Intelligent detectors protect terracotta warriors

Issue 2 2021 Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection

Bosch Building Technologies has installed a comprehensive intrusion alarm system at one of China's most visited cultural sites: the Mausoleum of Qin Shihuangdi in the city of Xi'an. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to a 2000-year-old army of clay statues, the world-famous Terracotta Warriors, guarding the tomb of China’s first emperor.


Several hundred TriTech motion detectors are deployed to protect the over 10 000 m2 sized museum against theft and damage. These detectors prevent costly and time-consuming false alarms under challenging environmental conditions, while providing detection reliability of real alarms. Because of the highly efficient intrusion detection system, which detects and reports any unauthorised intrusion into the security areas to security personnel in less than two seconds, the museum can dispense entirely with physical protective barriers such as glass walls, allowing visitors to directly experience the site.

“The cooperation with Bosch is an excellent showcase of modern high-tech protection of historic buildings. Bosch intrusion alarm systems help to upgrade the security level of these unique historic sites,” says Ren Xuxin, project manager of Xi’an Terracotta Warriors and Horses Pit Security Upgrade Project.

Millennia-old warriors under protection

As wall detectors, the TriTech motion detectors protect the pits where the terracotta warriors are located. Because these pits collect large amounts of dust that could cause false alarms, the intelligent sensor data fusion algorithm in each of the rugged detectors checks potential alarms with PIR sensors and microwave Doppler radar for a consistent result. The area to be protected is thereby also secured from above by ceiling-mounted TriTech motion detectors. These detectors are located 4,8 metres above the museum floor, yet operate accurately and reliably. They thus exceed the range of standard ceiling detectors by more than 2 metres.


In the event of an actual security breach, the Bosch G-Series system controller sends an alert, including the location of the triggered detector, in less than 2 seconds to the security team in the control room, which uses live images from a video system to verify the alarm. In most cases, tourists trigger an alarm when they cross a threshold to retrieve their cameras or smartphones that have accidentally fallen into the pit. In doing so, there is a risk of damage to the priceless terracotta warriors. But even if real criminals should ever get in on the act, the system is ready.


The TriTech motion detectors provide round-the-clock protection for the museum, which is visited by thousands of culture enthusiasts every day. Thanks to their discreet design, the detectors are unobtrusive and thus do not interfere with the museum experience. In accordance with the museum operator's list of requirements, the intrusion detection system protects not only the museum, including the perimeter as well as the visitor areas of the mausoleum, but additionally the cultural treasures currently stored in the unmanned warehouse.


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