Dallmeier’s sensor technology in Sunderland’s Stadium of Light
The “Stadium of Light” in Sunderland, England, has completely modernised its video system using Dallmeier technology. The Panomera® multifocal sensor technology has also been installed and provides security particularly in the area for visiting fans.
The “Stadium of Light” is the home stadium of Sunderland AFC and has a capacity of about 49,000 spectators. The stadium was built in 1997 on land previously occupied by the largest coal mine in Great Britain, the Monkwearmouth colliery. Even today, an enormous Davy lamp stands in front of the stadium, and the name itself, “Stadium of Light”, is a reference to the mineworkers’ safety lamps.
Latest video security technology
Dallmeier was responsible for an upgrade of the existing video surveillance system at the Stadium of Light which was originally installed in 1997. The modernisation of the system originated in the desire of high definition technology for inside bowl coverage to improve image quality, especially in the away fans section.
It became apparent quite quickly that modernisation of the control room equipment was paramount in achieving this. To do this Dallmeier, in consultation with the club and their installer ABCA, explored and designed a video management system that uses a virtual matrix, a network based technology known as SeMSy® (Security Management System).
SeMSy® proved to be more flexible and expandable than the current analogue switching matrix – and more importantly, it could manage video from high definition and megapixel cameras. SeMSy® enables multiple workstations to be positioned anywhere on the video management network and is not limited by physical ports for expansion.
The virtual matrix enables the creation of flexible monitor walls for displaying cameras in a variety of formats and allows users ultimate control over how they configure their screens and access privileges for remote and ancillary users.
SeMSy® along with Dallmeier encoders and video appliances, allowed the existing 96 analogue cameras installed at the stadium to be revitalised, whilst also giving the control room a modern up-to-date platform. This made it simple when further budget or risk requirement presented itself to both replace existing analogue cameras and introduce new IP-HD technology.
Peter Weymes, Facilities Manager at Sunderland AFC, commented:
“The SeMSy® management system coupled with Dallmeier recorders gave us a very flexible solution. It allowed the existing analogue cameras and a few new IP-HD cameras in strategic positions to come together easily and provided a platform allowing us to add new technology as and when required.”
Multifocal sensor technology for the away fans section
At the same time consideration was given to an increasing problem at the away fans section in relation to pyrotechnic flares and smoke bombs, plus other anti-social behavioural issues. For this reason a trial of Dallmeier’s unique Panomera® multifocal sensor technology was implemented specifically for the away fans section of the stadium.
Peter Weymes explains:
“After trying and comparing a number of manufacturers’ video surveillance technologies, Panomera® multifocal sensor technology proved there was no other technology on the market that could compare to its image quality or ease of use. Panomera® with multiple sensors giving a wide area of view while just requiring a single point of installation is unique, and offers a very cost effective installation.”
The new Panomera® technology proved its worth within a few weeks of its installation, as Sunderland AFC played host to Leeds United in the FA Cup. A smoke grenade was set off in the visitor’s section of the north stand and using the new Panomera® CCTV system, police and club security staff were quickly able to identify the individual and an arrest was made. The individual pleaded guilty and was given a three-year football banning order.
Paul Weir, Security Manager at Sunderland AFC, comments:
“The Dallmeier Panomera® gives us the bonus of being able to rewind incidents to their origin whilst zooming in to identify offenders, without having to stop the viewing and recording in live time. This enables quick and effective results.”
Paul Weir explains:
“I have been very impressed with the recent CCTV upgrade process from installation, to training and to actual operational use. Longer term, supporters will become aware of the capabilities and power of the Panomera®. Those who, for example, may have previously thrown missiles or set off pyrotechnics will be dissuaded from doing so because of the capability of this system. This ultimately proves that the multifocal sensor technology plays a major role in relation to improving spectator safety management at the Stadium of Light.”