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According to IHS Market, it is estimated that there are over 60 million security cameras in the United States, and other reports say these cameras capture more than four billion hours of footage per week. Over the last decade, IP camera technology has dominated the conversation as it has provided users with a broad offering of enhanced image quality and features. With a large percentage of existing security systems relying on analog, many end users looking for high definition (HD) video quality have been forced to take on a complete system overhaul. Infrastructure Overhaul For HD Video To make the switch, customers would need to change everything, from cameras to hardware to wiring– not to mention the lengthy installation process that would ensue. IP cameras also require higher Internet speeds and more cloud space. Whether constrained by budget, bandwidth or storage, many end users have been unable to adopt this new video surveillance method.Thanks to technological advancements within the security industry, HD over Coax offers a viable solution for integrators and end users alike Thanks to technological advancements within the security industry, HD over Coax offers a viable solution for integrators and end users alike. By utilising the current Coaxial cables, this offering yields high definition video, while requiring minimal infrastructure changes and is an optimal surveillance choice for security customers. Plus, with new advancements and updates being made frequently to this technology, there is a solution for every security need. The enhanced alternative of HD over Coax has been warmly welcomed in the security industry, thanks to its simple solutions and ever-evolving features. Many new analog HD cameras are “plug and play,” able to connect directly to existing Coaxial cables. This eliminates the need for a complete system change, creating cost-savings for the end user and an enhanced video quality offering. Easy Solutions For HD Video As a result, integrators can cost-effectively upgrade their customer’s surveillance solution while using their legacy infrastructure, making it an attractive option for end users and an easy sell for dealers. Latency in video is another common issue with network-based camera systems, where even the slightest delay in video surveillance can hinder security response HD over Coax cameras themselves are always expanding and evolving to meet a wide array of security needs. With the introduction of fisheye and multi-sensor cameras, users now have a multitude of coverage options, not to mention the introduction of 4K bringing resolution options to the same level as IP. Some newer technologies are even touting 4K cameras paired with 4K digital video recorders (DVRs) made specifically for analog systems. Longer cables grant transmission for up to 1600 feet, double the distance of standard analog solutions, and triple that of IP systems. This single cable is able to transmit both HD video and audio. Recently, broadcast quality audio over Coax has become available in limited models, a substantial improvement over older analog technology, which was unable to transmit audio. Stopping Video Delay Latency in video is another common issue with network-based camera systems. Even the slightest delay in video surveillance can hinder security response. IP cameras are forced to compress and packetize their video for transmission. The outcome of this is a reduced number of images per video, which in turn causes delay. HD over Coax on the other hand, delivers an unlimited amount of HD images in real time, with smooth motion and impressive clarity. Additionally, the point-to-point transmission delivers uncompressed video free of lag. Another touted benefit is that, unlike IP networked cameras, analog systems provide a more secure video transmission. With so much sensitive information housed on a businesses’ network, adding another point of network access through an IP camera can create concerns for cyber security risks. HD over Coax delivers an unlimited amount of HD images in real time, with smooth motion and impressive clarity Preventing Network Hacking With HD over Coax, the physical connections between the camera and DVR prevent network hacking. By keeping the video surveillance system offline, security professionals are able to direct their attention to the physical threats at hand, rather than having to focus on deterring cyber security risks. One of the primary difficulties of deploying HD video solutions is the fact that many older systems utilize a wide variety of HD standards and platforms. To make matters more complicated, after HD over Coax was brought to market, manufacturers raced to create their own version of this technology. Today, the most popular proprietary standards are HD-CVI, HD-TVI and AHD. However, integrators and customers found that attempting to manage multiple HD technologies proved to be near impossible.Integrators and customers found that attempting to manage multiple HD technologies proved to be near impossible Diversifying Surveillance Through One DVR To combat these issues, manufacturers have introduced products with more flexibility to their portfolios. One example of this is the penta-brid DVR which grants the ability to seamlessly integrate multiple technologies deployed across one application. This means that systems with diverse camera brands and technologies, such as a mix of HD-CVI, HD-TVI, AHD, analog or IP, can be connected through one DVR. For many end users with legacy analog systems, penta-brid DVRs give them greater freedom to choose between a variety of solutions, rather than being limited to one option. With video resolution increasing, the space needed to store the footage is similarly rising. Penta-brid technology has been able to adapt to these evolving needs, giving users ample storage space to house the HD and 4K surveillance video with some of the newest models including H.265 compression. HD Casino Surveillance Made Simple For casinos, HD images are critical for identifying unauthorized personnel and unlawful behaviours to create a safe environment for guests and staff While HD over Coax is beneficial to many end users and integrators, those in the casino and hospitality markets find it crucial. With a combination of high profile guests, large amounts of cash on hand, constant crowds and strict industry regulations, reliable video surveillance is a must. Deploying new IP systems comes at a stiff price. When looking to upgrade their video surveillance, casinos must also be mindful of the installation process. When moving to an IP-based system, ripping out old wires and replacing them with new is the standard practice. This practice can be both disruptive and costly, not to mention gaming regulations require casino activities be monitored at all times so a complete system shutdown would result in revenue loss. This cost can be hard to justify, especially when the current legacy analog system remains in working condition with only the lower image resolution to date it. For these scenarios, the most cost-effective option is to leverage the legacy infrastructure, replace the existing cameras with new devices, and reap the benefits that HD video has to offer without any lapse in security. For casinos, HD images are critical for identifying unauthorized personnel and unlawful behaviours to create a safe environment for guests and staff. HD over Coax cameras now offer the same resolution as IP cameras with a plug and play approach, that cuts down on expense without sacrificing quality. For businesses and applications that are unable to adopt IP technology, whether it be cost or time prohibitive, HD over Coax now features most of the same benefits IP has to offer without breaking the bank. By providing clear images in real time, maximizing existing infrastructure, and affording cyber security benefits, HD over Coax provides an attractive solution for many end users and integrators.
Today ‘terrorism’ has become a word we use and hear every day. The goal of terrorism is a media product - information delivered to nearly every house in the world. So, the weapon of terrorism is information. Therefore, the way we defend and prevent terrorism must also be based on intelligent processing of information - and an early awareness of potential threats and effective preventive action may eliminate most attacks. Video analytics, automated surveillance and AI decision-making are going to change the rules of the struggle between civilians and terrorists by making attempted attacks predictable, senseless and silent. In this article, we will evaluate to what extent technology can investigate and prevent terror crimes considering the latest technology innovations. Civilian Feedback Helps Terrorists To Accomplish Mission In order to achieve their main goal - loud media response - terrorists and those who order the attacks use unpredictable tactics and the element of surprise; so that after every attack, the media discusses for months the circumstances and their insanity. Terrorists and those who order the attacks use unpredictable tactics andthe element of surprise Unfortunately, each time it happens our society seems to be unprepared. As the media environment grows, terror attacks attract more attention, and the feedback of civilians actually helps the terrorists to accomplish their mission. Features Of Terrorist Crimes Counter-terrorist specialists highlight, among the others, the following inherent symptoms of terror crimes: Unpredictability Public visibility Enormous social resonance The question is: Are there technological solutions that could treat these symptoms at a low level? Crime investigations are based on objective indisputable facts that can be used against suspects in a court. The facts are: Video surveillance materials Facial recognition and ANPR metadata Audio data (e.g. phone calls) Internet communication logs Other registered human actions Metadata Sources And Analytical Systems To be able to collect and analyze that data, it needs to be in a data format that an analytical system will be able to process. Metadata can be generated by processing data of the above sources. Metadata can be stored in relational databases or in blockchain, so it can be a reference for an analytical system or law enforcement structures. Automatic or semi-automatic investigation can be based on crime scenarios, behavior patterns, forensic search, face and vehicle recognition and synoptical search Aggregation of metadata sources could be constructive because it would significantly increase metadata availability for analytical systems and will improve metadata quality. This would surely require replacement of most of existing security systems and standardization of new systems so to ensure maximal compatibility of metadata sources and analytical systems. Offline Video Analytics As these improvements are difficult to develop and implement globally, replacement solutions are being offered currently in the security market. One of them is the concept of offline video analytics, which generates and analyses metadata from any video source. Video sources may vary from ‘old school’ analog cameras to high-resolution IP cameras recorded in any digital format. Quality of the metadata generated from offline analytical systems is almost unaffected. High quality metadata can be analyzed and investigated automatically or semi-automatically for violations, crimes and terror activity. Automatic or semi-automatic investigation can be based on crime scenarios, behavior patterns, forensic search, face and vehicle recognition and synoptical search. Fast and effective investigation of terror activities may prevent attacks and also can reduce the number of active terrorists. Human head microvibration is linked with the vestibular-emotional reflex (VER) and depends on emotional status Deep Learning And Neural Network Technologies However, realtime crime and terror prevention requires instant metadata generation and analysis. The investigation instruments mentioned above would not be of the same efficiency. Firstly, processing capabilities of analytical system must be very high because the system should be able to record data, generate metadata and analyze it at the same time in realtime conditions. Currently the most powerful server processors can run only tens of detectors so it becomes very costly. That is why these kinds of solutions are only used in critical infrastructure. However, if they were used widely they would dramatically reduce the number of criminal and terror activities. Deep learning and neural network technologies (so-called artificial intelligence - AI) are coming to the security market to replace classic video analytics. These systems are not yet much more efficient hardware-wise; however, they have greater potential and they are cheaper. Behavior patterns, actions, sounds, speech, faces, car number plates and many other metadata types can be identified and collected and analyzed by AI in realtime. Security surveillance and analytical AI systems could know about each person’s life and social background so it could make automatic decisions Emotion Recognition/Vibraimage Technology Emotion recognition (or vibraimage) technology measures micromovements (vibration) of a person by processing video from a camera or any video source. Human head microvibration is linked with the vestibular-emotional reflex (VER) and depends on emotional status. Vibraimage systems detect human emotions by the control of 3D head-neck movements accumulated in several frames of video processing. Vibraimage is a system that detects all human emotions. Blockchain can bring awareness of different views. Imagine if the security surveillance and analytical AI system knew about each person’s life and social background so it could make automatic decisions to give more surveillance priority to those who potentially could take negative action. Although security equipment is becoming more affordable, the budgeting of security systems at a government and private level is still the biggest problem. As the global population is growing and migration is getting more intense, public and private security is becoming a natural need. Meanwhile, the security market is ready to deliver solutions that can instantly investigate and even prevent terror activities.
Everybody has been hooked on the discussions about Analog HD or IP systems, but shouldn’t we really be thinking about WiFi and 5G connectivity, removing the need for expensive cabling? Are wireless networks secure enough? What is the potential range? Even the basic question about whether or not the network is capable of transferring the huge (and growing) amount of data required for High Res Video, which will soon be quadrupled with the advent of 4K and higher resolutions. The Future Of Video Surveillance Monitors We have seen a massive uptake in 4K monitors in the security industry. While they have been relatively common in the consumer market, they are only now beginning to really take off in the CCTV market, and the advances in Analog HD and IP technology mean that 4K is no longer the limited application technology it was just a few years ago. Relatively easy and inexpensive access to huge amounts of storage space, either on physical storage servers or in the cloud, both of which have their own positives and negatives, have really helped with the adoption of 4K. Having said that the consensus seems to be, at least where displays are concerned, there is very little need for any higher resolution. So, where next for monitors in CCTV? 8K monitors are present, but are currently prohibitively expensive, and content is in short supply (although the Japanese want to broadcast the Tokyo Olympics in 8K in 2020). Do we really need 8K and higher displays in the security industry? In my own opinion, not for anything smaller than 100-150+ inches, as the pictures displayed on a 4K resolution monitor are photo realistic without pixilation on anything I’ve seen in that range of sizes. The consensus seems to be, at least where displays are concerned, there is very little need for any higher resolution Yes, users many want ultra-high resolution video recording in order to capture every minute detail, but I feel there is absolutely no practical application for anything more than 4K displays below around 120”, just as I feel there is no practical application for 4K resolution below 24”. The higher resolution camera images can be zoomed in and viewed perfectly well on FHD and 4K monitors. That means there has to be development in other areas. Developments In WiFi And 5G What we have started to see entering the market are Analog HD and IP RJ45 native input monitors. While you would be forgiven for thinking they are very similar, there are in fact some huge differences. The IP monitors are essentially like All-In-One Android based computers, capable of running various versions of popular VMS software and some with the option to save to onboard memory or external drives and memory cards. These are becoming very popular with new smaller (8-16 camera) IP installs as they basically remove the need for an NVR or dedicated storage server. Developments in the area of WiFi and 5G connectivity are showing great promise of being capable of transferring the amount of data generated meaning the next step in this market would maybe be to incorporate wireless connectivity in the IP monitor and camera setup. This brings its own issues with data security and network reliability, but for small retail or commercial systems where the data isn’t sensitive it represents a very viable option, doing away with both expensive installation of cabling and the need for an NVR. Larger systems would in all likelihood be unable to cope with the sheer amount of data required to be transmitted over the network, and the limited range of current wireless technologies would be incompatible with the scale of such installs, so hard wiring will still be the best option for these for the foreseeable future. There will be a decline in the physical display market as more development goes into Augmented and Virtual Reality Analog HD Options Analog HD options have come a long way in a quite short time, with the latest developments able to support over 4MP (2K resolution), and 4K almost here. This has meant that for older legacy installations the systems can be upgraded with newer AHD/TVI/CVI cameras and monitors while using existing cabling. The main benefit of the monitors with native AHD/TVI/CVI loopthrough connections is their ability to work as a spot monitor a long distance from the DVR/NVR. While co-axial systems seem to be gradually reducing in number there will still be older systems in place that want to take advantage of the benefits of co-axial technology, including network security and transmission range. Analog technologies will eventually become obsolete, but there is still much to recommend them for the next few years. Analogue technologies will eventually become obsolete, but there is still much to recommend them for the next few years Another more niche development is the D2IP monitor, which instead of having IP input has HDMI input and IP output, sending all activity on the screen to the NVR. This is mainly a defense against corporate espionage, fraud and other sensitive actions. While this has limited application those who do need it find it a very useful technology, but it’s very unlikely to become mainstream in the near future. Augmented Reality And Virtual Reality Does the monitor industry as a whole have a future? In the longer term (decades rather than years) there will definitely be a decline in the physical display market as more and more development goes into AR (Augmented Reality or Mixed Reality depending on who’s definition you want to take) and VR (Virtual Reality). Currently AR is limited to devices such as smartphones (think Pokémon Go) and eyewear, such as the ill-fated Google Glass, but in the future, I think we’ll all have optical implants (who doesn’t want to be The Terminator or RoboCop?), allowing us to see whatever we decide we want to as an overlay on the world around us, like a high-tech HUD (Heads Up Display). VR on the other hand is fully immersive, and for playback or monitoring of camera feeds would provide a great solution, but lacks the ability to be truly useful in the outside world the way that AR could be. Something not directly related to the monitor industry, but which has a huge effect on the entire security industry is also the one thing I feel a lot of us have been oblivious to is the introduction of quantum computers, which we really need to get our heads around in the medium to long term. Most current encryption technology will be rendered useless overnight when quantum computers become more widespread. So, where does that leave us? Who will be the most vulnerable? What can we do now to mitigate the potential upheaval? All I can say for sure is that smarter people than me need to be working on that, alongside the development of the quantum computer itself. Newer methods of encryption are going to be needed to deal with the massive jump in processing power that comes with quantum. I’m not saying it will happen this year, but it is definitely on the way and something to be planned for.
Each day, over 55,000 electrical substations in the United States funnel massive amounts of energy to homes and businesses across the country. An array of specialized equipment allows these facilities to keep up with demand, and each component must run smoothly to adequately transfer and distribute energy. Housing mission-critical assets vital to the community means that substations must track everything—from condition monitoring to intrusion and sabotage threats. Thermal imaging cameras, video classification analytics, and radiometric measurement offer unmatched maintenance and security insight for substations and help prevent costly issues that hurt the bottom line. AI and deep learning technologies Advancements in artificial intelligence technologies are expanding the capability of security systems Advancements in artificial intelligence and deep learning technologies are expanding the capability of security systems. As security solutions improve, customer expectations grow. Systems that were once limited to perimeter protection are now able to provide valuable process efficiency and maintenance information. Substations should consider integrating new technology that improves efficiency and safety as they move to satisfy NERC CIP-014 requirements. Problematic heating and cooling connections can plague substations. Overheating and burning a transformer is a costly, potentially multimillion-dollar error that can take several months to correct. Beyond damage costs, the abrupt loss of equipment can lead to extended service interruptions and significant revenue loss. The consequences of equipment failure highlight the importance of asset monitoring, asset resiliency, and predictive maintenance for substations. Radiometric thermal cameras Integrating cutting-edge technologies like radiometric thermal cameras and temperature trend analysis software allows facility operators to remotely inspect equipment and quickly detect issues, preventing overheating and fires. Image quality and software compatibility are vital in planning an asset monitoring ecosystem. To best serve both the security and condition monitoring needs of substations, thermal sensor manufacturer FLIR Systems and software developer Embedded Logix collaborated to create a multi-purpose solution. Security and asset monitoring For over 30 years, FLIR has developed security and asset monitoring solutions for utility providers For over 30 years, FLIR has developed security and asset monitoring solutions for utility providers. A full lineup of fixed and pan-tilt thermal cameras allow security operators to monitor assets and perimeters in complete darkness, smoke, fog, and harsh weather conditions. FLIR thermal cameras provide superior resolution, capturing sharp imagery and minute details for high-performance video analytics and immediate threat detection. Quick intervention during intrusions prevents escalation, and rapid detection with thermal imaging supports fast response time. Smart-LX Sensor Gateway Recognizing threats before they ever reach the fence line deters theft, vandalism, and assault, keeping facility personnel safe and reducing the risk of equipment repair and legal costs. As an industry leader in thermal imaging, FLIR looks to partner with other innovative solution providers to create more advanced technologies. Embedded Logix, a Detroit, Michigan-based test and measurement solutions provider for the utility, plastic, food, and metal industries emerged as an ideal partner to integrate smart analytics software into thermal sensors. Their Smart-LX Sensor Gateway is an open-architecture platform that features Smart-LX Analytics with support for infrared cameras, programmable logic controllers, and SCADA systems. It opened the door for a complete predictive maintenance solution. FLIR thermal cameras Partnering with FLIR means being in the center of the infrared universe" The Smart-LX system allows both maintenance and security personnel to leverage networked thermal imagers on a single platform. By 2012, Embedded Logix was FLIR’s exclusive smart sensor software partner for temperature trending in predictive maintenance, bringing the Smart-LX platform to FLIR thermal cameras. “Partnering with FLIR means being in the center of the infrared universe. We can’t imagine any better product lineup to feed data into our Smart-LX Analytics,” said Deborah McLeod, president of Embedded Logix. “We have bench tested many other brands over the years, but FLIR’s products always come out on top, and that is why we recommend FLIR cameras to our customers. When you combine Smart-LX Analytics with FLIR cameras you turn an incredible sensor into an extraordinary solution.” Smart-LX Analytics Embedded Logix Smart-LX Analytics read, process, analyze, and create a visualization of sensor readings, generating asset performance reports on trends and rules that can be sent to maintenance personnel for further assessment. The software adapts over time with customer input, relying on user feedback to create an expert system. The Smart-LX platform works with both legacy and new equipment, analyzing signals from all sensors and systems, and is capable of aggregating information into VMS, OSI PI, and SCADA platforms. The FLIR FC-R fixed thermal camera leverages a radiometric sensor for noncontact temperature measurement FLIR offers several high-performance thermal imaging solutions for Smart-LX integration, including the FLIR A310 and FLIR FC-R Series cameras. Dual thermal and optical sensors on the FLIR A310 PT offer reliable perimeter protection and automated condition monitoring while pan/tilt controls maximize coverage. The onboard radiometric thermal sensor measures slight changes in surface temperature, allowing the A310 PT to monitor hotspots on equipment and alert an operator if temperatures exceed preset levels. FC-R fixed thermal camera The FLIR FC-R fixed thermal camera leverages a radiometric sensor for noncontact temperature measurement. Onboard human and vehicle classification analytics offer reliable intrusion detection and work in tandem with external monitoring systems to quickly alert operators and security personnel. “FLIR’s innovative A310F, A310PT, and FC-R radiometric thermal cameras have been paramount in substation monitoring for years,” said Michael Chaffee, director of business development at FLIR. “With the addition of Embedded Logix and its SmartLX software, our customers can take FLIR thermal cameras to the next level. When combined, FLIR cameras and Smart-LX software create a data goldmine, allowing a more frequent analysis of substation assets right from the security control room.” Facility security FLIR and Embedded Logix systems revolve around facility security and asset monitoring FLIR and Embedded Logix systems revolve around facility security and asset monitoring. Installing different cameras and network components throughout a substation creates an ecosystem ready to detect and prevent issues. Most security and asset monitoring systems from FLIR and Embedded Logix begin with several FLIR FC-ID cameras along the perimeter of the substation, one A310 PT mounted in the center of the substation, FC-R or A310F cameras installed around high priority assets, and several Smart-LX Sensor Gateways. When the system detects an object of interest, FLIR FC-ID cameras trigger the A310 PT camera to track and zoom on the object for further threat assessment, allowing security personnel to quickly and safely gauge the situation. Condition monitoring thermal imagers can continuously survey any asset in their field of view. Fixed FLIR A310F camera Fixed FLIR A310F and FC-R cameras monitor specific equipment 24/7, while the A310 PT can focus on multiple areas, viewing transformer connections, incoming power transmission lines, switch gears, fans, and more. Generated reports compare the performance of similar assets across all stations Smart-LX Sensor Gateways control the A310 PT preset scanning to gather temperature information on equipment, triggering an alarm if a temperature exceeds the preset threshold. Generated reports compare the performance of similar assets across all stations, address historical temperature trends, and label each temperature reading with the substation location, asset ID, and asset class information. This reporting is vital, as temperature trends can indicate trouble even when alarms remain untriggered. Remote monitoring “If the temperature is rising and falling on one asset, but the temperature on the other assets are steady, it can indicate a problem,” McLeod explained. “Even if the asset doesn’t reach the temperature threshold, the temperature slowly creeping up to that threshold is valuable information.” FLIR and Embedded Logix systems leverage remote monitoring to catch issues before they occur, preventing expensive downtime and maximizing substation efficiency. Predictive maintenance programs can identify poor-performing components, allowing operations teams to decide whether to proactively replace components or to continue monitoring. An unknown failure could cause catastrophic damage to other substation elements, causing customer outages and costing the utility millions of dollars. Thermal imaging Smart-LX Sensor Gateways also allow thermographers to inspect equipment remotely “The FLIR and Embedded Logix solution allows you to qualify with more frequency,” said Chaffee. “It ultimately enables you to save money and identify failures sooner. It’s much more expensive to replace a component after failure versus pre-failure. When a failure happens, you shut down the substation and part of the grid, which costs a lot of money.” Smart-LX Sensor Gateways also allow thermographers to inspect equipment remotely, improving efficiency during repairs. Traditionally, a thermographer would report to a substation to manually inspect equipment in need of service. Using a handheld thermal imager, the thermographer would take temperature measurements and check for load balance to determine whether equipment should be taken offline for repair. The need for a pre-work assessment and post-repair verification can make for long days. Embedded Logix Smart-LX Sensor Gateways remove this pain point. Live data access The Smart-LX Sensor Gateways give thermographers the ability to inspect equipment remotely and access live data from each networked FLIR thermal camera. Real-time temperature measurement and analytics allow the maintenance crew to confirm repairs or safely identify any additional issues. Thermographers would only need to go to a site when something is critical" “The FLIR and Embedded Logix solution enhances the role of thermographers,” Chaffee said. “Not needing to drive hundreds of miles to do a regularly scheduled thermal scan saves a lot of money. Your thermography team can scan safely, and with more frequency, from the security operations center. Thermographers would only need to go to a site when something is critical. Time is money, so being more productive as a utility and building a substation predictive maintenance program is an important element.” Critical asset monitoring Smart-LX Software works continuously to monitor critical equipment and uncover even small changes that can indicate impending failure. Intelligent maintenance and security systems are making substations safer and more efficient, positively impacting the bottom line. The insurance deductible of a significant substation asset can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Detecting just one instance of equipment failure can prevent inordinate costs. “The Smart-LX Software solution reduces the cost of an event by detecting it much earlier. Instead of detecting a fire, you’re preventing a fire,” McLeod added. “It’s important for all stakeholders that utilities monitor changes in asset health as a means of improving reliability and reducing the total cost of repairs. Asset security and management Utilities are moving towards proactive deterrence and away from reactive monitoring He adds, “Stakeholders want to see that steps are being taken to reduce insurance claims from unnecessary escalations when a malfunctioning asset is not discovered until it fails and takes out expensive assets or infrastructure around it. Preventing costly downtime by repairing equipment at the first sign of trouble can reduce the number of unscheduled downtime events dramatically and create significant cost-savings.” Leveraging radiometric thermal cameras and analytics for both security and asset monitoring represents a paradigm shift. Utilities are moving towards proactive deterrence and away from reactive monitoring. Substation security FLIR radiometric thermal cameras and Embedded Logix Smart-LX Sensor Gateways safeguard substations and reduce the risk of critical equipment failure. Investing in stronger security keeps substations and their assets safe, and innovative, multipurpose solutions from FLIR and Embedded Logix create a win-win for utility providers throughout the country.
There are over 55,000 electrical substations in the United States. These substations, along with power plants and transmission lines, provide power for millions of people. It is imperative that these locations remain secure from intrusion and sabotage. If just a handful of these substations were rendered inoperable, the U.S. could face a serious blackout. The 2013 sniper attack on PG&E Corporation’s Metcalf transmission substation, which knocked out several transformers and totalled over $15 million in damages, was a catalyst for the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) establishing new security standards for utilities. One of the most notable policies introduced was the Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard 014 (CIP-014). This statute requires utilities to identify ‘mission critical’ facilities and assets, conduct a security inspection to identify threat, and implement a security system to address those risks. Replacing traditional fencing systems VTI Security has been servicing security needs in the commercial, utility, and oil and gas sectors for over 35 yearsIn response to security incidents such as Metcalf and other FERC activities, a large electrical utility with hundreds of substations across the country looked to expand security beyond its fence line. The end user wanted to enhance and possibly replace traditional fence protection systems – including fiber optics, microwave barriers, and video analytics – as these systems all proved to be costly, as well as time and labor intensive. In the end, the utility company relied on VTI Security, an industry-leading integrator, for a recommendation. Based in Burnsville, Minnesota, VTI Security has been servicing security needs in the commercial, utility, and oil and gas sectors for over 35 years. To determine the best system for its end user, VTI reviewed six different technologies, including some with multiple vendors. VTI also tested systems in field deployments and conducted cost analysis. The integrator concluded that SpotterRF’s product was superior to all others and selected it as its sole radar standard for perimeter solutions. SpotterRF perimeter protection solution “Our findings were that SpotterRF not only provided the most comprehensive detection in a substation environment, but SpotterRF was also by far the most cost-effective total solution based on the ability to mount equipment on existing structures,” said Jerry Klapak, Senior Account Manager for VTI Security. SpotterRF provides perimeter protection through its patented Compact Surveillance Radar (CSR) systems SpotterRF, based in Orem, Utah, provides perimeter protection through its patented Compact Surveillance Radar (CSR) systems, which provide up to 300 acres of radar tracking power in a hand held, four-pound device. The CSRs enable security monitors to never be blind, providing 100 percent coverage, 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions. They are designed to detect threats up to 3300 feet beyond the fence line and provide early warnings to staff before situations escalate. PT-Series thermal camera While radar casts a wide circle to detect the presence of potential intruders, the FLIR thermal camera provides visual verification along specific perimeters. Upon selecting a radar system, VTI needed a video manufacturer to supply cameras to deploy with the radar. In 2015, the integrator approached FLIR Systems for a solution and selected PT-Series thermal camera for the project. “The ability for FLIR's products to perform beyond published performance specifications was a surprise we don’t often see,” said Klapak. “Each product exceeded published performance metrics on our field testing and actual deployments.” Features thermal and visible-light imaging SpotterRF radars, combined with FLIR PT-Series cameras, deliver maximum coverage and perimeter protectionThe PT-Series is a pan/tilt camera that features both thermal and visible-light imaging. The pan/tilt mechanism gives end users precise pointing control, fully programmable scan patterns, and both radar slew-to-cue and slew-to-alarm functions. With the radar and thermal technologies selected, VTI worked to ensure seamless integration and performance between the two systems. “We worked with each company’s support and development teams, as well as the VMS manufacturer, to ensure the technologies not only worked with one another, but also met the client’s needs for bandwidth consumption and VMS interface and display,” said Klapak. Together, SpotterRF C20 and C40 radars, combined with FLIR PT-Series cameras, deliver maximum coverage and perimeter protection. Cost-effective solution for substations "The FLIR PT-Series, when deployed with SpotterRF, can cover a wide area of substation footprint. It is a cost-effective solution for substations needing to monitor the perimeter as well as inside the yard," said Michael Chaffee, Director of Business Development at FLIR Systems. “The speed at which the FLIR PT-Series slews to the cue of the SpotterRF detection is impressive." A number of environmental factors affected performance, including weather" When someone walks into the field of view of SpotterRF’s C20 or C40 radar, the radio waves bounce off the person and back to the radar, which then calculates the precise GPS location of the target, as well as its size. The radars then tell the FLIR PT-Series camera to zoom to that location. The camera automatically stays on and tracks the target. Because the radars control the cameras, the cameras only move upon detection, which significantly extends the shelf life of the cameras, allowing them to last for years without replacement. Locates person in a 15 or 100-acre space This FLIR and SpotterRF solution addresses an important pain point for the perimeter security and intrusion detection market. “In the past, utilities tried to use video analytics to find targets. Because these systems were outdoors, a number of environmental factors affected performance, including weather, lighting and moving trees,” said Logan Harris, CEO of SpotterRF. “However, by combining our radar with FLIR’s pan tilt thermal cameras, you’re able to solve this problem.” He added, “Together, SpotterRF’s radar technology and FLIR’s thermal imaging are able to locate a person in a 15 or 100-acre space, see hundreds of yards beyond the fence line, cue the camera, and alert the personnel, all without the help of an operator.” Activates security lighting based on motion One surprising benefit was the ability to use both the thermal cameras and radars for additional security and production uses"In the past, only military organizations could access this level of advanced technology. Now, the FLIR and SpotterRF solution makes this security capability accessible and affordable for critical infrastructure, power distribution and commercial applications. "Our client is very pleased with the ability of the technologies to provide security for their critical sites," said Klapak. "One surprising benefit was the ability to use both the thermal cameras and radars for additional security and production uses. They now use the radars to activate security lighting based on motion within and outside the fences. This provides not only a green approach to security by lowering energy costs but also improves customer relations by reducing light pollution in residential neighborhoods.” The entire team was also impressed by the solution’s minimal installation time. Unlike installing fiber optic cables on fence lines, which requires months for digging trenches, the FLIR PT camera and SpotterRF radar can be mounted easily on control shacks or lattice poles within a week. Four times faster installation of systems “The deployment occurred four times faster than it was anticipated,” said Harris. “VTI installed the systems at 25-30 sites in just three months.” VTI began installation in 2016, with plans to roll out the solution in a phased approach as part of a multi-year plan. Approximately 50-75 sites will deploy the camera and radar solution. On average, each substation has two FLIR PT-Series cameras and four SpotterRF radars. Some of VTI’s other clients are also expected to deploy the same solution at 10-20 sites over the next few years, based on the success VTI has proven in the utility environment.
New Covent Garden Market is the largest wholesale fruit, vegetable, and flower market in the United Kingdom. Redevelopment work launched in 2015 included a new security monitoring system, as well as a migration from analog security equipment to an IP solution from FLIR Systems. New Covent Garden Market is a phenomenon in London, to say the least. The world-famous wholesale market provides 40 percent of London’s fresh fruit and vegetables eaten outside the home and serves 75 percent of London’s florists. With more than 175 affiliated businesses, New Covent Garden Market is the largest wholesale market in the UK. IP-Based Security System Redevelopment construction works started in 2015 and should continue until 2022 When London authorities decided to redevelop the entire site on Nine Elms and Battersea in order to meet future needs, it was clear that New Covent Garden Market was facing a huge operational challenge. Redevelopment construction works started in 2015 and should continue until 2022. In addition to a better road layout, improved waste management, and upgraded parking facilities, the market authorities wanted better security so that employees, tenants, customers and suppliers would feel safer. The organization wanted to upgrade its legacy analog CCTV technology to an IP-based security system capable of incorporating future upgrades. Surrey-based company Phoenix Integrated Security Limited, which had been the security solution provider for New Covent Garden Market for years, oversaw the security overhaul, as well. Future-Proof System “We designed a security system together with the end customer and the site constructor so that it could meet today’s security standards again,” said Trevor Hearn, Director at Phoenix Integrated Security Limited. “We were looking for a future-proof system that was able to monitor this complex site and that was easy to work with for our security guard personnel. We looked at various manufacturers for this, but FLIR Systems was the only company that ticked all the boxes.” Phoenix opted for FLIR United VMS, which includes FLIR’s enterprise-level software solution Latitude, and a wide range of FLIR IP cameras. At the end of 2018, New Covent Garden Market already had more than 300 IP cameras installed across the entire site it intends to gradually upgrade all analog systems over a five-year period. Wide Range Of Cameras The image quality of the FLIR IP cameras represents a huge improvement over analog The site combines a wide range of cameras, including the FLIR Quasar 4K fixed box camera, the FLIR Ariel Quad HD bullet camera, and the Quasar 1080p PTZ camera. The cameras offer high evidentiary detail and discreet, compact form factors. According to Hearn, the image quality of the FLIR IP cameras represents a huge improvement over analog. Image quality is not the only benefit of using United VMS. Another valued feature is the platforms scalability. From 2016 onwards, New Covent Garden Market has been gradually replacing analog cameras and storage equipment across the entire site, and Latitude has the flexibility to incorporate an unlimited number of channels. Body-Worn Cameras Operators have the flexibility to present their video sources on screen where they want and define user profiles to see only specific video sources from a given particular building, for example. “This project is an engineer’s dream,” said Hearn. “The FLIR Latitude system allows New Covent Garden Market to easily expand their camera network whenever they feel the need and to connect with practically any camera they want, including body-worn cameras. The Latitude system is also easy to couple with third-party systems, such as intercom and access control systems.”
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