top of page



NIWA is an acronym for the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research which is a Crown Research Institute of New Zealand. Established in 1992, NIWA conducts commercial and non-commercial research across a broad range of disciplines in the environmental sciences. It also maintains nationally and, in some cases, internationally important environmental monitoring networks, databases, and collections.

NIWA maintains a fleet of about 30 vessels for freshwater, marine, and atmospheric research.

In 2014 NIWA commissioned Focus Digital Security Solutions Limited to review the aging analogue CCTV system on their research ship the MV Tangaroa.

As the MV Tangaroa operates between Antarctica and the Equator it was imperative that the CCTV Cameras perform at their optimum under extreme conditions.  In consultation with NIWA Management it was agreed that 8 x Axis IP Cameras would be installed on the ship’s exterior to view all critical access, risk and research recovery platforms.  All Cameras were to be viewed and recorded on the Bridge and were to form part of the ship’s operational equipment.

As part of the vessels research function a dredge is trawled on the ocean floor at depths of several kilometres.  Recovering the cable without damage is imperative as any fault could impact the research mission.  As the cable consists of various “other cables” it is critical that it laps perfectly onto the recovery drum to ensure there are no overlaps or twists.  A High Definition IP Camera viewing the cable recovery drum was specified.



Focus Digital Security Solutions Limited designed an IP CCTV system using a combination of Axis IP Cameras, Axis switchers and Digifort Network Video Management Software and Recorder. The Axis High-Def IP CCTV cameras specified were designed to deal with the harsh climatic conditions, produced excellent coverage of the vessel in all lighting conditions and future proofed the system by allowing for later expansion and remote viewing access.

Network cables were installed by the ships Electricians with the installation and commissioning undertaken by the Focus Digital Security Solutions Ltd technicians within budget, on time and to the client’s expectations.



The IP CCTV system has been tested in the planet’s harshest climatic conditions and has exceeded all expectations.  Since the initial installation NIWA commissioned additional cameras onto the system including a High Definition PTZ above the vessels Flying Bridge.  Shortly after installing the PTZ the MV Tangaroa travelled on a research trip to the Antarctic where it was used extensively as a navigational aid to identify and move the vessel through ice flows.

The images below were taken directly from the Axis Communications CCTV Cameras          

(click to enlarge)

bottom of page