Maryland Police Boats Get Live Video Streaming - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Mobile & Wireless

Maryland Police Boats Get Live Video Streaming

High-speed wireless broadband network lets patrol boats on Chesapeake Bay send live streaming video to officers on shore to monitor real-time routine or crisis situations.

Steerage To The Stars: The Cheapsat Revolution
Steerage To The Stars: The Cheapsat Revolution
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Maryland's oldest statewide law enforcement agency, the Natural Resources Police (NRP), needed real-time situational awareness for police boats monitoring Chesapeake Bay. The agency turned to Tessco Technologies, a wireless networking distributor and manufacturer, and successfully implemented a new live video streaming system that allows officers on shore in a command center to keep an eye on officers on patrol, who are often miles away from the nearest backup.

NRP, the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), has 140 police boats covering Chesapeake Bay's 64,000 square miles around-the-clock, with responsibilities that include homeland security operations, search and rescue, and emergency medical services. NRP is also responsible for protecting oyster sanctuaries and other fisheries.

After four years of planning and product testing, NRP's IT staff partnered with Tessco and RAD Data Communications, which supplied its Airmux Mobility system. Eight towers were outfitted with the new system, which is essentially a high-speed wireless broadband network that connects patrol boats to DNR's network on shore, Scott McClure, Tessco's broadband and networking business unit director, told InformationWeek Government.

[This one's not your ordinary waiting room. Read VA Implements Waiting Room 'Smart Chairs'.]

RAD radios are mounted on each boat and programmed to securely communicate with base station radios located on communication towers. The radios are able to transmit and receive large amounts of data and high-resolution video between the boats and the shore.

The live video streaming application is integrated into the Maritime Law Enforcement Information Network (MLEIN), which is a series of radar units and cameras used by NRP around the Chesapeake Bay.

"The cameras allow the dispatch center to send additional boats to a scene if the officer is incapacitated or the incident escalates and the officer cannot respond," Candus Thomson, NRP's public information officer, said in an email.

Prior to this deployment, the video feed from patrol boats only could be recorded on the boat's local storage memory and downloaded once the boat was docked. McClure said NRP evaluated several other systems during live field trials, but they didn't meet the project's difficult requirements, such as system capacity, distance, latency, non-line-of-sight environments, and security.

The RAD system met the requirements. It's capable of achieving more than 4 Mbit/s throughput per boat while traveling at up to 20 knots over distances of up to seven miles.

McClure added: "With this new network, officers on shore or other vessels have the ability to view live video streaming from a boat during routine patrols or a crisis situation."

Find out how NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory addressed governance, risk, and compliance for its critical public cloud services. Get the new Cloud Governance At NASA issue of InformationWeek Government Tech Digest today. (Free registration required.)

Elena Malykhina began her career at The Wall Street Journal, and her writing has appeared in various news media outlets, including Scientific American, Newsday, and the Associated Press. For several years, she was the online editor at Brandweek and later Adweek, where she ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
asksqn
50%
50%
asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
9/27/2014 | 4:58:23 PM
Where's the urgency?
As speciously beneficial as ship-to-shore wireless monitoring may sound, I have to wonder if the price tag of installing the RAD network was justified or just another government boondoggle because some higher up wanted a brand new toy at taxpayer expense.
Whoopty
50%
50%
Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
9/26/2014 | 12:53:22 PM
Pretty amazing
To consider the video feed being sent wireless over that sort of distance. It's similarly impressive that we can now use mobile phones on flights and on some even access the internet. It's one of those things that just a few years ago wouldn't have even been considered, let alone thought possible. 
Slideshows
Top-Paying U.S. Cities for Data Scientists and Data Analysts
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  11/5/2019
Slideshows
10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/1/2019
Commentary
Study Proposes 5 Primary Traits of Innovation Leaders
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/8/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Getting Started With Emerging Technologies
Looking to help your enterprise IT team ease the stress of putting new/emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and IoT to work for their organizations? There are a few ways to get off on the right foot. In this report we share some expert advice on how to approach some of these seemingly daunting tech challenges.
Slideshows
Flash Poll