LiDAR and Radar: a Better Approach?
When new and advanced technologies first entered the intruder detection space, some integrators and installers – and a number of manufacturers for that matter – questioned whether there was any need for them. Costly, bulky and complex to install and configure, the laser- and radar-based advanced sensors didn’t seem to offer enough flexibility to justify the issues associated with them. In today’s evolving market, do the units make more sense?
One of the more significant changes in the world of detection has been the increased use of laser- and radar-based technologies. Economies of scale are allowing more manufacturers to take advantage of functionality which was previously out of their reach financially. However, when these devices first appeared, it was difficult to make a compelling business case for their use.
One of the first laser-based intruder detection detectors available for mainstream security applications offered the ability to create highly customised areas of coverage, with curtain-type detection fields which covered large open areas. While this was a benefit, the cost of the devices, coupled with the complexity of the installation and configuration, made them hard to justify.
It is also worth pointing out that when the first units were being unveiled, the security sector was a very different place. The flexibility simply didn’t exist to allow security systems to provide added value or additional benefits. Smart edge devices were often hamstrung by controllers and management systems with limited functionality. Also, the appetite for smart systems wasn’t there, neither with integrators and installers, nor with end users.
There were theoretical ideas as to how the new technologies could enhance security and site protection, but transferring these into reality did not always make economic sense for mainstream intruder detection systems. However, the technologies were more attractive to the video surveillance sector, as they could provide exact X-Y coordinates for the location of an alarm event. This allows the captured data to be used, via GPS overlays, for geolocation data.
Radar and Lidar detectors pinpoint the exact location of a target, and the data can then be converted, usually via a camera or VMS plug-in, into GPS co-ordinates. These can be used to track targets, to switch devices or to drive absolute positioning PTZ domes.
This has resulted in an increased use of the technologies in video surveillance applications. However, this does not mean the next generation sensors don’t offer benefits in intruder-based detection scenarios.
For example, the units do not suffer from many of the nuisance alarm triggers which impact on the performance of standard intruder detection devices. They can also detect targets based on size, speed and direction.
The technologies are not dependent on visible information, so darkness, fog or other climatic conditions won’t prevent accurate detection. The devices are also immune to issues created by hot and cold air blasts, shadows, beams of light, small animals, birds, insects, etc..
OPTEX: REDSCAN RLS-3060
OPTEX offers the REDSCAN RLS-3060 laser scanner series. The sensors offer advanced functionality, ensuring they offer high performance with additional flexibility for a variety of applications. The units can detect a moving object’s size, speed and distance from the sensor, and process the data with a built in algorithm, resulting in high reliability detection with minimal false alarms. The detector can be mounted vertically or horizontally according to the application and site conditions.
Version 8.0 of the RLS-3060 series firmware and REDSCAN Manager feature a number of upgrades for the long-range, 190 degrees 2D LiDAR series.
Four detection areas can be independently adjusted on an analogue connection, while up to eight areas can be adjusted on an IP connection. The shape of the detection area can be customised to better match the layout of the site. The Area Allocation or Masking function enables users to precisely define a number of independent detection zones to allow for varied needs.
Another feature is the Indoor/Outdoor Loitering Detection Mode. This function detects loitering and similar suspicious behaviour by monitoring people and objects, generating an alarm condition if they stay in the selected detection area for a longer period that the user-defined time window.
The more advanced RLS-3060-SH laser scanner model is designed to operate in harsher environments. It features a Detection Range Expansion mode. This extends the detection range from a 30 metre to a 50 metre radius. When used in horizontal mode, this allows the creation of a pre-warning zone in which larger objects such as vehicles can be detected.
When the LiDAR detector is set up in a vertical detection mode and mounted at 3.6 metres, the laser scanner can detect a standing or squatting person over a range of 100 metres, giving benefits when the sensor has been deployed for perimeter protection.
The RLS-3060L and RLS-3060SH can be integrated with a number of leading VMS solutions.
Axis Communications: AXIS D2050-VE
The AXIS D2050-VE is a network-connected radar detector which provides reliable and accurate detection. The radar element senses approaching people and vehicles and provides fast and effective intrusion notifications. As the sensor is radar-based, it will be operational regardless of environmental and weather conditions. It also provides around the clock protection and can be linked with PTZ-enabled cameras to deliver accurate tracking of suspects.
The detector offers horizontal detection coverage over a 120 degree field of view, with a maximum sensing range of 50 metres, providing exact information about the real-time position of an object, allowing systems to utilise data such as the angle of movement and velocity of a target.
When integrated with video applications, the sensor enables alarm filtering based upon distance and customisable detection zones. This ensures that nuisance activations are kept to a minimum. The sensor also enables AXIS Radar Autotracking for PTZ cameras.
Radar technology offers a good complementary technology to video surveillance in a wide range of applications. It delivers alarm verification where cameras with video motion detection and intelligent video analytics are deployed, allowing the implementation of a ‘double knock’ scenario.
Developed primarily for medium-sized industrial installations, the AXIS D2050-VE can easily be integrated with Axis cameras and video management systems (VMS), in addition to surveillance systems and VMS software from other leading professional vendors.
Suitable for outdoor use, with a longer range than PIRs, the AXIS D2050-VE provides real-time data about genuine intrusions while also minimising the number of nuisance alarms triggered by spiders, small animals, moving shadows and light reflections.
SICK: Visionary-T DT
The Visionary-T DT sensor from SICK is a configurable, plug-and-play 3D detection sensor. The device makes use of SICK’s single-snapshot Time of Flight technology for a range of detection, notification and security applications.
The Visionary-T DT sensor makes use of integral image processing, ensuring it can be added to a wide range of new or legacy installations without the need for dedicated processing hardware or infrastructure.
The sensor can easily be configured to accurately detect either the presence or absence of objects. As a result, it offers a versatile and flexible entry-level option for the protection of exhibits or communal assets, as well as of large and complex wall-standing or mounted items such as furniture, stored items, installations and statues.
The 3D sensors offer high levels of flexibility for indoor use (the unit is rated to IP67) due to the implementation of SICK’s snapshot technology. This provides real-time information for every pixel based on time of flight measurements, even for stationary applications.
The sensors capture high-resolution real-time 3D images with one shot of light. With a sensing area range of up to 50 x 45 metres at 40 metre range, it provides good area coverage. The light burst can illuminate matt and dark coloured objects, and adjustable filters allow application-specific optimisation for enhanced detection quality.
Captured data can either be transfered from the sensor in a raw format or as pre-processed data specifically for the application in question. Additionally, it is also possible to only transfer measured values, resulting in simple sensor responses.
Connectivity is via a standard Ethernet port and the unit requires a 24V DC power supply. Operational range is from 0.5 to 60 metres. The sensor has two digital inputs and four outputs. Configuration is carried out via dedicated software.
GJD Security: GJD500 D-TECT Laser
Because of the exact nature of laser detection, the GJD500 is programmable to within 100mm and deliver high levels of precision for accurate detection
Laser-based detection is suitable for sensing pedestrians and vehicles. Due to its ability to create curtain-type coverage it is ideal for perimeter protection and intrusion detection. However, this also makes it ideal for a wide range of event-based tasks that can deliver business intelligence, health and safety or system automation.
Laser detection delivers exact X-Y coordinates, allowing triggered actions to be based upon the exact location of any activity. This allows bespoke responses to be generated.