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Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi DataWall
Information is the core of a modern control room. Our team of experienced security consultants help clients get the most value from their security investments by designing a well-conceived, efficient control rooms that quickly gather, process, and redistribute the information that is critical to their daily operations.
The Control Room
In a security context, a control room (aka operations center, operations control center (OCC), or command center) is a room that serves as a central space from which large facilities can be monitored and controlled. Access is typically restricted to authorized personnel responsible for monitoring the property oftentimes 24/7 to ensure constant vigilance and awareness.
There are three basic functions; information collection, information analysis, and information distribution, as illustrated in the figure below.
Generally, there are a variety of technical systems that come together to operate and interoperate in the control room. The following are some of the system types that contribute to one or more of the three basic functions of information collection, information analysis, and information distribution.
Communication systems support information gathering and distribution.
- Wired Telephone (including audio conferencing)
- 2-Way Radio
- Intercom (voice and video)
- Video Teleconferencing
- Television (terrestrial, cable & satellite)
- Computer-Based (email, internet, RSS)
- Mobile device (text, app-based)
- Mass Notification (voice, graphic, text, email)
- Streaming Video
Electronic Security Systems provide direct situational awareness to control room operators and indirectly to Emergency Management decision makers.
- Video Surveillance
- Access Control
- Fire Alarm
- Intrusion Detection
- Duress Alarm
Computer Systems provide the user interface to many of the control room systems listed above. Consequently, these environments are typically replete with PC-based devices.
Data Network Systems provide the communications pathway for many of the systems listed above. In many cases, multiple networks are present in there environments.
Visualization Systems provide a large screen display of computer and video images. The primary benefit is that multiple people are able to view and analyze information simultaneously. For this reason, it is common to see a video wall and multiple wall-mounted monitors throughout the control room environment.
Infrastructure Systems create a robust support structure for the technology systems listed above. Due to the critical nature of the control room, infrastructure may be hardened and/or redundant.
- Electrical Power Provision
- UPS and/or Generator Backup
- Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
- Cabling and Pathways
Multi-System Integration allows a control room owner to derive the greatest benefit from the facility and from operators. Each of the systems mentioned above provide great utility when operating independently. However, when these systems are integrated together efficiency and efficacy are enhanced.
A control room cannot function without human operators and managers who interface with the technology, analyze information and make decisions. Therefore, optimal environments include methods and materials that preserve safety, reduce stress, and increase efficiency.
Human factors include:
- Operator Console Ergonomics
- Room Lighting
- Room Finishes
- Visibility of Monitors and Video Wall
- Ambient Noise/Acoustics
- Foot Traffic Flow
- Adjacent Space Utilization
- Positive Air Pressure
JENSEN HUGHES has experience working at every aspect of control room design, maintenance and upgrades. We work closely with owners and architects to integrate the details listed above into a building-wide construction package. Finally, our technical background allows us to participate directly in the installation, integration, configuration, testing and training processes.