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Security and surveillance applications require accurate, scalable, and cost-effective solutions. However, traditional security technologies pose many risks and challenges including frequent false alarms and high costs—both for system installation and ongoing maintenance.

Because of the shortcomings of these technologies, many organisations have adopted 3D LiDAR-based security solutions to improve reliability, reduce false alarms, and streamline their operations. Integrated with cameras and video management systems (VMS), LiDAR enhances security by reducing false alarms, allowing for real time tracking of intruders, and enabling automated PTZ camera control for a more comprehensive security system. 

Choosing the right technology for security and surveillance

The most critical element of any security solution is its ability to quickly, accurately, and reliably identify potential threats so that security personal can be promptly mobilised to respond to said threat. Advanced security capabilities and reduced incidence of false alarms are especially critical when protecting sensitive areas like critical infrastructure and other limited access locations

However, many traditional security technologies often fail to deliver the low rate of false alarms necessary to reliably protect secure areas, at any time of the day or night and in any weather condition. For example, cameras can be blinded by bright lights and cannot operate in dark conditions. In addition, cameras and other sensing technologies area also affected by harsh environmental factors like high wind and heavy rain—both of which can lead to security failures.

The risks posed by an ineffective security system are high

The risks posed by an ineffective security system are high. False alarms are costly, wasting valuable time and resources to respond to nonexistent threats. In addition, security personnel may experience alarm fatigue due to frequent false alarms, which can lead to latency in their response to real threats. Because of the consequences of false alarms and other security failures, security solution providers are searching for technology alternatives which can enhance the accuracy of their current Perimeter Intrusion Detection (PID) system as well as interoperate with the existing VMS platform managing their security devices.

How LiDAR works differently

LiDAR, which stands for Light, Detection, and Ranging—is a time-of-flight sensing technology that pulses low-power, eye-safe lasers and measures the distance between the sensor and objects based on the light reflections off those objects. The resulting sensor data is used to generate a centimeter-level accurate 3D point cloud image, providing spatial location information to reliably detect and track moving targets, such as intruders. LiDAR sensors are operational in various weather conditions and perform reliably in both very bright and extremely dark conditions.

The anatomy of a LiDAR-based security solution

A LiDAR-based security solution starts with the LiDAR sensors, but it does not end there. In any security application, several LiDAR sensors will be mounted at various points throughout the area, gathering environmental data to provide a complete 360-degree view of the protected space.  A 3D perception software platform using artificial intelligence algorithms will detect, track, and classify objects based on the rich point cloud data received from the LiDAR sensors.

From there, the object information is routed in real-time to a VMS, which may also compile data from cameras (including CCTV, IP cameras, etc.). The LiDAR-based object information can be used to enable automated PTZ control based on the target’s position, keeping the target in view of security cameras at all times. This provides a complete and nuanced perspective of the area being surveilled. LiDAR technology can pinpoint the exact location of a threat on a map, enabling quick and effective responses when and where they are needed.  The fully integrated solution also empowers security personnel with the tools and information they need to respond to threats confidently, thanks to an extremely low risk of false alarms.  

LiDAR enhances security, reduces false alarms, and enables timely, effective responses

LiDAR-based systems are becoming increasingly popular choice for security and surveillance applications due to the technology’s accuracy, reliability, and cost-effective operation. Overall, LiDAR enhances security, reduces false alarms, and enables timely, effective responses to security threats compared to security cameras alone.  

4 key advantages of LiDAR for security

LiDAR provides many benefits over competing technologies, including high accuracy, real-time tracking and analysis, seamless integration with existing infrastructure, and simple system management. 

  1. High accuracy and low rate of false alarms

In security applications, false alarms are extremely costly. Whenever an alarm sounds, staff must be mobilised to quickly respond to the threat of an intruder. A security system with a high rate of false alarms not only requires more staff members to respond to these false alerts, but it can also require additional devices to enhance the system’s detection accuracy. In addition, frequent false alarms can desensitise operators, lowering their efficiency in responding to alerts. 

3D LiDAR sensors can provide greater than 95 percent detection accuracy and 24/7 reliability in all lighting and atmospheric conditions.  The accuracy and reliability of a LiDAR-based solution significantly reduces false alarms, ultimately saving time and costs. A lower rate of false alarms provides personnel with confidence in the reliability of the alerts, improving the quality and promptness of their responses.    

  1. Real-time tracking and analysis

With LiDAR, security data is available in real time. The solution automatically tracks individual people and provides real-time location information, enabling security personnel to quickly locate and respond to potential threats.

  1. Seamless integration with cameras and existing infrastructure

LiDAR sensors can be integrated with PTZ cameras and Video Management Systems (VMS). The positional data from sensors can be used to automate PTZ camera control and accurately identify and track moving objects in areas of interest. PTZ control is programmable, and the location data is used to intelligently select which camera to follow the intrusion based on pre-programmed rules.

Some LiDAR manufacturers provide Automatic ID handover™ technology, which works by assigning a unique identification to each object detection enabling the system to track any object across all sensors within an environment and providing tracking continuity regardless of the target’s location within the secured area.  This ensures seamless tracking of an individual’s movement across the entire LiDAR coverage area.

Finally, when paired with a VMS platform, all sensors and video footage can be managed under one platform with a single visualisation pane. The ability to clearly visualise moving targets on dynamic maps allows security personnel to take corrective action quickly and effectively. 

  1. Easy-to-manage, fully automated solution

Some LiDAR-based surveillance solutions use machine learning and 3D perception algorithms to scan the sensor’s field of view, analyse point cloud data, and provide anonymised information on detected individuals. This enables a fully automated security solution that is easy to manage. 

Overall, LiDAR-based security and surveillance technology reduces the risk of false alarms and enables security personnel to accurately identify and respond to threats—all at a cost-effective price point.

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Teresa Liou Senior Director of Product Management, Quanergy Systems, Inc.

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