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Intelligent solutions, such as those derived from artificial intelligence, help critical infrastructure organisations make sense of vast amounts of data. These integrated applications, such as advanced video analytics and facial recognition, can automatically pinpoint potential breaches and significant events, and send alerts to the appropriate personnel, departments, and agencies. These solutions can be powerful in unifying disparate command centre technologies, fusing critical data input from emergency calls and responder activity to enhance situational awareness. Electrical substations are particularly vulnerable (and in need of extra security) due to their role in power distribution and the nature of their equipment. The challenge power utilities worldwide are facing is finding an affordable solution, which can help detect, deter and facilitate an informed response to a substation security event. Data capture form to appear here! U.S. regulations In the United States, this need is furthered by the physical security mandate CIP-014 issued by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), calling for identification of security issues, vulnerability assessments and deployment of appropriate processes and systems to address. CIP-014 identification of security issues, vulnerability assessments and deployment of appropriate processes and systems to address CIP-104 specifically calls for implemented security plans that include measures to deter, detect, delay, assess, communicate, coordinate and respond to potential physical threats and vulnerabilities. Manufacturers of video and other systems are designing products to serve the critical infrastructure market. For example, Dahua Technology offers explosion-proof cameras with a combination of rugged reliability and superior optics that is a fit for surveillance of explosive and corrosive environments, including chemical plants, refineries, and other facilities in the oil and gas industry. This explosion-proof series of cameras are housed in enclosures that are certified to the ATEX and IECEx standards for equipment in explosive atmospheres. Each explosion-proof camera features Dahua’s Starlight technology for ultra low-light sensitivity and high-definition sensors that deliver clear images in real-time. They are IP68-rated to prevent water and dust ingress. Each explosion-proof camera features Dahua’s Starlight technology for ultra low-light sensitivity and high-definition sensors that deliver clear images in real-time Video footage in extreme temperatures Another manufacturer, Videotec, offers a range of cameras and housings that provide video footage regardless of aggressive external factors, such as ice cold, scorching heat, desert sand, the force of sea or wind, total darkness, pollution, corrosion and even explosive agents. SightSensor thermal systems enable a utility to detect and respond to substation security incidents across multiple sitesSightLogix smart thermal camera systems have been deployed to protect substations for electric utilities and other critical infrastructure facilities. SightSensor thermal systems enable a utility to detect and respond to substation security incidents across multiple sites, ranging from copper theft to vandalism while also meeting regulatory compliance. At each substation facility, Thermal SightSensors are positioned along the perimeter, and are paired with a high-resolution pan-tilt-zoom camera for alarm assessment. When a Thermal SightSensor detects an intruder, the target’s location information is sent over the network to a SightTracker PTZ controller, which automatically zooms and steers PTZ cameras to follow the intruder. The target’s location is also displayed on a topology site map to provide real-time situational awareness. Alarms are sent to the utility’s 24-hour security operations centre, which will contact law enforcement in real time when unauthorised intrusions are detected. Integrated intrusion detection and lighting systems The Senstar LM100 hybrid perimeter intrusion detection and intelligent lighting system is simplifying security at one U.S. electrical utility company. For years, the utility company had integrated its perimeter intrusion detection and lighting systems. The company has now installed the Senstar LM100 which provides detection and lighting in one product and saves them over $80,000 per site. The savings are a result of the reduction of electrical requirements, conduit, grounding, and associated labor, as well as the removal of certain equipment from project scope that are required for the two-system integration. The Senstar LM100’s perimeter LED-based lighting acts as an initial deterrent. If an intruder persists and an attempt to cut, climb or otherwise break through the fence is detected, the closest luminaire begins to strobe, and an alert is sent via a security management system. The intruder knows immediately they have been detected and that their exact location is known by security and others in the vicinity.
SightLogix, the technology pioneer for smart thermal camera systems, announces that Charlie Platipodis, a security industry veteran with over 30 years of executive sales leadership, has joined the company as vice president of sales and marketing. Charlie offered several factors that explained his rationale for joining SightLogix. “I was immediately struck by the company’s passion for building products on a foundation of great detection and high performance. Securing outdoors has always been hard, but SightLogix is really at the vanguard with a system that detects intruders at an impressively high level of reliability." Customer-focused company "There was also a long list of five-star customers," he continued, "who have the luxury to choose any security product but keep choosing SightLogix, because they recognise performance as the ultimate criteria. Finally, I saw a customer-focused company that listens to their partners to solve real problems with systems that are adaptable, affordable, and easy to use. In my experience, that’s a rare combination and a winning strategy.” We are thrilled to welcome Charlie Platipodis to SightLogix" “We are thrilled to welcome Charlie Platipodis to SightLogix,” said John Romanowich, SightLogix president and CEO. “Charlie’s vast experience implementing the processes and strategies for sales expansion will strengthen our existing critical infrastructure markets and accelerate our exposure among firms seeking to provide superior outdoor detection in the fast-growing remote video market.” Outdoor perimeter systems Charlie is a well-known and highly respected sales executive with an extensive record of success. Most recently, he served as vice president of sales and vice president of national accounts for SecurityLink, where he helped grow the company to number two in North America. Additionally, Charlie served as vice president of sales and marketing for GDI, a provider of end-to-end outdoor perimeter systems. Before entering the security industry, Charlie held executive leadership positions with Xerox Learning Systems and Learning International, where he implemented sales, coaching, and management programs, while additionally developing new channels of distribution and strategic alliances. For the last several years, Charlie has been helping companies formulate the strategy for sales, marketing and reorganisations as an independent consultant.
Thermal cameras see heat rather than light, so they are a perfect “human detector” Safeguarding outdoor assets in a reliable and cost-effective manner often comes down to a single requirement: Accurate intruder alerts and timely information about the unfolding event. While there are many technologies available for outdoor security, smart cameras with video analytics have emerged as the solution of choice for detecting intruders in real time outdoors. Yet the best technology will be handicapped if the alerts generated cannot be trusted. Repeated false alarms can eventually condition security operators to ignore real intrusions, undermining trust in the perimeter security system. High accuracy with low false alerts In most cases the short-sighted response is to single out the security force as scapegoats, which ignores the real problem: alert fatigue. After responding to hundreds of perimeter breach alarms that turn out to be nothing more than small animals or windblown branches, even the most conscientious security guards lose confidence in the system and start to ignore its warnings. There is no longer any reason for this situation to exist. By following best practices of product selection and deployment, it is now possible to use video security cameras to protect outdoor assets with high accuracy and low nuisance alerts. As costs continue to fall, many organisations are now able to choose thermal cameras as the foundation for their outdoor detection applications Smart thermal cameras Viable outdoor security must start with a sensing system that is accurate, 24-hours per day. For this reason, conventional wisdom asserts that smart thermal cameras are the best system for detecting intruders outdoors. This is because thermal cameras see heat rather than light, so they are a perfect “human detector,” and will ignore headlights, reflections off water, and other light-based activity, expanding their usefulness from their traditional role as night vision cameras to 24-hour intrusion detection solutions. Smart thermal cameras with built-in Video Analytic software offers several advantages: They detect in the dark with no need for costly artificial lighting They work 24 hours/day They ignore reflections, shadows, moving headlights, direct sunlight, and other light-based phenomena that can trigger alarms in a visible camera detection system Because humans give off heat, thermal sensors are far more effective in spotting a person than visible cameras They detect body heat of intruders over large areas In the past, the higher price for thermal technology limited their use in commercial applications, but as costs continue to fall, many organisations are now able to choose thermal cameras as the foundation for their outdoor detection applications. A smart camera needs to ignore the animal while alerting on distant person, even though the animal will cover more of the camera’s field of view Accurate detection with geo-registration Smart thermal cameras are designed to detect movement, but outdoors, everything moves. A smart camera must be able to tell the difference between small objects such as leaves or debris and a person entering a secured area. One of the best ways for a camera to make this determination is through “geo-registration” which enables a three-dimensional capability. Geo-registration is a critical technology for accurate video analytic size rules that increase accuracy and reduce false alerts. Consider how human vision works: Our eyes give us depth perception – we can tell which object is close and which is far. But a “one-eyed” camera can’t, unless it’s geo-registered. For example, a small animal near the camera will look much larger than a man at 300 meters away. A smart camera needs to ignore the animal while alerting on distant person, even though the animal will cover more of the camera’s field of view. Eliminate camera movement with stabilisation Many intrusion detection systems are deployed along open areas that are naturally impacted by high winds or vibrations from planes, trains, weather and machinery. Without image stabilisation, these applications can be overwhelmed by nuisance alarms or worse, outright misdetects. It is difficult for smart cameras to detect movement in a scene when the whole field of view is also moving from camera shake. The best way to overcome the impact from wind or vibrations is to choose smart cameras that stabilise the image electronically, before the video analytic rules are applied. Look for cameras that use electronic or gyro-based stabilisers as a foundation for their detection capabilities. Outdoor on-board video analytics Cameras which employ both a high degree of image processing and on-board video analytics have a great advantage in accuracy and detection distance over solutions that employ analytics on a server, outside of the camera. Cameras without embedded analytics must compress the video data for transmission over the network. That’s a problem because compression removes most of the finer scene details—up to 99% of the original data—seriously degrading a video analytic system’s ability to accurately detect and recognise targets. In fact, on days with restricted visibility due to rain or fog, data compression has caused smart cameras to miss virtually all intruders in a scene. On the other hand, when the uncompressed imagery is processed by video analytic software directly in the camera, 100% of the raw scene data is available for analysis. With on-board image processors examining the full visual detail of every video frame, you can achieve a much greater degree of accuracy in detecting motion and recognising potential threats. With on-board image processors examining the full visual detail of every video frame, you can achieve a much greater degree of accuracy Increasing probability of detection Smart thermal cameras are a great way to protect outdoor assets. But the system has little value if people can enter a secured area undetected. Here are some pointers to avoid gaps in coverage and make sure your system detects every time. A perimeter security system based on video analytics operates by “seeing” targets that move into a camera’s detection area. Knowing the camera’s true range lets you design a dependable system with no coverage gaps. Unfortunately, some manufacturers specify camera ranges that overstate their detection capabilities. This means it’s up to the integrator to determine the camera’s true detection distances. Otherwise your perimeter solution may leave gaping holes that can allow intruders to pass through undetected. Determining true detection range The best practice to determine a camera's true detection range is to measure the farthest distance at which the camera can automatically detect a person walking “inbound” or directly toward the camera. Inbound detection is always less than crossfield because a person moving across the camera's field of view creates a larger amount of motion, which is easier to detect. In contrast, a person walking toward the camera produces very little motion, making the target more difficult to detect. In the real world, intruders can enter a perimeter from any direction, so it’s important to design the system for all situations. For complete coverage, the view of each camera must be designed to cover the adjacent camera’s blind spot Addressing blind spotsA camera’s field of view doesn’t begin where it’s mounted. Instead it can only detect at a measurable distance in front—this is the blind spot. Every security camera has a blind spot, and this must be considered in the perimeter security design, or someone will be able to walk right under a camera undetected. To provide complete coverage, the view of each camera must be designed to cover the adjacent camera’s blind spot. Perimeter design software Some manufacturers offer design tools that can help you model a camera layout using a Google map of the area under consideration. This is a good practice to check detection distances ahead of time and ensure that blind spots are properly addressed. SightLogix offers such a tool, called SightSurvey. Smart video solution Today’s smart video is an ideal solution to the new challenges in site protection that confront security professionals. It outperforms older technologies by a wide margin. It often costs less. Installation is less disruptive, and the technology is highly reliable. Essentially, a smart video security system is a force multiplier, taking the burden of monotonous surveillance off regular security staff. Instead of just watching endless video feeds, the staff gets information that lets them do their jobs better. When deployed using best practices of product selection and installation, smart thermal video is the obvious choice for outdoor site security applications.
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