Project Description

Air Support Command & Control Room Case Study

Cinos upgrade Air Support Unit Control Room

As part of our public-sector client’s responsibility to maintain public safety they operate three helicopters from their Air Support Unit (ASU), covering a major UK city. Operating 24 hours a day and flying an average of 275 hours per month, the helicopters are vital observation and communication platforms.

Although the helicopters are fairly recent arrivals, the ASU command and control room had not changed significantly since the 1990s. To improve the operations and efficiencies of the ASU, our client required an overhaul of the room and chose Cinos to carry out the work within a limited budget and crucially, without disrupting the ASU’s critical work in the skies above the city.

The ASU can now control the helipad lights, landing lights, siren, beacon and barriers from a single screen.

Download our Air Support Unit Case Study

The Requirement

Working to a limited budget and challenging time frame, Cinos incorporated several features into the upgrade design which met our client’s key requirements:

  • High resolution display of video, graphical and electronic information
  • Improved operator efficiency and working environment
  • Ability to share video and data between operators and within the room
ASU Ready for deployment

ASU Ready for deployment

The Solution

Cinos started with the basic structure and layout of the control room. A raised floor was installed to allow the new technology and infrastructure cabling to be well hidden but easily accessed via floor panels. This would ensure that maintenance and any future expansion can be carried out without disrupting operations.

Once the room shell was complete, Cinos installed a new console desk, fully equipped for three operators and built in a horseshoe layout to improve comfort and make the best use of the room space. Facing the desk, a video wall was installed, utilising four NEC 46” LCD display in a 2×2 layout, complemented by a further four 19” ceiling mounted displays. To ensure the image quality was not compromised, the Extron Quantum Elite video wall processor was integrated into the system; allowing users to resize and display images simultaneously. Further integration with the main command centres allows access to thousands of CCTV camera feeds.

The original command and control room utilised a basic whiteboard to record pilot and office rotas. To streamline this process for the user, Cinos installed a Samsung 65” LCD touchscreen display, allowing users to easily see and update information quickly.

To free up space in the room, existing hardware was placed in an equipment rack. KVM technology was implemented which allowed operators to control multiple systems from a single keyboard and mouse, rather than constantly changing seats. Data from any system can be displayed on the video wall and supporting displays. To further aid operator efficiency, Cinos delivered an integrated AMX control system. This allowed operators to control multiple systems from a single display including:

  • Video Wall – control of pre-set layouts and configurations
  • Heli Pad Lights – control of landing and strip lights including brightness adjustment
  • Heli Pad Safety – control of safety equipment including barrier and beacon
  • Blind Controls – controls of the blinds in the control room

A Network Attached Storage (NAS) system was installed which allows 3 years of helicopter video footage to be stored whilst also improving the process for real-time retrieval and review of video. Previously all aircraft footage was burnt to DVD for storage.

The Benefits

Cinos completed the upgrade on time and within budget, delivering improvements in four key areas

Integrated Control

  • Operator control of the external helipad environment (landing lights, beacon, siren and barriers) and the internal control room environment (video wall, ancillary displays, interactive whiteboard and blinds) all from a single screen.

Operator Efficiency

  • Three person bespoke operator console installed along with high resolution video wall, ancillary displays and an interactive whiteboard.
  • Multiple systems and technologies controlled from a single keyboard and mouse.

Enhanced Capability

  • Real time access to thousands of cameras allows operators to display helicopter and CCTV video footage alongside each other.
  • Network storage system allows 3 years of helicopter video footage to be stored and retrieved instantly by operators

Extended Service Life

  • Modular design allows for systems and components to be easily replaced, upgraded and expanded in future.
  • Room design allows maintenance activities without affecting operations. Relocation of equipment to dedicated cabinets with signal transmission over structured cabling.

The Technology

AMX Solutions

AMX Modero NXV-300 & Netlinx 3100 Integrated Controller

Utilising the Modero NXV-300 and the Netlinx 3100 technology we enabled the system to be controlled with ease. The constant up time was critical on this project, making this reliable AMX hardware an easy choice. With our Gold certified engineers on call 24/7 for any issues that may have occurred, the reassurance of these being resolved quickly and efficiently was a key asset to the ASU.

Download the AMX Modero NXV-300 datasheet here

Download the AMX NI-300 NetLinx Integrated Controller datasheet here

Avocent Solutions

Avocent AMX analog KVM switching system

The Avocent AMX analog KVM switching system simplifies access, increases your control and delivers optimal real-time video to your desktop. The user station connects to your multiplatform KVM peripherals (PS/2 or USB) and sends the KVM signals over an industry-standard UTP cable to Avocent AMX 5000, AMX 5010, AMX 5020 and AMX 5030 analog matrix switches. This UTP connectivity and analog switching technology provides multiuser access and control to any server in your KVM matrix system.

Download the Avocent AMX analog KVM switching system datasheet here

Extron Solutions

Extron Quantum® Elite

The Extron Quantum® Elite is an HDCP-compliant, scalable, expandable videowall processor configurable to support a variety of input, output, and windowing capabilities. It features high performance video scaling capable of producing very high quality images. The Quantum Elite offers two card cages that support various combinations of input and output cards for 3G-SDI, HDMI, DVI, RGB, HDTV or video sources. Hundreds of additional DVI or RGB sources can be streamed over an IP network to the Quantum Elite using the Extron QGE 100 graphics capture encoder. Each HDMI or DVI-I dual output card supports up to 128 video/graphic source windows, and multiple Quantum Elite card cages can be cascaded to create very large display arrays. A dedicated, high-speed video/graphic bus maintains real-time performance even under heavy loading of inputs.

Download the Extron Quantum® Elite brochure here

NEC Solutions

NEC P462 Display

The 46” NEC P462 professional-grade, large-screen LCD display offers industrial-strength, 24/7 operation for the most demanding digital signage installations. Meeting the requirements for rugged use, P Series displays offer full high-definition resolution for smooth video and crisp imagery. Their advanced connectivity with digital loop-through and Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) support via the built-in expansion slot enable you to easily connect components to run your digital signage. With TileMatrix™ technology, you can build a video wall up to 100 displays to maximize impact with your audience, while monitoring your network from a remote location with the most advanced control and communication options available. The P462 is ideal in quick-service restaurants, airports, public information environments, healthcare facilities and retail stores.

Download the NEC P Series specification brochure here

Samsung Solutions

Samsung 650TS Touch Screen LCD Display

The Samsung 650TS Touch Screen LCD Display features a screen size of 65 inches and a high brightness level of 510 nits delivering high-quality images even in well lit rooms. The 650TS offers advanced touch sensitivity up to the edges of the screen. The touch screen features accurate optical sensor technology resulting in improved touch reliability and responsive even when interacting in the edges and corners. The 650TS also allows users to connect and access content over a computer or network. Content accessible includes a number of possible popular formats like Power Point Presentations, Photos and Videos.

Download the Samsung 650TS datasheet here

Synology Solutions

Synology® DiskStation DS3611xs

Synology® DiskStation DS3611xs offers ultra-high performance, scalable and full-featured network attached storage solution for large scale businesses that require an efficient way to centralise data protection, simplify data management, deploy virtualisation solutions, and rapidly expand storage capacity with minimal time spent on setup and management.

Download the Synology DiskStation DS3611xs datasheet here