Layout desing - a real project


February 11, 2018

With the advancements in technology come newer and more complex threats, which means having a reliable surveillance system in place is crucial for maximum protection. But selecting the most up-to-date thermal products is only a part of the puzzle and developing a successful layout design is as important when implementing an effective security plan. To the naked eye, the planning and designing of a site with perimeter security needs may seem like an easy task. Yet creating a functional layout requires skill and, just like with any other project, should be followed by a structured process – beginning with proper learning of the requirements, all the way through to final implementation.

Challenges and considerations

The success in perimeter security projects almost always comes at the expense of trial and error. For that reason, it’s very important to do proper risk assessment and have complete understanding of the requirements and goals. Particulars such as the site’s area, condition and situation, as well as understanding the technology, location of power, and infrastructures on site will influence the final layout of the systems. This is especially important when integrating different technologies, such as thermal cameras and radar where proper placement of the thermal cameras will be dependent on the location of the radars. The way site conditions affect the process will vary from project to project. Whereas an area may appear flat and mundane, the landscape may have heavy bush areas or hills where suspects can potentially hide and be undetectable to the radar but perhaps can be covered by the thermal camera if correctly co-located. Being able to identify the possibility of these threats is very difficult without proper site assessment. As such, it’s always clever to run a pre-test using, as far as possible, the actual surveillance devices proposed for the project. The experience of the pre-test will provide valuable information regarding potential placements of thermal solutions and other technologies, in a way that will be both effective and logical.

Another important factor to consider is the type of thermal systems to use. A wide selection of surveillance thermal systems is available today; from cooled/uncooled sensors, fixed/Pan-Tilt systems, placing the right camera at the right spots will ensure not only best coverage for your site, but meeting your budget as well.

Lastly, because the perimeter and landscape will vary from site to site, considering entry points and accessibility to electricity and communication will also play a role when installing a surveillance system. It might seem like something insignificant, but when your closest power point is kilometers away, having to add additional electrical points or pulling cables can add to the process of installing an effective system.

Decreasing false alarm rate

Each client is obviously looking to have not only the most sophisticated system they can afford but also the most reliable one. So how do you balance accurate threat detection vs those that trigger false alarms? With fire detection, for example, places with reflective surfaces can continuously be setting off alarms. So, it’s important not only to look for a high quality thermal imager with advanced analytics that can provide true flame detection, but also review the best placement from where the cameras can identify a hot spot that is a real threat. Another example would be a large perimeter area surrounded by wildlife, like solar farms: knowing wildlife like deer or birds might trigger an alarm and being able to determine when the system should filter out these alarms and when to send out a warning. In both cases, it’s worth considering the use of other technologies for a multi-layered surveillance approach.

As the clients’ experience the process and better understand the technology, the needs and the constraints, their requirements also evolve and change. A well-developed and flexible plan will not only assist in delivering successful and trustworthy system but a positive client experience.