Tennessee Water Utility Adopts RGB Spectrum's Security Monitoring Technologies to Combat Terrorist Threat
Protecting America's infrastructure from terrorism is a critical objective of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS). DHS has appealed to public entities to implement preemptive safeguarding plans. One area of concern is the public water supply.
Tennessee's largest rural water utility district, Consolidated Utility District of Rutherford County (CUDRC), based in Murfreesboro, has accepted the challenge and is pioneering efforts for the security of the public's water supply against intrusion and contamination. CUDRC took proactive measures by executing an infrastructure security plan using state-of-the-art technology. The core of the plan was the design and construction of a centralized command center operating 24/7 to continuously monitor the utility's water reservoirs, pump stations, flow meters, pressure zones, storage tanks, and distribution lines.
CUDRC contracted with audio-visual system integrator Multi-Media Solutions in Alcoa, Tennessee to design and construct the A/V display system in the new command center. Larry McElroy, General Manager for CUDRC explained, "The goal of the new security and monitoring command center is to enable personnel to know everything occurring system-wide by displaying all of surveillance and data components throughout the entire system on a central video wall."
Mike White, President and CEO of Multi-Media Solutions added, "the challenge was to integrate a myriad of incoming data and visuals of varying types. The system specifications required true real time display of all signals and the ability to manipulate the size and position of these images on the screens. We designed a wall-sized display system composed of three rear projection screens. The left and right screens are 7.5 by 10-foot. The center screen dimension is 9.5 by 12 feet. We incorporated RGB Spectrum's state-of-the-art Quadra™ multi-screen and QuadView® multi-image display processors to give CUDRC staff the ability to view all of the system-wide visuals and data simultaneously on the video wall."
The Quadra receives four high resolution computer inputs from a matrix switcher connected to six computers and four video sources. The Quadra concurrently outputs these four images to four rear screen projectors on the center screen. The Quadra's "wall" function is enabled to display a 2 x 2 array on the screen, creating a massive, composite image. The center wall images consist of a system-wide map, topographic map, or flow chart depicting pumping stations. The most frequently used image is the system-wide map which depicts every reservoir, distribution pipe, valve, pump station, pressure monitoring station, water meter, and service vehicle. The security center's computers continuously receive live status data from transducers throughout the system and GPS transmissions from the service vehicles, which are fed into a computer program that generates easily understood visuals. The Quadra displays the updated visuals for real time monitoring of reservoir levels, flow production, operating pressure, and resource deployment.
The right screen is used to monitor live video surveillance. The system supports up to 32 IP-based video surveillance cameras positioned at critical perimeter detection points at the reservoirs and pump stations. The cameras' signals are converted via MPEG PC-boards to RGB analog signals. The QuadView receives any four of these camera feeds at a time and outputs them to a rear screen projector.
The left screen displays feeds from weather stations and local television broadcasts. Frigid temperatures, high winds, thunderstorms, and tornadoes can damage the water distribution systems, so weather conditions are continuously monitored. The QuadView processor is fed up to four live video signals from satellite and local cable television sources and sends them to the rear screen projector for simultaneous display.
The wall-size display system uses six Christie Digital Systems DS-30 rear-projection DLP projectors, four in the 2 x 2 array center screen and one each in the left and right screens. The Quadra and QuadView processors output to these projectors in their native 1280 x 1024 resolution. Command center operators select desired inputs, switch image feeds, and control the display configurations for all three screens using a simple pre-programmed touch- screen controller situated on the main console.
White continued, "The Quadra and QuadView processors give CUDRC personnel the powerful display versatility they needed in this mission-critical environment. Personnel can view any visual and data point system-wide in real-time. Operators can resize, zoom, and pan any image for greater detail and to focus on a particular area. The processors deliver exceptional image quality with sharp, crisp display of the high resolution graphics."
According to McElroy, "The district's entire distribution system can be monitored and controlled, and coordinated by a single person. Our personnel have the ability to assess and respond to critical situations and needs as they arise. We can respond to system defects, disruptions, damage, and incidents more quickly and effectively. If an intrusion is detected, the center operator can immediately turn off the pumps to prevent potentially contaminated water from being distributed. The center's innovative display capabilities gives us a quantum leap in preparedness, situational awareness, resource coordination efficiency, and response capability."
Consolidated Utility District of Rutherford County is the largest utility district in Tennessee. For more information, call 615-225-3310 or visit www.cudrc.com.
Multi-Media Solutions is a premier designer and integrators of audio-visual technology solutions for commercial, industrial, educational, and government markets. For more information, call 800-968-7907 or visit www.m-media.com.