Dún Laoghaire’s man-made harbour is home to 100 hectares of terminal buildings, car and lorry parks, commercial piers, and leisure craft marinas, enclosed by two huge granite piers. It is also home to a range of marine activity-based businesses, from a Powerboat School to Yacht clubs and a Scuba Diving centre, and a Marina complex for private leisure crafts.
The harbour complex is managed by the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC), which has used CCTV for many years to monitor the ferry terminal. DLHC enlisted Mercury SD to add security monitoring of the other parts of the harbour being used for leisure and other activities.
Mercury SD was asked to advise on upgrading the entire system. DLHC were keen to retain the existing analogue system and its coax cable, while extending the CCTV reach to the entire 100-hectare site. An added challenge were the high winds, severe rain and fog, which created variable visibility.

New Hikvision IP cameras

New Hikvision IP cameras were then added to the coax cabling using IP over Coax transceivers; the new cameras were linked in using Ubiquiti wireless links. All the cameras link back to the pair of Hikvision hybrid recorders located in the harbour office near the ferry terminal, from where a PTZ camera in the lighthouse is controlled.

“All the new cameras offer Hikvision’s SMART imaging and detection, most prominently the Smart Defog and Smart IR features,” said Kevin O’Connell, system designer at Mercury SD. “These technologies in particular were a huge selling point for the new solution, overcoming the problems that burdened the old CCTV system when the harbour was beset by the unpredictable weather, even though most of the analogue cameras were indoors.”

The Smart Defog and Smart IR features help improve the clarity of images. Smart Defog modifies the image correction algorithm to improve the whole image’s visibility and clarity in rain or severe fog. Smart IR addresses the common problem of over-exposure of IR LEDs at the centre of images.

“At the centre of the new solution are Hikvision DS-9016HFI-ST 16/16 Hybrid Recorders, which enabled us to retain most of the older analogue cameras while adding in the Hikvision IP units,” adds Kevin. “The DS-9016HFI-ST features H.264 video compression, a recording resolution of up to 5 megapixels, 16 channel synchronous playback, and also HDMI and VGA output at up to 1080p, alongside a storage capacity of up to 12TB.”

Happy Customer

The new surveillance solution was deemed a major success. Tim Ryan, harbour manager at Dun Laoghaire, said: “The Hikvision system specified has exceeded our initial expectations. We use the system 24 hours a day to monitor the inner harbour area, consisting of car parks, walkways, buildings, busy junctions and ship berthing areas. We provided An Garda Siochana with evidence for a number of incidents since the installation. In each case the coverage and quality of footage was of a high standard. The DS-2DF7284-A PTZ camera at our East Pier Lighthouse has proven beneficial in assisting with Search and Rescue. Our recording equipment allows us to archive footage for approximately 60 days, which is also hugely beneficial to us.”