Dubai Port World is a global marine terminal operator with 49 terminals in 27 countries, and ranks amongst the world's four largest container terminal operators. In June 2007, DP World announced that the Port of Dakar, Senegal, had awarded it the concession to operate and further develop the existing container terminals at Dakar, with the aim of more than doubling the capacity of the existing terminal.
DP World took the decision to prioritise the security coverage across the Dakar Port site in order to improve the control, access and health & safety processes throughout the facility. As part of this initiative, the need for real-time video-surveillance across the existing four terminals was identified as a priority, including at the main access point, which was also the location where employees were paid their salaries. Improved security at this point would not only enhance the overall security of goods and services to the site, it would also act as a safety mechanism for the employees.
There were essentially four key technical challenges and cost considerations that had to be factored into the initial design of the system:
- Since the central security control location would need to be located in the centre of the site, this meant that the distance from the closest video surveillance cameras/wireless points and the control centre would be less than 30 metres, which posed technical challenges in wireless broadband systems;
- The layout of the port, with four distinct zones (making up the different port terminals) meant the need for a combination of Point-to-Point and Point-to-Multipoint wireless solutions would be required;
- Height and obstruction from the containers were also key factors, since the maximum elevation that a camera location could be affixed was to a height of 16m, therefore potentially causing significant challenges in the provision of line-of-sight radio links;
- As the port was a 24 hour, 365 days operation, the solution would need to be of the highest reliability and availability, and in addition the difficult climatic conditions of the location would also challenge the reliability of any equipment deployed.
Implementing the Wireless Solution
INEXO, a systems integrator specialising in wireless and networking solutions and part of the Ceron group, was approached by DP World and their local technology solutions partner in Senegal to design and integrate the networked wireless video surveillance solution.
INEXO specified InfiNet’s R5000-S and R5000-Sc InfiMan 2x2 products to support the majority of the pre-installed camera locations, where the throughput and distance support of the systems proved more than adequate for video transport, even when line-of-sight paths were partially obstructed. InfiNet’s R5000-O and R5000-Om products were deployed as Base-station masters for the site.
The low latency of the InfiNet wireless solution also proved a deciding factor for the deployment, since the surveillance was based on PTZ (remote-controlled) IP Video Cameras, which require low-latency transmission in order that the cameras can be quickly manoeuvred into their surveillance positions from the control centre.