Technology protects the world's fair in Hannover
Technology protects the world's fair in Hannover

Sep 1, 2000 12:00 PM

The Great Exhibition of 1851, held in London, was the first World's Fair, setting a tradition that is still going strong today. That first event had 13,000 exhibits attracting more than 6.2 million people to the fairgrounds in Hyde Park. Hailed as a great success, the exhibition's profits helped to fund such prestigious public works as Albert Hall, the Science Museum, the National History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The 1851 Exhibition attracted record crowds without any incidents of violence or unrest. Security for the affair consisted of 50 police officers armed with nothing but wooden batons.

In the intervening 149 years, the world has changed. EXPO 2000, which takes place June 1 to October 31 in Hannover, Germany, will have a state-of-the-art access control and video surveillance system to protect the expected 250,000 visitors a day. Like all world's fairs, EXPO 2000 will have exhibits, such as arts and crafts, scientific discoveries and products of industry and agriculture, provided by 191 countries and organizations from around the world.

The theme for this year is "Mankind-Nature-Technology" and a visit to the EXPO promises to be a mini world tour. The Netherlands pavilion will feature a Dutch "landscape burger." Standing about 130 feet high it will look like the world's largest Big Mac, except instead of all the fixings it will have layers of landscapes on six different levels. Visitors will be able to explore flower fields, dunes, and forests.

The Australian pavilion will have a replica of the Great Barrier Reef in an 18-meter-long glass tank outside its entrance. The EXPO will also offer mountain climbing, whale songs and an "Expo Disco" with dancing until the wee hours of the night.

Keeping everyone safe and secure amidst this flurry of activity will be the job of EXPO personnel and a C-CURE 800 access control and badging system from Sensormatic Electronics Corp. Sensormatic has been named the official supplier of access control and closed circuit television systems for EXPO 2000.

C-CURE access control system will be at the center of the EXPO's security system, encompassing more than 5.2 million square feet. Employees for the EXPO will be issued photo identification badges to be used with proximity readers. The badges can be programmed to allow employees and VIPs entry only to those areas they need to access at specific times during the day and evening. Cards can be quickly deactivated to insure that terminated employees do not have access to the exposition grounds. There is also an anti-passback function making it impossible for an employee to use a badge and then pass it to the next person wanting to enter the facility.

The EXPO will issue 5,500 badges for security and administration personnel as well as VIPs. The system uses a Windows NT operating system with standard computer hardware and communications devices. The access control database used at EXPO 2000 is capable of handling large numbers of cardholders while recording events from all access points at the central station. Thus, administrators will be able to keep a record of access in and out of the monitored areas. It can also integrate numerous applications with access control including alarm monitoring, e-mail and CCTV. If there is an effort to access a portion of the EXPO common areas without the proper badge, an alarm is sent to the central station and to a nearby substation. Expo 2000 security personnel can then intervene.

The broadcast messenger feature of the access system will allow security personnel to send a page via modem or e-mail to a paging service or via a serial port to a local paging terminal. Administrators and security managers can be notified of an alarm or any other situation that may arise in the secured areas of the EXPO.

Video surveillance is also integrated into the security system at EXPO 2000. The access control system can send software commands to a matrix switcher. There are four video matrixes used at the exposition. In the common walkways, there are 104 cameras including 81 Speed Domes and 23 fixed cameras by Sensormatic. The German pavilion at the EXPO has 14 additional cameras. All of the cameras are connected to the central system. The gates to the EXPO are monitored by 15 fixed cameras and the video is transmitted to the central station via HyperScan, a telephone transmission system manufactured by Sensormatic.

This transmission system consists of a digital picture transmitter and a PC-based receiver. Pictures are transmitted with virtually no loss in quality. It can provide coverage from 4 to 7, 11, 13 or 16 sites. With its Windows-based picture management, the system can enlarge and enhance any image area for identification purposes, then annotate and fax it anywhere. Security personnel have the option of using a wide range of media links for transmissions, including wireless (RF), cellular and satellite data links, as well as standard and ISDN phone lines.

EXPO security personnel will be able to program the transmission system to run automatic guard tours, with surveillance cameras, at scheduled times using off-the-shelf third-party programs. This will save time for security personnel and create consistent security monitoring. The receiver software for the transmission system is capable of programming movement patterns for some of the dome cameras being used at the event, eliminating the need for a separate controller.

The transmitter at the EXPO can be configured to redial one or more receivers until a connection is established, reducing the risk of the receiver not being connected upon an alarm event. Storage capacity for pre-alarm events allows for better documentation of conditions leading up to an alarm.

Video from the surveillance cameras at EXPO 2000 will be managed by 17 Intellex systems. The Intellex systems are intelligent digital video management systems, manufactured by Sensormatic, which record, playback and review video surveillance images.

Intellex stores video on the unit's internal hard drive or archives it to a Digital Audiotape (DAT). For investigative purposes, high-resolution digital video images can be easily copied and distributed. The unit also integrates its digital recorder with multiplexing capabilities so security professionals at EXPO 2000 are able to view images from any camera without interrupting recording. Images from as many as 16 cameras can be displayed and recorded to one Intellex unit and monitor.

Smart Search is another feature of the video manager, which allows the immediate retrieval of desired recordings. Smart Search filters can find recorded events where perimeters were crossed, light levels changed, and/or special types of motion occurred. This feature reduces time, expense and the inconvenience of manually searching through days worth of VCR tape recordings to find a few critical seconds of video documentation. For example, if something is missing from a storeroom in EXPO 2000's administrative areas, security professionals will be able to call up video of every entrance into the room without going through hours of tape.

The central system at EXPO 2000 can also be used by any of the 191 country and organization pavilions. The German and Japanese pavilions are among those who have connected to the central system. They can take advantage of the existing wiring and telephone lines and even have access monitored by EXPO 2000 security officials. Cameras and video managers at individual pavilions can also be linked to the larger system.

"Securing a venue of this magnitude can be a challenge," said Per-Olof Loof, president and CEO of Sensormatic. "Our experience at the Atlanta Olympics and many other large events fit perfectly with the needs of EXPO 2000."

"We are pleased to have found a competent partner for this job," said Thomas Borcholte, marketing director of EXPO 2000 Hannover GmbH. EXPO 2000 Hannover GmbH was set up to plan and organize the World Exposition.

Fleischhauer, a Hannover-based systems integrator and dealer, installed the equipment at the EXPO. The installation began in October and was completed on schedule and in time for opening day events on June 1, 2000.

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