Engineer at The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.

VideoBridge technology is fully scaleable allowing additional cameras to be easily installed anywhere on the network without extra cabling. The VideoBridge family includes a range of hardware and software products including IP cameras, transmitters and receivers, and 'Network Video Recorder' and 'Control Center' software applications.