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Integrated Systems - Case Studies

Intruder detection system required by Dutch rail

Advanced Perimeter System Limited is often challenged to come up with a new security system or perimeter protection solution.  One such challenge we received was when our distributor in The Netherlands came to us with a problem that Dutch Rail were experiencing on a fleet of their maintenance vehicles carrying out repairs on the rail network.

One of their wagons carried large drums of copper wire to be used for the overhead electrification wires.  Being pure copper wire, the drums were quite valuable - around £40,000 each.  At weekends the wagons were left in rail yards unattended and intruders were breaking into the yards, unwinding the copper off the drums onto the back of a truck and then selling the copper to scrap yards.

Our Technical Director made a site visit to Utrecht to investigate the problem.  He took along our Flexiguard™ demonstration case and wrapped the sensor cable around one of the drums so that removal of the wire could be detected.  However, the system Dutch Rail needed had to be portable and travel with the train from depot to depot.

So we developed the idea of connecting the Flexiguard™ analyser into a GSM mobile phone so that it could signal back to Dutch Rail's Head Office.  We designed a Mobile Detection System which used a Digital Voice Recorder to relay various messages which could be recorded by the operator.  This was connected to a GSM Car phone transmitter as this had an 8 watt output rather than a 0.5 watt output of most standard mobile phones.  Using the high power unit was important because the trains often stop in the countryside away from normal mobile aerials and the higher power ensures that a signal is always available.  A prototype was made and our Technical Director took it to Utrecht. The very next day Dutch rail engineers installed it on a wagon but for speed they installed it around the maintenance wagon which housed all the tools and not around the copper drums.  At 9am the next morning, the phone rang at Dutch Rail headquarters.

It was the mobile detection system saying it had detected an intruder. When Dutch rail went to the yard, they found 4 intruders breaking into the maintenance system.  As a result, they bought 15 units for use on the trains throughout The Netherlands.  The MDS is also being used in Northern Ireland to protect various sites from Meat Producers to Car Dealers.

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