Near-Range Detection Around the Building
Radar for Home and Small Business Security
The fear of break-ins rises along with the need to protect precious belongings. Media reports on burglars or thieves in the area add to the unease. The feeling of security is shaken.
Victims of break-ins not only complain about property damage but also struggle with psychological repercussions. This boosts the demand for security measures. The rising expenditures for security equipment reflects this development1 (source: Statista.de). But not every security measure is effective. Particularly in the small business and private areas, generally the simplest and most affordable technologies are used, such as motion sensors2 (source: Statista.de). These generally offer little leeway in terms of adaptation and deliver only moderate performance. This results in false alarms.
While the industry and military already have very advanced security solutions at their disposal, it takes much longer before such state-of-the-art products are available to small businesses and households. But there is demand for improved security products to equip apartments, houses, or companies. User requirements are on the rise. This puts the security equipment manufacturers under pressure.
Surveillance of the Nearby Surroundings
For private households and small companies, products for near-range surveillance are of particular relevance. The simplest solutions are detectors that activate the exterior lighting or alarm signals when persons or objects are detected. They operate using different sensors. The dominant technologies are currently passive infrared (PIR) and radar. Infrared sensors recognise the differences between body and ambient temperatures, checking them continuously, thereby determining changes in position. Radar sensors, on the other hand, detect the movement of persons by continuously emitting and receiving electromagnetic waves.
These sensors are integrated into motion and presence detectors, alarm systems, and invisible sensor barriers, and they enable automatic, contactless control both indoors and outdoors. They monitor the building environment, in particular dark or unclear areas, as well as entries, fences, driveways, doors, gates, and windows.
Requirements for Near-range Detection
One of the greatest challenges is to individually adapt the security solutions to the existing buildings and premises.
The structures are close to road traffic, surrounded by densely planted gardens, or in direct proximity to other buildings or parking lots.
Irrelevant areas, such as the neighbour’s garden, are – to the greatest extent possible – not meant to be covered. Clear demarcation of the coverage range plays a key role here in terms of efficiency. Permanent and temporary on-site interference factors, such as the weather, objects, or animals, must be taken into account. In addition to functionality requirements, sensors should also be as small, reliable, precise, and easy to integrate as possible. In other words, maximum technology installed in a small sensor. An ever-increasing number of tasks are to be implemented with a single device. However, these demands overwhelm many of the available products.
Standstill for Motion Detectors
There have been no revolutionary improvements made to established sensor systems for quite some time. It almost seems as though there is no further potential for development. As if homeowners and businesspeople should just have to make do with current products. And simply opt between radar and PIR, depending on the desired application.
After all, each technology has different benefits and disadvantages. Infrared sensors, for example, run into problems with heat-insulated clothing or the use of floor heating. Most radar solutions, however, require precise positioning and do not detect people standing in place. Further technical advancements for security solutions in the home area and companies have long been a long time coming. Where’s the progress in the field of near-range detection?
Things Are on the Move
This question was also posed by the engineers of the German radar expert Innosent. Due to the technology’s potential for the security market, they are working intensely on innovative solutions. In light of the progress being made with radar and the newly created possibilities presented by related technical areas such as software development, an increasing number of enhanced functions are revealing themselves. These modern high-tech products initially were created for the monitoring of large outdoor facilities and perimeters.
A New Chapter in Near-range Detection
The new generation of radar for close range is based on the advanced Mimo principle (multiple input – multiple output). The system employs multiple antennas in order to differentiate between objects according to their angle within the detection range in addition to making distinctions based on speed and distance. This enables multi-target detection in real time. Thanks to the angle dimension, the objects can be located and distinguished from each other with greater precision.
Additional Radar Information
The new radar solution provides important security-relevant data such as the distance, speed, direction of movement and position of persons or objects. This allows, for example, cross traffic to be hidden or the estimated arrival time (ETA) to be calculated. This is an important function not only for security but also for building automation applications, such as the automatic opening of doors and gates.
While conventional motion detectors detect only moving targets, the new product from Innosent also records static objects or persons standing in place. It can also differentiate between different object classes, such as vehicles or persons.
Another new feature is the capability to delimit the detection range: this makes it possible to freely define an alarm zone, coordinated with local conditions. The system ignores detections in non-relevant areas – an advantage for residential areas. To detect manipulations, the system utilises the tried-and-tested anti-masking function. The angular selectivity also helps to better identify individual persons.
Another special feature of this innovative product is the tracking function. It allows several objects to be observed and tracked over time.
Since the new system is 24 GHz, its dimensions are compact and it can be concealed in inconspicuous housing. The tracking function is already integrated into the system. This way, very little development work is required on the part of security equipment manufacturers. Innosent’s new radar system is planned for launch next year.
Be on the Safe Side by Merging Technologies
Nonetheless, one general disadvantage of radar technology remains. Even the best radar system falters when it comes to environments with a very large number of glass structures or reflectors. Here, a combination of multiple technologies provides greater security. Radar is ideal for connecting with PIR or video equipment. Such a combination significantly reduces the rate of false alarms and maximises reliability. After all, the advantage of the one compensates for the disadvantage of the other technology. However, simple motion detectors will remain in demand on into the future. They have been established on the market for many years, are cost-effective, and are good for handling less sophisticated applications, such as lighting control.