Greece stadiums protected by Dallmeier

Regensburg, Germany

Greece stadiums protected by Dallmeier

When it comes to video surveillance, Greece, the birthplace of the Olympic Games and at the same time the cradle of sports, trusts in products and solutions from Dallmeier. And while excited fans watch what happens on the pitch in a total of 22 stadiums (among them the Olympic Stadium in Athens), high-resolution Dallmeier cameras keep an eye on everyone and everything and provide for the necessary security.

The Olympic Stadium in Athens, also referred to as the OAKA, was completed in 1982 and bears the name of the Spyridon Louis, the winner of the first Olympic marathon in modern times (1896). Ahead of the Olympic Games the stadium was completely modernised and was given a 17,000 ton glass roof. With 25,000 sqm it is the largest glass roof in the world. Furthermore, the Olympic Stadium has another highlight: a network-based video security system by the Regensburg based specialist Dallmeier.

In June 2006, the first proposals for the project were drawn up and submitted. The Greek Ministry of Sports awarded the contract to the Dallmeier partner Space Hellas. Dallmeier sales manager Asad Asla recalls: "After months of intensive examinations, the Ministry chose our proposal as the solution that offers the highest quality, uses the most advanced technology and is most future-proof. Although it took a while for those responsible to come to a decision, we had been ahead of the game right from the start from a technical point-of-view, simply because we demonstrated and offered the most complete solution. The people at the ministry have repeatedly affirmed that, which gave me great satisfaction as it clearly shows we offer solutions for the future. And Dallmeier is the ideal partner for that."

In mid-April 2007 Dallmeier was finally awarded the project. The realisation phase of this great project was next and quickly it became obvious that the tender specification by no means met the actual requirements and the strict conditions of the UEFA. Consequently, a lot of special programming was still necessary to achieve compliance with the regulations. On top of that, the pressure to finish work was enormous as time was running short. The system's first large-scale operation, the final match of the Champions League, was just three weeks away. In record time, all departments within Dallmeier, from hardware and software development to the responsible projects and applications team and the manufacturing department delivered a truly Champions League-worthy performance.

In the end, the complete CCTV system could be installed on time and so it was all clear for an exciting evening for the fans. Also, if anything, the security personnel had to worry about the score as the Dallmeier technology operated smoothly and without any problems. The police, who were operating the system, and the ministry officials were impressed by the easy operation of the system as well as the high image quality system.

With the OAKA project the foundations were laid for a continuing successful cooperation. For Dallmeier not only equips the Olympic Stadium with its solutions. The Regensburg based company has also been awarded the order for the CCTV equipment of no less than 22 stadiums in Greece. After the successful commissioning of the first stadium's CCTV system, the surveillance systems in the other 21 stadiums will be gradually implemented.

All in all approximately 850 analogue as well as IP cameras will eventually monitor the interior and exterior.
The particularity about the Dallmeier cameras is their proprietary Cam_inPIX technology. The basis for this development was the latest Pixim Digital Pixel System technology, which was further optimised and refined by Dallmeier. With this camera technology it is now possible to solve familiar problems of the video surveillance technology that have previously been deemed unsolvable with CCD technology. The most difficult lighting conditions, for instance rapid succession of light and shadow as it occurs in sport stadiums, can be mastered without any problems with the Cam_inPIX technology, according to Dallmeier. Apart from that, the Olympic Stadium had one other, very special requirement. It was necessary to ensure that faces could still be recognisable at great distance and the cameras provide an optimal solution for this application as well.

In order to guarantee a highest availability of the recording, Dallmeier's approach to solution uses the high-availability storage directly at the encoder. The device used is a DIS-2/M, a modular recording and transmission system in slide-in design for 19" racks (Blade system). Recording is thus network-independent and therefore remains intact even in the case of disturbances or a complete network failure. This storage concept furthermore minimises network requirements such as bandwidth as streaming is only carried out when needed.

In order to further increase failure safety, the data are redundantly recorded on the DIS-2/M. Moreover, the system uses the DAS-303 Dallmeier storage system. Based on RAID-5 technology the highest degree of security is ensured for the whole system.

Besides its reliability the DIS-2/M also convinced the responsible ministry officials with its high image quality as all channels are processed in real time and broadcast quality (MPEG-2/MPEG-4) i.e. with 25 frames per second with PAL resolution and 30 frames per second with NTSC.

Another criteria for the decision: The user-friendliness of the system. However, if a disruption occurs, the defective components can be replaced channel by channel. The hot plug capability of the modules allows the exchange to be made during operation. The downtime is thus reduced to a minimum. Finally, an intuitive and clearly structured software allows for a simply management and control of the system.

Given the size of the project and the planned expansion phases it was very important to the ministry to find a solution that could be adjusted to meet future demands without any problems. Again the Dallmeier approach to solution demonstrated one if its advantages: All Dallmeier systems are of modular design. The high flexibility of this approach makes extensions simple and straightforward. The digital IP-Matrix is designed so that cascading of the system is not subject to restrictions. Unlike analogue solutions whose expansions frequently incur high additional costs, these do not apply to IP systems.

The control rooms of the individual stadiums are equipped with a customised SeMSy (Security Management System) which makes it easier for police on site to keep the necessary overview and allows them to react immediately in an emergency. Furthermore, workstations with PView and PGuard were already set up in a separate control centre during the first stage of the implementation. Initially, those workstations will be used for additional surveillance of the OAKA soccer stadium and the entire Olympic sporting complex in Athens, including the arenas for basketball, track and field etc. Owing to the flexible IP solutions it is no problem to work across-site so that existing localities can be interconnected at a later date and controlled via one main central control station. Using the video management system the control centre can eventually serve as a supervisory surveillance centre for all 22 stadiums.

If the images from all stadiums converged at the control centre, the necessary bandwidth would naturally be very high. Again Dallmeier had a suitable solution: Dual Streaming. Thereby, the images can be recorded in high quality at the recorder. For the transmission of the images, however, a lower resolution is chosen in order to reduce the network load. That procedure ensures that the images can also be viewed without any problems by remote access, while guaranteeing that important image details are still preserved.

The responsible people at the Greek Ministry of Sports were so strongly convinced by the Dallmeier solution that they not only ordered the devices of the German company for the new installations but also replaced existing systems with Dallmeier products. According to statements by the ministry, Dallmeier was the only competitor able to meet the expectations and requirements, thus ensuring the security of the stadiums as well as the safety of the athletes and visitors from all over the world.

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