The many water locks in the water-rich province of Zeeland in The Netherlands, are controlled from two central positioned control units. TKH Security has provided the video display and control solution for the 22 locations with over 1600 cameras.
The Province of Zeeland in the South-West part of The Netherlands contains many waterways and provides access to and from the North Sea to the large ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam just around the corner. These waterways are heavily crowded with over 70.000 large ships, boats and other vessels passing through each year. However, the height difference between these waterways can be as large as 6 meters. To manage these height differences, many water locks are in place for ships to pass through the canals, rivers and other waterways.
Very high quality images for perfect operator view
Until recently, these 22 water locks were manned and controlled locally. The Dutch department of local works (Rijkswaterstaat) decided for a modernisation of the locks and make them remotely manageable and controllable, through two newly built central control units. One for the northern part of the province, and one for the southern part. With some of the locks located more than 50 kilometers from the central control units, this was a challenging operation. To replace the former local eyes and ears, cameras, communications and remote controls were needed. Good video quality, with absolute true colours under all circumstances and no latency, is important for the central operators to rely on. To ensure true colours under all circumstances, many tests were done with different cameras and different camera positioning under various circumstances. The result: perfect color on all 70+ cameras on each location.
Safety guaranteed by tackling latency
Latency was one of the most crucial factors to deal with. It is of utmost importance that what the operator sees on the screen, is an actual image of the current situation. To show if latency is present in the video, a special feature was created in VDG Sense. This feature shows a red cross in the video displayed if the latency is larger than 500 milliseconds. That way the operator immediately sees if latency is present in the video stream.
Another special feature is an indication to show when a video stream is from the opposite side of a lock. With the large amount of video streams, and the large number of vessels passing through each lock, it is important for operators not to get confused with the direction the vessel is headed. A simple solution was created: a blue border around the video stream is shown to indicate when it is from a camera on the opposite side of the lock.
VDG Sense is controlled through SCADA, the control interface that also controls all bridges and water locks. Commend Intercom is integrated, together with Marine Radio Communication, for communication with the different sites. All central operators can control all different water locks. However, for safety reasons, an operator can only control one lock at a time. When switching to another lock, the operator has to log out of the previous lock and log in to the next. Each command or step in the process results in the display of the cameras necessary for that specific operation. Besides remote control through SCADA, local control is also still an option in case of network issues or maintenance. Local and remote control work identically to each other.