Perimeter intrusion detection solutions explained

Residential Security Handbook 2021: Secure Living Residential Estate (Industry)

There are many solutions on the market aimed at enhancing perimeter security on estates. In this article, Nick Grange and Theuns van Schalkwyk from XtraVision discuss many of the perimeter intrusion detection systems (PIDS) available and their benefits. PIDS can be summarised as devices or sensors that detect the presence of an intruder attempting to breach a designated perimeter, such as a property, building, or other secured area.

It’s worth noting that despite the various solutions and their distinctive capabilities, they are typically deployed as part of an overall security system and need to be compatible with onsite video management and control solutions. A PIDS normally acts as an early warning system, alerting an operator onsite or offsite to an alarm condition related to a potential intruder at the perimeter who has not yet breached the boundary fence or line to the protected area.

“We have found that PIDS do not replace but complement surveillance camera systems which allow for visual verification of the remote event,” states Grange. “PIDS are often used in conjunction with other security products like security lighting and intercom systems with loudspeakers attached in the field to help deter potential intruders.”

Below is a detailed description of many technologies available and their relevant applications. Readers should note that the article has been shortened, the link at the end of the article will redirect you to the full article online.

Microwave barriers

A microwave barrier is one of the most reliable and safe intrusion detectors for outdoor perimeter protection. The operation of a microwave barrier is simple. This device produces an electromagnetic beam using high frequency microwaves that pass from a transmitter to a receiver, creating an invisible but sensitive protection wall. When the receiver detects a difference of condition within its beam (and hence a possible intrusion), it begins a detailed analysis of the situation that, if considered a real intrusion, provides an alarm signal that can be treated in analogue or digital form.

Microwave barriers are used for high security, such as the perimeter protection of prisons, power plants, refineries, military sites and airports. However, these products are also often used for civilian and commercial applications as for the perimeter protection of villas, balconies, terraces, small industries and shopping malls.

Microwave barrier with microwave rays

The idea was born from the need for an alternative to infrared rays, which are normally used to protect very narrow corridors, but which by their nature have many limits that can negatively affect performance. Infrared beams are especially vulnerable to climatic conditions such as temperature, glare, solar reflections, fog and the need for frequent maintenance.

MICRO-RAY provides a linear ray covering a very narrow area, exactly as infrared barriers, but without the limits of the latter. The flexibility of application of these new linear microwave beams, thanks to their detection reliability, total immunity to even extreme weather conditions and reduced power consumption, without the need for a heater, make this product unique.

Fence detection cables

These products are normally attached to fence and the cable serves as the detection sensor, they are well used in the industry and protect facilities such as housing estates, industrial and commercial properties as well as airports. There are a few options:

• Fence linear magnetophonic sensor cables are specifically designed to provide high performance intruder detection capabilities for fence and wall protection, allied with a low false alarm rate. Thanks to the simple calibration of rotary switches on board, the cable detects climbing and the breaking attempts when deployed on rigid or mesh fences or installed on walls. This product differs from similar cable systems in the design of the sensor, which is configured as a high-quality twisted pair of conductors immersed in silicone tubes, which vibrate within a static magnetic field. The sensor cable is sheathed in UV-resistant polymer to provide the highest protection against degradation over time.

• Vibration detection cables for perimeter protection have been used for many years with great results. The system, which detects fence cutting, climbing and displacement, comprises up to 140 MEMS sensors, sensitive on all three spatial axes, for each of two branches monitored by the central controller. These sensors are clustered in groups of seven, with each cluster made by one master-sensor and six slave-sensors. Each master sensor receives the electrical signal relevant to the detected vibration on the fence from its slaves, then digitises and transmits it to the controller unit. Via software or relays, 280 MEMS sensors in the array can be divided into up to 80 alarm zones.

• Fibre optic detection cable is a perimeter protection system using optical fibre suitable for the detection of intrusion fence. It uses optophonic technology for the detection of all those typical intrusion attempts like climbing, cutting or breaking through the fence. The advantages of the technology of using fibre optics technology in the field of intrusion detection on fences perimeter are:

o Reliability of detection.

o Possibility to make considerable distances without intermediate power supplies.

o Total immunity to interference from lightning discharges.

o Suitable for the protection of sites with corrosive atmospheres or explosives as the optical fibre cannot cause a fire.

Infrared barriers

The Infrared range of barriers includes active infrared, hybrid and digital technologies. They are the protection product with the latest generation infrared with advanced configurations offering a low number of false alarms. They can cover 50, 100 and 200 m lengths and consist of a transmitter and receiver, which can be powered by mains or solar.

Triple technology barriers

These are intelligent barriers designed with multiple technologies and based on digital signal analysis (fuzzy logic), available for ranges up to 160 m. The different technologies used allow the barrier to adapt to the size of the corridor to be protected, avoiding disturbances from fences or vegetation and eliminating the limits that the various technologies used individually may have. This product is equipped with an electronic system that provides easy alignment, setup and testing, making both installation and regular maintenance particularly simple and effective without the need of any dedicated tools or instruments.

Doppler sensors

This product is a digital dual-frequency mono-head Doppler, suitable for providing security in high-risk sites as well as residential buildings. Being a pure microwave sensor, it is simply immune to fog, changing temperatures, sandstorms and extreme solar radiation. One of the most interesting features of the product is the possibility of setting analysis of the area along with dimension of the target you want to detect, truly avoiding without compromise the usual false alarms which can be caused by small animals or big moving objects, such as cars passing by. Furthermore, by adding the IP-DOORWAY accessory, you can manage alarms, telemetry and power supply in one cable, thus optimising the installer’s work and reducing overall cost of labour to complete the installation.

Wall vibration protection

The wall sensor cable detects vibrations caused by attempts to disturb solid structures, including fixed warehouses, bank vaults, safes and perimeter walls. The wall sensor cable can be installed in new or existing security systems and offer a higher level of protection and false alarm immunity than traditional shock sensors, which often lack the ability to discriminate between ambient vibration and real attacks.

The sensor cable is an ideal system for all types of walls and drywall to detecting mechanical vibration transmitted along the wall as an intruder attempts to break through the wall. It is designed to detect impacts on walls, by analysing vibrations created during an intrusion attempt.

The Wall Intrusion Detection System is the ideal solution for protecting:

• Warehouses.

• Data centres.

• Secure storage areas.

• Perimeter walls.

• Roofs and floors.

• Bank vaults and safes.

• Special access program facilities (SAPF).

• Sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF).

• Closed areas (NISPOM).

• Shielded enclosures.

Buried fibre optic detection sensors

This product boasts the longest fibre optic monitoring capabilities in the market, the fibre sensor cable provides 100% perimeter coverage for long range applications with no gaps between sensors, the cable is the sensor.

The system detects and locates intrusions based on a signature database to avoid any false alarms.

The detection capability is based on acoustics allowing the cable to function without any physical movement of the cable, which allows it to be buried in any type of ground. The fibre sensor cable requires no power in the field and installation minimises the need for trenching and expensive installation methods.

Deploying the fibre optic intrusion detection system provides reliable perimeter security for up to 100 km through a single cable, detecting and locating events to within 6 metres over the entire perimeter. Daisy-chaining additional controllers provide unlimited reach. Seven different levels of actual physical sensitivity, through the cable configuration, optimise system performance for different media requirements, including chain link fences, buried cables or wrought iron. Additionally, because of the extreme sensitivity, the cable can be used with a protective conduit without affecting the required sensitivity and allowing greater installation flexibility, convenience and system longevity.

Buried seismic detection sensors

The seismic buried detector is an outdoor ground security system, which can be integrated with any existing security system, burglar alarm or CCTV system. It is built from four or eight sensing units which are linked to an analyser. Standalone detectors are installed underground and are able to recognise footsteps and vehicle movements. The system is designed to pick up only vibrations that are related to security.

The seismic buried detector is a perimeter ground system that is resistant to extreme environmental conditions such as weather and temperature changes and can work in a large variety of terrains with no interference by vegetation or strong winds. The system is designed to work without any maintenance.

These underground sensors are ideal for:

• Residential homes.

• Wooded areas or beachfront.

• Golf courses.

• Entry/exit routes.

• Perimeter blind spots.

• Approach detection.

• Open areas with no traffic.

• Farms.

Long-range outdoor passive infrared detectors

These long range outdoor passive infrared (PIR) detectors are suited for many applications both short and long range (from 21 m to 200 m). Their applications include:

• Outdoor perimeter and area detection:

o solar fields.

o pipelines.

o logistic centres.

o scrap merchants.

o w utilities.

• Fence-line protection.

• Anticipating and proactive video surveillance.

• Providing reliable detection for remotely monitored and detector activated CCTV systems for maximum central monitoring station profitability.

• Conditional triggering of CCTV, PTZ and dome cameras.

• Conditional triggering of video-switchers for event-driven CCTV.

Electric fencing solutions

An electric fence is a barrier that uses 8 Joule electric shocks to deter animals and people from crossing a boundary. Most electric fences are used today for applications such as to protect high-security areas such as housing estates, industrial and commercial properties, military installations, prisons, agricultural fencing and other forms of animal control, to name a few.

Nemtek has a wide range of advanced electric security fence solutions for commercial applications. Its durable and robust solutions will provide you with a secure property perimeter. The perimeter alarm light system can be installed onto most of the Nemtek electric-fencing brackets and posts. The perimeter alarm lights will illuminate the specific zone that has been triggered. The alarm lights help detect and deter the intruder from attacking the fence line. The lights can also be triggered manually at any time using a remote control.

The Nemtek taut wire system measures tension changes in a particular direction on an electrified or non-electrified fence and will set off an alarm if the wires are cut or if there is an attempt to part the wires to gain entry. The combination of a taut wire and monitored electric fencing system provides a high level of security, from both a detection and a deterrent angle.

ElectroMesh is at the forefront of development in the field of electric fencing. Its electric fence barrier combines the traditional aggressive defence of a non-lethal electrified fence with the passive barricade of a barrier fence. ElectroMesh can be retrofitted and customised to fit any installation requirement. This dual-sensing and alarming technology combines both the passive barrier fence and a non-lethal electrified fence. You save money on what would normally be two separate intruder sensing technology installations.

Video analytics and AI detection systems

Video analytics software is available either directly on thermal or IP surveillance cameras, as well as on video event management software and is a category of software used to automatically monitor your surveillance video. It scans for predetermined elements, such as intrusion and flags each instance of these events found. As pre-determined and configured to the user’s preferences, certain events can trigger alarms or notifications sent.

Video analytics uses the above software algorithms to detect, classify and track objects or persons and can be retrofitted to existing camera systems. The product is classed as an early warning system and can alert an operator of a possible threat before the would-be intruder reaches the boundary fence.

It is a great tool for an operator of the control software as it allows him or her to visually verify the event as well as gain an understanding of the event, for example, how many intruders as well as if they are armed, this allows the operator to relay this critical information to the response unit which in turn allows them to respond in a fashion that will help mitigate any unnecessary risk.


Radar can be used to protect perimeter boundaries and integrated to existing static and PTZ IP cameras; as a detector, the intrusion trajectory of the object will be displayed in the detection area. For different application scenarios, necessary peripheral equipment such as horn speaker or illumination device can be added. It can also display special functions such as sound and light alarm.

Radar can be used in all applications, however, it offers best results in sterile areas such as open fields, parks and no-man’s-lands. Radar comes in a variety of models and covers from 50 to 450 metres with varying field widths of detection.

Thermal imaging radar

Perimeter security has come a long way in today’s world. It is no longer restricted to high-risk locations such as military and nuclear plants. In the past few years, perimeter security has evolved significantly due to advances in technology and reductions in cost. Thermal perimeter surveillance marks significant advancements in this segment and it is now considered the premier solution for robust exterior and perimeter security. With the advancements in technology, the cost and accuracy of analytics has reduced significantly; and it is being used in place of human beings, fencing and other physical barriers such as traditional motion sensors.

Thermal radar provides continuous thermal intrusion detection covering an area of up to 200 acres every 2 seconds.

Video event management systems

Video event management software (VEMS) from Arteco allows for a combination of both video analytics and video management software on a single platform at a competitive price. Video analytics allows automatic recognition of people, objects and vehicles. Being server-based it allows for any camera, irrespective of brand, to be transformed into an intelligent and accurate device where excellent detection is required and very low false alarm rates are non-negotiable.

The product normally provides the following rules: abandoned object, appear/disappear, dwell, counting, direction, enter/exit, object filter, colour filter, speed filter, stopped rule, tailgating and also provides a deep learning filter to reduce false alarms.

VEMS systems seamlessly integrate into third-party systems and devices and are therefore ideally suited for residential security applications. Besides video analytics VEMS systems also integrate with access control, intrusion, fire, lighting, electric fencing, perimeter intrusion detection systems (PIDS), building management, LPR/ANPR systems.

The above perimeter security solutions are provided by XtraVision, a distributor of the manufacturer brands below:


• RBtec

• Honeywell

• Nemtek

• ElectroMesh

• Opgal

• Thermal Radar

• Dahua

• Hikvision

• Wisenet

• Aretco


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