the Channel Tunnel fixed link between the UK and France and operates the
Shuttle service for tourist vehicles or trucks. It also shares the track with
rail freight and passenger trains passing through the Tunnel.

As with any major
transport hub, Eurotunnel has a demanding and diverse environment for
surveillance and security, requiring a distributed system that can deliver
high-quality live and recorded video to many different users located throughout
the site. The new 340-camera upgrade, which was designed and installed by
IndigoVision’s approved Partner, ClearView Communications Ltd, monitors all
areas of the operation including passenger terminal, parking areas, loading
operation, ticket booths and offices.

“Recent changes
in French regulations meant that we decided to upgrade our existing CCTV
equipment to a higher specification,” said Sylvain Pamart, chief project manager
at Eurotunnel.

“We knew we
wanted to replace the analogue system with a digital virtual matrix to give us
the flexibility and scalability required for the new regulations and for future

The existing
analogue system was replaced because it could only record 1fps, SIF resolution
video for 3 days, considerably less than the new regulations require. The
switching matrix also had little spare capacity and would have been very
expensive to upgrade.

Eurotunnel now
has a surveillance system that can record 25fps at 4SIF for 31 days. In the
future, cameras can easily be added at any point on the network, including the
latest High-Definition (HD) IP cameras, which can be freely mixed with the
existing standard resolution cameras. The hardware footprint has also been
considerably reduced, freeing valuable space in the equipment room.

“One of the many
reasons we chose IndigoVision was its flexible licensing and pricing model,”
explains Pamart.

“The company’s security
management software is free of charge for viewing camera feeds. We only pay for
the channels we record based on the frame rate and resolution. Eurotunnel only
needs to record at 6fps/2SIF saving us money, however, should the regulations
or our requirements change in the future we can increase this by simply
changing the licence.”

Operators located
in multiple control rooms view live and recorded video using PC workstations
running Control Center, IndigoVision’s security management software. The wide
distribution of the system allows these workstations to be located at any point
on the network – a feature that Eurotunnel has used extensively. The various
control rooms have combinations of standalone workstations with monitors and
traditional video walls and are operated by the security and traffic management
departments. With the correct permissions any operator can view any camera from
any part of the system.

“The features and
analysis tools offered by Control Center are excellent,” added Pamart. “The
user interface is very intuitive, which ensured the new system was quickly and
easily adopted by the operators. Control Center software also ensured that
Eurotunnel surpassed the requirements of the new regulations, including a full
operator audit trail and tamper-proof evidential video.”

Eurotunnel uses
advanced analytics to aid their video analysis within Control Center. For
example, analytics can be used to automatically detect vehicles moving in the
opposite direction to the normal flow of traffic. These powerful functions
allow operators to quickly identify relevant video clips following an incident.

It was very
important for Eurotunnel’s IT department to manage a system that was easy to
configure and maintain. Using a ‘Control Center’ workstation located in the
maintenance office, the support team is instantly notified of a problem or
fault with any component in the system.

Video recording
is achieved using IndigoVision’s standalone Network Video Recorders (NVRs),
which are rack mounted in the equipment room. Nineteen 1.5GB NVRs have been
installed, together with an additional 3 that are used as backups.

“We knew we
wanted to replace the analogue system with a digital virtual matrix to give us
the flexibility and scalability required for the new regulations and for future