Electrosonic Provides Digital Solutions for Emergency Operations Center

October 22, 2012

Santa Barbara County, Calif.'s emergency services department utilized digital display solutions in its renovations and expansion.

Electrosonic announced it provided audio, video and data information support to the Santa Barbara County’s new Emergency Operations Center, that houses a number of technology-enabled spaces designed to help the California county maintain a constant state of readiness. Electrosonic equipped the Office of Emergency Management with presentation, video conferencing and streaming video capabilities.

“Santa Barbara County went from a 1,600 square-foot trailer with a projector and a small TV to a new 11,000 square-foot building powered in part by green energy,” said Electrosonic project manager Jeff Galato Sr. "The new EOC facilitates the sharing of information from various internal and external sources, whether it’s news media, incident maps from geospatial services, live video streams from a county helicopter, or operational reports. Having critical information displayed and shared — via large display screens, flat-panel monitors or video conferencing systems — improves management decisions."

Electrosonic’s role encompassed installations in eight different large areas in the building. A tablet device operating on the building’s secured Wi-Fi network allows the EOC to control its systems with a graphically intuitive user control system interface. The tablet not only controls all A/V components, displays throughout the EOC, but also provides the staff with control of the system, allowing them to focus more on making quick emergency response decisions, the company said.

At the heart of the EOC is the Incident Management Room, the main operations center for the county’s emergency management staff. Designed with flexible seating configurations for approximately 40 people from various agencies, the room features A/V presentation technologies that can help meet an array of needs. The primary display consists of three wall-mounted front projection screens to accommodate widescreen images from three ceiling-mounted Mitsubishi video projectors, the company said.

The Management Conference Room and the Breakout Room can both host up to 16 people, feature A/V systems that accommodate synchronous videoconferencing and multimedia presentation. They each feature a 70-inch wall-mounted Sharp flat-panel display for use with presentation materials, and the Management Conference Room has an additional two 55-inch wall-mounted NEC flat-panel displays for videoconferencing. A flip-top cable enclosure in each conference room table has inputs for a laptop and portable A/V sources. Each room features a single OFCI HD pan/tilt/zoom Sony HD1 camera. All rack-mounted equipment in both meeting rooms is housed in custom credenzas inside each room, the company said.

The Joint Information Center displays the status during an emergency to enable public information officers to distribute critical updates. Electrosonic provided a ceiling-mounted Mitsubishi video/data projector as the primary display, and a wall-mounted NEC flat-panel to serve as a backdrop for press. As in the meeting rooms, this space also offers a flip-top cable enclosure and a custom equipment credenza, the company said.
Audio for the Incident Management Room, the Management Conference Room, the Operations Breakout room and the Joint Information Center is reinforced by a distributed system of ceiling-mounted Tannoy loudspeakers, the company said.

For the Director’s Office, intended for executive-session videoconferencing, Electrosonic provided a 50-inch flat-panel display, wireless microphones, and stereo loudspeakers attached to the flat panel. A break room is outfitted with a single wall-mounted, HD flat-panel display with built-in TV tuner, which will be used to display content via the building’s SMATV distribution system. Control of this display is done via the display’s remote control, the company said.

Electrosonic was also charged with supplying the Media Distribution System within the Telecommunications Room. As the primary head-end for the A/V system throughout the facility, it includes sources such as direct broadcast satellite, off-air antenna, cable television, DVD player, OFCI WEBEOC feeds, and videoconferencing codecs. The distribution system allows any source to be viewed from any location’s display or PC by using H.264 video streaming encoders/decoders. Video and audio signals are distributed from room to room and delivered to non PC-based display devices via twisted pair cabling, the company said.

Finally, Electrosonic furnished the lobby with a single flat-panel display monitor with an embedded PC, which is connected to the building LAN and used for the creation and transmission of the signage content. In addition to being controlled by a mobile tablet as the rest of the systems in the EOC, control of the display can also be executed via an HTML page on a facility-provided PC, the company said.

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