Special Report: Mobile CCTV Command Centre

Clearfix
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Mobile CCTV Control Centre
Mobile CCTV Control Centre

Intelligent Security Integration’s Mobile CCTV Command Centre got plenty of attention at Security 2016. The unit combines multiple integrated fixed and PTZ HD cameras, 360-degree 4K cameras, thermal cameras and 8 deployable cameras with video and manpower management. It’s the attention to detail that transfixed the crowd. The MCCC is thoughtfully conceived and beautifully executed. 

MOBILE command centres are not a new concept by any means and we’ve seen a number of mobile trailers at security shows over the years that are designed to push intelligence gathering outside of built spaces. But none of these units can compare with the Intelligent Security Integration’s van-based Mobile CCTV Command Centre, which combines the latest video surveillance and communications technology to create remote area security for events and other applications. 

You really need to run through the specifications to get a sensor of just how capable the MCCC is. There are 8 roof-mounted HD cameras giving 360-degree visibility with either stationary or mobile recording capabilities, there are 8 rapidly deployed HD cameras with GPS, 4G and point-to-point transmission options and 2-weeks battery life, there’s a 12.5 aluminium telescopic mast with a pair of 180-degree fixed HD cameras and one long range IR PTZ camera, which is ideal for perimeter protection. All the cameras are high quality Axis units. 

Providing additional support for operations are 7 HD crowd controller body cameras with live streaming capabilities, an IP 2-way PA systems an onboard UHF2 way radio system with multiple handsets, 5 Outdoor PoE networked horn speakers to provide clear, long range remote communication to video surveillance applications.

Inside the MCCC is a full control room with 2 workstations and an observation area. Cameras are managed using Axis’ flexible Camera Station software, which includes video content analytics. Video streams are monitored on 6 21-inch HD LCD monitors and a pair of 28-inch 4K LCD monitors. There’s live streaming for event and incident management and a full onboard recording system for investigations. The unit has GPS tracking and remote viewing can be undertaken through the cloud, as well as at the MCCC. The MCCC has a generator, giving it a standalone power source and there are mains capabilities and integrated battery backup with solar support, giving 24 hours of operation without mains or generator. 

According to Victoria Bell, Intelligent Security Integrations’ business manager, the unit was conceived many years ago but after a request from a client design and build were undertaken over a 4-month period.
“Steve and Jason started out with a long wheelbase Renault Master and developed the MCCC from there,” Bell said. “It was a process of working out what would fit and how, as well as sourcing components like the telescoping mast – that’s obviously a unique piece of equipment – we’d never bought a 12.5m telescoping aluminium mast before, let alone fitted it into a mobile unit.”

According to Bell, the technology integrated into the MCCC was mapped out in advance with support from Axis Communications.

“The original plan was to rent this unit out for events – it links to existing infrastructure – comes with deployable cameras that can be installed up to 3km for 2 weeks – ideal for securing an area,” Bell explains. “This means you can operate crowd controllers – there’s a bank of handheld radios, wearable cameras for crowd controllers – these are integrated into the MCCC system and can be viewed from its workstations by the 2 technicians we supply to run the MCCC for a 12-hour period."

 

Bell says ISI was originally approached by a promotor to build a mobile CCTV control centre for festivals and events – a control point from which to monitor the MCCC cameras, including existing cameras on a site, and from which to manage manpower resources. 

“However, we’ve since discovered there is a real market for a unit like this and that users have their own visions of how the MCCC could be enhanced to meet their own applications,” she says. “The MCCC as you see it here is our own vision but there are many possible options with modern technology depending on what users want to do.” 

According to Steve Bell, ISI’s MD, the team enjoyed some great feedback at the show. 

“We’ve had a lot of interest in the MCCC from government and from event organisers – we’ve been very pleased with the response,” he says. “There’s obviously a lot invested in this solution and as Vicky says, we will rent this unit out at a daily rate but we will also be manufacturing additional units to order for customers, as well as for our own use. We will build this part of the ISI business - supplying units and maintaining then.” 

According to Steve, the ISI team started thinking about mobile CCTV command centres in 2008 having seen similar units in Manchester though he says they had nowhere near the level of technology this MCCC has. 

“We sat down and went through everything someone might want and then honed it back to what was realistic from an operational perspective,” Steve explains. “Jason’s attention to detail during the process of installing the gear in the van was faultless – he is an artist. Having worked on the MCCC ourselves, we know every screw, bracket, rubber mounting – everything is custom designed and built by us to fit this application.
This posed challenges for the team during the development process.

“Nothing can be bought off the shelf with an application like this and it has to be robust – it’s a mobile unit and it can’t be falling apart in 2 weeks,” Steve says. “We built this one for ourselves and we know how it works but if we make one for someone else then it will need to be even more bulletproof. Something that is an advantage in terms of maintenance is that the components are quite modular allowing easy replacement. And now we’ve built one and understand the process, we can roll additional MCCC’s out in 10 weeks from our facility at Tullamarine.” 

According to Steve, the interest in the MCCC hasn’t come only from local government and commercial organisations. 

“There’s been international interest from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, New Zealand so it’s clear that the concept is a winner operationally,” he says. “There are many applications in which users need the ability to rapidly deploy an integrated security solution. Making it more appealing, the MCCC is capable and compact, and that makes it versatile – it’s possible to get the MCCC quickly into place, set up fast and be operating in support of manpower teams – and there’s room in it still. There’s no truck license and it drives well, too. 

“Anyone can hire the MCCC on a temporary basis and with 11 on board cameras, an additional 8 rapidly deployed cameras that live stream back to the vehicle as well as a suite of integrated body cameras for crowd controller back-up and an independent power source- the MCCC is a fully standalone surveillance solution,” Steve says. “It really is a substitute for a high end, commercial CCTV installation yet it can be deployed at an hours’ notice anywhere in Melbourne and at 24 hours’ notice anywhere in Eastern Australia, with additional units to be deployed in other states allowing rapid response.” ♦

By John Adams

Mobile CCTV Command Centre incorporates:

* HD Fixed, thermal, PTZ (pan, tilt & zoom) and 360 degree 4K cameras
* 8 roof-mounted HD cameras for 360 degree views
* 8 deployable HD cameras with GPS, 4G, point-to-point wireless & 2-week battery life
* 12.5m telescopic mast with 2 180 degree fixed HD cameras and 1 IR PTZ 
* 7 HD crowd controller body cameras with live streaming 
* IP 2-way PA system
* On-board UHF2 way radio system
* 5 Outdoor PoE networked horn speakers 
* A 2-person control room with observation area
* GPS tracking & remote viewing onsite or via cloud
* On-board recording system
* Generator with solar supported battery backup.