classic | mobile
Follow us on:
Follow us on Facebook  Share via Twitter  Share via LinkedIn

Hi-Tech Security Solutions Business Directory
Residential Estate Security Handbook 2018

Surveillance technology that’s as blind as a bat
August 2018, Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, Integrated Solutions, Residential Estate (Industry)

It’s actually a myth that bats have very poor eyesight. In fact, some species have very good eyesight. But what really allows a bat to be so highly attuned to its surroundings, able to safely navigate their way through forests, and be aware of other objects and animals in their immediate environment is highly sophisticated echolocation. This natural sonar allows bats to ‘see’ their environment even in complete darkness through the echoes returned from their high-pitched shouts. In radar technology, echolocation is used in a similar way to identify moving objects in low- or no-light situations.

Defining radar technology

Often associated with high-tech military equipment, radar systems have now been developed to strengthen commercial security systems or applications such as weather forecasts, road traffic monitoring, and collision prevention in aviation and shipping. Inspired by its uses in the automotive industry, namely in autonomous vehicles, security companies have been integrating radar into their offering for surveillance systems. This so-called ‘blind’ detection equipment provides accurate data with regards to speed, velocity and angle of travel of an object.

Called a ‘blind’ technology as it cannot visually define objects, but can detect them, a radar device transmits signals consisting of radio waves. When the radio waves hit an object, the signal is reflected back to the radar device, where it will be detected by a receiver. This enables the technology to provide information on an object’s position and determine its speed, size and direction.

At the same time, the information given by the radar enables PTZ cameras to automatically follow the object. This information can further help differentiate between humans, animals, vehicles and other objects.

Benefits of radar detection

Technologies that remove the need for manual human verification can help organisations cut costs. By being able to automatically detect something that has entered an area and distinguish whether or not it is a real threat without sending out security teams, costs and resources are saved.

Motion detection with radar differentiates itself from standard motion detection, as the former picks up on the changes in electromagnetic waves instead of pixels, which can help reduce the number of false alarms. One way to understand this is by looking at what doesn’t trigger a radar instead of what does. It will not be set off by a slight change in image pixels, like a visual camera does when lights, a spider web or a fallen branch come across its field of view. Instead, it’s about the radio waves bouncing off certain objects and back to the radar’s receiver.

By being able to set sensitivity levels on radar products to detect larger objects, an alarm will not, for example, be triggered by a rabbit, cat or other small animals that run through the perimeter and pose no threat. Similarly, it will not miss a real threat if the camera is pointed in another direction or a security guard is not paying attention. The technology works as an added layer of detection to complement and strengthen visual surveillance systems, resulting in a more accurate and reliable security system.

One typical scenario involves an initial video recording being triggered once an intruder has breached a perimeter. In doing so, all movements are captured, but an alert will only be sent if the trespasser goes through a pre-defined high-priority area.

Radar technology in action

Modern radar surveillance systems work well in wide open areas with moderate activity. Large stores that have big outdoor areas, such as warehouses, which often keep stock outside but are closed at night, can benefit from adding radar technology to their surveillance systems. Where light conditions are poor, the technology can still enable detection of objects passing through the area.

Again, in this scenario the radar’s information can be used to trigger a security sequence if the threat is authentic. Radar can automatically steer a PTZ camera so that it keeps track of the detected object. Floodlights can come on to scare the intruder and provide light for improved image quality, with an accompanying horn speaker telling the intruder they are being watched.

Blind technologies, such as radar, should be used in conjunction with other technologies, complementing visual and thermal video ­surveillance to support and optimise the ­security system. It will be interesting to follow how this technology can be further integrated and add value to the surveillance industry.

For more information contact Axis Communications, +27 11 548 6780,,

  Share via Twitter   Share via LinkedIn      

Further reading:

  • Trust but continually verify
    November 2018, Technews Publishing, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure
    Hi-Tech Security Solutions looks at access and identity management and asks some industry players what ‘zero trust’ and ‘least privilege’ access means.
  • Physical/logical convergence
    November 2018, Technews Publishing, This Week's Editor's Pick, Cyber Security, Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure
    The convergence between physical and logical (or cyber) security will be a game-changer because it will change the way we do everything, from planning to design and all the way to installation and maintenance.
  • Physical and logical convergence is a fact
    November 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure
    Convergence, the next buzzword? A dated buzzword? Is convergence ­merely ­integration on steroids? What is convergence?
  • Taking augmented identity to the world
    November 2018, Technews Publishing, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions
    Hi-Tech Security Solutions spoke to Gary Jones, VP Global Channel and Marketing biometric access and time solutions) at IDEMIA (formerly Morpho) about his career with the company and its new vision of Augmented Identity.
  • BIMS set to change identity ­management
    November 2018, Technews Publishing, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure
    Local biometrics integrator, Ideco Biometric Security Solutions, has announced that its Biometric Identity Management System (BIMS) has been launched to market.
  • Tracking biometrics into a brave new digital world
    November 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions
    The industry is increasingly transitioning from unimodal to more integrated multimodal biometric solutions for more accurate identity verification and faster real-time results.
  • Key components of access control
    November 2018, Paxton Access, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions
    Dan Drayton speaks to Hi-Tech Security Solutions about what the key components in modern access control systems are.
  • IP is no stranger to access control
    November 2018, Technews Publishing, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure
    Just as the surveillance market made the move to IP-based communications, the access control market is also moving to IP (or some say it already has).
  • Applying the SaaS model to access control
    November 2018, Technews Publishing, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions
    The software-as-a-service model has proven transformative to many organisations, and even entire industries. The benefits it can offer are undeniable, but in the security sector which is risk-averse by necessity, we wanted to hear the views of some local experts in access control as a service (ACaaS) to find out what some of the pros and cons are.
  • Cloud-based access control
    November 2018, Technews Publishing, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions
    Running your access control through a cloud service has made people nervous in the past, but today’s solutions are hard to beat.
  • Controlling access in the cloud
    November 2018, Technews Publishing, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions
    In the access control arena, hosted or managed services have been around for a few years, and the adoption of cloud-based access control only continues to grow as companies become more and more open to the idea of relying on it to perform such a vital function within their business.
  • They sure don’t make them like they used to
    November 2018, Technews Publishing, Access Control & Identity Management, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Integrated Solutions
    The latest offerings in the market with respect to doorbells and intercoms, and what functionality they offer.

Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory (HSBD)

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual
    Mobile | Classic

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.