Love Field installing state-of-the-art HD surveillance system

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on June 22, 2012 at 12:02 AM

LOVE FIELD AIRPORT - Walk in to Love Field and you will never see Cheryl Wilbon.

"If you go into an airport, you never know what's going on in the background," she said from an adjoining building at the airport.

But Wilbon, a senior I.T. analyst for the City of Dallas, sees almost everyone at the airport now.

"I would consider this to be the eye of the airport," she said.

Her workspace is part office and part control room, where she can monitor hundreds of new cameras Love Field is installing.

"We have moved from really the 20th century and made a giant leap to the 21st century," said Karl Martin, the city's senior I.T. manager, who's responsible for deploying this emerging technology at Love Field.

The new system will have 10 times more cameras than the existing one.

It's the technology that Hollywood has faked for years.

"It sure seems like it, doesn't it?," Martin said.

What's so unique about the new system is the resolution of the images. It's not the old grainy footage, but high-definition with millions of pixels which allows the airport to pick out a face in the crowd, watch exactly what goes through security checkpoints, detail license plates from a distance and then store it all.

"In the future, we're jumping to 1.3 petabytes of storage," Martin explained. "That's not megabytes. That's not terabytes. We're talking petabytes."

That's about the same amount of storage that Facebook requires to keep 10 billion photos.

But even more fascinating, if there's a threat or situation in the future at Love Field, the airport can send photographs or even live video from these cameras to responding police officers on their iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices.

Avigilon, a Vancouver, Canada-based company, makes the technology.

Love Field is the only airport in Texas with it and is one of only 20 airports in the country with it, Avigilon told News 8.

The $6-million system captures detail of Dallas travelers never before seen.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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