As a security systems integrator that’s been around since the early days of IP video, we’ve seen lots of advancements in imaging technology and when something new helps improve the reliability of observations and the accuracy of identifying individuals, it puts a smile on the faces of our technical team. It may, therefore, be a surprise to hear how excited we are by a “blind” technology that cannot visually define objects at all.
We’re talking about radar and specifically, the D2050-VE Network Radar Detector from Axis which can detect objects with incredible accuracy. If you’ve ever struggled with false alarms from your video surveillance system, read on – this is a technology innovation that’s worth smiling about.
Reliable intrusion detection
Like traditional PIRs used commonly for intrusion detection systems, radar technology will operate in challenging light conditions such as darkness, smoke, fog and shifting shadows, but unlike a PIR it isn’t susceptible to changes in temperature. A PIR can trigger if the temperature of the ground rises in the hot sun and an inanimate colder object such as a piece of litter is blown by.
Radar technology is also more accurate than standard Video Motion Detection (VMD) which can be triggered by changes in lighting, moving foliage and spiders making webs in front of the camera lens. In fact, the sensitivity of the Network Radar Detector can be adjusted and further configured with 16 zones and exclusion areas, allowing real threats to be differentiated from events such as small animals running through the perimeter.
Enhancing video surveillance
It’s worth remembering that false alarms can distract your security personnel from real threats. If a CCTV operator happens to be looking at another monitor when something suspicious is occurring elsewhere, then the use of radar technology can enhance your video surveillance system and add an extra layer of protection.
The Axis Network Radar Detector only requires a single Milestone XProtect or Axis Camera Station licence and when integrated with Video Management Software (VMS) this way, it means video recording can be triggered when an intruder has climbed a perimeter fence or driven into a restricted area, for example.
As the radar detector interprets the radio waves being reflected from objects in front of its 120° field of coverage, the device gathers data such as the position, size and speed of an object.
This data can support the autotracking of Axis Q60 and Q61 PTZ cameras, allowing the camera to automatically zoom in and follow the object with no manual intervention. It’s impressive – watch the demonstration video from Axis.
It’s fast too, with the VMS enhancing situational awareness through rapid notification of a genuine alarm and visualising the location of the detection on a map of the site. Immediately, security staff know a potential intrusion has been detected (as opposed to a fox simply walking across the car park) and exactly where on the site it has occurred. The scene can then quickly be assessed by CCTV operators to determine if further action is required – whether that involves staff making their way to the location or some form of remote response.
A specialist systems integrator can make the most of the open source Axis and Milestone ecosystem by triggering automated responses in these scenarios such as switching on security lighting and playing a pre-recorded message via an IP audio horn speaker to warn the intruder that they are being monitored.
Fewer false alarms and automated responses can reduce the necessity to despatch guarding patrols and keyholders to a location. You need those attending to be fully alert and not assuming it’s “just another call-out” which can sometimes happen following a spate of false alarms. Complacency can be costly.
For mission-critical security applications monitored 24/7 or externally by an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) the reduction of false alarms is an important aspect of system design.
If you’re using an ARC and they’re expecting no more than 50 alarms each night, per system, and your VMD is sending 1000 alarms during the night because it’s not accurate enough, then there is a danger that the ARC staff monitoring the system will simply be overwhelmed. This of course may result in the ARC disconnecting your system and even worse, that a true detection will be missed – costing your business dearly.
Finally, the use of radar technology can also be more cost-effective than a thermal solution. Radar covers a much wider area which means you can potentially use less devices and make an overall saving. This would of course depend on your unique operational requirements, but if you’d like to speak to a member of our team about the viability of using radar technology to improve intrusion detection at your site, just get in touch. We’ll be happy to help.