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The port of San Giorgio di Nogaro situated near the city of Udine is one of the three active ports in the region, together with Trieste and Monfalcone. It is a river port, accessible from the Adriatic sea. It is divided into two public structures: Porto Vecchio and Porto Magreth with the private dock of the former chemical industries of Caffaro. The port area houses a rail junction, covered warehouses and open air storage areas, handling approximately 1.6 million tons of various goods.

The Consortium for Industrial Development of the area is responsible for the infrastructure in collaboration with the Harbour Master and the Financial Guards. In this capacity, the Consortium initiated a project that initially had the objective of implementing the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), which obligates port areas to adopt standard security similar to those of airports. Right from the beginning, however, it was clear that the final objective to be reached, with successive extensions of the installation, was to guarantee the complete monitoring of people and goods in transit in the various areas of the port, and to achieve a unified management of the three ports of the region.

Proof of a good security investment

One night a vehicle broke through a fence gate of the port of San Giorgio di Nogaro. The owner of the vehicle and the Consortium gave opposing reconstructions of the facts. According to the owner of the vehicle, the gate was already on the ground before the accident but according to the Consortium, the damage was caused by the vehicle. The video images of the newly installed security system clarified everything and the surveillance could document all the phases of the accident, removing any possible doubt.

This illustrates how the story of the surveillance system commissioned by the Consortium to Esa Service of Noventa Padana began. A debut all the more fortunate considering that the 360degree cameras with fixed optics were only installed in a test phase at that time, prior to the final delivery of the installation. Since then, the security system has offered other proof of its value.

"The usefulness of the installation goes beyond just security to contribute to better logistics in the port. Visitors and professionals have changed their attitude towards safety procedures with awareness of the video surveillance system that ensures monitoring 24/7 of the whole port area. The result is that many feel obliged to adopt correct work behavior. As an example, they now always wear helmets and most of the moving vehicles stay within the established speed limits," says Engineer Paolo Crescenzi, responsible for the logistics area of the Consortium.

Flexibility as categorical imperative

After a thorough investigation of the solutions in the market, the Consortium decided to rely on Esa Service of Noventa Padovana and to use the Milestone XProtect Enterprisesoftware platform for its ability to meet the needs to build a customised system for the requirements of the Port of Nogaro. Milestone also delivers broad compatibility with existing cameras in the market, the scalability to manage the foreseen need for multiple command centers (at the Portof Nogaro, five have been installed already), the ability to support communication structures with mixed fiber optics systems, wireless and high-speed telephone lines, plus integration with more advanced technologies (from license plate recognition to video analytics). These functionalities of the Milestone system convinced the customer in search of a solution able to fully adapt to its diverse reality in the present and for the future, as well.

Milestone's XProtect Enterprise software was selected for Port of Nogaro
Milestone's XProtect Enterprise software was selected for its ability to meet the needs of the Port of Nogaro

The installation was inaugurated in September 2007 in the presence of several regional and national representatives from the world of military, politics and economics. Among others, the following participated: Admiral Paolo Castellani, Controller of the Maritime Directorate of Trieste Harbor, Hon. Filippo Ascierto from the Security Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, Lodovico Sonego, Regional Transport Councillor, and Architect Pietro del Frate, Mayor of San Giorgio di Nogaro.

Engineer Paolo Crescenzi of the Consortium said: "The system is for monitoring areas of important concern both for handling emergencies and for prevention of problems; tasks that the Port of Nogaro will be able to fully manage with the advantages of digital technology. We have a useful instrument for regulating access and gathering statistics of all transits and traffic flow, monitoring areas and preventing irregular actions."  

Advantages with the most advanced technologies

The system was designed and tailored to the needs of the port by Maurizio Barbo, Project Director at Esa Service. He states: "The close collaboration with Milestone allowed us to test the system in laboratory in order to adapt all the Milestone XProtect Enterprise functionalities to the customer requirements even before the actual installation."
The installation uses advanced technologies such as fixed 360 degree IPIX 3 megapixel digital cameras and 35 PTZ speed domes with image stabilisers, installed along the quay and appoints with the highest risk.

"To protect the dock," explains Maurizio Barbo, "I wanted a mixed solution to take advantage of the zooming and detailing functionalities of the Speed Domes, but without having to give up the ability to follow events with the 360 degree cameras with fixed optics. The cargo handling on the wharf requires trucks, cranes or forklifts for loading and unloading the ships. The risk of incidents ranges from simple load overthrow to real accidents. In these cases, the competent authorities ask for movies that allow them to reconstruct the dynamics of the event in every detail - a requirement that can only be met by the fixed 360 degree cameras equipped with optics that give visibility of the left, right, up and down, all at the same time, both live and played back in the software."

To speed up operations at the customs block, and without sacrificing the high levels of security, license plate recognition has been set up for all toll lanes, automatically reading the license plates of all vehicles entering or leaving. The access by authorized personnel is controlled with transponder badges combined with personal identification codes.

Interconnected Command Centers

It is in the connection of field cameras with multiple command centers that the Milestone system has really proven its ability to adapt to the requirements of the port protection. To simplify the design and contain the costs of implementation, dedicated fiber optic lines or wireless lines were used depending on the needs.

The Milestone system has proven its ability to adapt to the requirements of the port protection 
The Milestone surveillance system with multiple command centers has proven its ability to protect the port

In some cases, as between Margreth Portand Porto Vecchio, both systems are used for redundancy reasons and to ensure double the safety.

After 20:00, the time the Port closes, the five command centers of the port are no longer manned by people. The video streams coming from the cameras continue to arrive to the enters and be registered in the system, but for redundancy, the signal is sent to the Master of the Port of Monfalcone and to the Maritime Directorate of Trieste. Moreover, in the absence of operators, the command centers are protected and any intrusion attempt is reported using high speed connection. The remote assistance and the remote management of each system component uses an ADSL connection.

Esa Service has used the Milestone software to create a dedicated Security Portal that provides, at the request of the customer, a real-time remote assistance service that does not infringe with personal data. Most of the operations are carried out automatically. The Milestone software allows a wide margin of self-management; users connect via the web to access the many features available online in full autonomy. In other cases, the users contact a systems operator who either intervenes remotely or activates the regional support team. The advantages here are many in terms of cost reductions and, above all, in the simplicity and speed of operations.

The project continues

The system installed at Porto San Giorgio di Novaro is far from completed. Upgrades have already commenced in order to meet more requirements to control the areas. The video surveillance system with the Milestone software will be used to achieve real-time control of all the logistics at the Port.

"The software installation that was inaugurated last September 2007," explains Eng. Crescenzi of the Consortium for Industrial Development, "was the starting point that leads to a total management for cargo and truck handling in order to obtain higher efficiency levels compared to the previous management that was completely manual."

The consensus obtained from the installation and the numerous visits of military and institutional representatives suggests that the system used at the Port of Nogaro can become a model adopted on a national scale, as a reference for various ministries, regions and municipalities.

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