Alabama’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Marine Resources Division (MRD) has selected Bosch Security Systems’ “MIC Cameras” to provide feeds for the department’s “Coastal Remote Monitoring Program.”
The MRD chose the MIC Cameras because of their ability to withstand wet conditions, high temperatures and corrosive salt water, says Bosch in a written statement. The MIC 400 and MIC 412 Thermal Series are able to capture high quality images in extremely tough environments along Alabama’s 200 miles of coastline, Bosch says.
The MRD is tasked with managing marine fishery resources along Alabama’s waterways through research and enforcement programs. The agency enlisted the assistance of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center/Geospatial Training and Application Center (GTAC) to design a ruggedized video surveillance solution that would be easily accessible by all of its law enforcement personnel in the field. The system also needed to be able to produce usable images in light, dark and foggy conditions.
GTAC and its partner, Crystal Data, created the Coastal Remote Monitoring System. That system enables MRD officers to remotely view video and still images from MIC cameras, and control pan, tilt and zoom functions using a smart phone or laptop computer. Featuring an optical zoom of 36 times, MIC cameras enable officers to identify vessels and read markings on ships nearly two miles away. And, with dual thermal/optical operation, the MIC 412 cameras provide round-the-clock surveillance even through fog and other airborne obscurants.
With more than 750 square miles in Mobile Bay and 11,000 square miles in the Gulf of Mexico patrolled by less than 20 officers, the video system helps secure strategic locations throughout the area.
“The Coastal Remote Monitoring System is a force multiplier. It increases efficiency of officers on patrol and affords better situational awareness,” said Major Chris Blankenship, the MRD’s acting director. “In one incident, our officers were able to remotely investigate a suspicious vessel near a chemical plant and determine the boat was not a threat. Having mobile access to video from the MIC cameras saved the officers 50 miles of boating and several man-hours.”
Using fiber and wireless connections, the cameras send video to Zaibot appliances created by Crystal Data. The appliances convert video to the format preferred by the individual user, accommodating both low and high bandwidth connections. Users access video through customized consoles that allows them to securely view live images or video, control cameras, and select video for centralized archiving or saving to a remote desktop.