Case Study

Natural History Museum

Museums and Galleries are a business and a security solution should deliver business advantage as well as provide protection.
ATEC won its initial commission from the Natural History Museum in 2012. Following a review of its electronic security measures at the Museum’s South Kensington and Tring locations, it was decided that investment was needed to improve the control and monitoring of disparate security systems and to improve perimeter intruder detection at both sites.
It was determined that the South Kensington site would support a minimum of 200 cameras and the Tring site a minimum of 70 cameras, with a capacity for future expansion at both locations.
In the case of South Kensington, it was decided after the original tender specification that a complete new control room was needed. The new-build facility was relocated from the basement and ATEC managed the comprehensive design and installation, which includes a 6-screen monitor wall and operator desks that enable visibility throughout the museum.

The challenge was to design and install IP-based CCTV management and recording systems that could accommodate, in technology terms, some relatively ancient, legacy hardware and infrastructure, and yet still deliver consolidated alarms to remote control rooms.
One of ATEC’s strengths as a genuine integrator is the ability to overcome the problems of siloed systems and disconnected data through its programming capability and trademarked middleware Guardlink®. In completing the first phase of the Museum project, which was fed by a desire, where possible, to ‘waste not, want not,’ATEC undertook to obtain the relevant software protocols/APIs for legacy, and some no-longer-supported systems, and wrote gateway interfaces to Guardlink®, which enabled all alarms and events to be managed through a common GUI. ATEC successfully integrated Galaxy intruder alarm, ISIS asset tagging and Eltek data logging systems, among others, into the core solution.
ATEC also linked the South Kensington and Tring control rooms so that each could view and respond to events on the other’s real estate, to optimise staffing levels and ensure business continuity. The new systems were successfully integrated with legacy intruder detection systems (IDS), which has enabled the Museum to phase its security improvements and their associated budgets.
The Natural History Museum today benefits from a fully redundant and resilient CCTV system that makes the best use of legacy infrastructure, accommodates analogue and IP cameras, and provides a fully scalable solution.

“The stand out factor in ATEC’s work was the quality of its initial documentation which showed a thorough understanding of our needs and the technology and integration required. Their documentation was crystal clear, site specific and very usable. They then demonstrated a willingness and capability to make the project to upgrade and integrate our security systems the best it could possibly be. As challenges emerged, ATEC were able to resolve them or work with us to resolve them. Overall, I am absolutely delighted.”
Stuart Craik, Head of Security at the Natural History Museum
Having worked closely with the Museum during the first phase of its migration path, and added specifications and advantages to the project that were not included in the original tender, ATEC was subsequently commissioned for a second phase of work that included specifying upgrades of analogue cameras to HD and installing PTZ cameras to extend visibility in key locations. A further phase is planned to bring the Museum’s storage facility in Wandsworth online with 16 cameras and full integration with the current control room.