British Airways i360 Reaches Unprecedented Heights, Helped by Seagate SkyHawk

British Airways i360 pod and toll booth

British Airways i360 is a 162-meter (531 ft.) tall observation tower on the seafront of Brighton on the UK’s south coast that opened in August 2016 on the site of the famous beach town’s historic West Pier.

Conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects, the creators of the London Eye, British Airways i360 is the world’s tallest moving observation tower and the world’s first vertical cable car.

Just as the original pier welcomed Victorian society to “walk on water,” British Airways i360 invites visitors to “walk on air” in the fully enclosed futuristic glass observation pod which gently lifts up to 200 passengers to a height of 138 meters (450 ft.), providing a new perspective on the city with totally unobstructed views.

Key components for a new standard for innovation

The technology deployed in the development and daily operation of the observation tower set a new standard for innovation — including a high-tech video surveillance solution supplied by Brighton CCTV, with Seagate’s SkyHawk hard drives chosen as a key component in the technology. A specialist in CCTV design, installation and maintenance for the commercial and residential market, Brighton CCTV was selected as the preferred supplier for its expertise and its experience in the region.

British Airways i360 selected Brighton CCTV as its camera security and webcam partner, and their system partner, Hikvision, produces industry-leading equipment that enables smooth, clear video streaming. Brighton CCTV selected Seagate as an additional partner for the project to deliver its high-capacity SkyHawk storage, purpose-built for surveillance systems with Seagate’s ImagePerfect firmware.

High resolution images were a must for this high-profile site and with the IP CCTV system running over a huge network, a solid and reliable storage solution was a necessity. Each camera also had to be carefully selected for the right area of the structure, taking into consideration installation, service and maintenance, as well as being capable of dealing with bright scenes due to the observation tower’s beachside location.

“We had worked with Seagate before on a previous project and knew the reliability its storage provides,” said Christopher Dean, Owner of Brighton CCTV. “The SkyHawk surveillance drives operate with an extreme workload rating, low power consumption, provide long-term drive reliability and can operate in harsh environments, withstanding a variety of temperature ranges — ideal for British Airways i360 being on the seafront.”

“We were thrilled our technology was selected to be a part of this ambitious and innovative landmark,” commented Andrew Palmer, ‎Sales Manager, Enterprise and Surveillance Group, Seagate Technology UK. “We were able to make this surveillance solution possible working alongside our trusted partners Brighton CCTV and Hikvision.”

A British Airways i360 spokesperson said: “British Airways i360 is a spectacular observation attraction and is the cornerstone to funding the regeneration of Brighton’s seafront. With some 700,000 visitors expected at British Airways i360 annually, it was vital that we worked with the best team in order to deliver on our vision and that included using trusted suppliers providing innovative technology.”

British Airways i360 - image credit - Visual Air


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Paul Bodley