Perimeter security on large estates, and even for smaller complexes, is the key to securing the estate as a whole. Without a secured and monitored perimeter, criminals are able to come and go as they please.
Even an electric fence alone is a worthwhile perimeter security investment as it will, at the very least, raise an alarm when the fence is breached, allowing the security team to take action. Of course, in an instance like this, the action they can take is limited if they have no additional data as to where the breach occurred, but it’s a start.
For complete perimeter security, the ideal would be the ability to monitor what happens outside the perimeter, the perimeter fence or wall itself, and inside the perimeter to track anyone who manages to get inside. Without using technology to track people once inside, if security does not apprehend them before they get through, they are inclined to “disappear into the estate,” as so many security managers will tell you.
Radar is becoming a more common solution for estates with large open areas, since intruders can be automatically detected, the security team can be alerted, and officers can be sent to the exact location of the criminals, as they are tracked as they move. With intelligence software, some radar systems are even able to differentiate between people, animals and vehicles (and if you believe some marketing material, they can even identify people who are carrying weapons). Naturally, terrain is a factor since radar can’t ‘see’ down into gulleys or through thick foliage.
Perimeter protection with Thermal Radar
Johan Schoeman, CTO of StratIT (Strategic Information Technology), recommends thermal radar products from Thermal Radar (www.thermalradar.com). Schoeman says thermal radar solutions provide “inside-out security which monitors the perimeter, inside the perimeter and outside the perimeter, giving early detection with unparalleled situational awareness and actionable intelligence. With the ability to detect a single human over an 850 000 m2 area, thermal radar literally finds the needle in a haystack.
“Thermal Radar is now affordable and applicable in a myriad of business applications including airports, bridges, car dealerships, construction sites, power plants, residential estates or substations, just to name a few.”
To get the best of both worlds, he suggests combining a thermal radar solution with a powerful PTZ camera. This enables not only detection, but also visual verification. Schoeman uses the TR6600 from Thermal Radar as an example.
The Thermal Imaging Radar TR6600 model includes an integrated long-range PTZ camera. This should be installed at a high point to ensure the best results. “Thermal Radar’s unique, continuous 360° monitoring with flexible communication options, allows all types of facilities to be monitored day and night (see the Google Earth map in Figure 1 as an example). Thermal Radar not only monitors the perimeter, but also the approach to these facilities, by reducing the critical reaction time for deterrent action activities. Fewer cameras equals less cost and maintenance,” Schoeman notes.
The thermal radar continuously scans the designated area; sophisticated analytics assess what the thermal camera identifies and then sends the coordinates to the colour PTZ camera which zooms in on the incursion. This provides 24/7 thermal coverage plus the benefit of forensic data from the PTZ. It’s worth highlighting that the radar slews the PTZ to cue upon detections – this means no more cases where touring mode leaves you hoping the PTZ is at the right place when an intruder enters.
While the coverage area can reach 360° and over 1 km, depending on the model chosen (Figure 2), the solution sends one video stream to your VMS containing the 360° thermal imagery and a zoomed view of the area where an alert occurred, with a map showing where the detection occurred (Figure 3). When it detects an intruder, an alert is sent to the VMS, which, combined with the targeted PTZ, gives users timely, actionable intelligence.
Mobile and solar options
An estate would likely install the Thermal Radar system in a set location, however, StratIT can also deliver mobile solutions that can be mounted from a trailer and be powered by solar panels and batteries (Figure 4). This type of solution is useful for increased security when a known risk situation increases in an area, or when a specific event is being held on the estate.
The system can also be used as a fire detection system. Schoeman says StratIT’s mobile 9 m tower system with a thermal camera can be placed at high-ground areas and be configured to detect a 3 m fire from over 5 km away.
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