Industrial, civil and residential security solution providers are experiencing an increase in the demand for additional security techniques outside of the field of conventional technologies used for perimeter protection and wide area surveillance.
In recent weeks, Reutech Radar Systems (RRS), a Stellenbosch-based developer of radar and radar-based solutions, has launched a perimeter and wide area intrusion detection system. This system is designed to cater to increasing needs for persistent monitoring of perimeters or strategic areas for industrial and residential asset protection. Traditional security installations often make use of a combination of physical barriers such as fences, CCTV cameras, fibre-optic sensors and microwave barriers, amongst others, to detect intrusion. Sensor systems such as these all have an important role to play in the security market, but their performance can be very dependent on operator efficiency and may provide inadequate advance warning of intrusions due to their limited field of view, or inability to provide automatic alarms. In the past, RRS has received a number of enquiries from the security industry keen to enhance current security systems through the addition of radar to achieve the wide-area automatic intruder detection capabilities that radar technology brings.
RRS has developed the Perimeter Intrusion Monitoring System or “PIMS” that integrates traditional technologies used for asset protection, such as cameras, with ground surveillance radar. The addition of radar not only provides the benefit of persistently surveying large areas, but also includes other attributes such as all-weather day/night capability and geo-referenced intruder position reporting and tracking that enhance security personnel's ability to respond.
The PIMS solution provides the facility to define warning and alarm zones within its surveillance area. These zones may be set up on a geo-referenced visual map interface, with the system able to cue Pan-Tilt-Zoom CCTV cameras to the location of potential intruders as they enter these warning and alarm zones, and thus assess the threat.
Multiple sensor/camera combinations, linked via cable or WiFi may be deployed to provide coverage along an extended perimeter line, or over a wider coverage area. The control room in which the monitoring takes place may be local (for example at the site where the surveillance is taking place) or remotely at any other location interconnected to the surveillance site via web-based operator interface.
Figure 2: Concept of Interlinked Radar Sensors
The benefit that radar brings to a security solution is that it is able to provide a much wider simultaneous coverage zone than cameras are able to achieve. Whilst radar is accurately able to locate an intruder, it is however unable to classify the type of intruder, and thus relies on the camera to advise the operator of the nature of the intrusion. This is especially relevant in environments where intruders may not necessarily pose a threat, such as when wildlife enters the surveillance zone.
The net value of the radar addition is thus whilst cameras are able to inform the operator when a perimeter is breached, radar allows an operator to establish the intent to breach thereby increasing available reaction time.
Specific fields of interest and application for this system include operations against copper theft, monitoring of large areas to combat illegal mining activities, intruder detection for residential security estates and the enhancement of the surveillance of national key points such as airports, harbours, power generation plants and refineries.
The persistent wide area coverage, automatic detection, ease of classification and geo-referenced intruder position reporting that PIMS offers provides a significant step up in technology available for strategic asset protection. With 26 years experience in radar technology development and integration in South Africa, Reutech Radar Systems is well suited to address these new needs in the security market.