epa product guide on visual surveillance http://www.epa.gov/safewater/watersecurity/guide/visualsurveillance.html visual surveillance moni

EPA PRODUCT GUIDE ON VISUAL SURVEILLANCE
http://www.epa.gov/safewater/watersecurity/guide/visualsurveillance.html
Visual Surveillance Monitoring



Objective
Visually monitor an asset to detect potential intruders, unauthorized
or suspicious materials or objects, or other threats.
Application
Used to detect physical threats to an asset (i.e., persons or
materials) through surveillance of asset. Can be used to monitor any
water or wastewater assets (perimeter of facility, remote pumphouses,
potential access points to distribution or collection systems, etc.).
Primarily used to monitor exterior areas, but can be used in interior
of buildings or facilities.
Location Used
Usually mounted at a strategic location at the asset to be monitored
to monitor as large an area as possible. Can be mounted near doors or
windows, on or along fences, or within buildings.
Description
Visual surveillance is used to detect threats through continuous
observation of important or vulnerable areas of an asset. The
observations can also be recorded for later review or use (for
example, in court proceedings). Visual surveillance systems can be
used to monitor various parts of collection, distribution, or
treatment systems, including the perimeter of a facility, outlying
pumping stations, or entry or access points into specific buildings.
These systems are also useful in recording individuals who enter or
leave a facility, thereby helping to identify unauthorized access.
Images can be transmitted live to a monitoring station, where they can
be monitored in real time, or they can be recorded and reviewed later.
Many facilities have found that a combination of electronic
surveillance and security guards provides an effective means of
facility security.

Visual surveillance is provided through a closed circuit television
(CCTV) system, in which the capture, transmission, and reception of an
image is localized within a closed "circuit." This is different than
other broadcast images, such as over-the-air television, which is
broadcast over the air to any receiver within range.
Attributes and Features
At a minimum, a CCTV system consists of:
*
One or more cameras;
*
A monitor for viewing the images; and
*
A system for transmitting the images from the camera to the
monitor.
Specific attributes and features of these components are presented in
the tables that follow.
Camera Systems
Cameras capture the image for transmission to the monitor. They
consist of a lens, which focuses light into the camera, and a system
to convert that captured light into an electronic signal which can be
transmitted to the monitor. The characteristics of the lens and the
camera affect their ability to capture sharp images from a specific
field of view under variable light conditions. Cameras and lenses can
be purchased separately, which allows users to design a system that is
tailored to their needs. Important attributes of camera systems,
lenses, and lighting systems are provided in Tables 1-3 below.
Table 1: Attributes of Camera Systems
Attribute
Discussion
Camera Types
Major factors in choosing the correct camera are the resolution of the
image required and lighting of the area to be viewed (see discussions
of these topics below).
*
Solid State (including charge coupled devices, charge priming
device, charge injection device, and metal oxide substrate) -
these cameras are becoming predominant in the marketplace because
of their high resolution and their elimination of problems
inherent in tube cameras.
*
Thermal - these cameras are designed for night vision. They
require no light and use differences in temperature between
objects in the field of view to produce a video image. Resolution
is low compared to other cameras, and the technology is currently
expensive relative to other technologies.
*
Tube - these cameras can provide high resolution but the tubes
burn out and must be replaced after 1-2 years. In addition, tube
performance can degrade over time. Finally, tube cameras are prone
to burn images on the tube. This requires tube replacement.
Resolution (the ability to see fine details)
User must determine the amount of resolution required depending on the
level of detail required for threat determination. A high definition
focus with a wide field of vision will give an optimal viewing area.
Field of vision width
Cameras are designed to cover a defined field of vision, which is
usually defined in degrees. The wider the field of vision, the more
area a camera will be able to monitor.
Type of image produced (color, black and white, thermal)
Color images may allow the identification of distinctive markings,
while black and white images may provide sharper contrast. Thermal
imaging allows the identification of heat sources (such as human
beings or other living creatures) from low light environments;
however, thermal images are not effective in identifying specific
individuals (i.e., for subsequent legal processes).
Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ)
Panning (moving the camera in a horizontal plane), tilting (moving the
camera in a vertical plane), and zooming (moving the lens to focus on
objects that are at different distances from the camera) allow the
camera to follow a moving object. Different systems allow these
functions to be controlled manually or automatically. Factors to be
considered in PTZ cameras are the degree of coverage for pan and tilt
functions and the power of the zoom lens.
Table 2: Attributes of Lenses
Attribute
Discussion
Format
Lens format determines the maximum image size to be transmitted.
Focal Length
This is the distance from the lens to the center of the focus. The
greater the focal length, the higher the magnification, but the
narrower the field of vision.
F Number
F number is the ability to gather light. Smaller F numbers may be
required for outdoor applications where light cannot be controlled as
easily.
Distance and width approximation
The distance and width approximations are used to determine the
geometry of the space that can be monitored at the best resolution.
Table 3: Attributes of Lighting Systems
Attribute
Discussion
Intensity
Light intensity must be great enough for the camera type to produce
sharp images. Light can be generated from natural or artificial
sources. Artificial sources can be controlled to produce the amount
and distribution of light required for a given camera and lens.
Evenness
Light must be distributed evenly over the field of view so that there
are no darker or shadowy areas. If there are lighter vs. darker areas,
brighter areas may appear washed out (i.e., details cannot be
distinguished) while no specific objects can be viewed from darker
areas.
Location
Light sources must be located above the camera so that light does not
shine directly into the camera.
Another important consideration when choosing cameras is whether they
will be used indoors or outdoors. Camera location will determine the
types of lighting available, as well as the types of cameras and
lenses that are applicable. Cameras mounted outdoors may require
climate-specific weatherproof housing, heaters for snow/ice blockage
or reduction, blowers to reduce fogging, etc. These additional
features will add to the cost and flexibility of the system.
Transmission Systems
Systems may be hardwired (physically connected by cables) or wireless.
While hardwiring (such as through coaxial or fiber optic cables) is
the traditional method for transmitting video signals in a CCTV
system, new wireless applications, such as microwave links, optical
systems, and radio frequencies, are becoming more prevalent.
Hardwired systems require a direct physical connection between the
transmitter and the receiver. Because the signal is transmitted
directly to the receiver and not over the air, hardwired systems may
be more secure than wireless systems. However, it may be difficult to
hardwire remote locations. In addition, video signals transmitted over
cables suffer from interference with the signal. Specific factors
affecting hardwired cable connections include:
*
Bandwidth: related to the amount of information that can be
transmitted along the system. Affects resolution of recorded vs.
received signal.
*
Line loss: some cables may lose some of the signal depending on
their design, and therefore may require signal conditioning to
compensate.
*
Signal conditioning: May be required to compensate for distorted
signal based on the types of transmission equipment used.
Wireless transmission systems do not require that the transmitter and
the receiver be physically connected to each other. This may make
wireless more attractive for remote locations. However, wireless
systems require a direct line of sight between transmitter and
receivers and may require re-transmitters (also known as repeaters and
amplifiers) for remote operations. In addition, wireless systems may
be susceptible to interception or interference.
Monitors
Monitors are used to view images transmitted by cameras. Factors to be
considered when choosing the appropriate monitor for a specific
application include:
*
Bandwidth: The monitor's bandwidth should be equivalent to
camera/lens bandwidth. This will allow the best resolution of the
image transmitted from the camera to be viewed on the screen.
*
Color vs. black and white: The use of a color vs. black and white
monitor depends on user's preference. In some cases, black and
white may offer more contrast, but color may offer easier
identification of specific or tell-tale marks (distinctive
clothing, hair color, skin color).
*
Screen size. A larger screen and color image make live feed
identification more accurate to the employee using the system.
Image Storage
In many cases, images generated by camera systems may be stored for
later viewing. While the detection of certain images may require
real-time, immediate action (such as when intruders are detected), the
ability to store and view images at a later time may be important for
forensic purposes (i.e., to determine what or how an event occurred at
a site) or for legal actions to be taken at a later date. Options for
image storage include:
*
Digital video recording (DVR) - stores digital images on a PC or
on a network/server system;
*
Video recording (VCR) - stores images on videocassettes; and
*
Solid state recording - stores individual images or frames on a
solid state disk.
DVR is rapidly replacing video cassette recording VCR as the medium of
choice for recording and storing images. DVR devices record and store
images digitally on a computer hard drive (i.e., a PC, handheld
computer, or dedicated DVR system) vs. devices such as VCRs, which
store images on videotapes using analog technology. Costs for DVR
systems have declined in recent years while the technology has
improved. Other advantages of DVRs vs. VCRs include:
*
Longer recording period
*
Clearer images
*
Clearer resolution of still ("paused") images
*
Search functions enable users to immediately locate images by
camera, date, or other methods
*
Image files do not degrade over time
*
Requires less storage space than VCR tapes
However, some digital storage systems using PC hard drives require
that the entire PC be dedicated to this system. This may not be
practical for some utilities.
One of the important features when setting up a DVR system is
determining how many frames per second (fps) will be recorded. The
more fps that are recorded, the clearer the image will be, and it will
be easier to view still pictures from the camera. However, the more
fps that are stored, the more storage space will be required on the
hard drive. Many DVRs also have a motion sensor mode that can be set
to trigger an action (such as recording or an alarm) when the camera
detects motion in its field of vision.
Table 4 provides a discussion of several optional features which
enhance the management of a CCTV system.
Table 4: Enhanced System Features
Feature
Factors to Consider
Benefits to the System
Video Switcher
Control can be active (controlled by user) or passive (viewed or
recorded area switches automatically).
Switches cameras being viewed on monitor or recorded. Can be used to
switch monitor or recorder to image tripping an alarm.
Video Controller
Interface between the visual surveillance system and other electronic
processes, such as alarm or alert systems.
Can be used to automatically sound alarms based on interpreted data.
Cost
Components for a CCTV/visual surveillance system can be sold
separately, or packaged systems may be purchased. For example, a
typical lower-end package consisting of a 4 camera CCTV system
consisting of cameras/lenses, cables, power supplies, and a monitor
can cost as little as $550. This is a capital cost only and does not
include maintenance or installation costs, which are facility
dependent.
Costs for individual components depend on their specifications.
Several example costs and factors affecting costs are provided in
Table 5 below.
Table 5: Costs for Visual Surveillance Components
Component
Cost
Factors Affecting Cost
Cameras
Black and White: $80
Color: $130
PTZ: $350-$3,000
Resolution desired and the amount of light required for the camera to
function properly
Lenses
Manual iris 8 mm lens (for steady-light applications): $50
Auto iris 3.7 mm lenses (for use in applications where light
conditions are variable): >$200
Zoom lenses are more expensive.
Monitors
Black and white monitor with 1 camera input: $330
Color monitor with 4 camera inputs: $1,000
The cost of monitors depends on the resolution, the image (black and
white or color) and the number of inputs (for example, inputs for one
camera vs. inputs for four cameras).
----- Storage Systems -----
VCR
VCR unit: <$60
Individual videotapes are several dollars apiece
Higher end features can increase resolution of paused images.
DVR
Low end unit: $770.
Higher end units (a 16 camera system capable of recording at 240
frames per second, with a 240GB hard drive): >$5,500
DVR costs depend on the number of camera inputs and the hard drive
storage space.
Vendors
Disclaimer: The information provided in this guide does not constitute
an endorsement by the Environmental Protection Agency of any
non-Federal entity, its products or its services. In addition, EPA
does not endorse the vendors and products listed on this site. EPA is
publishing lists of vendors on this site in an effort to further
public awareness of vendors identified as possible contacts for
further information and possible purchase of the different types of
security equipment. The Agency has selected the listed vendors on that
basis. The list of vendors is not a complete list, and EPA does not
endorse the products or services of these vendors.
Control Electronic Security
8245 NW 36th Street, Suite #6
Miami, Florida 33166
(305) 499-9396
www.controlelectronic.com
Industrial Video & Control Co.
300 Pleasant St.
Watertown, Massachusetts 02472
(617) 926-7802
www.ivcco.com
Sperry West Inc.
5575 Magnatron Blvd
San Diego, California 92111
(858) 551-2000
www.sperrywest.com
Pelco
3500 Pelco Way
Clovis, California 93612
(800) 289-9100
www.pelco.com
Extreme Surveillance
Fiesta Tech Business Centre
2150 South Country Club Drive, Suite 16
Mesa, Arizona 85210
(800) 788-7101
www.extremesurveillance.com
Q-Star Technology
9960 Canoga Avenue, Suite D4
Chatsworth, California 91311
(866) 201-4197
www.qstartech.com
Axis Communications, Inc.
100 Apollo Drive
Chelmsford, Massachusetts 01824
(800) 244-2947
www.axis.com

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