There was a time when external detection was a very hit-and-miss affair. Many sensors were simply internal units with higher pulse counts which had been fitted into external housings. Nuisance activations were considered as unavoidable, and the main use of such devices was to switch lighting. With the introduction of false alarm reduction technologies, advanced processing and intelligent design, today’s external units are arguably more stable and secure than internal detectors! Benchmark visited Xtralis to see how the ADPRO PRO E PIR detector had developed to offer a flexible and effective external detection solution.
hen you consider the protection of most sites, security will always be enhanced by the implementation of detection which is both early and accurate. Credible detection at the earliest possible stage increases security and allows other systems to operate to a higher level of performance.
The historical approach – based upon the limitations of external detection from a good few years ago – was to wait until an intruder was inside a protected internal space before triggering an alarm. However, this isn’t the best or the most popular method. In the vast majority of applications, and especially at higher risk sites, end users would much prefer to detect intruders as soon as they enter – or attempt to enter – the site.
In the past, achieving true early detection was either a very expensive option or one plagued by nuisance activations. External locations, by their very nature, are hostile to detection technologies. However, as technology has advanced and manufacturers have become increasingly aware of the potential offered by effective external detection, the unreliable external sensors of a decade or so ago have been replaced by intelligent, reliable and stable detection devices.
Xtralis has offered specialist external PIR detectors aimed at use in the surveillance sector for many years now as a part of its ADPRO range. The PRO series has been proven effective in a wide range of applications, and continual development has seen the sensors benefit as diverse technical innovations become available.
The latest variant of the series is the ADPRO PRO E, and it combines advanced detection technologies with simplified installation and the ability to operate in even the most hostile applications.
The ADPRO PRO E series includes a variety of devices, covering a number of ranges right up to 200 metres which can be obtained with the PRO E-400H model. This long range option is cost-effective in applications with long perimeters or large open areas. Not only is the number of detectors required significantly reduced compared to some alternative products, but the need for mounting poles, power supplies and associated cabling is also minimised.
Another benefit of the longer range units is that they allow the introduction of cost-effective double knock protection. In some systems, double knock – which by its nature increases the number of detectors used – may be not financially viable. However, the reduced numbers of detectors due to the longer range does make a double knock approach more attractive.
For some, the long range will be enough to persuade them to take a closer look at the ADPRO PRO E, but the detector is so much more than a long range unit. It features seven zones, and uses mirror optics for precise detection. Advanced digital signal processing and adaptive threshold discrimination are utilised to eliminate nuisance activations.
There are models available in the series which also allow the use of directional discriminations, ignoring motion moving either from right-to-left or left-to-right.
Detection of intruders can be achieved if they are walking, running or crawling. Detection covers motion at speeds of 0.2 to 5 metres per second. Sensitivity of the detector can be adjusted using software tools.
Xtralis has also ensured that the ADPRO PRO E is secured against tampering attempts. A mounting height of up to 4 metres allows the sensor to be located out of reach. Tamper protection is enabled via the 360PROtect functionality.
The unit has the expected tamper switches on the housing and bracket, but these are also supplemented by a 360 degree creep zone. This extends from 1 metre behind the detector to 8 metres in front of the unit. It subsequently protects against approach from any direction.
Additionally, the unit features anti-masking protection, and 3D protection ensures that attempts to misalign the sensor are detected. Even applying slow and careful motion to gently change the field of view will be detected, as the PRO E devices include an integral compass!
To protect the cabling and connections, the detectors are supplied with a cable-managed bracket. These can be used for pole or wall mounting.
As a final point, while the security grading element of EN-50131 only covers internal detection devices, the PRO E range has been designed to fulfill the criteria for Grade 3 (Grade 4 if used in conjunction with FastTrace or IntrusionTrace).
With some long range high end detection devices, installation and commissioning can be something of an ordeal. Fiddling with DIP switches at height is never at the top of an engineer’s wishlist, and precise alignment can be a frustrating process.
Xtralis has not only designed the PRO E to be simpler to install and commission, but has also created a range of optional extras designed solely with the installer or integrator in mind.
Programming of the unit doesn’t use DIP switches, thus eliminating the need to carry out fiddly procedures with the sensor in situ. Default settings are easily activated, and a software tool can be used, via an RS485 connection, for set-up of all parameters.
Xtralis also offers an iCommission tool. This allows one-person alignment from ground level. The option includes a plug-in tool with wireless comms and a smartphone app. During walk testing the alignment of the detector can be automatically adjusted. This not only allows one person commissioning, but also removes the need to return to the detector to make alignment tweaks.
Other options include a wireless walk-test unit, a set of e-tools to allow advanced configuration and an alignment telescope. The lens module can be replaced in the field, should the unit suffer any damage, and remote servicing can also be carried out.
Also, for ease of use, the detectors support 10.5–30V DC or 24V AC; power input is auto-sensed to prevent problems.
The ADPRO PRO E series includes a number of models, thus providing appropriate detection for a wide range of surveillance and perimeter applications.
Along with the PRO E-400H which offers 220 metre coverage, there range scales down to 21 x 24 metres for volumetric coverage and 50 x 3.3 metres for curtain coverage – and everything in between is covered too.
With regard to connectivity, the PRO E range is available as a standard detector, as an IP variant (compatible with the Xtralis range of surveillance systems) or as a wireless unit. The latter makes use of Inovonics EchoStream technology. The receivers are compatible with a range of third party devices, and battery life is quoted as up to two years.