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Wireless Surveillance Cameras ‘Leapfrogged’ Over Space Shuttle

The Los Angeles Police Department has used similar technology to monitor several high-profile events

Wireless cameras were used to provide security during the space shuttle Endeavour’s 12-mile journey from Los Angeles International Airport to the California Science Center (CSC) by leapfrogging over the spacecraft as it traveled through the streets of Los Angeles.

When Endeavour began the journey on Oct. 12, it moved at a pace of two-miles per hour, and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) used Axis Communications’ Internet protocol video surveillance cameras to transmit over a wireless mesh network to safeguard the downtown route and protect the shuttle with enhanced, high-definition television (HDTV)-quality video, Axis says.

To cover the route in a cost-effective way, the LAPD deployed the IP surveillance cameras in a “leap-frog” approach, Axis says. That strategy has cameras deployed along the route, and as the shuttle passed beyond a deployed camera’s field of view, that camera was uninstalled and then redeployed at the front of the surveillance network to continue the chain.
“Crowd and traffic control around major events bring about unique challenges, especially when it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event like this,” says LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing, who is the commanding officer of the department’s Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau. “Relying on Axis’ surveillance technology, as we’ve done for many of the city’s biggest events, removes typical IT and surveillance obstacles often present with critical, yet impromptu, security applications,” he added.
The LAPD monitored Endeavour’s journey, the crowds and general activity using 720p HDTV quality Axis P5534-E pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) Dome Network Cameras and 1080p HDTV quality AXIS Q6035-E PTZ Dome Network Cameras. Those IP cameras are easy to install with outdoor-ready housings and configure seamlessly with the LAPD’s wireless mesh network, the company says.
For the wireless mesh network, the rooftop of a 54-story L.A. skyscraper served as a relay site between the Axis cameras and radio nodes throughout the route. That allowed video footage to flow freely to the LAPD central command post as well as mobile devices in the field despite the large physical distances from point-to-point.
The police department has used similar technology to monitor several high-profile events in Los Angeles, including the Academy Awards, L.A. Lakers and Kings victory parades and other large city gatherings.
“This leap-frog style, on-the-fly mesh network build-out is such a unique surveillance installation. It proves once again that the LAPD’s Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau is at the forefront of using technology to protect the city’s people and assets,” says Fredrik Nilsson, Axis Communications Inc.’s general manager. “IP video surveillance opens the doors to a world of innovative surveillance opportunities,” he says.