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Critical infrastructure facilities that must secure large areas with extended outer boundary and numerous entry points, present a particularly difficult challenge when it comes to perimeter protection. As such, true end-to-end perimeter protection calls for the utilization of a sophisticated, multi-layered solution that is capable of defending against anticipated threats. Integrated systems that incorporate thermal imaging, visible cameras, radar and strong command and control software are crucial for covering the various potential areas of attacks. Let’s look at these technologies and the five key functions they enable to achieve an end-to-end solution that provides intrusion detection, assessment and defense for the perimeter. 1. Threat Recognition The first step in effectively defending against a threat is recognizing that it’s there. By combining state-of-the-art intrusion detection technologies, facilities can arm themselves with a head start against possible intruders. An exceptionally important aspect of effective perimeter protection is the ability to conduct 24-hour surveillance, regardless of weather conditions, environmental settings, or time of day. Visible cameras do not perform as well in low light scenarios and inclement weather conditions. However, thermal imaging cameras can provide constant protection against potential intruders, regardless of visual limitations, light source or many environmental factors. In fact, facilities such as power stations located near bodies of water can use thermal cameras to create what is known as a “thermal virtual fence” in areas where they are unable to utilize the protection of a physical fence or wall. Deterring suspicious activity can be achieved through real-time two-way audio, a simple but powerful tool Critical infrastructure applications require not only continuous video surveillance and monitoring, but also a solution that yields highly reliable intrusion detection, with fewer false alarms. This need makes advanced video analytics a must for any adequate surveillance system. Features like dynamic event detection and simplified data presentation are game changing in supporting accurate intrusion analysis and facilitating a proactive response. Advanced analytics will provide multiple automated alarm notification options, including email, edge image storage, digital outputs or video management software (VMS) alarms. Incorporating high quality, unique and adaptive analytics can virtually eliminate false alarms, allowing security personnel to respond more efficiently and effectively, while also lowering overall cost for the end user. While surveillance technologies such as radar, thermal imaging and visible cameras, or video analytics work well on their own, utilizing all of these options together provides an advanced perimeter detection system. For example, ground surveillance radar can detect possible threats beyond the fence line as they approach and send a signal to pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, triggering them to slew to a specific location. From there, embedded analytics and visible cameras can further identify objects, notify authorized staff, and collect additional evidence through facial recognition or high-quality photos. 2. Automatic Response Systems Once an intrusion attempt is discovered, it is important to act fast. Organizing a response system that can initiate actions based on GPS location data, such as the slewing of PTZ cameras, automated intruder tracking or activated lighting sensors, greatly increases staff’s situational awareness while easing their workload. For instance, thermal imagers deployed in conjunction with video analytics can be used to generate an initial alarm event, which can then trigger a sequence of other security equipment and notifications for personnel to eventually respond to. Having all of this in place essentially lays the entire situation out in a way that allows responders to accurately understand and evaluate a scene. Power stations located near bodies of water can use thermal cameras to create a “thermal virtual fence” in areas where they are unable to utilize the protection of a physical fence or wall 3. Deterring Suspicious Activity After the designated auto-response mechanisms have activated and done their job, it is time for responders to acknowledge and assess the situation. From here, authorized personnel can take the next appropriate step toward defending against and delaying the threat. Deterring suspicious activity can be achieved through real-time two-way audio, a simple but powerful tool. Often, control room operators can diffuse a situation by speaking over an intercom, telling the trespasser that they are being watched and that the authorities have been notified. This tactic, known as ‘talk down’, also allows officers to view the intruder’s reaction to their commands and evaluate what they feel the best next step is. If individuals do not respond in a desired manner, it may be time to take more serious action and dispatch a patrolman to the area. 4. Delay, Defend, Dispatch And Handle The possible danger has been identified, recognized and evaluated. Now it is time to effectively defend against current attacks and slow down both cyber and physical perpetrators’ prospective efforts. Through the use of a well-designed, open platform VMS, security monitors can manage edge devices and other complementary intrusion detection and response technologies, including acoustic sensors, video analytics, access control and radio dispatch. A robust VMS also enables operators to control functions such as video replay, geographical information systems tracking, email alerts and hand-off to law enforcement. With the right combination of technologies, facilities can take monitoring and evidence collection to the next level The primary purpose of the delay facet of the overall perimeter protection strategy is to stall an attempted intrusion long enough for responders to act. Access control systems play a key role in realizing this objective. When a security officer sees a non-compliant, suspicious individual on the camera feed, the officer can lock all possible exits to trap them in one area all through the VMS. 5. Intelligence: Collect Evidence And Debrief More data and intelligence collected from an event equals more crucial evidence for crime resolution and valuable insight for protecting against future incidents. With the right combination of technologies, facilities can take monitoring and evidence collection to the next level. One innovative resource that has become available is a live streaming application that can be uploaded to smart phones and used for off-site surveillance. This app gives personnel the power to follow intruders with live video anywhere and allows operators to monitor alarm video in real-time. Geographic Information System (GIS) maps are computer systems utilized for capturing, storing, reviewing, and displaying location related data. Capable of displaying various types of data on one map, this system enables users to see, analyze, easily and efficiently. Multi-sensor cameras, possessing both visible and thermal capabilities, provide high-contrast imaging for superb analytic detection (in any light) and High Definition video for evidence such as facial ID or license plate capture. Integrating these two, usually separated, camera types into one helps to fill any gaps that either may normally have. Still, in order to capture and store all of this valuable information and more, a robust, VMS is required. Recorded video, still images and audio clips serve as valuable evidence in the event that a trial must take place to press charges. Control room operators can use data collection tools within their VMS to safely transfer video evidence from the field to the courtroom with just a few clicks of their mouse. More advanced video management systems can go a step further and package this data with other pertinent evidence to create a comprehensive report to help ensure conviction.
For those of you old enough to remember, video matrix switchers were once the heyday of surveillance camera control. These cumbersome antiques were at the heart of every major video surveillance system (video surveillance at the time) in premier gaming properties, government installations and corporate industrial complexes. They required more physical labor to construct and configure than perhaps the pyramids – maybe not – but you get the picture. And then digital video made its way in to the market and everything changed, transforming the physical demands for camera control and management from a hardware-centric to a software driven process. We’ve come a long way in a few short years, and the borders that once defined IT and security continue to diminish, if not disappear completely There’s no doubt that this migration also presented significant challenges as many security professionals often struggled with all things IT and software programming being one of the industry’s soft spots. Fortunately, we’ve come a long way in a few short years, and the borders that once defined IT and security continue to diminish, if not disappear completely. However, the complexities of today’s VMS functionality can be intimidating for anyone tasked with installing one of these systems given all of the user-defined options available from the simplest camera sequencing and bandwidth allocations to mobile management and enterprise level integration. This is where truly advanced VMS solutions need to shine on both the operations and the design/build sides of the equation. Smart VMS Design There are more solutions products labelled “VMS solutions” out there than ever before. The issue is the fact that many of these “solutions” really don’t fall into the category of a true VMS by today’s standards but offer basic camera and NVR control. No doubt that there is a place for such software programs in the market. However, VMS solutions from the likes of OnSSI and other industry-leading companies offer distinct and superior management and control capabilities for demanding security and business intelligence applications. Perhaps of equal importance, these top-tier VMS solutions incorporate provisions for installers, so they have a clear and easier implementation path. OnSSI offers VMS solutions with smart camera drivers Here are seven attributes that can assist with the design and implementation of an advanced VMS solution: 1) Open Architecture Platform We need the ability to easily integrate with other systems and scale for future developments and physical system growth The ability to easily integrate with other systems and scale for future developments and physical system growth is largely dependent on a systems platform architecture. Here’s where VMS solutions with open architecture provide a distinct advantage. Open-architecture solutions expand functionality by facilitating greater integration between multiple systems and components. This not only makes VMS solutions with open architecture easier to implement, it makes them extremely cost-efficient by eliminating the need for proprietary solutions. Open architecture systems also provide adherence to industry standards such as ONVIF and PSIA, as well as compression formats such as H.265 and MJPEG, and help ensure system integration and support of an extensive range of manufacturers’ cameras and off-the-shelf hardware. Be wary of VMS solutions with limited camera manufacturer support. 2) Simple Licensing Processes And Pricing Camera licenses and pricing is always a touchy subject, as any misunderstanding of a specific VMS solutions’ licensing terms can prove to be costly after the fact. And it often seems that some VMS suppliers have gone to great lengths to complicate the process as to obscure actual Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Perhaps the most direct, simple and straightforward camera licensing and pricing method is to have one license per IP address used by each camera/encoder on multi-channel devices. These should be perpetual licenses with no required annual fees or subscriptions. Additionally, the licensing agreement should be all inclusive without added fees for multiple clients, failover servers, active directory support, I/O devices, redundant management servers, technical support or security patches and updates. 3) Mixing And Matching Camera License Types The ability to mix and match different camera license types within the same system helps facilitate a seamless and simple migration of new and pre-existing systems with minimal downtime or interruption in operation. The ability to mix and match camera licenses not only saves valuable design and installation time, it can provide considerable savings when integrating large, multi-tenant systems. Mix and match capabilities also allow system designers to apply specific feature sets to specific groups of cameras to best leverage functionality and budgets, as well as providing the flexibility to implement an on-site, virtual, or cloud-based VMS solution, without any additional cost. 4) Auto Camera Detection And Configuration Another VMS set-up feature that eases the install process is the ability to forego device registrations or MAC address requirements Another VMS set-up feature that eases the install process is the ability to forego device registrations or MAC address requirements. This functionality allows installers to instantly locate cameras on the network and configure them centrally so they can easily replace older cameras while seamlessly retaining video recorded from them. The auto detection capability should also include the ability to detect and import CSV files, which can then be stored and used to configure camera templates for future camera installation profiles. 5) Smart Camera Driver Technology VMS solutions with smart camera drivers offer valuable assistance during system implementation, and any time new cameras are added to the network or replace older models. Manufacturer-specific smart camera drivers expand the range of model-specific static drivers. Instead of storing the device’s information (codecs, resolutions, frame rates, etc.) statically, a VMS with smart camera drivers queries devices for their capabilities using the manufacturers’ proprietary protocol. All that is required for configuration is that the camera is available on the network. Smart camera drivers eliminate the need to wait for model-specific drivers or installation of driver packs, allowing for newly released cameras to be used immediately. Network security is an area where leading VMS suppliers like OnSSI have ramped up development efforts to stay ahead of hackers 6) Importance Of Network Security Network Security is perhaps the greatest challenge faced by industry professionals today Network security is perhaps the greatest challenge faced by industry professionals today. This is an area where leading VMS suppliers like OnSSI have ramped up development efforts to stay ahead of hackers. New security developments to look for include TLS 1.2 encryption protocols for camera-to-server communications (SSL 3.0 supported for older cameras), as well as server-to-server communications. Additional safeguards to consider include: randomized video databases with no camera identification information to secure recorded data; support for Active Directory authentication; AES encryption between servers and clients; and AES encrypted exporting. 7) Automatic Updates Regardless of the supplier you select for your VMS solution, they should be consistently providing new updates and security patches on a frequent if not regular basis. Keeping up with these updates can be a burden and are often overlooked leading to system failures and breeches. Advanced VMS solutions now feature automatic update service checks on a system-wide basis, eliminating the need to manually update individual servers and devices. This ensures that your VMS system always has the latest drivers, fixes and updates which assures overall security while reducing TCO. So next time you’re getting a demo of the latest and greatest VMS solution, remember to ask what it offers in terms of design and implementation tools. Half the battle with new technologies is getting them installed and working properly. Without the right tools to accomplish these critical first steps, all the functionality in the world will do you little good.
It amazes me how in a few short years security systems have gone from simple, dumb cameras witnessing events to intelligent eyes, ears, speech and touch solutions that boost situational awareness far beyond human capabilities. It seems the only senses missing from the equation now are smell and taste. And who knows, someone might be working on those in a lab somewhere right now. But what’s really fascinating to me is how the Internet of Things (IoT) has opened a world of possibilities for transforming security technology into something new yet again. With IoT we’re able to push and pull nuggets of intelligence from sources we never considered before: environmental sensors, pressure plates, door lock timers and much more. It’s helped us break through the constraining mindset that security systems are strictly single-purpose. With interconnectivity at the core, we’re starting to imagine myriad ways to apply these tools to challenges outside the realm of security. Here are just a few examples. Flood Management Assistance Network camera adds another dimension and timeliness to flood management by helping responders investigate remotely As recent hurricanes and floods have shown, water damage can be devastating to a community. That’s why some municipalities are using their city surveillance cameras in conjunction with water sensor to proactively address the problem. Water sensors collect data from multiple sources such as rain gutters, sewer systems and pump stations, in order to monitor fluctuations in water levels and water quality. If an alert triggers, having a network camera in proximity to visually verify the situation helps responders determine the best course of action. For instance, if multiple water detection sensors trigger alerts simultaneously or sequentially over a large area it’s probably due to natural runoff from recent rainfall. But without eyes on the scene, how can you be sure? Network camera adds another dimension and timeliness to flood management by helping responders investigate and identify the cause of a trigger remotely. It might be a fire hydrant spewing water, a water main break or even a chemical spill. With video streaming live to the command center, staff can remotely inspect the area, determine the cause of the trigger and decide whether remediation is required, thus avoiding the expense of dispatching an investigative crew to a non-event. Some municipalities are using their city surveillance cameras in conjunction with water sensor to proactively address the problem Environmental Control Assistance Data centers house the lifeblood of a business so it’s no wonder why companies work hard to protect them. We’re all familiar with the integration of network cameras with access control systems to visually verify who is actually using the credentials. Network camera adds another dimension and timeliness to flood management by helping responders investigate and identify the cause of a trigger remotely But there’s another aspect to protecting data centers and that’s environment control. Data centers need to maintain optimum humidity and temperature for the racks of electronics. When environmental sensors in the facility detect out-of-norm ranges technicians can remotely command a network camera to zoom in on the gauges and help them determine whether remediation might be necessary. Coupling network cameras with other sensors in the data center can provide visual confirmation of other conditions as well. For instance, every time a data rack door-open-close sensor detects an event it can trigger the camera to pan to the location and stream video to security. Some data centers employ weight sensors at the doorway to weigh personnel and equipment as they enter the room and when they exit to ensure no additional hardware is being taken out of the facility or left inside without permission. Any discrepancy would trigger the camera to zoom in for a close-up of the individual’s face and send a visual alert and ID information to security. Roadway Management And Parking Assistance Network cameras have long played a part in city-wide traffic management. Adding video analytics and integration with network sensors, makes those cameras that much smarter and versatile. They can detect cars driving in bike lanes or driving in the wrong direction and capture license plates of offenders. Their ability to detect anomalous traffic flow patterns can be integrated with car counting sensors, networked electronic road signs and traffic light systems to automatically redirect vehicles to alternate routes. They make great, intelligent parking lot attendants, too. Working in conjunction with weight sensors network cameras can count vehicles coming into and leaving a lot or garage and verify when the facility has reached capacity. License plate recognition and video analytics can be used to ascertain that a vehicle entering a reserved parking space doesn’t match the credentials and vehicle attributes in the database. With the addition of noise sensors and audio analytics, network cameras can improve roadway and parking facility safety by detecting and identifying specific sounds – breaking glass, car alarms, gun shots, and aggressive speech – and triggering a visual alert to first responders. Network cameras can improve roadway and parking facility safety by detecting and identifying specific sounds and triggering a visual alert to first responders Shopper Experience Assistance In the early days of online shopping, e-tailers designed their sites to replicate the in-store customer experience. In an ironic turn of events, today brick-and-mortar stores are trying to mirror the online shopping experience. To do so, they’re turning their security systems into adjunct sales assistance. With network video and audio system automation they can recognize and acknowledge loyal customers with personal greetings. Retailers are applying people counting video analytics to checkout activity to create rules-based consistency in customer service With heatmapping analytics they can measure how much time a customer spends in a specific department or observe how they walk through the aisles of the store. They can track shopping behaviors such as items looked at that made it into the cart or didn’t, or whether a customer actually checked out or left the merchandise behind. By capturing these shopping patterns and trends retailers can shape a more positive, more profitable customer shopping experience. For instance, integrating video analytics with point of sale systems and RFID sensors on merchandise tags can result in timely alerts to sales associates to recommend additional merchandise. This is a case of emulating how e-tailers let the customer know that other customers who bought X often also purchased items Y and Z. Or to avoid disappointing customers due to stock outages, retailers are linking weight sensors and video analytics to make sure their shelves are well-stocked and if not, quickly alert associates to what items need to be restocked. Capturing Business Intelligence Retailers are also using video cameras to monitor checkout queues and trigger automated announcements over the public-address system, closed system such as smartphones or other wireless communications devices that checkers are needed rather wait for a person to call for backup. IoT laid the groundwork for network security solutions to seamlessly integrate with other IP-based technologies, sensors and programs They’re applying people counting video analytics to checkout activity to create rules-based consistency in customer service. While retailers will always use their surveillance camera for loss prevention, they’re finding that integrating traditional technology in new ways can yield even bigger returns. Linking network video surveillance, video analytics, network communications system and sensors with point-of-sale systems and customer loyalty databases, retailers are capturing the business intelligence they need to get back in the game and make brick-and-mortar a greater overall experience than online shopping. A Natural Cross-Over Technology This trend towards integration has forever changed how organizations view their investment in security technology. The intelligence and versatility of a tool that can see, verify and analyze what’s happening in real-time is spurring users to tap its cross-over potential for a host of other tasks that could benefit from more astute situational awareness – everything from manufacturing and equipment maintenance to logistics, inventory control and beyond. IoT laid the groundwork for network security solutions to seamlessly integrate with other IP-based technologies, sensors and programs. How we capitalize on that connection is only limited by our imagination.
Choosing the right interface for the machine vision application is a key decision in one’s camera selection process. The following sections provide an overview of the different types of cables and connectors available for machine vision applications along with associated pros and cons. Useful for applications where extremely high-speeds or ultra high-resolution necessitate the use of such interfaces; for example, line-scan cameras used to inspect continuous flow processes like paper or plastic film production where cameras frequently work in the kHz range. However, these interfaces tend to be significantly more expensive, less flexible and add to system complexity. Machine vision interfaces These are specialized adapter cards to receive image data and assemble it into usable images CarmeraLink (supports up to 6.8Gbit/s of data) and CoaXPress (supports up to 12Gbit/s) are dedicated machine vision interfaces typically used in such applications. In addition to the cameras, systems using these interfaces require frame grabbers. These are specialized adapter cards to receive image data and assemble it into usable images. Dedicated machine vision interfaces also use proprietary cables, making integration with other peripherals a little more challenging. CoaXPress (CXP) The CoaXpress interface was launched in 2008 to support high-speed imaging applications. CXP interfaces use 75ohm coaxial cables and support data transfer speeds of up to 6.25Gbit/s per channel, with the ability to use multiple channels to support even faster data transfer rates. A CXP cable can supply up to 13W of power per cable and requires that both the 'device' and the 'host' support the GenICam camera programming interface. While single-lane coaxial cables are inexpensive, the cost of setting up multi-lane cable assemblies and frame grabbers add up very quickly. Maximize signal integrity CameraLink The CameraLink standard was launched in the year 2000 by Automated Imaging Association (AIA) and has been upgraded progressively in order to support higher data speeds, with some versions requiring two cables for transmission. The three main configurations available include Base (2.04Gbit/s), Medium (5.44Gbit/s) and Deca/Extended (6.8Gbit/s). The base standard uses MDR ("Mini D Ribbon") 26-pin connector, while the medium/full configuration doubles capacity using a second cable. The Deca/Extended versions go beyond limits imposed by CameraLink, carrying up to 6.8 Gbit/s of data. Like CXP interfaces, CameraLink requires frame grabbers and additionally need to be compatible with Power over Camera Link (PoCL) standard in order to supply power. CameraLink lacks any error correction or resend capabilities, requiring expensive and cumbersome cable setups to try and eliminate dropped images by maximizing signal integrity. Machine vision implementation Consumer interfaces These interfaces enable machine vision cameras to connect with host systems using widely available USB and Ethernet standards. For most machine vision applications, the USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Gigabit Ethernet consumer interfaces provide a winning combination of convenience, speed, simplicity and affordability. Furthermore, consumer interfaces support widely available hardware and peripherals for machine vision implementation. Most PCs, laptops and embedded systems include at least one port each of Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.1 Gen 1 USB and Ethernet hubs, switches, cables and interface cards can be purchased anywhere from Amazon to the local computer or electronics store at a range of price points to suit the exact requirements. Most PCs, laptops and embedded systems include at least one port each of Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.1 Gen 1. The most obvious difference between these categories of interfaces is their bandwidth. Faster interfaces enable higher framerates for a given resolution. Semiconductor wafer inspection system A faster interface enables you to capture more images each second or capture higher resolution images without sacrificing throughput. For example, a semiconductor wafer inspection system being upgraded from 8” to 12” wafers, higher resolution cameras will be required. In this case, the system designer will need to choose between keeping their existing interface and trading higher resolution for reduced throughput, or upgrading to a faster interface to maintain or improve the throughput. The user’s requirements for resolution, frame rate, cable length and host system configuration should all be considered to ensure they get performance they require without spending more than they need. FLIR’s machine visions cameras support all three trusted and widely available interfaces. Camera control protocols Universal Serial Bus (USB) USB is everywhere. Look around and count the number of USB devices and accessories around. Most USB machine vision cameras use the USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface. This interface provides up to 4Gibt/s of image data bandwidth between the camera and the host system. The USB3 Vision standard helps ensure compatibility between a wide range of cameras and software by defining a common set of device detection, image transfer and camera control protocols. The 5m maximum cable length of USB 3.1 Gen 1 is generally not an issue for embedded systems USB supports Direct Memory Access (DMA). With this DMA capability, image data can be transferred across from the USB directly into memory where it is available for use by software. DMA coupled with the widespread support for USB and availability of drivers for USB controllers on virtually any hardware platform makes USB ideal for use in embedded systems. The 5m maximum cable length of USB 3.1 Gen 1 is generally not an issue for embedded systems. Active optical cables USB 3.1 Gen 1 can simplify system design by supplying up to 4.5 W of power to a camera. The recently developed USB Power Delivery specification allows some hosts to supply more power to devices like rapid-charging cellphone, this specification is independent from the base USB 3.1 Gen 1 standard and has not been adopted by machine vision camera manufacturers. High-flexibility USB cables help maximize the lifespan of cables in systems where the camera must be moved repeatedly. Active optical cables (AOCs) may be used to greatly extend the working distance and provide Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) resistance. The performance of active optical cables is dependant on the throughput requirements and the host system configuration. When using optical cables, even those that supply power via the cable, FLIR recommends using powering cameras externally via GPIO. Locking screw position Additionally, locking USB cables provide a secure connection between cables, cameras and host systems. Prior to purchasing locking cables, FLIR recommends checking the locking screw position and spacing compatibility, as several options are available. USB 3.1 Gen 1 is available on FLIR Blackfly S - Cased and Board level versions, and the tiny Firefly S. Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) GigE provides up to 1Gbit/s of image data bandwidth. Its combination of simplicity, speed, 100m maximum cable length and ability to supply power to cameras over a single cable make it an extremely popular camera interface. Ethernet cables are available with robust shielding. This is ideal for environments with high electromagnetic interference caused by proximity to the powerful motors found in some robots and metrology equipment. Software accessible memory FLIR GigE cameras also support a packet resend feature which further boosts transmission reliability. Unlike USB, GigE does not support DMA. Packets containing image data are transmitted to the host where they must be reassembled into image frames prior to being copied to software accessible memory. This process is trivial for modern PCs, though it may result in latency for some low-power embedded systems with limited system resources. The widespread adoption of Gigabit Ethernet means there is an incredibly wide range of supporting products from cables to switches, ready to meet any project requirement. GigE cameras support the IEEE1588 PTP time synchronization protocol, enabling cameras and other Ethernet enabled devices such as actuators and industrial Programmable Logic Controllers to operate on a precisely synchronized common time base. High flexibility requirements The widespread adoption of Ethernet across many industries has enabled availability of many specialized cables and connectors for a wide range of use cases. For example, there are Ethernet cables designed to protect against EMI (Electromagnetic Interference), high temperature and chemical resistance, while some cater to high flexibility requirements and so on. Ethernet cables have a category number depending on their construction Ethernet cables have a category number depending on their construction. CAT5e is the most common for GigE, while CAT6A, CAT7 and CAT8 may be used for additional EMI resistance at the expense of greater cost and increased cable diameter. Some industrial devices use an X-Coded M12 connector to provide increased shielding, however, for most applications, the familiar RJ-45 connector is good enough and provides greater convince at lower cost. 3D scanning Additionally, screw locking RJ45 connectors easily add additional security to RJ45 cables. 10Gigabit Ethernet (10GigE) 10GigE builds on the strengths of GigE by increasing the bandwidth to 10Gbit/s. 10GigE is an ideal interface for high-resolution 3D scanning, volumetric capture and precision metrology. GigE and 10GigE can be combined in numerous ways. Multiple GigE cameras can be connected to a 10GigE switch to support multiple GigE cameras at full speed over a single 10GigE port on a host system. Incoming image data While CAT5e cables will work with 10GigE cameras over distances less than 30m, CAT6A or higher cables are recommended. 10Gbit/sec is a lot of data. Modern PC systems with high-speed CPUs, PCIe 3.0 and dual channel memory can handle this well, while higher performance systems can support multiple 10GigE cameras. Embedded systems with reduced system resources will generally lack the memory bandwidth and processor speed required to keep up with the incoming image data. 10GgiE is available on FLIR Oryx cameras. Both consumer and dedicated interfaces are used across many machine vision applications. Pros and cons mentioned in previous sections would eventually determine the suitability of one over another for a specific use case. However, the combination of performance, ease of use, widespread availability and low cost make consumer interfaces an attractive choice for most machine vision applications.
Acoustic imaging, or the ability to see ultrasonic sound, has emerged as an effective method for manufacturing and utility organizations to locate compressed air leaks or the existence of partial discharge (PD). It enables professionals to conduct more frequent predictive maintenance routines, to help provide a crucial first warning of impending electrical/mechanical failure that could lead to energy loss and even worse, downtime of critical systems. To help customers take advantage of the benefits of ultrasonic imaging, FLIR made its Si124 industrial acoustic imaging camera available for purchase globally. The FLIR Si124 industrial acoustic imaging camera senses, displays and records sound waves producing a precise acoustic image. The acoustic image is overlaid, in real time, onto a digital camera image all with an easy-to-use, ergonomic, one-handed camera solution weighing a little more than 2 pounds (980 grams). Detecting compressed air leaks The blended visual and sound image can be viewed live on screen to help users’ pinpoint issues from the sound source, helping staff identify issues up to 10 times faster than traditional inspection methods for common mechanical, electrical, vacuum and compressor systems. Built with 124 microphones and a high definition visible-light camera, the battery-powered Si124 can detect potential issues up to 100 meters away, even in loud industrial environments, for up to seven hours of continuous use. Two primary use cases for the Si124 include detecting compressed air leaks and partial discharge (PD) such as corona, arcing, and tracking. Compressed air is often the single most expensive energy source in factories, but air is often lost due to undetected leaks or equipment inefficiencies. Potential unplanned downtime The Si124 provides the ability to perform quick non-contact inspections from a safe distance That leaked air can be difficult to detect by the human ear or touch, particularly in loud manufacturing environments where workers are required to wear hearing protection. The Si124 can solve this issue by visually pinpointing the exact source of a leak instantaneously, especially in hard to reach places that might otherwise go unnoticed. For high-voltage electrical systems, PD can preface a catastrophic failure, creating an unsafe environment and potential unplanned downtime. The Si124 provides the ability to perform quick non-contact inspections from a safe distance. The system then immediately provides the PD type, allowing users to prioritize repairs. What sets the Si124 further apart from other cameras is the FLIR Acoustic Camera Viewer cloud service. Online cloud portal Image captures are quickly uploaded over Wi-Fi to the cloud service then immediately analyzed, providing the user in-depth information such as the size and energy cost of a compressed air leak or the PD classification and pattern of an electric fault. This information is accessible on the Si124 and through the online cloud portal. In addition, users get 8 GBs of storage and wireless data transfer capabilities, making sharing photos and data simple and efficient.
Blind spots in surveillance coverage, incompatible video and access control systems, lack of adequate perimeter measures—these are common issues that facility directors must address with their security teams. At the end of the day, facility executives need technology that accomplish more with less—that expand situational awareness, overall system functionality, and real-time response capabilities while generating cost-savings. By leveraging technology like thermal imaging, this is possible. Security directors who want to improve facility management—specifically 24/7 monitoring for heightened security and elevated skin temperature frontline screening for entry control—should consider incorporating thermal cameras into their next security upgrade or new installation project. Levelling up your security with thermal By using thermal security cameras, facility directors can better protect their property and tenants from external threats. Backed by decades of successful deployment in the government and defense sector for reconnaissance, thermal imaging is a trusted technology. New innovations have expanded the use cases for thermal cameras and made them widely available to commercial and industrial facilities. Today, corporate offices, manufacturing plants and healthcare campuses all use thermal cameras as a core component of their security strategy. All use thermal cameras as a core component of their security strategy Thermal security cameras perform in adverse conditions where standard surveillance cameras cannot. Visual cameras require a light source, and thus, additional infrastructure, to produce an image. If there’s no light, there’s no video. Because thermal cameras measure infrared radiation, or heat, they do not need illumination to produce imagery. In fact, thermal cameras can see in total darkness as well as in rain, smoke, and light fog. They truly enable 24/7 surveillance. Enhancing video analytics Further, thermal cameras yield high-contrast imagery, which not only enhances video analytics performance, but also situational awareness. For example, a security operator viewing a thermal camera feed can easily spot a trespasser attempting to camouflage in the foliage at night by alerting the operator of body heat on premise. Thermal cameras also enable alarm validation. While motion sensors, laser detectors and fiber optic cables need another technology to visually verify the alert, thermal cameras already provide this function. With onboard analytics, thermal cameras detect objects, classify whether it’s a human, animal or vehicle, and provide video clips for remote operators to assess the alert. Consequently, thermal cameras minimise unnecessary dispatch of guards or police for false positives, saving valuable time, money and resource for facilities. In the event of a true alarm, thermal cameras enable superior suspect tracking. Upon receiving an intrusion alert, a long-range pan-tilt thermal camera can widely monitor the area and scan the property. The camera can then follow the movements of an intruder, and if equipped with both thermal and optical sensors, provide both thermal and color video of the person. With this data, a security officer can ascertain the threat level and determine whether the person is an employee who forgot their ID or an unauthorised person trespassing on private property. It is important to note that thermal cameras cannot detect a specific individual or their personal information, rather they classify whether the object is a human and then further analysis is required through of the use of visual cameras for identification. For these reasons, facility directors, especially those managing large campuses or properties, should consider deploying thermal cameras to maximize their intrusion detection capabilities for stronger overall security. Thermal cameras maximize intrusion detection capabilities Streamlining entry control with temperature screening Facility executives can also improve their access and entry control security procedures by using radiometric thermal cameras for temperature screening. COVID-19, classified as a global pandemic in March 2020, has permanently changed how facility directors build security and environmental, health and safety (EHS) plans. Now, facility directors are prioritising protocols and technologies that minimise both the risk of exposure as well as the spread of infectious diseases among employees, visitors and contractors. Temperature checks have become one of the most widely adopted as a key component of frontline screening practices across facilities. In fact, General Motors plants and the Pentagon Visiting Center are notable examples of critical facilities deploying radiometric thermal cameras for skin temperature screening. Radiometric thermal cameras for skin temperature screenings allow for a non-contact, frontline diagnostic tool that enables high throughput. These thermal cameras specifically measure skin surface temperature at the inner corner of the eye, the region medially adjacent to the inner canthus, which is known to be the best measurement spot. The most reliable thermal cameras yield accuracies of ±0.3°C (0.5°F) over a temperature measurement range of 15°C to 45°C (59°F to 113°F). Available in a handheld, tripod-mounted or fixed-mount form factor, elevated skin temperature thermal cameras are deployed inside entryways, immediately screening people as they walk into the facility. These cameras scan a person up to one to two meters (or three to six feet) away. Premium thermal cameras can scan individuals in two seconds or less. Premium thermal cameras can scan individuals in two seconds or less Thermal cameras are intended for use as an adjunct to clinical procedures in the screening of skin surface temperature. Upon detection of an elevated skin temperature, a person must then undergo a secondary screening where a medical device can determine whether the person has an actual fever or should partake in virus specific testing. By implementing these screening procedures, facility directors ensure a faster, non-invasive method to quickly detect possible signs of infection before an individual enters a populous area. This minimizes the risk of communal spread of viruses among employees in the workplace, which ultimately increases workforce health, safety and peace of mind. Today, a total security solution designed to detect both physical threats as well as environmental and health hazards is one that includes thermal cameras for elevated skin temperature screening. Facility managers can strengthen their risk management plans by proactively expanding their security systems to include these solutions. Many physical security solutions are already in place at key entry points as well as additional checkpoints, such as indoor surveillance cameras, visitor management and access control. Implementing screening stations with specific radiometric thermal cameras is a logical integration at these locations. Choosing the right solution for your facility While thermal cameras for perimeter protection and elevated skin temperature screening are valuable components to the overall security system, facility directors need to know that not all thermal is created equal. Thermal cameras need to be carefully researched and evaluated before deployment. Here are a few best practices for choosing the right thermal camera for your facility and application. Define your application: A thermal camera made for long-range perimeter monitoring functions differently than a thermal camera built for elevated skin temperature screening. Make sure to choose a camera designed for your specific use case. Know the distinguishing characteristics: Be aware of which technological features separate high-performing cameras from low-end options. For perimeter thermal cameras, resolution, detection range and integration capabilities matter. For elevated skin temperature screening cameras, resolution, sensitivity, accuracy and stability are critical. Check for certifications: Select a thermal camera with proven interoperability. Consider one that is ONVIF-compliant to ensure integration with the overall security system and chosen video management software. Additionally, for elevated skin temperature cameras, consider one that has a 510(k) filing (K033967) with the U.S. Federal and Drug Administration as well as one that supports other screening standards such as ISO/TR 13154:2017 and IEC 80601-2-59:2017. Work with experienced partners: Work with a system integrator who is knowledgeable in thermal. Choose thermal cameras from manufacturers with a solid track record of success for both security and elevated skin temperature screening deployments. Leverage guidebooks, site planning tools and online trainings that these experienced manufacturers have to offer to maximize performance.
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