Video Analytics for Perimeter Protection: Three Questions for Five Experts
This Special Focus is GIT SECURITY's Popular Series from the Print Magazine
1. What video sensors do you recommend for effective perimeter protection?
2. What is the biggest challenge for a video analytics system in perimeter protection and how do you approach this challenge?
3. Please describe a success case where you implemented your system for perimeter protection?
Niklas Rosell, Global Product Manager, Analytics at Axis Communications
1. Thermal cameras with edge-based intrusion detection analytics provide effective perimeter protection over long distances and in challenging scenarios, including in complete darkness. Visual cameras with intrusion detection analytics are also a good choice in areas with sufficient light. To detect, identify and deter intruders, a combination involving different types of cameras with analytics, security radars and speakers can be used. Choosing the most suitable solution depends on a number of factors, including the coverage area, lighting conditions, level of threat and security, type of response (active or passive) and budget.
2. The biggest challenge is achieving high detection accuracy with few false alarms in demanding scenarios. Achieving high accuracy depends on securing high video quality. To approach this, ensure that cameras deliver high-quality, usable video, even in difficult lighting conditions, and offer camera-based (edge) video analytics that enable analysis at source using the best possible video quality, instead of having analysis done elsewhere after video has been compressed for transmission. Having analytics operating on the camera is also cost-effective, enabling scalability and savings in bandwidth, storage and server requirements.
3. RC Willey, a U.S. home furnishings chain, deployed Axis security and business intelligence products at its distribution centers and retail stores. Axis components include intrusion detection solutions involving thermal and visual cameras with edge-based analytics and security radars with built-in analytics, network horn speakers that enable automated audio responses for deterrence, and video management software. At its Las Vegas distribution center alone, RC Willey reported that theft and vandalism expenses dropped from $40-$50K/year to zero and it has saved $100K/year on private security. It also had a positive impact on logistics and customer satisfaction since deliveries are no longer delayed due to vandalism.
Katharina Geutebrück, Managing Director, at Geutebruck
1. There are three main technologies: Classical video motion detectors comparing contrast changes from image to image, object tracking algorithms following moving objects for a certain time before alerting and AI based systems trained to discern humans from other moving objects. Each has its pro and cons, in terms of reaction time, false alarm rates, sabotage vulnerability and of course cost. For example: Contrast comparison can easily detect very fast motion but is susceptible to false positives from headlights of cars passing by. An AI can be tricked by disguised intruders – depending on the quality of the neuronal network.
2. There is no one fits all solution. It is important to define the exact individual security demand: Do you need certainty that any motion is detected, like objects thrown over a fence or slowly crawling intruders? Do you expect intruders to try and “disguise” to avoid detection (e.g., cover in a huge carton box to trick the AI)? What are the light conditions (visible, IR, or thermal)? What is the budget available? We approach this challenge by offering all three sensor technologies as well as a combination of them. Additionally, we offer to link video to other technologies like radar or fence detection systems.
3. Most challenging was the perimeter protection of ESA spaceport in Kourou with 5000+ cameras. With our partners, we implemented an integration of fence detection with our VMX video sensor, in itself a combination of contrast change detection with object tracking. All along the fence is IR lighting with day/night cameras. Pre-alarms initiating video display in the control room for increased attention are triggered by video or fence detection alone. Simultaneous detections from both systems lead to an immediate high-level alert. In essence, we combined three technologies for maximum security with minimum false alerts.
Wanda Nijholt, Manager Marketing und Communications at i-PRO
1. For effective perimeter protection it’s essential to look at the best possible overall solution and scenario in the settings given. One important factor is clearly a good and proper IR-LED to be able to generate clear visibility of distant objects even at night in the dark. i-PRO is offering long distance IR illumination PTZ Cameras Built-in with IR LED and visible light cut filter enabling detection of irregularities in the dark. Even in challenging lighting surroundings, the IR LED light and the visible light cut filter can capture clear images making it possible to discern the movement of an object 350 m away in an unlit place at night. The 40x optical zoom clearly captures details and characteristics of distant subjects as when monitoring large parking lots or large-scale facilities such as power plants and dams, where the installation location of cameras is often limited, and both the monitoring of distant areas and wide-area monitoring are important. The camera’s advanced image stabilization suppresses blur even when using the high-power zoom, so no slight vibrations do disturb the image.
2. The challenge is simply by nature itself: we have changing light conditions, bad visibility with rain and fog and huge differences in temperature between summer and winter that the camera all needs to endure. To tackle these challenges in the outdoor surrounding, i-PRO has developed a lot of proprietary technologies that serves their reputation for reliability. One of them is the Anti-Condensation System: i-PRO outdoor models have a built-in dehumidifier device to lower the internal humidity for preventing cloudiness due to condensation. Due to the i-PRO ClearSight coating technology water drops cannot stick to the dome cover and therefore hinder the shooting of clear images. These technologies help to make the picture as sharp and clear as possible – the only reliable basis when we look at running video analytics. Here, the biggest challenge is not to generate false alarms. i-PRO AI-VMD is based on deep learning, so this will increase accuracy. We can specify to generate alarms only when human shapes are detected and send the alarm, i.d. to avoid raising alarms on animals, objects that are flying around, shadows, reflections, flickering lights or similar.
3. As for intrusion detection or defining forbidden areas or single and multiple crossing lines for perimeter protection, this topic has been on the radar of traditional video surveillance for a very long time already, but now with AI and its huge advantages these operations can become way more proactive rather than reactive before. So now, systems can be set up combining video surveillance together with the fence detection through i-PRO’s AI application offering a clear benefit vs. historical solution, as in one device users are only able to create alarms when intruders enter the site, but can also have visuals of the area, especially accompanied by powerful IR-LED PTZ cameras offering the whole range of security for perimeter protection. And with the open i-PRO SDK and the high-performance AI engine the same device can even perform customised applications specifically developed towards the needs and requirements of each surrounding and business customer.
Pom Chen, Thermal Product Marketing Manager at Hikvision
1. There are various factors that change the security needs of perimeter protection. For example, a place surrounded by thick foliage, fences or outlying buildings, or a surrounding that there are no street lights in the area. All of these things make perimeter security harder, especially for traditional optical cameras that rely on line of sight and at least a low-level of light to spot intruders. It’s these scenarios that benefits greatly from another technology – thermal imaging.
2. The two most common challenges in traditional perimeter protection are frequent false alarms and poor imaging quality in limited light. Environmental factors like changing lights, zero light, smoke and fog, rain can impact the identification of true threats and reduce the accuracy of video analytics, resulting in false alarms.
To counter this, we recommend thermal cameras, as they can “see” objects in virtually any weather and under any lighting condition. Further, Deep Learning technology can be used in combination with thermal imaging. It enhances video analytics to distinguish humans, thus reducing false alarms and the associated operation costs. When detection rules are triggered by a human being, for example Line Crossing and Intrusion Detection, the camera can instantly raise an alarm to the operator. Hikvision thermal cameras like the HeatPro series is a good example.
3. When Foxlake Dundee, a new water adventure centre opened in the heart of the Scottish city, Webster Security & Fire approached the facility’s management with a novel after-hours surveillance proposal: using thermal cameras from Hikvision instead of a manned guarding option. The resulting video surveillance system has proven immediately successful. The concern was that accidental or deliberate damage or vandalism to the water park equipment was a real risk – and along with that came the danger of injury or worse to those attempting to exploit the park, at night, in the dark, unsupervised on the water. Hikvision’s thermal cameras utilise behaviour analysis technology, so figures moving into specific zones in the image can automatically generate alarms. Operators check the live cameras to confirm that intrusion has occurred and contact police if needed.
Peter Treutler, Director IPS
1. We highly recommend the use of cameras together with efficient video analytics – either thermal cameras which help to detect threats early on, even in darkness or adverse weather conditions. False alarms are reduced as they react on change of temperature and not shadows or fog. Or another alternative is the use of PTZ cameras which are highly flexible and able to cover large areas. It is advisable to add advanced video analytics to any video management system to be able to detect and track moving objects automatically within the protected area.
2. The biggest challenge is surely to secure high detection reliability without increasing the false alarm rate. In addition, the operator must be supported to avoid human errors. With intelligent filters, the number of false alarms can be reduced considerably. With our 3D technology an operator receives further support when confronted with an intruder. The PTZ camera automatically tracks the alarm object, without any need for operator intervention. When the object leaves the camera’s field of view, the 3D technology automatically hands over to an adjacent linked camera, which continues tracking.
3. One of the largest network operators in Germany relies on video security from IPS. The company successfully uses the IPS video management system with its multi-site management function to secure various sites with over 200 installed cameras. It links each of the sites with the head office and an operator can easily manage all sites from one single workstation. The company also installed the proven IPS video analytics for outdoor areas which detect unauthorised access to the premises in real time and alert before too much damage is done.
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