SMARTSHOOTER, a globally renowned designer, developer, and manufacturer of innovative fire control systems that significantly increase the accuracy and lethality of small arms, will present its SMASH 2000 Plus Fire Control System and SMASH Hopper Light Remote-Controlled Weapon Station (LRCWS) at the DEFEA exhibition in Athens, Greece. Ideal for defence, HLS, maritime patrol, border control, strategic infrastructure protection, and counter-UAS missions, SMASH is a combat-proven Fire Contro...
As Carnival Cruise Lines welcomes Mardi Gras, its first ship powered by liquid natural gas, to Port Canaveral this Friday morning, every business sector that supports the cruise industry, as well as eager passengers, welcome the resumption of cruising in the United States this summer. Celebrity Cruises will offer the first cruise ship conducting passenger operations since the shut-down, with Celebrity EDGE set to sail on June 26th, 2021 from Port Everglades. Terminal security services “...
LenelS2 announced a North America distribution agreement with its OpenAccess Alliance Program (OAAP) partner, Splan, a next-generation visitor check-in software solutions company. The agreement enables LenelS2 and its value-added reseller network to provide a more comprehensive touchless building access experience that includes visitor management. Splan’s visitor management solution integrates with LenelS2’s market-leading OnGuard®and NetBox™ systems as well as BlueDiamond...
The new FLEXIDOME IP starlight 8000i X series cameras offer enhanced image quality for low-light scenes and fast-moving objects, thanks to two resolution offerings of 2- or 4-megapixels and next-level HDR X and starlight X technologies. HDR X and Starlight X technologies HDR X enables the cameras to optimise video capture in scenes with fast-moving objects with a dynamic range up to 144 dB, ensuring perfect exposure, while reducing motion-related artefacts and blur in the daytime. The new Star...
Panasonic Security Solutions announced that it had become a Founder of the relaunched International Professional Security Association (IPSA). The association is dedicated to supporting those individuals and companies working in the fire and security sector, many of which are classified as key workers. Member job roles range from installation technicians of security systems and fire systems to vital security personnel. Free app and membership The Panasonic investment, as one of a number o...
Globally renowned sensor solutions specialist, HENSOLDT has successfully passed the Factory Acceptance Test of its new airborne multi-mission surveillance radar, PrecISR. In an online demonstration conducted, the PrecISR 1000 airborne multi-mission surveillance radar proved its capabilities to the customer, QinetiQ GmbH, an international provider of airborne special missions operations, based out of Möchengladbach, in Germany. PrecISR 1000 airborne multi-mission surveillance radar The ra...
Securitas UK has been officially recognised as a Top Employer by the Top Employers Institute for its commitment to delivering exceptional people management and HR strategies. The Top Employers Institute programme certifies organisations based on the participation and results of their HR best practices survey. This survey covers six HR domains consisting of 20 topics such as People Strategy, Work Environment, Talent Acquisition, Learning, Wellbeing and Diversity & Inclusion and more. Promoting career progression Securitas UK is the only security and protective services company to be accredited by the Top Employer Institute. Sarah Hayes, Human Resources Director, Securitas UK, explained, “We are absolutely delighted to be officially recognised as a Top Employer for the third year running. We strive to have the best team in the UK security services industry so it’s important that we recruit, train and attract the very best people.” End-to-end recruitment and selection processes online make it easier for internal applicants to apply for the latest opportunities “Our officers excel at keeping our clients’ people, property and assets safe and in return, we want to provide an exceptional employee experience that offers a rewarding career pathway for the next generation of security professionals. This year we have fully embedded our online, end-to-end recruitment and selection processes making it even easier for internal applicants to apply for the latest opportunities. And we’ve successfully launched our Securitas career development programme to promote career progression and talent management across the organisation.” Online learning Sarah Hayes continued, “Everyone across the business has access to our online Learning Management System with a comprehensive catalogue of Learning and Development solutions, ranging from Induction, soft skills and Health & Wellbeing courses, right through to Leadership Development with the Institute of Leadership Management. These courses are delivered online and through virtual classroom settings –a flexible and necessary approach given the challenges of working safely during the coronavirus pandemic.” “Our certification as a Top Employer is a testament to our commitment to put our people first and provide them with the very best employee experience. We will continue to work hard to be the employer of choice in the UK, attracting and retaining the very best talent in the industry.” Prioritising employees Top Employers Institute CEO David Plink says, “Despite the challenging year we have experienced (which has certainly made an impact on organisations around the globe), Securitas UK has continued to demonstrate the power of putting their people first in the workplace.” “We are proud to share this year’s announcement and congratulate the organisations who have been certified in their respective countries through the Top Employers Institute programme.”
HENSOLDT UK are pleased to announce the launch of SPEXER 600 multi-mission, X-Band ground-based surveillance radar utilising SharpEye solid-state transceiver technology. Building upon the excellent pedigree of well-established HENSOLDT products and technologies, SPEXER 600 complements the SPEXER family of Active Electronically Scanned Array or AESA radars, offering a cost-effective and truly crew portable field deployable solution. Design and function Designed to meet user requirements to detect multiple threats in the modern battlefield or security environment, it offers a number of modes allowing multiple functions to be carried out by a single radar sensor. The built-in tracker reduces the need for additional electronic units, making it a lightweight, crew portable unit that can be set up in a few minutes. In fixed installations, the low weight allows it to be installed without any specialist masts or structures. Controlled either locally or remotely from a command centre, SPEXER 600 can be easily networked with other sensors. Authority comments “SPEXER 600 from HENSOLDT UK is the solution for today’s complex operational needs on the battlefield, or in securing the nation's critical infrastructure against multiple threats,” stated Adrian Pilbeam, Head of Sales, Ground and Maritime Surveillance Radar.
Finbarr Solutions, a foremost global security & risk management consultancy, announced the launch of free face-to-face video consultations with a member of the Register of Chartered Security Professionals. The service is available to any organisation that would benefit from expert independent advice, regarding their security requirements and systems, manning levels and/or security postures. Assess security provision The Register of Chartered Security Professionals was established under a Royal Charter issued to the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals in the UK and was launched in 2011. It is widely recognised as the gold standard of competence in the security industry. Ciaran Barry CSyP is the Managing Director of Finbarr Solutions and joined the Register in 2019. Ciaran comments, “January is often an ideal time to assess security provision for the year ahead, whether it is reviewing the performance and ongoing suitability of existing systems, preparing tenders for new services and solutions or assessing skills and training requirements.” Free consultation Many small organisations don't have easy or affordable access to expertise, thus Finbarr is launching free consultations The 30-minute free consultation can also be guided by a specific issue or topic such as handling sensitive workplace investigations, legal requirements for employees working from home, or dealing with cybercrime. Ciaran cites specific guidance that every organisation can benefit from, in terms of preparedness and agility, to face the uncertainty of the year ahead, “Last year many business continuities and crisis management plans were conceived and initiated on the fly.” “It is important to frequently take stock of what is working, what needs to improve and how to go about making the right decisions. Many smaller organisations struggle as they don’t have easy, or affordable access to expertise. It is for this reason Finbarr Solutions is launching free consultations.” CSyP education & experience In addition to the CSyP post-nominal, Ciaran has a Diploma in Security Management (with Distinction), a BA Hons Degree in Business Studies and holds an ASIS Certified Protection Professional qualification (CPP). During his career, Ciaran has also spent ten years serving in the British Army and eight years at Hertfordshire Constabulary as a detective.
Leonardo has recently proven the newly-expanded capabilities of its ULISSES acoustic anti-submarine warfare (ASW) system in a demonstration off the coast of Italy. During the demo, Leonardo showed how the Firefly, AQS-18, dipping sonar from L3Harris Technologies worked in concert with the ULISSES processor to automatically locate simulated enemy submarines and alert the crew to their presence. Firefly sonar integration with ULISSES system The demonstration follows the successful integration of the Firefly dipping sonar with the ULISSES system. Firefly has incorporated high-powered active sonar that can dive down up to 200 metres below the sea surface and detect targets as far away as 20 miles, while transmitting sonar and sonobuoy processing, audio and video to the shore via a wideband data link. For the demo, the ULISSES and Firefly equipment was installed on a naval vessel, while an Italian Navy NH-90 helicopter was supported by dispensing sonobuoys during the trial. ULISSES acoustic anti-submarine warfare system A key design feature of the ULISSES/Firefly system is its lightweight form factor A key design feature of the ULISSES/Firefly system is its lightweight form factor, which can also be fitted to small, light helicopters for littoral operations. The integrated capabilities shown in the demo represent a solution to the growing requirement from armed forces to conduct ASW operations in blue and shallow waters. Observers on-board the command ship were able to watch on an operator’s screen as ULISSES acoustic anti-submarine warfare (ASW) system combined inputs from the Firefly dipping sonar with data from active and passive sonobuoys to automatically locate potential contacts and raise alerts. Multi-static functionality The ULISSES and Firefly systems offer ‘multi-static’ functionality where the processors collect and exploit data from up to 64 distributed dipping sonar and sonobuoy sensors, using the multiple sources of information to accurately triangulate the location of enemy submarines. ULISSES was introduced to the market at Farnborough International Airshow in 2018 and was successfully demonstrated in a live sea trial in November 2019. The system is now fully developed and talks are on-going with a range of potential launch customers. Highly-advanced capabilities The successor to Leonardo’s well-regarded OTS-90 acoustic system for Italian and Dutch NH-90 helicopters, ULISSES provides highly-advanced capabilities in an even more lightweight package. This makes it ideally suited to smaller helicopters and is designed as a form-fit replacement for the OTS-90, making it an attractive proposition for the retrofit market. The system is also suitable for fixed-wing aircraft, naval vessels and, without the dipping sonar, drone aircraft.
Following the release of FLIR United Video Management System 9.0 (United VMS) in August 2020, FLIR announced the global availability of United VMS 9.0.1 with new advanced features. The latest platform update offers further streamlined access to system status and alarms around the clock for security teams to react to threat activities faster while enjoying improved reporting and cybersecurity functionality. Included advancements The advancements include updates to the FLIR Latitude VMS Software as well as Horizon and FLIR Meridian Network Video Recorders (NVR), featuring: The ability to access video and alarms from anywhere at any time using EZ Client for mobile devices, the FLIR web-based, feature-rich application Streamlined control centre operations with Quick View, the new optimised video scene tracking capability Access to system events for improved cybersecurity within the United VMS reporting tool, as well as the sign-off reporting and the capability to produce custom reports Additional bug fixes and other general software enhancements Enhancing the Health Monitor tool The United VMS 9.0.1 updates enhance the Health Monitor tool improvements that were launched with United VMS 9.0, which proactively monitors system health and alerts security personnel to issues before downtime occurs. This offers the ability to securely access video assets to receive event alerts anywhere and anytime, improves efficiency, and increases peace of mind. Supporting cameras and VMS Through an open platform solution, the system efficiently supports various visible cameras, thermal cameras, radars, and a combination of all three. Further, United VMS can accurately match any size installation while improving cost efficiencies through scalability and centralised management—no matter if the system supports a single location or multiple sites across the globe. The United VMS pricing structure provides extensive flexibility for deployment, including customisable software service agreements for simplified business continuity, further enabling critical facilities to make the most of this open platform solution while future-proofing its security system. Download for free Customers that previously purchased United VMS 9.0 can now download the update to United VMS 9.0.1 for free, other existing customers can contact FLIR support to get their system upgraded.
The video-based fire detection Aviotec IP starlight 8000 from Bosch can now be used in environments without visible light. With the help of newly developed AI algorithms for video analytics, Aviotec's firmware version 7.72 is now able to reliably detect smoke and flames even with pure infrared lighting. Up to now, it was already possible with Aviotec to reliably detect flames and smoke in difficult lighting conditions down to a minimum of 2 Lux. Expanded field of application There are many applications in dark environments in which the new version of Aviotec offers an optimal solution for customers. Wherever there is a high fire hazard or a high fire load, for example in logistics and production, Aviotec in combination with IR-lighting is a suitable fire protection system to detect fires as they occur. Operators of warehouses that contain packaging material and are not illuminated at night or warehouses that have no lighting at all can benefit from this, for example, so that the risk of fire is significantly reduced from the outset due to lack of electricity. Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) does not require the installation of power lines for Aviotec. In conjunction with IR lighting, Aviotec's new firmware version also reduces the risk of fire in industries that work in two shifts and do not use conventional lighting at night. Aviotec also offers a reliable solution for aircraft hangars, where visible interior lighting has been deliberately omitted for reasons of burglary protection outside working hours. The same applies to archives with particularly valuable documents and correspondingly high fire load. In all these cases, Aviotec ensures a particularly fast and reliable fire detection, since fires can be detected directly at the source of the fire without the need for the smoke to reach a fire detector. Video-based fire detection Aviotec can be used in almost all areas of fire protection, whether in daylight or poor lighting conditions "From daylight to poor lighting conditions to situations where there is no visible light at all - since the market launch of Aviotec in 2016, we have continuously been setting new benchmarks in video-based fire detection,” comments Soeren Wittmann, Product Manager at Bosch Building Technologies. "This means that this promising technology can now be used in almost all areas of fire protection." Additional benefits of video surveillance and analysis The intelligent video analytics is directly integrated into Aviotec. In all environments, the installed cameras can be used simultaneously for fire detection and video surveillance, further reducing the installation and operating costs considerably. VdS and CSIRO TS010 certified solution As the first solution for video-based fire detection, Aviotec has already passed the demanding test procedure of VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH in 2018. Not only functionality and reliability were confirmed, but also the high immunity against false alarms. In addition, Aviotec IP starlight 8000 received certification according to the Australian standard CSIRO TS010 for video-based fire detection systems in April 2019. The firmware version 7.72 of Aviotec IP starlight 8000 is now available. Operators of existing Aviotec solutions can upgrade their system to the new version by a free firmware update.
The term ‘marine’ comes from the Latin mare, meaning sea or ocean, and marine habitats can be divided into two categories: coastal and open ocean. Video surveillance (VS) applications can cover both types of marine environment with system for ships, maritime ports, onshore and offshore installations, etc. We should want to further analyse VS for ships and try to explain the types of ships on which it can be used, the ways in which VS can be used on ships, the typical certifications in use and what features a camera station must have to be installed on a ship. Starting with ships that have a minimum tonnage, around the world we have: liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, passengers ships, chemical tankers, crude oil tankers, container ships, general cargo ships and bulk carriers.As the LNG market grows rapidly, the fleet of LNG carriers continues to experience tremendous growth, offering more opportunities for VS Video surveillance for all marine vessels An LNG carrier is a tank ship designed for transporting liquefied natural gas. As the LNG market grows rapidly, the fleet of LNG carriers continues to experience tremendous growth. A passenger ship is a merchant ship whose primary function is to carry passengers by sea. This category does not include cargo vessels which have accommodation for a limited number of passengers, but rather includes the likes of ferries, yachts, ocean liners and cruise ships. A chemical tanker is a type of tank ship designed to transport chemicals in bulk. These ships can also carry other types of sensitive cargo which require a high standard of tank cleaning, such as palm oil, vegetable oils, tallow, caustic soda and methanol. An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a merchant ship designed for the bulk transport of oil. There are two basic types of oil tankers: crude tankers and product tankers. Crude tankers move large quantities of unrefined crude oil from its point of extraction to refineries. Product tankers, generally much smaller, are designed to move refined products from refineries to points near consuming markets. Container ships are cargo ships that carry their entire load in truck-size intermodal containers: a technique called containerisation. They are a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport and now carry most seagoing non-bulk cargo. Today, about 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide is transported by container. A cargo ship or freighter ship is any sort of ship or vessel that carries cargo, goods and materials from one port to another. Cargo ships are specially designed for the task, often being equipped with cranes and other mechanisms to load and unload, and come in all sizes. Bulk carriers make up 15%–17% of the world's merchant ships and they are specially designed to transport unpackaged bulk cargo such as grains, coal, ore and cement in its cargo holds. For all these ships the protection of vessels, cargo and crew is a priority, that’s why the adoption of VS technology plays a key part in terms of security and safety. Human error is regularly named as a major factor in ship accidents, and one way to avoid it is to aid seafarers by providing them with technology and equipment that is reliable and easy to use in all weather and sea conditions. Marine VS encompasses liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, passengers ships, chemical tankers, crude oil tankers, container ships, general cargo ships and bulk carriers Emergency security solutions on ship One of the most important applications for camera stations is during “docking”. Mooring is the securing or confining of a vessel in a particular location with a fixed or a floating object (jetty, pier, ship, barge, buoy, etc.) as various cargo operations are carried out. Docking is the final stage of mooring operations when the ship docks to the jetty. This is a very delicate operation and cameras are very helpful in making sure docking is done without accidents.'Man overboard’ is an emergency in which a person has fallen off a boat or ship into the water, and can happen at any time during the day or night Another important application for camera stations is the Man Overboard detection system (MOB). ‘Man overboard’ is an emergency in which a person has fallen off a boat or ship into the water. Man overboard events can happen at any time during the day or night, in all types of weather and sea conditions, and from almost any location on the ship, ranging from a few tens of feet above the water, to over 180 feet. When these events occur, the immediate availability of important data is crucial. Accurate confirmation of the event including time of occurrence, location on the ship and location in the sea is critical. A proactive detection system must immediately and accurately detect man overboard events and provide prompt, actionable data to response personnel. A typical man overboard detection system can report a MOB event in under 1 second. VS on a vessel can also monitor the engine room at all times and provide a good view of people working on dock, machinery and stowed equipment. But what are the most important features that a camera station must have to work in one of the most aggressive environments in nature? Marine surveillance must operate in one of the most harsh environments in nature Ruggedised reliability in surveillance First of all, and perhaps it’s obvious, but it’s extremely important to have camera stations with amazing reliability. Housing units manufactured from AISI 316L stainless steel, passivated and electropolished, makes the cameras completely impervious to air, water, rusting and corrosion, therefore offering excellent weather protection and increased reliability. Housing units manufactured from AISI 316L stainless steel, passivated and electropolished, makes the cameras completely impervious to air, water, rusting and corrosion Sometimes ships also use cameras constructed entirely from technopolymer, which guarantees high impact resistance and superior protection from external weather agents. Keeping the camera glass clean at all times is another essential feature, and it can be done via a wiper/wash system that greatly reduces the need for maintenance. In the case of PTZ cameras, the best option would be a great pan and tilt speed (up to 100°/s). What is the operative temperature range for the cameras? Sea is everywhere and therefore ships go everywhere, from the Arctic Ocean to the Mediterranean, so we need cameras that have to be fully operational across a wide temperature range. -40°C to +65°C covers almost all areas. Analogue or IP Cameras? Actually, both options can be used, especially for applications like docking where it’s important to avoid image delay (as can happen with IP cameras due to the natural latency of data communication over a network). Marine certifications Last but not least, the certifications: Certifications guarantee the quality and reliability of camera stations. There is no compromise! One important certification is the Lloyd’s Register Type Approval which subjects cameras to rigorous testing for performance, vibration (critical on ships), humidity, etc. The application field of the LR Type Approval is VS in public places (e.g. passenger ships), open decks, enclosed spaces that are subjected to heat generated from other equipment, and technical premises. Often, VS cameras used in specific areas of ships, such as hazardous areas, are required to have ATEX and IECEX certifications.
(Image credit: Antonio Scorza / Shutterstock.com) The era of the “killer robot” hasn’t arrived, exactly, but it may not be far off. Police and the military have been using these machines for decades now to disarm bombs and provide reconnaissance in areas where it would be risky to send officers or soldiers. When Dallas Police equipped a robot with an explosive device and sent it in to take out a sniper who had killed five officers, it raised eyebrows and conjured images of a gun-slinging RoboCop. It was the very first time a robot had been used to kill a suspect. The suspect had barricaded himself inside a parking garage and threatened to kill more police. Equipping the robot with a bomb was an “off label” use for which it has not been designed, according to Sean Bielat, CEO of Endeavor Robotics, the nation’s leading builder of robots for the military and public safety. Experimenting with military robots His company has sold more than 6,000 systems with most going to U.S. or foreign militaries and a few hundred acquired by police departments. He doesn’t know if it was one of his units that was sacrificed to stop the sniper. Even the military has never used robots to kill the enemy. The U.S. Army has experimented with equipping robots with machine guns and even deployed three units to Iraq in 2007, but they never saw combat. Security and military robots are designed to save lives, not take them.“Our robots are tools for standoff,” explains Bielat. “We provide distance in time and space from dangerous objects, dangerous substances and dangerous situations.” Endeavor Robotics is the former military division of iRobot, which makes the popular Rumba vacuum robot. Earlier this year, the new company was formed with financial backing from Arlington Capital Partners. Its robots are used for bomb disposal and have become a common sight in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, where they are used to disarm roadside bomb – Improvised Explosive Devices as they’re commonly called. Security and military robots are designed to save lives, not take them(Image credit: ell2550 / Shutterstock.com) These bots can also be equipped with various types of sensors that can detect hazardous chemicals or biological agents or even radiation. With cameras and laser sensors they are also adept at providing reconnaissance on enemy movement and location without endangering personnel. “The robots can go in first, assess the situation and then the first responders, the soldiers can react appropriately,” says Bielat. Investigating dangerous situations Experts say it’s unlikely that other police departments will follow Dallas’ lead. Robots are pricy with military grade models going for upwards of $100,000 each. Local police rarely have the budgets to justify blowing one up even to stop a sniper. It’s likely police agencies will continue to confront similar situations with armed SWAT teams rather than robots. An Endeavor robot was used as part of the police response to the San Bernardino shooting last December, where 80 people were attacked by domestic terrorists in a rented banquet hall. “A robot was used to check to see if there were active shooters inside,” Bielat told the press. “It helps law enforcement without putting their own people at risk.” Equipping robots with firepower The idea of a gun-wielding robot also keeps coming up. The Marine Corps is testing a robotic system outfitted with sensors and cameras that can be armed with an M240 machine gun. The Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System has gone out on training patrols at Camp Pendleton. If it survives testing, the bots could be deployed with 13-person infantry squads that form the heart of combat units. With soldiers typically equipped with small arms, the robot could offer extra fire power with its mounted machine gun. In the meantime, robots will likely continue to become more commonplace on the battlefield. Experts predict within the next decade robots are expected to outnumber human soldiers by 10 to 1. Read Part 4 of our Robots In Security Series here Save Save
As the technology in omnidirectional cameras continues to improve, they are becoming increasingly more affordable to a wider segment of the video surveillance market Just a few years ago, omnidirectional cameras were a novelty. Today, however, this technology has taken the leap to the mainstream. Think about how ubiquitous Google’s Street View is, and you can gain a better idea of the power of omnidirectional cameras. Even consumers are starting to see many forms of omnidirectional cameras, from 360-degree lenses on SLRs to 360-degree video from action cameras. To that end, 360-degree cameras represent one of the strongest areas of growth in surveillance technology, with global unit shipments forecasted by IHS to increase by more than 60 percent year-on-year. Omnidirectional vs. traditional cameras Both 360- and 180-degree surveillance cameras offer panoramic views, helping reduce the number of traditional narrow field-of-view cameras needed in a single installation. Omnidirectional cameras can also be used in concert with PTZ cameras, or replace them entirely depending on the application. Not only does this help increase situational awareness, it decreases the overall cost of the cameras, installation and maintenance. Compared to PTZ cameras, omnidirectional cameras have the advantage of being able to pan, tilt and zoom around in both live, as well as stored video, which means operators can pinpoint problems in real-time, ensuring incidents can be resolved quickly and efficiently, and at the same time, go back to stored 360-degree video to conduct investigations. The option for 180- and 360-degree coverage from a single camera is delivered via a specialised lens on one sensor or a camera that integrates with multiple sensors with conventional lenses aligned to provide an ultra-wide-angle coverage. Single-lens or “fisheye” cameras use a specialised lens called a fisheye lens, which, when compared to a conventional lens, employs different optical design techniques that can lead to the distortion of the captured image when viewing beyond a 90-degree horizontal field-of-view. With this, “barrel distortion” can occur, where a circular image is created and a straight line within the captured image appears curved. ‘Dewarping’ software has to be used to correct this optical illusion. As a consequence of lens design idiosyncrasies in 180- and 360-degree fisheye cameras, either an oval or circular shaped imaged is created. Since image sensors used in surveillance cameras are square or rectangular, some parts of the sensor are not used. Increasingly affordable solutions As the technology in these types of cameras continues to improve, they are becoming increasingly more affordable to a wider segment of the video surveillance market. Similarly, higher resolutions and more affordable storage for video data make it more affordable to get increased amounts of coverage and detail at the same time. As mentioned previously, cost savings can also be realised when a single 360-degree camera replaces three to four fixed cameras, a result that can be recreated in other areas or departments within an organisation to help realise additional cost savings. Fisheye vs. multi-sensor Fisheye and multi-sensor cameras both create panoramic images, but do so in very different ways. Fisheye cameras capture the whole scene in a single view without having to stitch images, so the full view of the captured video footage has consistent brightness, sharpness and contrast across the entire scene. Fisheye cameras also offer a number of other benefits: higher reliability as a result of a single sensor, camera and lens arrangement; no blind spots; fixed focus, making installation quicker; lower cost; and a smaller, less obtrusive form factor. Additionally, the dewarping of the image is carried out in the video management system or network video recorder, allowing for higher frame rates at any given bandwidth. Omnidirectional cameras can pan, tilt and zoom around in both live and stored video, which means operators can pinpoint problems in real-time However, fisheye cameras may have fewer pixels per foot, depending on the total resolution, and these types of cameras require client-side dewarping to gain the full benefits of retrospective image adjustment – that is, dewarping of stored video for investigations. Multi-sensor cameras, on the other hand, may offer a higher total resolution depending on the individual resolution of each of the sensors within the camera. Here, dewarping is not required since each sensor is, in essence, a narrow field-of-view camera. Multi-sensor cameras, however, have more than one sensor, which can lead to an overall higher maintenance costs, and with four or more cameras needed to cover a specific area, there is an increased risk that one or more of the sensors can malfunction — in essence, lower reliability. Installation of multi-sensor cameras is also more complicated and more time-intensive. Additionally, the units themselves can be large and bulky, and complex to operator and manage — each view has to be stitched together, which means captured images have to be carefully calibrated with the correct brightness, colour, contrast and sharpness for the image to be as clear and seamless as it needs to be for viewing and evidentiary purposes. Other possible considerations include: additional licensing fees for each camera connected to an NVR or VMS, total frame rate is generally lower and bandwidth usage will be high. Also, storage costs are higher. As businesses look to increase situational awareness by investing in omnidirectional cameras, it’s important to carefully evaluate the technology being implemented and various options before moving forward with an implementation Dewarping images If a camera sends a 360-degree image, the VMS software has to dewarp the image so that users can get normal views while electronically PTZ’ing around in the image. This is called “client-side” dewarping. With client-side dewarping, images can be dewarped retrospectively — that is, stored video can be dewarped, enabling users to forensically analyse a scene after the fact. The result is that investigations can be carried on as if the video were being watched in real time, making the data indispensable to investigators examining the details of a crime or security breach. Not only does this approach deliver new levels of situational awareness, but it also allows officials to use the data to examine additional areas of interest. The virtual PTZ function can only be experienced via client-side dewarping for stored video, and it can also be run on still images. Additionally, different parts of the image might be useful for different applications that are hard to predict in advance. For example, a merchandiser may want to zoom in and look at signage or an end cap after the fact to gain better insight into the business. Client-side dewarping may also be run on mobile devices, on either live or on stored video. One challenge of client-side dewarping is that VMS and NVR platforms have to support this function. There are already a large number of platforms that support this functionality because of end user demand. On the other hand, camera-side dewarping does not require a VMS/NVR platform to integrate this function. Camera-side dewarping means you can only virtually PTZ around in a live scene, which is the same as using a motorised PTZ camera – and this function requires an operator to manually navigate and record what the camera sees. Once these views are fixed, a user may only see those views in stored footage, severely limiting the possibility of being able to capture a wider scene for analysis. This means there may be more blind spots in live and stored video depending on how the views are configured. Evaluating technology implemented As businesses look to increase situational awareness by investing in omnidirectional cameras, it’s important to carefully evaluate the technology being implemented and various options before moving forward with an implementation. There are a number of pros and cons to dewarping software and the views within the cameras to consider. But, with higher resolutions and more efficient dewarping/stitching technologies, omnidirectional cameras may soon replace narrow field-of-view and PTZ cameras in a number of vertical markets, including transportation, retail, education, banking and finance, maritime, leisure and gaming, ushering in a new era of total situational awareness with a wealth of data and insight yet untapped.
BIRD Aerosystems, a globally renowned provider of innovative defence technology and solutions, which protect the air, sea and land fleets of governments and related agencies, has delivered a complete ASIO Maritime Surveillance Task Force Solution to an undisclosed African government. ASIO Maritime Task Force Solution The ASIO Maritime Task Force Solution, provided to the undisclosed African nation, includes multiple Cessna Citation CJ3 aircraft that the company converted into Maritime Patrol Aircraft, together with BIRD's advanced mission management system (MSIS), which was also installed on a number of vessels, as well as at the naval HQ command. BIRD Aerosystems' ASIO Maritime Task Force Solution provides customers with an integrated Aerial-Naval-Land solution. It facilitates maritime and coastal surveillance, patrol and survey of borders and strategic assets, and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) monitoring capabilities. Advanced mission management system ASIO Maritime Task Force Solution delivers an extremely powerful and flexible maritime patrol solution Leveraging BIRD's advanced mission management system (MSIS) for complete mission operational support, including planning, execution, debriefing, online mission updates, and complete situational awareness between all segments (airborne, naval and ground) within the task forces, the ASIO Maritime Task Force Solution delivers an extremely powerful, comprehensive and flexible maritime patrol solution, enabling efficient detection, tracking and interception of any suspicious activity at sea. Ronen Factor, the Co-Chief Executive Officer and Founder at BIRD Aerosystems, stated “BIRD's ASIO Maritime Task Force Solution, including the Cessna Citation CJ3 aircraft, will be used to defend the customer's territorial waters, with an emphasis on detecting illegal fishing, oil theft, and smuggling.” He adds, “Rapidly deployed in multiple configurations, ASIO enables even small crews to deliver detailed and comprehensive surveillance information, covering large geographic areas.”
HID Global, a globally renowned company in trusted identity solutions, has announced that maritime company, Attica Group has selected its HID FARGO DTC4500e high capacity card printer & encoder to optimise its loyalty programme. The solution improves the user experience by instantly personalising high-quality, full-colour membership cards and supports the continuous issuance needs of the loyalty programme. Seasmiles loyalty scheme Attica Group is engaged in passenger shipping through SUPERFAST FERRIES, BLUE STAR FERRIES, HELLENIC SEAWAYS and AFRICA MOROCCO LINK. Its Seasmiles loyalty programme offers an all-year discount ticket policy, a 3-tier card system and an ‘earn and burn’ model, which rewards an array of ticket purchases and transactions onboard, in exchange for free tickets or meals, and drinks when travelling. Previously, passengers had to submit handwritten applications that did not protect any personal data and had to wait more than six weeks to receive their cards. Members can now sign up at once and immediately receive the loyalty card to start enjoying the benefits on-board. Seasmiles kiosks installed In partnership with CubeIQ Limited, Attica Group installed user-friendly Seasmiles kiosks on 19 passenger ferries In partnership with local IT company, CubeIQ Limited, Attica Group installed user-friendly Seasmiles kiosks on 19 passenger ferries. The kiosks efficiently and securely capture new registrant data, process applications, and HID’s FARGO DTC4500e high capacity plastic card printer & encoders instantly issue membership cards. “We have been working on card instant-issuing applications since early 2000, participating in a large number of projects for the financial (bank-cards), as well as the private (loyalty-cards) sector. Attica Group’s on-vessel Seasmiles kiosk has been one of the most interesting and challenging instant issuance projects for us,” said Andreas Papadedes, Managing Director at CubeIQ Limited. Integration with HID FARGO DTC4500e printer and encoder In addition to enhancing the onboard experience, the integration of HID’s FARGO DTC4500e printer and encoder into the kiosks has helped improve customer loyalty. Within the first 180 days of deployment, loyalty membership registrations increased to more than 15,000 and the kiosks personalised more than 40,000 cards. “HID’s FARGO DTC4500e printer and encoder has been instrumental in helping us develop an award-winning innovative system that improves the travel experience of our passengers,” said Dionysis Theodoratos, Chief Commercial Officer for Attica Group, adding “The automated process and quick issuance of the loyalty membership cards strengthens the relationship of trust with both our valuable customers and our brand.” Reliable, flexible and secure card issuance solutions Attica Group operates 32 vessels providing modern, high-quality transportation services in Greece and abroad. Attica’s vessels serve 60 unique destinations in four countries, connecting 71 ports transporting over seven million passengers, one million passenger vehicles and 400,000 trucks every year. “HID’s reliable, flexible and secure card issuance solutions are adaptable across a broad range of applications that support companies in their diverse business objectives,” said Craig Sandness, Senior Vice President and Head of Secure Issuance and Citizen ID Solutions at HID Global. Craig Sandness adds, “Attica Group’s unique deployment of our printer and encoder helps drive efficiency for its loyalty programme, while offering its customers immediate and valuable benefits.”
BIRD Aerosystems, the pioneering developer of Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) and Special Mission Aircraft Solutions (ASIO), has won a contract for the delivery and installation of its AMPS-MLRD solution, that includes the patented SPREOS DIRCM, on a customer VIP and Military aircraft in Africa. The SPREOS will be installed as part of the AMPS-MLRD solution on several types of aircraft. About AMPS-MLRD solution AMPS-MLRD missile protection system provides the most enhanced protection for military and civilian aircraft against the growing threat of ground to air missiles including MANPADS, Laser guided threats, and radar-guided threats. The system is designed to automatically detect, verify, and foil SAM attacks through the effective use of countermeasure decoys (Flares and Chaff) and additionally by Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) that jam the missile's IR seeker and protects the aircraft. SPREOS DIRCM system The AMPS-MLRD includes BIRD Aerosystems SPREOS, a patented DIRCM system that provides Missile Verification, Tracking, and Jamming. As part of the program, all aircraft will be installed with the SPREOS (Self Protection Radar Electro-Optic System) that combines a Semi-Active Dual Band Radar and Directional IR Countermeasure. Sensors, interrogation and tracking Queued by the Missile Warning Sensors, SPREOS points towards the suspected threat, performs a Doppler based interrogation to confirm the existence of a valid threat, and extract its key parameters. In addition, SPREOS precisely tracks and points an advanced 5th generation solid-state Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) towards the threat for the most effective jamming of the missile while continually assessing the jamming effectiveness. Advanced protection solution Ronen Factor, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Founder at BIRD Aerosystems: “After a careful examination process, the customer chose BIRD Aerosystems' SPREOS and the AMPS-MLRD to protect its VIP and military fleet.” “BIRD Aerosystems' AMPS with the SPREOS DIRCM makes it possible to identify and intercept high-velocity threat attacks such as enemy MANPADS and eliminate all of the systems False Alarms. Being the most advanced protection solution in the market today, SPREOS enables our customers to detect threats in a way that has never been possible before, ensuring optimal aircraft protection tailored to defeat each specific threat.”
FLIR Systems, Inc. announced that the United States (U.S.) Army, Air Force, and Navy have collectively ordered more than 250 additional FLIR Centaur™ unmanned ground vehicles (UGV), worth $32 million combined. The award is being sourced through the Army’s Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II (MTRS Inc. II) program. Over the last 12 months, FLIR has announced multiple orders totalling roughly $97 million for more than 750 Centaur unmanned ground systems from the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. Improvised explosive devices Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams across all services will use the FLIR Centaur to assist in disarming improvised explosive devices, unexploded ordnance, and similar hazardous tasks. Operators can quickly attach different sensors and payloads to the robot to address other missions, including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats. “We’re tremendously honoured that EOD teams across America’s military are relying on our Centaur robot to help them perform dangerous missions with greater stand-off capability,” said Tom Frost, VP and general manager for Unmanned Ground Systems in the Unmanned and Integrated Solutions business at FLIR. Electro-optical infrared cameras FLIR is delivering systems to the Army under that multi-year program of record “From enabling easy software updates to enhanced electro-optical infrared cameras, controllers, and communication systems, the Centaur can be a game-changer for troops on the battlefield. Sharing common technology across EOD units also creates efficiencies for joint service operations, training and sustainment,” Frost added. In 2017, the U.S. Army selected the medium-sized Centaur robot as its MTRS Inc II solution. FLIR is delivering systems to the Army under that multi-year program of record, which upon award was valued at more than $150 million, including options. These latest orders fall under the current ceiling. Ground robot system Since then, other U.S. military branches have opted to deploy the Centaur to their EOD teams as a new or replacement ground robot system. Centaur is a medium-sized UGV that provides a standoff capability to detect, confirm, identify, and dispose of hazards. Weighing roughly 160 pounds, the open-architecture robot features an advanced EO/IR camera suite, a manipulator arm that reaches over six feet, and the ability to climb stairs. Modular payloads can be used for CBRNE detection and other missions. Deliveries are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021.
A £317m contract to develop the next generation of radar for the Royal Air Force's (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoons will sustain hundreds of jobs and develop technologies for the UK’s Future Combat Air System. BAE Systems and Leonardo have been awarded a contract to develop the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) European Common Radar System Mark 2 (ECRS Mk2) to a standard ready to be integrated on to RAF Typhoons. ECRS Mk2 multi-functional array It will sustain more than 600 highly skilled jobs across the country, including more than 300 at Leonardo's site in Edinburgh, over 100 electronic warfare specialists at the company’s site in Luton, and 120 engineers at BAE Systems' site in Lancashire. The ECRS Mk2 is a multi-functional array (MFA) that will give UK Typhoons an Electronic Warfare capability, in addition to traditional radar functions, including wide band Electronic Attack. ECRS Mk2 will equip RAF pilots with the ability to locate, identify and suppress enemy air defences using high-powered jamming It will equip RAF pilots with the ability to locate, identify and suppress enemy air defences using high-powered jamming. They can engage targets while beyond the reach of threats even when they’re looking in another direction and operate inside the range of opposing air defences, remaining fully protected throughout. This game-changing capability will replace the mechanically-scanning radar that RAF Typhoons are currently equipped with and will ensure the UK retains the freedom to deliver air power wherever and whenever it is needed. It also enables Typhoon to link up with future data-driven weapons to combat rapidly evolving air defences, ensuring that UK Typhoons can continue to dominate the battlespace for years to come. Authority comments Andrea Thompson, Managing Director Europe & International for BAE Systems’ Air sector, said, "This capability will allow Typhoon to take its place in the future battlespace for decades to come, maturing key technologies for future combat air systems and ensuring interoperability." "As well as securing highly-skilled jobs, it will sustain the key skills needed to keep the UK at the forefront of the global Combat Air sector. We look forward to continuing to work alongside the Eurofighter nations and our industry partners to ensure Typhoon delivers the needs of today and answers the challenges of tomorrow.” Mark Hamilton, Senior Vice President Electronic Warfare, Leonardo said, “This contract is great news for the UK, which will get the world’s most capable fighter radar and great news for British engineering. Inventing, developing and building advanced technology here in the UK allows us to understand and meet the specific requirements of our Armed Forces and to secure export orders all around the world, boosting the whole UK economy." AESA technology AESA has more transmit-receive elements than other radars, making Mk 2 the most capable fighter The new radar will be based on Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology and will provide game-changing capabilities based on a revolutionary MFA. It has significantly more transmit-receive elements than other radars, making Mk 2 the most capable fighter AESA radar in the world, maintaining the same power and precision of traditional radars but also enabling the simultaneous operation of its wide-band Electronic Warfare functionality. New sensor integration BAE Systems, the UK’s prime contractor for the Typhoon, will integrate the new sensor which will be developed by Leonardo, the UK’s defence electronics champion. Both companies are currently working as part of a four-nation development programme alongside Eurofighter consortium partners in Germany, Spain and Italy on a baseline version of the AESA radar. The ECRS Mk2 is a completely new approach designed to meet the operational needs of the RAF and future export customers. The UK's commitment follows a similar commitment from Germany and Spain to deliver their own national requirements for an AESA radar.
Leonardo in the UK has delivered the first of four complete baseline counter-drone systems to the Royal Air Force in support of the next stage of its Counter-Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) research and development programme. The ORCUS system is now playing a key role in a wide-ranging testing and evaluation campaign which will improve the Air Force’s understanding of how it can employ technology in response to the threat posed by hostile drones. The RAF will also maintain the ORCUS system as an upgraded national standby capability, to be rapidly deployed anywhere in the country in support of emergency services in the event of a drone-based crisis. Rogue drones threat Counter-Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) study programme is considered highly important to the security of the nation The threat posed by rogue drones is being taken extremely seriously by the Ministry of Defence and therefore the C-UAS study programme, managed by Defence Equipment & Support Future Capability Group, is considered highly important to the security of the nation. Leonardo is working hard to ensure that the programme continues to be delivered, despite the disruption caused by the global coronavirus pandemic. Evaluating capabilities The modular systems provided by Leonardo for the study will allow the RAF to evaluate a range of capabilities including advanced radar, electro-optic and radio frequency sensors and an electronic attack countermeasure. In due course, further systems will be integrated for testing and evaluation. Throughout, RAF Force Protection operators will be examining the most effective ways to detect, track, identify and defeat rogue drones. In the long-run, the research and development programme will inform the requirements for a core RAF counter-drone capability, intended to protect air bases around the UK. C-UAS systems Elements of Leonardo’s C-UAS equipment were previously operated by the RAF Force Protection Force in 2018 and 2019, following drone sightings at Gatwick and Heathrow airports, allowing airport operations to resume. Leonardo offers its scalable and modular C-UAS systems to military and civil customers internationally. The Company has been contracted for C-UAS equipment for the Italian Army and Air Force and is in discussions with other potential customers worldwide.
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