Real-Time Aerial Video

Facing the Challenges of Lacking Real-Time Video Feeds & Expensive Systems

More than 600 municipal law enforcement agencies have helicopters for aerial surveillance and observation, but few of them have real-time video feeds for responders on the ground. Industry standard COTS microwave systems are expensive, require multiple towers, and line-of-sight transmission. Adequate coverage of Greenville County would have required finding, leasing or erecting towers to cover 800 square miles. The only field alternative was a $100,000 handheld receiver that still required line-of-sight connection to the Helicopter.

Peplink Devices, The Solution Backbone

The Greenville Sheriff’s department worked with Joe Schmauch of Greenville Media, a helicopter pilot himself, to find a better way to broadcast the video into the field than the off-the-shelf microwave systems. Schmauch brought in Mark Robison of VITEC to improve the broadcast stream, video compression and error correction.

They were getting this amazing video from the drone and the SpeedFusion set-up gave them a way to distribute it in real time.”

Joe Schmauch, Greenville Media

Greenville Media is a Certified Peplink partner, and worked with Taylor Avery, Frontier Computer’s Peplink Technical Manager to develop the proof of concept for sending real-time video to all responders. They configured a system using Peplink’s MultiWAN SpeedFusion secure VPN, Bandwidth Bonding, and Hot Failover. The result is a cost effective system that uses existing cellular assets in the community without additional infrastructure. With the Peplink System, the Sheriff’s department can send video to headquarters, a mobile command center, and directly to deputies responding at the scene. The full HD stream is broadcast with error correction and less than a two second delay.

Unbreakable High Speed Connection

Four SpeedFusion VPN tunnels feed into the Balance 210 Which receives the encrypted video stream from the helicopter and can instantly and securely transmit to the Mobile Command Center. SpeedFusion bonds the Cellular WAN links from the HD2 IP67 and HD4 into an unbreakable high speed connection that is more robust than any single cellular connection alone.

Steady Broadcast Quality Video with Peplink System

The system provides a steady broadcast quality video from the helicopter to both headquarters and the mobile command center, with a less than a two second delay. Over a secure CDN the video streams are also shared to department cell phones and to other first responders. The Greenville Sheriff’s Department shares their aerial observation abilities with other agencies through a mutual aid agreement. With a FLIR camera the chopper shows firefighters on the ground real-time thermal images from the air. The Pepwave outfitted Bell has been dispatched beyond Greenville to assist with other efforts including hurricane response. From any remote location the HD2 in the chopper can send video back to headquarters, and from there to anywhere in the world.

Using Peplink SpeedFusion technology, Joe Schmauch of Greenville Media enabled the mobile command center and responders in the field to view live video from their helicopter.

This use case implements Peplink bonded cellular to replace line-of-sight microwave transmission systems. It is orders of magnitude less expensive, and is more robust even than the microwave COTS solution that is currently the most well-known alternative approach.”

Mark Robison, VITEC