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NetVu Connected at the Le Mans Series

AD Group, the team’s major sponsor,
invites between forty and sixty guests
to every round of the Le Mans Series,
as well as to special events like the
Le Mans 24 Hours. It is an opportunity
for AD to “network” (in every sense!)
with existing and potential clients.
This select group is offered a rare
insight into the way a race team
operates, not only through guided
tours of the garage, and talks and
discussion groups with the drivers
and team management, but also
through the ground-breaking technology
that AD Group can bring to the race circuit.

As a world leader in video surveillance technology,
AD Group is in the unique position of being able to develop
and demonstrate new systems that enable their corporate
guests to gain a much better understanding of what happens
in motor racing. On-board video cameras record images from
within the cockpit of the team’s Lola HPD, while cameras located
at strategic positions in the garage, overlooking the pitlane, and around
the team’s race transporter show the engineers at work. From the comfort
of the hospitality facility, guests enjoy privileged access to areas normally
restricted to members of the public, and can witness final preparation of the
car, emergency repairs, pitstop routines and driver changes, all in real time.

To offer this kind of interaction demands a high degree of technical expertise and the latest video networking technology equipment.

AD Network VideoThe Challenge

AD Network Video, part of the AD Group of companies, was challenged to put together a sophisticated NetVu Connected CCTV solution that would not only provide effective 24 hour security for the RML sportscar team at race meetings, but also offer unrivalled visual access for guests. The solution was required to deliver security at several locations around the circuit, all seamlessly integrated and controlled from a central location that could also act as a demonstration facility.

The Solution
The NetVu Connected CCTV solution devised by AD Network Video meets all the desired requirements. The race team benefits from comprehensive security monitoring of the race transporter and pit garage area throughout the entire period of the race meeting, both day and night.  AD Group can draw upon the facilities of a state-of-the-art control suite to demonstrate the latest NetVu Connected products, with the unit located adjacent to the hospitality area. This demonstration suite, housed in a mobile trailer unit, is also self-monitoring during transit and whilst located at the circuit. Lastly, but by no means least, the installation offers unprecedented coverage of the pit and paddock area from within the guest hospitality suite.

AD Network VideoWireless Connections
Due to the potential distance between sites it was decided that the race truck, pit area and paddock hospitality would all be connected to the main control suite via a wireless network. Due to so much traffic running over the wireless network, bandwidth management was employed on both Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) and viewing clients.

Mixed Inputs
The first issue that became apparent, due to the geographic problem posed by the various site locations, was that the solution required a mixture of video input sources, both analogue and Internet Protocol (IP) – the whole solution demanded that its video servers could handle a mixture of sources.

Pit Garage
For the Pit Garage, where much of the behind-the-scenes drama of an endurance race is played out, the key items of equipment are all set up to connect locally, within the pit area, to a wireless access point.

Installed Products Include:
1 x Oracle PTZ Dome
1 x Encoder ICR
1 x CamVu2000 Megapixel Camera (employed to create the video sequence below)
1 x CamVu HyperD

Paddock Hospitality
During some events, an additional hospitality area is utilised for guests, often directly overlooking the pitlane. Usually located remotely from the rest of the installed network, visitors are able to access live footage directly from the pit garage cameras.

AD Network VideoInstalled Products Include:
1 x High Defi nition NetVu Console
1 x Composite Monitor
1 x CamVu HyperD Camera

Main Hospitality
From a viewing, recording and control perspective, the main hospitality facility is the hub of activity. The Demonstration Suite itself stands adjacent, and provides the combination of dedicated display facilities for a wealth of AD Group products as well as acting as a rapid deployment control room for the race team’s security requirements.

Installed Products Include:
4 x PC (Running AMS, SNMP Monitoring via Cacti, Remote Viewer and NetVu ObserVer)
2 x Static analogue Cameras
2 x PTZ Cameras (1xOracle Dome, 1x Infi niti)
6 x CamVu IP Cameras (Megapixel, Day/Night and WDR - internal/external)
1 x High-Definition Decoder with Pick-a-Point control solution
2 x DV-IP RT (high end VMS controlling CamVu products on a dedicated network)
1 x DV-IP Server
1 x SD Advanced
1 x High Definition NetVu Console (with HDMI Monitor)
1 x FireVu
1 x Pure IP Solution (CamVu IP Cameras, 3rd Party IP Camera, Encoder ICR, High
Definition Console, AoE Storage)

The Car
The RML AD Group Lola HPD is fitted with two camera systems. One camera, sited within the cockpit and forward-facing, monitors and records every second of action, both on track and within the garage. Under the requirements stipulated by the race organisers, and for security reasons, this feed cannot be displayed live, but can be reviewed after each track session. The low-resolution sequence below, optimised for YouTube, was captured at a recent test at the Hugaroring, and is a typical example of the resulting footage:

This provides the drivers with valuable information that they can use to enhance their technique and improve their understanding of a circuit. It can also be linked to on-board telemetry and data recovery systems. A second camera, fitted below the rear wing ((illustrated right) and linked directly to a monitor on the dashboard (visible in the footage above) offers the drivers an unobstructed live rearward view, and is a valuable aid as they negotiate traffic on track. Images from this camera are also recorded and can be appraised later by the drivers.

Further information about the team's on-board video recording systems can be found here.

Using a mix of intelligent planning and high technology applications, AD Network Video has provided an elegant solution to a complex and challenging assignment. The needs of the team, AD Group and the company’s guests are all satisfied, and the solution has drawn together all branches of the relationship in a cohesive and effective way.

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AD Network Video