Mesh Without Wires

October 26, 2010

(Short) Orlando Walking Tour, Video Mesh Edition: Lake Eola

Filed under: Physical Security,Public Safety Wireless,Wireless Mesh — kseniacoffman @ 5:54 pm

It’s been either luck – or ubiquitous nature of Firetide wireless mesh in municipal settings – but the last four venues I visited for Firetide events all had wireless mesh installs. That helps quite a bit in trade show settings: at IACP 2009 in Denver “there’s Firetide mesh downtown and at the airport,”  at ASIS 2010 “check out the downtown Dallas system”, at Chicago seminar “the city has hundreds of cameras on wireless mesh.”

Same was the case in Orlando, where Orlando PD has been using Firetide mesh since 2006. Since we were in Orlando for IACP 2010, my marketing colleague and I took a short break from the convention, and headed over to Downtown Orlando to document some of the installation sites. We started with Lake Eola Park – the newest deployment as part of the growing city and county surveillance system. As a side note, Orlando has a lot of city fiber, installed by the traffic department. Major thoroughfares all have access to fiber, so, similar to Chicago, wireless mesh fills the ‘fiber gap.’

Lake Eola is a city park, situated in the downtown area between Rosalind Ave (west), Central Blvd (south), N Eola Dr (east), and Robinson St (north). The first photo is of a head-end location off Rosalind Ave, close to the Walt Disney Amphitheater. You will see a dual-radio 7000 series mesh node, but in a 6000-equivalent configuration (non-MIMO), as evidenced by a single antenna cable per radio.

Lake Eola head-end mesh node

Lake Eola head-end mesh node (click to enlarge)

The head-end mesh node is connected to city fiber, which backhauls video to the OPD’s monitoring center. This mesh node, with its two antennas – one per radio, aggregate the wireless video traffic from camera/mesh node locations around the lake. All Lake Eola mesh nodes are dual radio, and possibly deployed in a linear loop configuration, with some redundant links, judging by antenna positions.

The next location on the south shore of the lake included a camera, so the mesh node is inside the black box. The park cameras and enclosures are painted black, I assume to match the color of the light poles. All cameras are PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) domes.

Lakeside camera location

Lakeside camera location, 'Firetide-inside' (click to enlarge)

The east section of the park houses a playground, and we spotted two more cameras/mesh node locations.  The cameras are really unobtrusive; I walked right past this cameras without noticing it:

Park entrance camera location, Lake Eola

Park entrance camera location, Lake Eola (click to enlarge)

I was able to catch this camera location only thanks to the familiar diamond shape of the antenna:

Lake Eola camera hidden in the trees

Lake Eola camera hidden in the trees (click to enlarge)

It was over 90 degrees, too hot to walk around in trade show garb (Firetide black). At this point we decided to call it a day, cranked up the ac in the car and headed back to the convention center.

Hope you enjoyed the tour. Lake Eola is a very nice area – check it out if you are in Orlando; perhaps some time in winter, when it’s not so hot!

Lake Eola

Lake Eola

For more information on other city-wide video mesh deployments mentioned in this post, see:

By: Ksenia Coffman – Connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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