Berlin's S-Bahn adopts IndigoVision's IP video system

June 18, 2007 -- IndigoVision is providing IP video technology for purposes of train dispatching and passenger safety at Germany's Berlin S-Bahn urban rail system.

June 18, 2007 -- IndigoVision announced that it is providing IP video technology for a train dispatch system for Germany's Berlin S-Bahn, an urban rail system that transports more than one million passengers per day. Designed to improve passenger safety and speed up operations, the IP video system allows drivers to safely manage train dispatch via a CCTV display located in the train's cab.

According to a press release, after a rigorous competitive analysis, the IndigoVision IP video technology was initially deployed over a 6 month period in a pilot system incorporating 24 cameras across 6 rail stations. The next stage of deployment will see 88 more cameras installed at an additional 22 stations; eventually, the S-Bahn expects to deploy the IP video system across its network of 16 lines and165 stations and stopping points.

The video system is part of a larger IP-communication and passenger information system installed by Alcatel-Lucent.

IndigoVision says it was chosen for the project because it could meet a stringent set of criteria. The pilot system had to be fully scalable to meet the S-Bahn's long-term expansion plans, possibly involving up to 2,000 cameras monitoring 330 rail platforms. Other key criteria included flexible video recording capability and the ability to integrate alarm handling with video management, both of which are handled by IndigoVision's network video recorders and Control Center software.

According to IndigoVision, the details of the video system deployment are as follows:

In a typical S-Bahn station, four fixed CCTV cameras are placed on each side of the track to monitor the platform and train doors. These four cameras are connected to a quad-split unit to produce a single 4-way video image which is connected to an IndigoVision 8000 transmitter unit. The 8000 converts the analog signal into a high-quality digital video stream (4 SIF at 25 fps) for transmission over the IP network. The video is also transmitted using a wireless LAN to a display in the train cab where the driver can monitor passenger movements and ensure doors are closed before departure.

IndigoVision's Control Center enterprise video and alarm management software is used by operators in control rooms located in the larger stations to monitor the platform images. The video streams are transmitted using multicast technology that allows any Control Center workstation to view live and recorded video from any of the platform cameras at any station or stopping point on the rail network. The software's architecture allows for installation of as many operator workstations as are required for no more than the cost of a PC, according to IndigoVision.

The built-in motion analytics in the IndigoVision 8000 transmitters is used to trigger an alarm when a train arrives at the station by detecting motion in three quarters of the quad-split image. The alarm is used to update an interactive rail network status map displayed on the Control Center workstations and to provide-real time control of video recording.

Video recording is achieved using IndigoVision's PC-based Windows network video recorders (WinNVRs). Three WinNVRs were installed in the S-Bahn pilot system, with a further 4 are planned for the project's next phase. The NVRs, which can be installed at any point on the IP network, continuously record video from all platform cameras. Most recordings are deleted quickly but recordings of train movements are archived for later analysis.

The recording scheme is managed via the Control Center software, using each train arriving event as triggered by the 8000 unit's motion analytics. According to IndigoVision, the distributed nature of the WinNVRs operating on the IP network means that recorded video from both the larger central stations and the smaller stopping points can easily be accommodated, as well as fully scaleable as the system's size increases.

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