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LAPD Secures Space Shuttle On City Streets

October 12, 2012  | 

NASA's Endeavour arrives at LAX to began its final 12-mile journey on city streets today to the California Science Center. CC_Flickr: nasahqphoto
NASA's Endeavour arrives at LAX to began its final 12-mile journey on city streets today to the California Science Center. CC_Flickr: nasahqphoto

The Los Angeles Police Department is deploying hundreds of officers and a rolling video surveillance network for the space shuttle Endeavour's 12-mile trip along city streets today and Saturday.

To safeguard the shuttle as it moves from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to the California Science Center in Exposition Park, the LAPD will rely on IP (Internet Protocol) cameras transmitting HD images over a wireless mesh network.

The shuttle arrived Friday for its "Mission 26: The Big Endeavour" road-trip to retirement. The two-day, 2mph journey will take the shuttle from LAX, across the 405 Freeway and through the streets of Los Angeles to arrive at the science center on Saturday. It will be on display to the public starting Oct. 30.

Nearly 700 officers from the LAPD, Inglewood Police Department, and California Highway Patrol are providing crowd management and traffic control of the event. No arrests were made, Officer Bruce Borihanh told POLICE Magazine.

"It's gone very smooth," Officer Borihanh said. "People are very excited. Everyone's been very cooperative."

To cover the 12-mile route in a cost-effective way, the LAPD will construct a wireless mesh network on the fly and deploy pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) IP surveillance cameras from Axis Communications using a "leap-frog" approach. As the shuttle passes beyond the first camera's field of view, it will be uninstalled and then reinstalled at the front of the surveillance network to continue the chain.

"Crowd and traffic control around major events bring about unique challenges, especially when it's a once-in-a-lifetime event like this," said LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing. "Relying on Axis' surveillance technology removes typical IT and surveillance obstacles often present with critical yet impromptu security applications."

The LAPD will monitor Endeavour's journey, the crowds and general activity using Axis' P5534-E PTZ dome cameras (720p) and Axis' Q6035-E PTZ dome cameras (1080p). These IP cameras will operate with a wireless mesh network powered by Cobham technology. The cameras will also enable the LAPD to monitor the journey at night.

For the wireless mesh network, the rooftop of a 54-story skyscraper serves as a relay site between the Axis cameras and radio nodes throughout the route. This allows video footage to flow freely to the LAPD central command post as well as mobile devices in the field despite the large physical distances from point to point.

Live viewing and video archiving of the Mission 26 event will be done using Milestone video management software. The department hired a private company to install and manage the network, Officer Borihanh said.

Endeavour, built as a replacement for space shuttle Challenger, completed 25 missions, spent 299 days in orbit, and orbited Earth 4,671 times, according to NASA.

By Paul Clinton

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