Mar. 05, 2010
TopstoriesSecurity

Perimeter Protection for Critical Sites

Fiber-optic Intrusion Detection Systems Are a Valuable Security Tool

Fibre Optics are an ideal perimeter protection solution for many critical sites. Often a fence mounted fibre optic detection system, linking back to the main security centre and ideally inter­facing to CCTV cameras is a perfect way to provide visual confirmation to staff so they can determine the exact nature of the intrusions or threats they face. Fibre optic cable is often fence-mounted and is designed to detect and pinpoint the location of intrusion anywhere on the perimeter fence. Fibre optic solu­tions can work with a Graphical User Interface (GUI) command and control system that provides real-time repor­ting of intrusion. The technology can integrate with existing security sys­tems, such as access control and CCTV, to centralise security monitoring for the entire facility.


Future Fibre Technologies (FFT) has two fibre optic security solution products - Secure Fence and the newly launched Secure Zone. The Secure Fence system is installed at many international airports and FFT expects strong interest also for Secure Zone. Both products works with the company's patented Alarm Recognition and Discrimination (ARaD) technology. They are able to detect a fence climb, cut or lift - even when they occur during natural events, such as storms, strong winds, and tropical downpours, thereby virtually eliminating the incidence of nuisance alarms.


Protecting an Australian Power Station
FFT has been chosen to protect the perimeter of a major gas turbine power station in one of the most lightning prone regions in the world. According to Paul Rowan, Business Development Manager at FFT, the company's flagship product, Secure Fence, was an ideal choice for this project because of its ability to manage the extreme weather and environmental conditions which are typical at the site. "The coastal site is subject to extreme weather conditions, including cyclonic winds and very high rainfall," Mr Rowan said. "It has one of the world's highest incidents of lightning, recording more than 30,000 lightning strikes every year."


FFT's Secure Fence requires no electronics or power in the field, which is an advantage given the electrical and magnetic fields common at power stations.

Secure Fence is easy and economical to install or expand and features a corrosion-resistant, inert cable, ideal for the coastal location of the site, some of which covers a mangrove area adjacent to an estuary. All FFT's products are equipped with the company's patented Advanced Recognition and Discrimination (ARaD) technology, which overcomes the traditional problems of nuisance alarms that are so common with other solutions. This technology uses signature recognition and advanced software to "know" the difference between an environmental event and an attempted intrusion. In this way, nuisance alarms are avoided.


Another advantage of the FFT solution is its ability to readily interface with the broad range of software used typically at power stations, including CCTV systems, gates, plus various external devices and systems. At the gas turbine station, the system works by instantly displaying the area or zone in which an alarm is triggered, automatically logging the event into a secure database. An alarm signal is then sent via dry contacts to a high level command and control system, lights are activated and the intrusion is investigated further. The low cost fibre optic sensor cable is easily attached to a fence to detect intrusion attempts. The system can be configured so that if the cable is cut in one zone, the remaining zones continue to operate normally.


Naval Facility Presented Special Challenges
A critical naval manufacturing and repair facility presented some unique challenges to FFT, when the company was chosen to protect the site's perimeter. As well as the site's location on the waterfront, the facility is adjacent to other large scale engineering facilities, at which heavy machinery causes significant amounts of noise and vibrations from the work being carried out, adding to the ground movement created by its own work. FFT overcame these challenges by installing a combination of its newest security system, Secure Zone, and its Secure Fence product at the site to deliver the best possible protection at the lowest possible cost.


When ground movement can be caused by any number of factors including hydraulic heavy machinery lifting equipment, re-fuelling, rail transport of newly manufactured parts, as well as and painting and blasting of vessels, the ability of FFT's system to separate intrusion attempts from the normal running of the yard was a significant advantage.


Another challenge for the FFT team was the fact that the facility is surrounded by sections of removable security fencing, necessary for the movement of the parts around the facility. Alec Owen, International Client Manager at FFT, says ­Secure Zone's ability to select operational zones overcame this problem. "When fence sections are removed to allow large prefabricated sections of vessels to be moved into and out of the assembly facility, the sensor cable is simply unplugged for that particular zone and the fence section moved," Mr Owen says. "All the other sections remain fully operational."


"The Secure Zone system is configured so there are 16 independent hardware zones, each up to 500 m, which can be activated or de-activated independently," he said. "The other advantage is that we can deliver superior value-for-money due to the easy installation process." Simple and intuitive to use, Secure Zone has the ability to interface and activate CCTV systems, lighting, gates, email, plus a broad range of external devices and systems. In the event of an intrusion at the naval facility, the area or zone in which an alarm
is triggered is instantly displayed at the security centre and the event is automatically logged into a secure database. Simultaneously, the alarm signal is sent in real time via contacts to the control system, which in turn activates the CCTV system, allowing security staff to quickly assess and react appropriately to the threat.


The system requires no electronics or power, and is easy and economical to install or expand. There is no field maintenance, and the fibre optic cable is unaffected by RFI, EMI, lightning or storms. Its fibre optic connections can be all mechanical, so no special fibre optic skills are required, making installation even easier for systems integrators.

Contact

Flir Systems GmbH
Berner Strasse 81
60437 Frankfurt am Main
Germany
Phone: +49 69 950090 0
Telefax: +49 69 950090 40
Future Fibre Technologies FFT
3000 Hillswood Drive, Hillswood Business Park
KT16 0RS Chertsey
UK
Phone: +44/1932/895/317
Telefax: +44/1932895318

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