After logging nearly 123 million miles in flight, the space shuttle Endeavour will travel its final 12 miles on the ground through the streets of Los Angeles where it will dock one last time at the California Science Center (CSC). During this historic and unprecedented transport of the space shuttle, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) will rely on  IP video surveillance cameras from Axis Communications, Chelmsford, Mass., which will transmit over a unique wireless mesh network to safeguard the downtown route and protect NASA’s national treasure with enhanced, HDTV-quality situational awareness.

On Friday, Oct. 12, Endeavour will embark on the “Mission 26: The Big Endeavour”road-trip to retirement, which is a two-day, 2 mph journey from Los Angeles International Airport across the 405 Freeway and through the streets of L.A. to arrive at the CSC on Sat., Oct. 13, where it will be on display starting October 30.

During the journey, residents are encouraged to watch Endeavour’s final trip from private lawns, inside businesses and along side-streets, as well as attend special viewing celebrations throughout the city, including at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 8 a.m. PT, and then later that day near the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza shopping mall around 2 p.m. PT.

The primary challenge in securing an event of this magnitude is that many of the security needs from a technology perspective are mobile and temporary. To cover the expansive 12-mile route in a cost-effective way, the LAPD will construct a wireless mesh network on the fly and deploy HDTV-quality pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) Axis IP surveillance cameras 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.

See demo videoof Axis’ HDTV PTZ in action.

“Crowd and traffic control around major events bring about unique challenges, especially when it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event like this,” said Michael Downing, deputy chief of the Los Angeles Police Department and commanding officer of LAPD's Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau. “Relying on Axis’ surveillance technology as we’ve done for many of the city’s biggest events removes typical IT and surveillance obstacles often present with critical yet impromptu security applications. With these worries eliminated, we can focus on our job: making sure the spectators remain safe with minimal disruption to the city and shuttle.”

The LAPD will monitor Endeavour’s journey, the crowds and general activity using 720p HDTV quality AXIS P5534-E PTZDome Network Cameras and 1080p HDTV quality AXIS Q6035-E PTZDome Network Cameras. These IP cameras are easy to install with outdoor-ready housings and configure seamlessly with the LAPD’s wireless mesh network powered by Cobhamtechnology. Additionally, the automatic day/night functionality of the AXIS P55 and AXIS Q60 Series cameras will enable the LAPD to monitor the 48-hour journey in crisp detail even at night.

For the wireless mesh network, the rooftop of a 54-story L.A. 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. All live viewing and video archiving of the Mission 26 event will be done using Milestone XProtect Professional video management software(VMS), a comprehensive open platform VMS that is ideal for live monitoring with efficient search tools to manage, locate and export video evidence.

The police department has used similar technology to monitor several high-profile events in Los Angeles, including the Academy Awards, L.A. Lakers and Kings victory parades and other large city gatherings.

 “This leap-frog style, on-the-fly mesh network build-out is such a unique surveillance installation. It proves once again that the LAPD’s counter-terrorism and special operations bureau is at the forefront of using technology to protect the city’s people and assets,” said Fredrik Nilsson, general manager, Axis Communications, Inc. “IP video surveillance opens the doors to a world of innovative surveillance opportunities, and we’re honored to be working with the LAPD to secure this historic journey of a true national treasure.”