Automated forest fire monitoring
February 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Fire & Safety, Products
Forestry provides livelihood support to 652 000 people of South Africa’s rural population and the pulp and paper industry provides about 13 200 direct and 11 000 indirect employment opportunities. In terms of land use, the area under forestry is about 1.3 million hectares or approximately 1% of the total South African land area of 122.3 million hectares.
Trees generally take seven to 10 years to reach maturity, thereafter they are harvested. It is therefore important to ensure the protection of plantations which contribute approximately 1.4% to the country’s GDP. Not only do forest fires result in the loss of plantations, and therefore viable income and raw material, but there is secondary risk to the wildlife that coexists in forests and to the people working or living in the vicinity of plantations.
Recognising that lookout towers have limitations since they are manned by people who cannot possibly survey plantations without any breaks, early inroads into the development of an automated electronic surveillance system began in the 1990s. The end result was Firehawk, the first solution of its kind worldwide.
Willem Oosthuizen, operations manager for Alasia Marketing, explains that Firehawk is designed to provide early detection of fires, in order to minimise the damage they can cause. “We decided to develop a solution that would comprise off-the-shelf hardware elements. The PTZ CCTV cameras we sourced from Pelco are fit for purpose, providing high-resolution images. Easy to maintain and readily deployable in remote locations, the cameras have proven their worth in a number of installations in South Africa, Malawi, Ghana, Brazil and Chile.”
Due to the predominantly rural nature of the installations, with electricity supply being an issue, 90% of the Firehawk surveillance sites are solar power-based. The design of the system focuses on low power usage and low maintenance. Oosthuizen points out that the software and operational brains of the system are located offsite in smart control rooms.
The technology uses single camera positioning that provides directional alerts to the operational team in the case of an event. The HD cameras rotate 360° every 180 seconds, covering large areas at distances of up to 15 kilometres away, visibility permitting, in either panoramic view or individual sector analysis. The camera allows the operator to accurately pinpoint a specific sector to within less than 100 metres.
The system currently requires operator intervention in terms of deploying resources to identified locations, but Oosthuizen says that ultimately it will become a predominantly automated system. “It is important to note that not only does the system provide alerts on possible fire events, but it also provides access routes to allow teams to be safely and expeditiously deployed to site.”
When an alert is received in the control room, the operator verifies that it is for a legitimate event by determining whether the visual source is smoke. If a fire event is verified, he will then make contact with either the landowner or a fire protection association. When this decision-making process has concluded, the operator informs the system of the true source of the event, allowing the system to intelligently learn and thereby perform in the correct manner for future events.
While overseas clients prefer to use their own staff to man the systems, in South Africa the chosen route is a turnkey solution managed by the Firehawk team. As a result, the company offers control rooms as a service. It will provide an initial analysis of the site requirements in terms of how many cameras are required, the number of staff required for the control room and their subsequent employment and training, as well as the development of the physical control room. “This service means that the client is able to relax while we monitor his plantation and react to events, providing complete peace of mind,” says Oosthuizen.
For more information, contact Willem Oosthuizen, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.alasia.co.za
- Anticipated trends in CCTV for 2018
February 2018, Leaderware, This Week's Editor's Pick, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
One of the trends for 2018 in South Africa is questioning by top management of the value of CCTV systems.
- What lies ahead in 2018?
February 2018, Axis Communications SA, Cathexis Technologies, Forbatt SA, Milestone Systems, neaMetrics, Suprema, ZKTeco, G4S South Africa, This Week's Editor's Pick, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Access Control & Identity Management, Cyber Security, Integrated Solutions
To find out what the physical security industry is expecting in 2018, Hi-Tech Security Solutions asked a few of the leading players what they expect in 2018 in South and southern Africa.
- Cybersecurity trends 2018
February 2018, Technews Publishing, This Week's Editor's Pick, Cyber Security
Cybersecurity will remain a key issue for everyone in every industry this year. Here’s what some experts on the topic have to say.
- Let me out of here
February 2018, Technews Publishing, This Week's Editor's Pick, Fire & Safety
Hi-Tech Security Solutions looks at designing a system that addresses the safe exit of people from a burning building.
- Campus security must not fall
February 2018, CAMPROSA (Campus Protection Society of Southern Af, This Week's Editor's Pick, Integrated Solutions, Conferences & Events, Associations
The Campus Protection Society of Southern Africa (Camprosa) held its annual conference in the second half of 2017 at the Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge in the Pilanesburg Game Reserve.
- TAPA SA conference 2017
February 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, Asset Management, EAS, RFID, Integrated Solutions, Security Services & Risk Management
TAPA held its South African conference at Emperor’s Palace late last year. Hi-Tech Security Solutions was there to cover the event.
- Decrypting encryption
February 2018, Technews Publishing, This Week's Editor's Pick, Cyber Security, Integrated Solutions
Encryption is undoubtedly useful, but has it advanced to the stage where it is also easily usable in business and consumer settings?
- Tomorrow’s surveillance – today’s reality
February 2018, Technews Publishing, Leaderware, This Week's Editor's Pick, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Cyber Security, News, Integrated Solutions
The Crowne Plaza in Rosebank, Johannesburg, was the setting for the 2017 iLegal conference, a joint venture between Dr Craig Donald and Hi-Tech Security Solutions.
- Milestone supports radar and dewarping
February 2018, Milestone Systems, News, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
Milestone Systems has released Device Pack 9.4 for partners and customers using Milestone XProtect video solutions.
- Hikvision and Paxton create seamless vehicle entry system
February 2018, Hikvision South Africa, News, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions
Hikvision has announced the successful integration of the Hikvision automatic number plate recognition system into Paxton’s Net2 access control system.
- Hikvision tops list of enterprise storage providers
February 2018, Hikvision South Africa, News, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
Hikvision has been ranked as the world’s largest provider of branded SAN, NAS and external DAS storage used in video surveillance in 2016, with the largest estimated market share of 22,1%.
- Powerful Android surveillance software
February 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, News
Kaspersky Lab researchers have uncovered an advanced mobile implant, active since 2014 and designed for targeted cyber-surveillance, possibly as an ‘offensive security’ product.