Custom CCTV for horizontal drilling project

One of the most challenging and interesting custom build systems we have worked on to date was for a large scale horizontal drilling project with Te Aratika Drilling.

Te Aratika Drilling is a highly experienced company that offers a full range of directional drilling, trenching, and other underground services. We were contacted after the company had begun a three month horizontal drilling project to pull a cable under an estuary. With the two work sites being located in a remote part of the country they were looking for a way of monitoring them effectively.

The brief

The brief was complicated with multiple requirements to be considered including:

  • Two busy, high functioning sites with time critical and precise machine work being undertaken up to 24 hours a day
  • No power available on the far side of estuary
  • The main site was powered from a generator
  • Limited cellphone reception
  • No internet access to either site – with staff living on site for three months they needed internet access
  • Multiple viewing requirements – the main site office needed to be able to see everything happening on both sites whereas the rig operators were to see specific cameras only
  • Remote access was required for head office
  • All footage from the project was to be stored for training purposes

This is the kind of work we love to do and so we leapt at the opportunity to design and build a system from the ground up. First off we tackled the power, internet and cellphone issues using a combination of a GSM repeater and booster, a power conditioner and a deep cycle battery. A massive 1km+ wireless bridge across the estuary was tested and deemed a success which was a big milestone for the build. And then a combination of multiple high resolution 3 megapixel Hikvision IP cameras, iPads and monitors gave the team the viewing access they needed.

Te Aratika drilling 3MP CCTV camera day shot


3MP turret construction night

Two points of particular note included cameras on the drilling rig itself so that the team could view the machine as it worked and make any adjustments needed.

Plus we also discovered a way of using a camera on the far side to monitor a machine’s instrument panel from the main office rather than having to have a staff member on the far side all day.

Te Aratika Drilling instrument monitoring in drilling machine

Here’s an overview of how the system came together:

Main site/site office

  • High resolution 3MP Hikvision IP CCTV cameras providing an overview of the work site for both safety and security
  • High resolution 3MP Hikvision IP CCTV cameras monitoring the access road to site for safety and security
  • Multiple cameras on the drill rig itself allowing the operator to not only see the machinery in action from an ipad in the cab but also having a visual around the rig for safety
  • 42” LCD in the site office streaming all the cameras in real time
  • Internet access for the main office
  • 3G remote access for when the client was not on site
  • GSM repeater and booster antennas to increase cell phone reception in the main office
  • Power conditioner to protect the CCTV gear

Far side of the estuary

  • Wireless connection link of over 1km+ over the estuary waters to the second work site
  • High resolution 3MP Hikvision IP CCTV cameras monitoring the exit pit where the cable enters
  • High resolution 3MP Hikvision IP CCTV cameras monitoring the whole site for security after hours
  • Camera monitoring instrumentation readout which saved having a staff member on the second site all day
  • A deep cycle battery power system to run all the CCTV gear on the far side

Over the three month project timeframe Te Aratika Drilling continually came up with new ideas about what the system could potentially do. The final system was a testament to the company’s vision for what could be achieved along with some clever technical work from our team and installers.

Te Aratika Drilling is already underway on another project further up North and we’ve moved the equipment over to the new site and made some adjustments to meet the new site requirements. With the interesting and varied work being done by this company we look forward to many more successful and challenging custom build projects.

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