Today, utility companies and large manufacturing operations are facing a big problem with theft of copper from lines and controls due to its high price in the market. Also, with the price of a barrel of oil running today at close to $100, oil and petrochemical companies are also founding themselves with a real need to protect their investments from theft and damage as well.
However, the cost of manned surveillance vans is also becoming prohibitive, and there are too few personnel available. So it is becoming increasingly popular to use a digital IP-camera connected to a cellular modem so suspects can be monitored remotely via the Internet.
Unfortunately, this method does not solve the problem because the quality of live video that cellular networks can carry is limited, the number of cameras that can be used on a site is often limited, and the amount of video that can be moved over time over the network is limited by cellular carriers' Fair Usage Bandwidth policies.
Understanding Fair Usage
Bandwidth on public wireless networks is limited. Not only are you limited in the number of cameras you can place in a location, but you are also limited in the amount of video you can transfer per day or month. Cellular Internet Service Providers have Fair Usage Bandwidth Policies in their service agreements to help ensure that a few customers do not use excessive bandwidth at the expense of quality of service for most customers.
Users of IP cameras can consume their entire monthly bandwidth in a few days a month, or a few hours a day. Users of excessive bandwidth can have their service restricted or terminated, and this is occurring more often as cellular data networks become faster, since the use of outdoor digital video surveillance using IP-cameras is increasing.
Outdoor Industrial Video Surveillance
Traditionally, outdoor industrial video surveillance systems have been installed permanently, usually on lamp poles or telephone utility poles, with a wired video connection to a nearby central monitoring station. Some very expensive systems have used dedicated, very high speed, private, wireless networks.
That poses the challenge of how to make it easy and practical for outdoor industrial digital video surveillance systems to use readily available, public wireless communications networks, be moved every few days, and to be as benign in appearance as possible so they don't scream, "Cameras Here !"
As a result, Boundless developed the Nail-and-Go, the first ultra low bandwidth cellular wireless pole camera system for temporary outdoor industrial digital video surveillance.
Type of Enclosures
The vast majority of enclosure cabinets used today for outdoor applications are made of painted carbon steel. In the US, over 90% of enclosures are made from steel, stainless steel, or other non-ferrous material. The remaining 10% are made from non-metallic materials such as thermoset composites and thermoplastic materials.
When we approached enclosure manufacturers with our project, we had four important factors that had to be accommodated: Corrosion Resistance, Extreme Temperature Fluctuations, Thermal Management, and Tensile Strength. So we set out to verify if steel or non-metallic materials would meet our needs. Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures ended up providing us with evidence we needed---composite was the way to go.
High Resistance to Weather and Corrosion
Boundless wanted a sealed, outdoor, weatherproof system that could stand up to prolonged dampness, corrosive atmospheres, and salt-water air. Boundless chose stainless steel and aluminum hardware for exposure to the air, and Stahlin's fiberglass housings.
Figure 1: Rugged enclosures protect cameras and processing hardware in all climates.
Boundless houses its system in white Stahlin enclosures for use in warmer climates, and gray enclosures for use in colder climates, to help control the amount of solar radiation absorbed. Pigment is embedded throughout the walls of the fiberglass enclosures for stable, scratch-resistant operation. We use thick aluminum angles to protect the mounting flanges.
Composite fiberglass materials are well suited for use in coastal areas such as marinas and other municipal infrastructure. Because they are not susceptible to attack like stainless steel by uniform halogens such as chlorine, bromine, or fluorine composite fiberglass products will provide many years of reliable performance in environments such as this.
In addition, due to their inert chemical makeup, composite fiberglass materials will also withstand a wide range of aggressive acidic compounds or caustic alkali solutions. Also, Stahlin products are made from a patented base material known as SolarGuard. It provides improved resistance to ultraviolet wavelengths when used in outdoor environments, so the enclosure is able to withstand exposure to both UV and aggressive chemical attacks.