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Misssissauga Traffic – Control Centre
Applied Electronics Upgrades the City of Mississauga’s Traffic Control Centre with a New Video Display Wall
The City of Mississauga’s Works Operation and Maintenance Division of the Transportation and Works Department operates a traffic control centre with an existing traffic signal infrastructure, which includes over 700 signalized intersections and a central control system, that had been in operation for over 20 years, and it needed an upgrade. Plans started
The traffic engineering and operations team needed a centre to manage all of the data they collect from the sophisticated monitoring equipment set to be installed at the city’s 700-plus signalized intersections over the next two years. However with the various systems comprising the control centre up and running as of the end of 2015, it’s now a matter of testing the field equipment and other components. Once everything is working together properly, they'll start with the two-year rollout of replacing equipment at all of the intersections in Mississauga.
With the goals to increase the efficiency of traffic management within the city and reduce the current and future costs of maintenance and operations, the City initiated a plan to replace its traffic signal control system and incorporate a custom Advanced Transportation Management System (ATMS) by Parson, a global engineering firm. Further, the City's long-term goal is to have 150 monitoring cameras and upgrade all 757 traffic lights across the city by 2020.
From a system maintanence cost efficiency standpoint, going from a second-by-second system to a distributed one that operates on the city’s own fibre optic and wireless networks to reduce the communications bandwidth needed to bridge its various components was a significant contributor. Information is captured by camera systems situated at the local intersections, and they are controlled from a central management location at the control centre.
Applied Electronics was contracted to upgrade the facility with a state-of-the-art traffic monitoring display solution that complemented Parsons’ proprietary iNET Intelligent Networks ATMS, the new backbone for the city’s traffic control centre. The iNET software solution provides a modular, integrated, web-based platform that monitors and manages traffic signals throughout the city with adaptive capabilities and many other cutting-edge ATMS applications. Applied Electronics worked in close collaboration with Parsons and various stakeholders from the city over the course of 2015 through 2016.
The facility in which the control centre resides has been entirely renovated with the vast majority of its technologies replaced. Previously, the focal point of the control room was a pair of 60-in. LCD display monitors, which have since been replaced by a more versatile and responsive video wall, which relays critical information from a variety of sources - cameras, news feeds, communication feeds from police and other organizations - to staff in the control centre. The area was also expanded to provide space for more staff and better communication.
Applied Electronics conducted several design workshops with Parsons and the City's project team to customize a video display system design based on the operations staffs' current workflow, while also including room for future operational enhancements, such as video conferencing capabilities.
The traffic operators required more than just a traffic map on the video wall. They needed different sources to be visible simultaneously on different parts of the screen, and they wanted the ability to easily control and manipulate the city map, security camera feeds, the news, and presets for multiple wall display layouts for different applications that might arise. Additionally, the ATMS system provides incident and congestion detection, traffic management for special events, CCTV control using the city’s existing Avigilon video system, arterial travel time, advisories, adaptive signals control, and future provisions in various capacities – including integration with the provincial Ministry of Transportation, OPP, emergency services providers, and related transit organizations. All this critical information needs to be readily accessible to the traffic operators 24/7.
Applied Electronics supplied and installed a large 5x3 array video display wall (five cubes wide and three high), composed of 15 Christie Entero HB 70-inch HD front access LED display cubes, into the new control centre space. The 11 x 25-ft. display surface is visible to all staff in the room.
The display wall control system is based on Christie’s Phoenix network-distributed content management platform with a Crestron system as the control room’s front-end method of control. In the control room, a matrix of Christie input and output processing nodes and Quad-T units deliver H.264 video streams for processing and distribution throughout the building.
Content layout configuration (scaling and tiling live video windows) can be easily modified in real-time to meet the needs of the users, and they can be saved for future recall. All video in this system is digital and transfers from node to node through CAT6A Ethernet cable throughout the facility.
Adjacent to the control room is the new boardroom, which gets daily use. Its focal point is a Sharp 90-inch LED display monitor linked to the Christie Phoenix node network. A wireless Crestron 9-inch touchscreen interface offers local and adjacent control room video sources to be routed to the boardroom display – including content from the iNET platform and the city’s traffic camera network, the latter via operator workstations. Other potential video sources in the design include personal computers, servers, CATV tuners, or Blu-ray players.
The audio sources for both the main control room and boardroom are delivered through TOA in-ceiling speakers, powered by TOA amplifiers. Those sources – from AM, FM, or CATV tuners to multiple computers – can be individually and easily routed through the BSS BLU-100 DSP platform.
The Creston control system integrated seamlesly with Parsons’ iNET and the Christie Phoenix visual management system as the front-end control. The control system offers different presets and configurations that the operations staff needs for different applications.
Having their new control room operational with cutting-edge AV systems has offered the City's traffic management team a significant boost to its regular operations. Considering its population and location – not to mention that some of the country’s busiest highways course through its territory – the City of Mississauga is poised to offer better services to its residents, enhancing everything from economic opportunity to citizen safety and a whole lot in between.
For more information, read the feature article, InfoIntersection: The City of Mississauga's New Traffic Control Centre, in the February 2016 issue of Professional Sound Magazine.