Simon Hill, Technical Director. Excelerate Group

Mobile video streaming solutions serve as an effective and powerful tool when managing an event or responding to an incident.  By having access to live video feeds at the scene, footage of the incident can be viewed for improved situational awareness and accelerated decision-making.

Whether it’s a responder wearing a body-worn camera chasing down a criminal or an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) being used to search for a missing person, mobile deployable cameras enable a full view of an incident as it is unfolds.  However, without the correct infrastructure in place, real-time footage isn’t always accessible beyond the responder or UAV pilot.

Identifying communications challenges and how to overcome them

The fluctuating availability of public 3G/4G networks makes it difficult to maintain video streams to provide responders with reliable content.  Is it also essential that sensitive & confidential video is transmitted securely, whereas public 3G/4G networks can be vulnerable.

A resilient & private data network over multiple bearers (3G, 4G, LTE, COFDM & Satellite) enables responders to share time-critical footage and other information securely in all environments even when terrestrial networks are congested, under threat or suffering from disruption.  All mobile streaming devices operating over the network will need to be authenticated and support encryption to guarantee the high level of protection required.

Certain environmental factors can also have an impact on transmission. For example, if line-of-sight with the camera becomes obstructed by an obstacle such as a high-rise building, an underground tunnel or a mountainous area, signal strength will diminish rapidly.  This should also be factored in given the unpredictable nature of responses.

The addition of COFDM technology provides another layer of resilience by enabling critical video footage to be viewed at extended distances in excess of 1Km and in non-line-of-sight and high-signal-loss environments.  Some of our products with integrated COFDM technology include our Body-Worn Cameras, Rapid Deploy Cameras and Sherpa – our automatic lamp-post climbing camera system.

What happens to the footage, how is it shared and where is it stored

To fully harness all of the footage captured from the incident a video server will be required. Excelerate’s Exstream Video Management System is a bespoke solution available with as many channels necessary for all associated cameras.

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ExStream brings multiple feeds together into one easy to use application and is capable of simultaneously displaying, recording, reviewing and exporting images & remote streams, meaning that recordings will not stop if the content needs to be reviewed at an incident.

ExStream can be accessed by any authorised device with an internet connection – handheld, tablet or desktop.  This enables responders to monitor unfolding situations and share those insights with commanders at any other authorised location whether they are in the field, on-board a command & control unit or back at headquarters.

DataBox – Excelerate’s latest cloud-based solution, simplifies the databox Excelerateway data can be shared and stored by allowing users to bring images, documents and video together in a single place.

Other features include

Sync, Share & Mobile Access: Allows users to access share, and sync files remotely from anywhere using any authorised device.

Enhanced Security: As well as being highly encrypted other features for data leak prevention include the ability to remote wipe and block devices. All data uploaded is scanned and protected from viruses and ransomware.

Redundancy: Automatic backup can be enabled so that data is stored at both satellite teleports.

Enhanced Administration Tools: Features include, role based user privilege, file analytics and reports, device management and more.

Both ExStream and DataBox are hosted via Excelerate’s ISO 27001 accredited Satellite Ground Station for ultimate security. Excelerate’s infrastructure can also host other applications securely.

Tried & Tested Solutions

We have worked closely with our Emergency Services customers to design and develop these innovative solutions to speed up processes, increase visability, enable more efficient working, support interoperability and improve overall safety.

At a recent fire in Daventry earlier this year, Northamptonshire Police and Fire & Rescue Service were able to live stream aerial footage from their UAV solution to the Joint Command Unit and share with any other authorised personnel securely.

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The solution provided ensured the responders were able to;

  • Capture and monitor the developing situation in real-time
  • Provide commanders and wider Tactical Coordination Group in developing with live feed and recorded imagery as part of briefing and situational update.
  • Provide off scene command support at HQ and Control rooms with situational awareness.
  • Review & playback footage to improve on scene briefings for multi-agency personnel
  • Enhance and support tactical fire-fighting planning

Other Emergency Services customers benefiting from these solutions include the Environment Agency, UK HART teams, South Wales Police & more.