Smart stadium--An impressive and secure sports facility rises from the Arizona desert.
Smart stadium--An impressive and secure sports facility rises from the Arizona desert.

Jul 1, 1998 12:00 PM

Well before the first crowd of excited fans watched the first game played by Arizona's new major league baseball team at its expansive new stadium, Bank One Ballpark, the director of security for the stadium, George Bevans, made his needs clear to the designers of the facility's unique integrated building systems. The security component, he emphasized, must successfully cover both physical security and crowd management.

"There was a lot of planning between myself and systems integrators ATT Integrated Technologies," said Bevans, barely a month after the 26-acre indoor/outdoor baseball stadium, home to the Arizona Diamondbacks, opened. The stadium has more than two million square feet under its retractable roof and Bevans wanted to make sure doors that needed to be locked stayed locked.

He also wanted to make sure he and his 50 full-time security staff members (26 of whom are at the ballpark and the remainder at America West Arena, the six-year-old basketball and hockey arena next door that Bevans also supervises) had control of their crowds. He says both goals have been met with immense success.

A clear picture The Vicon CCTV system, chosen by Bevans, includes high-speed, mini-dome cameras which spin 360 degrees, tilt 180 degrees and change focus while they are zooming in on their target.

The combination of speed and picture clarity sold Bevans on the system. During a demonstration of several CCTV systems, cameras were rotated 180 degrees while focused on two blackboards. "Rather than zooming and then focusing after reaching the target, Vicon's cameras change focus while in transit, so they are very fast from clear picture to clear picture," explains Chris Christensen, division manager for ATT Integrated Technologies, Phoenix.

Describing his use of the system, which includes eight multiplexers, eight VCRs, a matrix switcher, 19 Vicon monitors, and more than 90 Vicon cameras, Bevans says, "I can monitor and tape any part of the field, and security operators in our control room can respond as needed. After a game we can see if someone is leaving the building who should not have stayed around, and thwart potential theft or vandalism."

The CCTV system uses Vicon's CPU-based NOVA 1466 control system, which selects cameras and displays the video on any one of more than 32 monitors. Mini-dome systems are remotely controlled to scan parking lots, entrances and concession areas, and AurorA digital video multiplexers channel video from up to 16 cameras into one tape so they can record everything that occurs at more than 90 camera points. There is a full looping video system, in which video goes from the cameras to the multiplexers and then loops out to the matrix switchers and then to the monitors.

The Vicon system is integrated with the stadium's alarm and access control systems through an RS-232 third-party interface, giving the security officer on duty in the control room (which is manned 24 hours per day) instant data, graphics and video when a breach occurs.

Bevan's staff, for instance, can view the ticket building to determine if doors are open or closed, and who last went through the area. If there is an alarm condition, an alarm window will appear on the computer screen in the control room, telling the operator what kind of alarm is occurring and what to do. The CCTV system automatically switches to the camera closest to the alarm point that has been breached and does a pan/tilt/zoom on the area.

Under control The ballpark's security systems include an Andover Controls access control system, which controls 13 doors at present, including player entry, press entry, employee entry, administrative and team office areas, ticketing and the team locker area. The system includes stand-alone controller panels that can control up to eight different doors each, connected to HID Miniprox, standard and Maxiprox readers by eight-conductor cable copper wire. The panel information can be accessed remotely from any one of five workstations, two of which are in the security control room. A copy of all controller panel information is sent to the main and backup file servers.

Information from the controller panels is transmitted through two copper conductors at 19,200 bits per second to Andover Controls communication controllers; from there data is transmitted through a fiber-optic Ethernet LAN at 10 million bits per second to the two file servers. Workstation operators can call up the information at will.

SX-8000 Andover Controls Infinity workstation software is installed on the primary and hot backup file servers and interacts with all subsystems such as access control, security, alarms, HVAC, CCTV, lighting and the retractable dome roof. The software runs on a Windows NT operating system and includes graphics depicting the actual building design drawings, maps of doors, walls and rooms. Alarm windows automatically appear when there is an event, and all exterior doors are monitored by alarm points.

"The access control component keeps track of personnel records and where they are in the system, creates new records and edits and modifies existing ones," says Greg LaRoche, director of marketing for Andover Controls. "It manages, acknowledges and views the alarm system and has a security system of its own that restricts what users can do, depending on how it has been programmed."

Sentrol door contacts and Ademco duress buttons, along with motion detectors and other security devices at the 13 access control points, are wired into panel controllers to integrate alarm with access control, such as the ACX-700, a two-door controller, or the ACX-780, an eight-door controller.

Alarm points not covered by the access control software are wired into other local panel controllers; some 200 to 300 points are part of the security system.

Because there is an operator in the security control room 24 hours a day, all of the alarms for the entire stadium, whether security- or HVAC-related, are routed to security control room workstations. This includes 1,600 alarm points comprising the fire and life safety system.

While alarm and access control data are integrated through various Andover Controls panel controllers, an RS-232 third-party interface was used to integrate the CCTV system and the fire and life safety system alarms with the total building communication network. It is through the RS-232 interface that the stadium's seven air conditioning "chiller" units can also be controlled from the same workstation as the security and other building systems.

This integrated solution, which incorporates communication, environmental controls, security, fire alarm, lighting and building management, is considered the "first intelligent network" used in an indoor/outdoor baseball stadium, according to ATT Integrated Technologies president Steve Grosvenor.

"Bank One Ballpark is the nation's first indoor/outdoor 'smart stadium,' with a network infrastructure that combines both communications and technology information systems into one cabling pathway," says Grosvenor. "Andover Controls Infinity system provides some 7,500 system control points throughout the stadium that operate several specialized systems, including the control of the retractable dome roof."

The backbone A large fiber-optic system, Lucent Technologies' SYSTIMAX Structured Connectivity Solutions (SCS), installed by Adkins Cabling, represents the backbone of the communication system. The fast, reliable fiber-optic cabling is connected to the four Andover Controls CX-9200 and one CX-9400 communication controllers, which contain communication and Ethernet ports that provide microprocessor-to-microprocessor links to the local panel controllers and the various building systems.

At the Bank One Ballpark, cabling between the CX-9200s and the Andover Controls access control panel controllers is mostly copper and achieved through an RS-485 Infinet protocol. The CX-9400, according to ATT's Christensen, includes modules which control HVAC, lighting, and other building systems.

Christensen explains why the microprocessor-to-microprocessor interface is streamlined and efficient compared to hard-wiring.

"It used to be that you would have to wire outputs from an access control panel or alarm panel to a compatible module on a CCTV system. You'd need two wires for every alarm that the CCTV system was going to act upon in order to integrate the two systems, which means if you had 100 alarm points you'd need 200 wires," says Christensen.

"With the microprocessor-to-microprocessor interface we have just three wires - a transmit wire, a receive wire and a ground wire - because the two systems have an open architecture.

"The willingness of Vicon and Andover controls to share their protocols is what made this integration possible," says Christensen.

Bevans adds: "We've had more than a million people into the facility already and the security system has been very user friendly and effective in helping us manage the crowd and building. The camera system also covers the plaza area around the stadium.

"Without extensive CCTV we would have a very difficult time dealing with building security, let alone crowd control."

The same might be said about the access control and security alarm systems, all of which work with other building systems at Bank One Ballpark, reflecting the behind-the-scenes operating teamwork that makes this new stadium a comfortable, safe and secure place for tens of thousands of fans to sit back, sip a drink, eat a hot dog and cheer as the Diamondbacks and other major league teams play ball.

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