Verticle Markets: Enriching the Security of Patrons and Artifacts

Oct. 27, 2008

Enriching the Security of Patrons and Artifacts
The Indiana State Museum Exhibits A Fully Integrated Video Security System.
The city of Indianapolis, IN is home to the annual Indianapolis 500 and the NBA's Eastern Conference Champion Indiana Pacers. Though it is well known for them, any resident of Indianapolis will tell you that the city is also rich in culture and the arts, as clearly exemplified in the recently opened Indiana State Museum.

With a lineage dating back to the 1800s, the Indiana State Museum's groundbreaking ceremony was held on August 30, 1999. The building is constructed from materials native to Indiana and includes a three-level, 130,000 square-foot museum plus a four-level, 100,000 square-foot administration/collections building that houses state of the art conservation labs, artifact storage areas, and office space for staff. The museum also features a two-story gift shop, two restaurants, and the 40,000 square-foot IMAX Theater. The facility cost approximately $65 million to construct and was paid for with public funds, while private funds were used to create and endow the exhibits for an additional $40 million. The Indiana State Museum officially opened to the public on May 22, 2002.

As with any public facility across the country, security is a main concern for the facility's director; especially in an environment usually teeming with children and priceless exhibits. The need for high security is countered by the desire to maintain an open and friendly environment that nurtures creativity and education. This is the daunting challenge of James Toler, security manager at the Indiana State Museum.

Toler was brought on board at the museum shortly before the facility opened. At that time, design and installation of a unique, highly sophisticated Panasonic video surveillance system was well underway by South Western Communications, Inc. (SWC), Indianapolis, IN. Under the direction of Mark Scheller, general manager at SWC, the system was completed in time for the museum opening.

"Philip Santore of Ducibella, Venter & Santore, a security consultant out of New Haven, CT, worked with Ratio Architects to initially design and spec the system work," Scheller explains.

"When the system went out to bid, we went after the project aggressively since it was in our backyard and wanted to be a part of it. We were awarded the installation and started working hand in hand with the consultants and the architect to finalize the design plans," he continues.

"The actual architecture of the building started a year and a half before contracts were issued for the security systems, which created some problems, but we worked out the glitches. We had an outstanding crew and our project manager did an excellent job coordinating the installation," Scheller comments. "The system is a bit atypical compared with conventional installations since it encompasses two buildings?an administration building and a museum building?both of which are controlled from the centralized security command center. We had to go underground, under the canal to get cabling from the administration building to the main museum building."

According to Scheller, as they approached the final stages of the installation, James Toler was hired as the museum's security manger. "He requested we install some additional cameras in locations that required new cable runs, which were very difficult since the building was essentially complete at that point," Scheller asserts.

"Then it was decided to interface the existing cameras located in the garage with the new Panasonic system. Since the distance from the garage to the security command center is some two to three thousand feet, we bundled all the cameras and added fiber optic converters. We then ran the system into the Panasonic Matrix System 850 without any compatibility problems," he adds.

According to Toler, the Panasonic surveillance system has been great since day one. "We have made some camera placement changes from the original design to further enhance our coverage capabilities," he says. "With the performance of Panasonic's WV-CS854A Super Dynamic Dome Camera System, we have achieved 100 percent coverage of the facility's perimeter. The zoom capabilities work incredibly well. They work in virtually any lighting condition. So well, in fact, we can view license plates on vehicles that are more than 100 yards away."

A Full View
The Panasonic surveillance system installed in the Indiana State Museum is comprised of over 130 cameras including Panasonic's WV-CS854A Dome Systems, WV-CW474 Vandal Proof Mini Dome Cameras, and WV-CP474 Fixed Cameras. The Panasonic cameras are strategically located around the museum's perimeter and throughout the interior structure. "We have approximately 80% of the interior covered using a combination of dome and fixed camera systems from Panasonic," states Toler. The museum's eight elevators (2 freight elevators and 6 passenger elevators) are also monitored with dedicated Panasonic cameras.

"The city held a 13.1 mile-mini marathon that attracted some 30,000 people and we had the Komen Indianapolis Race for the Cure here recently with some 37,000 people involved. The runners passed directly in front of the museum, so we assigned one of our cameras to monitor the runners and pedestrians. With the dome camera's coverage capabilities, we had a good view of the entire area. In the event that an incident occurred, we could have responded quickly," Toler comments.

Panasonic's WV-CS854A Dome Camera System incorporates an advanced CCD camera, 22x zoom lens, and rotating chassis that's all packed in a sleek 4.3" (110mm) diameter housing. Its Super Dynamic II capabilities deliver a dynamic range 64 times greater than conventional cameras to provide excellent images under highly contrasted lighting conditions. The WV-CS854A Dome Camera Systems also offer Day/Night operation capable of providing color images in light as low as 1 lux (0.1fc), and black and white images in as little as 0.06 lux (0.006fc). Additional features include full 360? horizontal rotation, 190? vertical pan, and 300?/second speed; Privacy Zone Masking and Patrol Learn features; digital motion detection; an "image hold" function to minimize image distortion during fast motion transitions; plus, many more high performance features.

"Thanks to the system, our staff is able to respond immediately to any incident inside or outside the museum," Toler adds. The cameras mounted on the exterior of the Indiana State Museum have been architecturally designed into the structure to help obscure them from the public's view.

"We wanted to make the cameras as unobtrusive as possible," he says. "Although we maintain a very high security presence which is comforting to visitors, we are also conscious of maintaining a user friendly environment."

All of the cameras in the system are controlled from the security command center using Panasonic's Matrix System 850 with a satellite control system located in Toler's office. Additional monitoring facilities are located at the facility's loading dock, kitchen dock, the front entrance guard station and the guard station at the interior entrance to the parking garage.

"Most of our business comes in through the garage, so we placed a monitoring station there to give our personnel a good view of activity in the area. Initially, the parking garage was not the museum's responsibility, although it is now. There are over 25 cameras in the garage that we have since tied into the Panasonic Matrix System 850 and have added two additional Panasonic DVRs to record images from this feed," continues Toler.

The Panasonic Matrix System 850 offers the capability to install up to 64 satellite systems with control capabilities affording Toler the ability to expand the system with additional control and monitoring locations as the need arises. In addition, when fully configured, Panasonic's Matrix System 850 can accommodate approximately 9000 cameras, 1024 monitors and 128 system controllers making it ideal for systems with anticipated growth.

With large camera systems such as the Indiana State Museum's, the Panasonic Matrix System 850's advanced switching capabilities allow Toler to program automated "tour" or "group" switching sequences. He also has the ability to program "event" sequences by time/date or alarm activation for automated camera PTZ movement with preset switching, recording and monitoring sequences.

"The matrix system is programmed to run dual group and tour sequences automatically so that the guards can scan the monitors and get a good overview of the entire facility. Each of the overview screens display 16 multiplexed cameras," explains Toler.

The Panasonic Matrix System 850 installed in the Indiana State Museum is controlled using Panasonic's PFW-850 Graphical User interface control software. The software provides the museum's guard staff with an easy and highly efficient means to control the matrix switcher?including all camera programming and control functions as well as monitoring assignments.

Real Time Coverage
"We record all 130 plus cameras on Panasonic DVRs. We presently have over 10 terabytes of storage in our DVR system to accommodate the camera capacity," Toler explains. "Initially, we had 7 terabytes of storage, but added and additional 3 terabytes to accommodate the additional camera system located in our parking garage that we incorporated into the Panasonic Matrix System 850. The Panasonic DVRs are set up to record 24/7 in real time with a 30 day archive backup. We find this to be a good record/archive ratio."

The Panasonic DVRs installed in the museum are interfaced via a dedicated network. Toler states, "The networked DVRs provide us with a tremendous degree of versatility"

He can assign any camera to record on any DVR via PC control. "We have the ability to call up any camera recording from virtually any PC located here in the facility, from my home PC or from a laptop computer virtually anywhere in the world," he states.

"We run Panasonic's WV-AS50 DVR viewing software on two PCs which provide us with complete control of our DVR network. In addition to controlling the DVRs, we can use the software for pan/tilt/zoom camera control. The DVR viewing software provides an easy and effective way to manage DVRs on an enterprise level with the ability to individually control, access, playback and transfer images from one unit to another across a digital network platform," says Toler.

Panasonic's WV-AS50 DVR Viewing Software allows simultaneous viewing of up to 16 cameras from any recorder, or recorded images for each DVR connected to the network. Images can be accessed randomly or automatically through alarm logs and be downloaded from the DVRs onto the PC's hard drive. User name and password protection provide authorized access to the system. A camera operation panel is also incorporated into the program to provide camera control capabilities from any location with custom screens.

The Panasonic surveillance system installed at the Indiana State Museum integrates all of the critical security functions, such as alarm, fire and access systems, allowing the security staff to simultaneously monitor all systems from the centralized security command center. "We have a comprehensive intrusion and fire alarm system with smoke detectors in the ceilings and glass break detectors that are integrated into the Panasonic Matrix System 850 and control software," continues Toler. "If an alarm is sounded, the signal automatically activates the Panasonic system to bring up cameras located in the affected area so we can instantly view the incident. We also have the capability to control all the lights throughout the entire building, as well as the HVAC system."

Everything is right at the security staff's fingertips in the control center. Facility management also has a similar monitoring station in their offices in the event they see a condition that warrants attention, such as humidity control in the exhibits area.

"Our surveillance and security system has become a showcase for other facilities," Toler proudly proclaims. "The national governor's conference was held in this facility. It was one of the largest activities ever staged at the museum and we had security personnel from virtually every state here for their respective governor. They were very pleased with the performance and coverage provided by our system."

The museum has played host for a number of demonstrations of the system. Security personnel from the Zoo, regional banks, the library and other museums have come in to see the capabilities of this system.

According to Toler, during an open house, the directors of the Tennessee State Museum were shown the system and were so impressed they brought a group back to the facility six months later to take a look at it again.