The 8 million annual passengers that travel the New York Harbor on NY Waterway ferries now do so more safely; they are protected by an extensive, state-of-the-art video surveillance system. The safety system includes hundreds of Interlogix IP and analog cameras, transmitted from moving ferries to a land-based security command center via a fast-roaming wireless mesh network based on multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) by Fluidmesh Networks. Interlogix is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp.


NY Waterway is the nation’s largest privately owned commuter ferry company, transporting 30,000 riders a day between 22 landings and terminals along a 100-mile corridor in the Hudson and East rivers and upper New York Harbor. While the company has always placed a high priority on security, monitoring real-time events on 35 ferries traveling up to 45 miles per hour, often in harsh weather conditions, can be a major challenge.

The solution, paid for through a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, deployed Interlogix cameras connected via Fluidmesh’s MPLS-based wireless mesh network. The network spans the service area and provides seamless connectivity to transmit live video from the ferries, terminals and landings for review by company security personnel.

“With this system we can now share information quickly, accurately and in real time with our port partners — New York City Police Department, New Jersey State Police and federal agencies — which is really the key to an effective emergency response,” said Robert Matticola, director of homeland security for NY Waterway.

A.A.S. Technologies, the system integrator, specified Interlogix TruVision® analog cameras onboard each ferry to monitor the passengers and crew. The cameras chosen were weather- and vandal-proof, day/night dome cameras with infrared capabilities for low-light situations. These cameras, along with TruVision digital video recorders (DVRs) and IFS™ switches, also from Interlogix, provided the open-source platform for real-time, high-quality images that the application demanded.

The IFS switches connect each TruVision DVR to the MITO and ENDO Series radios from Fluidmesh, which support patented FLUIDITY technology for fast-roaming applications. The New York Harbor geography presented significant challenges for radio frequency (RF) technology. The location includes water, ice, three major nearby airports and constantly changing sight lines — all in one of the most densely populated cities in the country. The system delivers up to 100 Mbps of usable throughput onboard, while seamlessly supporting Interlogix video, voice and data.

Pantascene provided dashboard control software that integrated the various systems. “Running in the cloud and being completely Web-based, the Pantascene platform gives NY Waterway the capability to access and share their security assets with other agencies anytime, anywhere,” explained Andrea Orioli, CEO, Pantascene.

A similar camera-transmission pattern is repeated at the ferry line’s landings and terminals. In those facilities, Interlogix TruVision IP cameras were installed. “The open standards of TruVision products helped to drive seamless integration from manufacturers like Fluidmesh and Pantascene,” said Mike Chiavacci, director of product management, video and transmission, Interlogix. “The TruVision cameras have proven to be well-suited for the harsh marine environment, including water spray, diverse temperature ranges and adverse lighting conditions,” he added.

Anil Sookoo, principal at A.A.S. Technologies, said that when Hurricane Sandy slammed into New York City last October many of the Interlogix cameras were left underwater for two days. “We took the cameras out, put them back up and they worked,” he said.

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