Port of Houston Ship Channel


The 53-mile long Houston Ship Channel, located in the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metropolitan area, is part of the Port of Houston and is a conduit for ocean going vessels between the Houston area shipyards and ports around the globe. As one of the world’s largest seaports, Houston handles more foreign water-borne tonnage than any other U.S. port. In addition to a massive petrochemical complex and a variety of public and private facilities, the Houston Ship Channel is also home to the museum ship USS Texas, designated a U.S. National Landmark.


Security is a top priority at the Port of Houston for both ship channel traffic and the efficient and accurate credentialing of the multitude of people who have reason to be in the area. The Port Authority’s commitment toward strengthening the physical security of the area demanded a multi-layered security system, with a state of the art video surveillance system at its core. Challenges for bidders included several specialty technologies in the RFP that were hard specified, items which required of the system integrator the ability to integrate multiple technologies into the comprehensive PSIM (Physical Security Information Management) system using a COTS Video Management System. Project deployment and manning was further complicated by the requirement for rigorous employee background checks and credentialing to be built into the the short time frame allowed for the design, build and install.



35 bids were received for this high profile project. NAV was awarded the contract based on their expertise in designing and building sophisticated technology solutions and their reputation for completing projects on time and on budget. To help ensure optimal video surveillance of the Ship Channel area and the USS Texas battleship, NAV deployed a variety of imaging technologies including thermal imaging cameras, radar, video analytics cameras, day/night cameras and megapixel cameras. Data and images from the various technologies, including input from NAV-installed multiple sensors including wireless links, thermal PTZ units, radar and infrared night vision devices, was seamlessly handled by the video management software and cloud storage system. This comprehensive solution allowed Port of Houston management the ability to view, control and manage all aspects of the video surveillance and security system along the Ship Channel.

All NAV team members earned their Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC) via stringent background checks prior to starting the on-site work. Once the job was completed, NAV maintained a technical staff presence on the site for a year post implementation to assist with training and the development of operating protocols for the system.

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