Securitas UK has been officially recognized as a Top Employer by the Top Employers Institute for its commitment to delivering exceptional people management and HR strategies. The Top Employers Institute program certifies organizations based on the participation and results of their HR best practices survey. This survey covers six HR domains consisting of 20 topics such as People Strategy, Work Environment, Talent Acquisition, Learning, Wellbeing and Diversity & Inclusion, and more. Promoti...
HENSOLDT UK are pleased to announce the launch of SPEXER 600 multi-mission, X-Band ground-based surveillance radar utilizing SharpEye solid-state transceiver technology. Building upon the excellent pedigree of well-established HENSOLDT products and technologies, SPEXER 600 complements the SPEXER family of Active Electronically Scanned Array or AESA radars, offering a cost-effective and truly crew portable field deployable solution. Design and function Designed to meet user requirements to det...
Finbarr Solutions, a foremost global security & risk management consultancy, announced the launch of free face-to-face video consultations with a member of the Register of Chartered Security Professionals. The service is available to any organization that would benefit from expert independent advice, regarding their security requirements and systems, manning levels, and/or security postures. Assess security provision The Register of Chartered Security Professionals was established under a...
Leonardo has recently proven the newly-expanded capabilities of its ULISSES acoustic anti-submarine warfare (ASW) system in a demonstration off the coast of Italy. During the demo, Leonardo showed how the Firefly, AQS-18, dipping sonar from L3Harris Technologies worked in concert with the ULISSES processor to automatically locate simulated enemy submarines and alert the crew to their presence. Firefly sonar integration with ULISSES system The demonstration follows the successful integration o...
Following the release of FLIR United Video Management System 9.0 (United VMS) in August 2020, FLIR announced the global availability of United VMS 9.0.1 with new advanced features. The latest platform update offers further streamlined access to system status and alarms around the clock for security teams to react to threat activities faster while enjoying improved reporting and cybersecurity functionality. Included advancements The advancements include updates to the FLIR Latitude VMS Softwar...
The video-based fire detection Aviotec IP starlight 8000 from Bosch can now be used in environments without visible light. With the help of newly developed AI algorithms for video analytics, Aviotec's firmware version 7.72 is now able to reliably detect smoke and flames even with pure infrared lighting. Up to now, it was already possible with Aviotec to reliably detect flames and smoke in difficult lighting conditions down to a minimum of 2 Lux. Expanded field of application There are many a...
Security personnel must be able to quickly detect unauthorized vehicles and individuals at critical infrastructure sites. Without intrusion detection, entities like electrical substations can be subject to physical attacks. 88 percent of substations experience at least one break-in every year and 10 percent see more than 20 intrusions in the same time frame, according to CIGRE, a global electricity industry organization. To safeguard remote substations from external threats, electric utilities are relying on durable thermal cameras for superior monitoring and protection. Remote substation security The failure of a key substation caused by a security breach would have a debilitating effect on homeowners, businesses, and mission-critical infrastructure. While physical security is a top priority for utilities, designing, installing, and operating a perimeter system requires skill. Remote location, limited network connectivity, minimal lighting, internal security audits, and compliance with North American Electric Reliability Corporation are some of the challenges that both substation security directors and system integrators face. Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS) Since its arrival on the mainstream security scene a few decades ago, thermal security cameras have quickly become the optimal solution for remote substation perimeter security, due to their ability to monitor perimeters day and night in adverse weather conditions as well as in harsh environments.Thermal cameras measure the minute differences in heat signatures emitted by objects and people to produce high-contrast images and reliable intrusion detection. They enable security personnel to detect an intruder before they ever reach the perimeter for early intervention. Sensor quality FLIR's perimeter cameras offer the widest selection of lenses and detection ranges, adaptable to both large and small deployments As the industry front-runner in advanced thermal technology, FLIR provides the best sensor quality available. FLIR’s total security solution featuring a diverse suite of perimeter cameras offers the widest selection of lenses and detection ranges, adaptable to both large and small deployments. FLIR’s track record of success is just one of the reasons why utilities choose FLIR cameras time and again. Design recommendations When deploying thermal cameras at substations, there are several factors to consider to optimise performance. Here are some tips from the FLIR experts.Identify What One Needs to Protect: Assess the substation’s unique needs, define one's threats, and determine which area one needs to monitor. For rural or small substations miles away from the nearest city, position one's cameras so one has a solid view of the outside perimeter. If anyone approaches, one wants to have ample warning. For substations in urban areas that are next to public lands and walkways, it may not be cost-effective to look out as pedestrians can easily generate nuisance alerts. In these scenarios, thermal cameras that survey the interior of the substation may be the better option. Make the Most of Existing Infrastructure: Thermal cameras must be mounted at a minimum of 12-15 feet above the ground. However, some substation fences are only 6-8 feet tall. In this case, consider mounting cameras on telephone poles or tower structures. Utilizing these existing structures instead of digging new trenches can save one both time and money. Select the Right Camera for your Application: For small substations that are less than an acre, deploying a couple of FLIR Elara™ FC-Series ID cameras, which feature onboard analytics, along the fence line will often do the trick. For short to mid-range needs, the FLIR Elara FB-Series is a great, economical option. Install a visible camera or a camera that provides both thermal and optical imagers, like FLIR Saros™ DH-390 Dome at the gate, to monitor general traffic. For larger substations (around two acres) that are high-value sites, consider deploying a mix of FLIR FC-Series ID cameras with the FLIR Saros™ DM-Series to cover the fence line. Additionally, mount a pan-tilt camera with both visible and thermal streams, such as the FLIR Elara™ DX-Series or FLIR Triton™ PT-Series, to look around the perimeter for superior monitoring and threat assessment. Choose the accurate software As a final consideration, choose the right software to streamline management, operations, and functionality. For large applications where customers need to manage surveillance, access control, radar, and other disparate systems on one platform, consider command and control software. For enterprise-level surveillance operations, a video management system is optimal and for small applications using just a few cameras, a network video recorder is sufficient. Regardless of the size of the project, partner with an expert team that can help assess, design, installs, and program the right system for one's application.
FLIR Systems, Inc. has announced the release of Raymarine YachtSense, an advanced digital control system affording total command and complete awareness of a vessel’s electrical systems. The modular nature of the YachtSense system redefines the future of vessel automation for boat builders and technical installers. Raymarine YachtSense Engineered for reliability, flexibility, and ease-of-use, FLIR Systems’ Raymarine YachtSense offers a scalable, customizable and failsafe marine automation solution through intuitive control of onboard systems via any Raymarine Axiom multifunction display. YachtSense employs a unique, modular architecture that allows boat builders the freedom to design and standardize digital control solutions that are scalable across their entire model range. Each YachtSense system begins with the YachtSense Master Module and Power Supply Module and is completed with a combination of additional multi-channel signal modules. These individual modules interface with specific types of onboard devices and systems, from lighting, pumps, windlass, swim platforms and entertainment systems to climate control, generators, and other on-vessel mechanical systems. Customized Axiom user interface YachtSense is the new standard in premium digital control solution for today’s most sophisticated vessel" YachtSense’s customized Axiom user interface options empower marine manufacturers and installers to create modern and elegant vessel automation solutions. These give captains total control of every onboard system with simple, touchscreen operation from any Axiom multi-function display. “YachtSense is the new standard in premium digital control solution for today’s most sophisticated vessels,” said Gregoire Outters, General Manager for the Raymarine brand at FLIR Systems. Smart, modular and expandable system Gregoire adds, “Our smart, modular and expandable system gives total freedom to boat builders to design ultra-reliable and highly tailored solutions that best meet the individual needs of their specific vessels and customers.” Engineered to offer total peace of mind even during unexpected events, Raymarine YachtSense provides three levels of electrical redundancy. Master Modules feature an integrated keypad for manual override, as well as an LCD for system diagnostics. All YachtSense modules are housed in rugged IPX6 waterproof enclosures and are backed by a three-year warranty.
AVIOTEC's front-line technology offers flame and smoke detection for locations with no light. Thanks to separate additional infrared illumination unlit applications can be monitored with video-based fire detection delivering pin-sharp images. During the daytime, the device shows colored pictures and shifts to monochrome night mode when visibility drops below a pre-defined level. When daylight returns it automatically switches back to color mode. The video-based fire detection AVIOTEC IP starlight 8000 is now delivered with the new firmware. Existing installations can be upgraded to the new technology by a free firmware update. Flame and smoke detection Video-based fire detection is now also an option for applications where there is no lighting available. Due to infrared illumination less, light sources need to be installed e.g., for nighttime surveillance reducing the fire load and energy costs noticeably. In environments with no light AVIOTEC IP starlight 8000 working in monochrome mode can now perform both: fire detection and remote optical verification. Integrated day and night switch Day/night switch ensures reliable fire detection and video surveillance and provides time to solve the failure of light sources If the visible illumination fails, i.e., in tunnels, it is important to ensure that video-based fire detection is working uninterruptedly and that staff members in monitoring centers still have all the necessary insights into the situation. The integrated day and night switch ensures reliable fire detection and video surveillance. It gives operators enough time to solve the failure of light sources. This saves time-consuming and error-prone human investigation. Full redundant 24/7 illumination is not required anymore. Unobtrusive video surveillance with IR During night-time, burglars cannot spy on possible intrusion targets due to missing visible light or light sources while fire detection can be ensured. No visible illumination is used and helps to prevent burglary and arson. Combined intelligent video analytic rules also allow to track down intruders without visible light. Next to 24/7 fire detection, the new AVIOTEC version enables 24/7 intelligent video analytics for comprehensive safety solutions.
Videotec has expanded its range of communication boxes with the new COMB. This product has been designed for use in non-hazardous applications and is robust with its external polycarbonate and extraordinary resistance to external agents. COMB is much more than a simple junction box. It has everything that you need for a state-of-the-art installation and correct operation of one or more Videotec IP or analog cameras. It provides local low voltage power to connected devices. Functions and features COMB enables fast Ethernet connection thanks to the integrated Ethernet switch equipped with three RJ45 ports and an SFP port (MSA compliant) for fiber optic connection. COMB comes with an extended/industrial range of electronics. The internal board offers 2 bypasses for analog video signals and 2 bypasses for I/O signals with multipolar connectors. COMB can manage systems that consist of a Videotec PTZ camera with or without the Videotec washing kit; up to two Videotec fixed cameras with or without the Videotec washing kit; or one Videotec fixed camera and one Videotec PTZ without washing kits. Internally, the unit has been designed with easy cable access and convenient connection operations in mind. COMB guarantees maximum protection against impact (IK10) and weather (IP66/IP67/IP68/IP69, and NEMA TYPE 4X and TYPE 6P). Obtained Lloyd’s Register Marine Type Approval certification for the maritime and naval sector. It also complies with railway application standards. COMB is the competitive integrated solution for the professional installation of Videotec cameras in industrial and marine environments.
Leonardo expands its range of naval defense products with Lionfish, the new family of small-caliber remotely controlled turrets. Completely designed and developed by Leonardo, the new line consists of four models, which feature the most advanced technologies available on the market today, including: Ultralight, Inner Reloading and Top of 12.7 mm caliber, and the model 20 of 20 mm caliber. Equipped with a common architecture, the Lionfish family of turrets has a compact and low weight structure. The different models proposed make it a highly versatile solution suitable for installation on board any type of ship, as a primary and secondary defense system. The new technologically advanced human-machine interface systems are easy to use, reducing crew training times to a minimum and the architectural solutions adopted also guarantee excellent reliability and minimum maintenance times. Local control console The remote control of the turrets, which takes place via a local control console, and the suite of Leonardo's state-of-the-art electro-optical sensors which they are equipped with, allows the identification of targets with extreme precision, both at night and during the day. Designed to meet stringent customer needs, Lionfish integrates technologies with highest market standards Border control, prohibition of maritime traffic, self-protection and the defeat of any type of threat such as asymmetrical surface, including helicopters and drones, are among the operating scenarios in which the system is able to guarantee high effectiveness. Designed to meet the most stringent customer needs, Lionfish integrates technologies in line with the highest market standards, and offers a great balance between cost and offered performance. Next generation technologies The compact and lightweight structure makes the system highly versatile and suitable for the most complex operational scenarios. It offers a great balance between cost and offered performance. Leonardo is committed to serving and protecting communities around the world, contributing to sustainable growth by leading in next generation technologies. Partnering with governments, private organizations and industries for the best security and safety capabilities is a cornerstone of Leonardo’s BeTomorrow2030 Strategic Plan.
On 17th September, Leonardo successfully demonstrated unique integrated capabilities between a manned aircraft and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). This took place in the UK during Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUMT) trials between a Leonardo AW159 Wildcat helicopter and a semi-autonomous UAV from Callen-Lenz Associates. In this instance, MUMT is when a helicopter crew controls a UAV from the helicopter-like it was an onboard sensor being controlled from the cockpit. By integrating control of the UAV into the Wildcat Mission System. Controlling UAV & Human Machine Interface (HMI) Leonardo was able to minimize the pilots’ workload allowing them to focus more on the mission while simultaneously controlling the UAV, this is the first time such an integrated capability has been demonstrated in the UK on a military aircraft. A Gateway Processor supplied by Callen-Lenz Associates was used to interface with its semi-autonomous UAV. The Leonardo solution allows the Wildcat crew to control both the flight path and payload of the UAV (a capability known as Level of Interoperability (LOI) 4) using an efficient and effective task-based Human Machine Interface (HMI), rather than the more operator intensive approaches employed on other systems. Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUMT) Teaming of MUMT enhances air support capability in both the Land and Maritime environments Combining the strengths of manned and unmanned platforms, MUMT has the potential to play a transformative role by increasing the situational awareness, tempo, lethality, survivability, and combat mass of aviation forces, significantly reducing crew workload allowing pilots to focus on the mission at hand. The teaming of manned aircraft with unmanned air systems (Manned Unmanned Teaming MUMT) enhances air support capability in both the Land and Maritime environments. It also enables extended and complex operations to be conducted with a mix of platforms and systems. Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE) The demonstration was part of the British Army’s MUMT themed Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE) 19, and was planned and executed by Dstl and took place on Salisbury Plain in September. These trials build on simulation-based development conducted under the Dstl funded AMS DE-RISC program. This successful demonstration is now expected to inform the MUMT capability roadmap for both the UK MoD and Leonardo. Authority comments Nick Whitney, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters (UK), said, “The success of this manned-unmanned trial highlights that Leonardo and the UK MoD are investing together in the future of UK rotorcraft engineering and it demonstrates further the value of a long-term partnering approach in terms of capability development.” Design of the HMI means that cockpit workload is well managed and the demonstration has successfully de-risked that technology Bryan Finlay, Technical Partner at Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), stated, “Leonardo and Callen-Lenz have delivered a fantastic demonstration of the integration of a UAV control station into the mission management system of the Wildcat helicopter. The clever design of the human-machine interface means that cockpit workload is well managed and the demonstration has successfully de-risked that technology. This is a key step towards realizing an effective operational MUMT capability.” Maj Benjamin Thomas, Military Adviser Platform Systems Division at Dstl, commented, “The development of the Wildcat integrated MUMT solution has been impressive, culminating in the successful demonstration of the capability on AWE 19 in a series of representative military vignettes. MUMT has undoubtedly the potential to be a game-changing capability for aviation operating in the Land environment, increasing both situational awareness and survivability.” Next-generation of technology & innovation The continued development and integration of solutions across all domains of remotely-piloted and autonomous/semi-autonomous systems and technologies, including MUMT, is a key element of Leonardo’s BeTomorrow2030 Strategic Plan. Leonardo continues to be at the forefront of rotorcraft development in the UK through its Yeovil facility and the Company is investing in the next generation of technology and innovation.
The term ‘marine’ comes from the Latin mare, meaning sea or ocean, and marine habitats can be divided into two categories: coastal and open ocean. Video surveillance (VS) applications can cover both types of marine environment with system for ships, maritime ports, onshore and offshore installations, etc. We should want to further analyze VS for ships and try to explain the types of ships on which it can be used, the ways in which VS can be used on ships, the typical certifications in use and what features a camera station must have to be installed on a ship. Starting with ships that have a minimum tonnage, around the world we have: liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, passengers ships, chemical tankers, crude oil tankers, container ships, general cargo ships and bulk carriers.As the LNG market grows rapidly, the fleet of LNG carriers continues to experience tremendous growth, offering more opportunities for VS Video surveillance for all marine vessels An LNG carrier is a tank ship designed for transporting liquefied natural gas. As the LNG market grows rapidly, the fleet of LNG carriers continues to experience tremendous growth. A passenger ship is a merchant ship whose primary function is to carry passengers by sea. This category does not include cargo vessels which have accommodation for a limited number of passengers, but rather includes the likes of ferries, yachts, ocean liners and cruise ships. A chemical tanker is a type of tank ship designed to transport chemicals in bulk. These ships can also carry other types of sensitive cargo which require a high standard of tank cleaning, such as palm oil, vegetable oils, tallow, caustic soda and methanol. An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a merchant ship designed for the bulk transport of oil. There are two basic types of oil tankers: crude tankers and product tankers. Crude tankers move large quantities of unrefined crude oil from its point of extraction to refineries. Product tankers, generally much smaller, are designed to move refined products from refineries to points near consuming markets. Container ships are cargo ships that carry their entire load in truck-size intermodal containers: a technique called containerization. They are a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport and now carry most seagoing non-bulk cargo. Today, about 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide is transported by container. A cargo ship or freighter ship is any sort of ship or vessel that carries cargo, goods and materials from one port to another. Cargo ships are specially designed for the task, often being equipped with cranes and other mechanisms to load and unload, and come in all sizes. Bulk carriers make up 15%–17% of the world's merchant ships and they are specially designed to transport unpackaged bulk cargo such as grains, coal, ore and cement in its cargo holds. For all these ships the protection of vessels, cargo and crew is a priority, that’s why the adoption of VS technology plays a key part in terms of security and safety. Human error is regularly named as a major factor in ship accidents, and one way to avoid it is to aid seafarers by providing them with technology and equipment that is reliable and easy to use in all weather and sea conditions. Marine VS encompasses liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, passengers ships, chemical tankers, crude oil tankers, container ships, general cargo ships and bulk carriers Emergency security solutions on ship One of the most important applications for camera stations is during “docking”. Mooring is the securing or confining of a vessel in a particular location with a fixed or a floating object (jetty, pier, ship, barge, buoy, etc.) as various cargo operations are carried out. Docking is the final stage of mooring operations when the ship docks to the jetty. This is a very delicate operation and cameras are very helpful in making sure docking is done without accidents.'Man overboard’ is an emergency in which a person has fallen off a boat or ship into the water, and can happen at any time during the day or night Another important application for camera stations is the Man Overboard detection system (MOB). ‘Man overboard’ is an emergency in which a person has fallen off a boat or ship into the water. Man overboard events can happen at any time during the day or night, in all types of weather and sea conditions, and from almost any location on the ship, ranging from a few tens of feet above the water, to over 180 feet. When these events occur, the immediate availability of important data is crucial. Accurate confirmation of the event including time of occurrence, location on the ship and location in the sea is critical. A proactive detection system must immediately and accurately detect man overboard events and provide prompt, actionable data to response personnel. A typical man overboard detection system can report a MOB event in under 1 second. VS on a vessel can also monitor the engine room at all times and provide a good view of people working on dock, machinery and stowed equipment. But what are the most important features that a camera station must have to work in one of the most aggressive environments in nature? Ruggedized reliability in surveillance First of all, and perhaps it’s obvious, but it’s extremely important to have camera stations with amazing reliability. Housing units manufactured from AISI 316L stainless steel, passivated and electropolished, makes the cameras completely impervious to air, water, rusting and corrosion, therefore offering excellent weather protection and increased reliability.Housing units manufactured from AISI 316L stainless steel, passivated and electropolished, makes the cameras completely impervious to air, water, rusting and corrosion Sometimes ships also use cameras constructed entirely from technopolymer, which guarantees high impact resistance and superior protection from external weather agents. Keeping the camera glass clean at all times is another essential feature, and it can be done via a wiper/wash system that greatly reduces the need for maintenance. In the case of PTZ cameras, the best option would be a great pan and tilt speed (up to 100°/s). What is the operative temperature range for the cameras? Sea is everywhere and therefore ships go everywhere, from the Arctic Ocean to the Mediterranean, so we need cameras that have to be fully operational across a wide temperature range. -40°C to +65°C covers almost all areas. Analog or IP Cameras? Actually, both options can be used, especially for applications like docking where it’s important to avoid image delay (as can happen with IP cameras due to the natural latency of data communication over a network). Marine certifications Last but not least, the certifications: Certifications guarantee the quality and reliability of camera stations. There is no compromise! One important certification is the Lloyd’s Register Type Approval which subjects cameras to rigorous testing for performance, vibration (critical on ships), humidity, etc. The application field of the LR Type Approval is VS in public places (e.g. passenger ships), open decks, enclosed spaces that are subjected to heat generated from other equipment, and technical premises. Often, VS cameras used in specific areas of ships, such as hazardous areas, are required to have ATEX and IECEX certifications.
(Image credit: Antonio Scorza / Shutterstock.com) The era of the “killer robot” hasn’t arrived, exactly, but it may not be far off. Police and the military have been using these machines for decades now to disarm bombs and provide reconnaissance in areas where it would be risky to send officers or soldiers. When Dallas Police equipped a robot with an explosive device and sent it in to take out a sniper who had killed five officers, it raised eyebrows and conjured images of a gun-slinging RoboCop. It was the very first time a robot had been used to kill a suspect. The suspect had barricaded himself inside a parking garage and threatened to kill more police. Equipping the robot with a bomb was an “off label” use for which it has not been designed, according to Sean Bielat, CEO of Endeavor Robotics, the nation’s leading builder of robots for the military and public safety. Experimenting With Military Robots His company has sold more than 6,000 systems with most going to U.S. or foreign militaries and a few hundred acquired by police departments. He doesn’t know if it was one of his units that was sacrificed to stop the sniper. Even the military has never used robots to kill the enemy. The U.S. Army has experimented with equipping robots with machine guns and even deployed three units to Iraq in 2007, but they never saw combat. Security and military robots are designed to save lives, not take them.“Our robots are tools for standoff,” explains Bielat. “We provide distance in time and space from dangerous objects, dangerous substances and dangerous situations.” Endeavor Robotics is the former military division of iRobot, which makes the popular Rumba vacuum robot. Earlier this year, the new company was formed with financial backing from Arlington Capital Partners. Its robots are used for bomb disposal and have become a common sight in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, where they are used to disarm roadside bomb – Improvised Explosive Devices as they’re commonly called. Security and military robots are designed to save lives, not take them(Image credit: ell2550 / Shutterstock.com) These bots can also be equipped with various types of sensors that can detect hazardous chemicals or biological agents or even radiation. With cameras and laser sensors they are also adept at providing reconnaissance on enemy movement and location without endangering personnel. “The robots can go in first, assess the situation and then the first responders, the soldiers can react appropriately,” says Bielat. Investigating Dangerous Situations Experts say it’s unlikely that other police departments will follow Dallas’ lead. Robots are pricy with military grade models going for upwards of $100,000 each. Local police rarely have the budgets to justify blowing one up even to stop a sniper. It’s likely police agencies will continue to confront similar situations with armed SWAT teams rather than robots. An Endeavor robot was used as part of the police response to the San Bernardino shooting last December, where 80 people were attacked by domestic terrorists in a rented banquet hall. “A robot was used to check to see if there were active shooters inside,” Bielat told the press. “It helps law enforcement without putting their own people at risk.” Equipping Robots With Firepower The idea of a gun-wielding robot also keeps coming up. The Marine Corps is testing a robotic system outfitted with sensors and cameras that can be armed with an M240 machine gun. The Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System has gone out on training patrols at Camp Pendleton. If it survives testing, the bots could be deployed with 13-person infantry squads that form the heart of combat units. With soldiers typically equipped with small arms, the robot could offer extra fire power with its mounted machine gun. In the meantime, robots will likely continue to become more commonplace on the battlefield. Experts predict within the next decade robots are expected to outnumber human soldiers by 10 to 1. Read Part 4 of our Robots In Security Series here Save Save
As the technology in omnidirectional cameras continues to improve, they are becoming increasingly more affordable to a wider segment of the video surveillance market Just a few years ago, omnidirectional cameras were a novelty. Today, however, this technology has taken the leap to the mainstream. Think about how ubiquitous Google’s Street View is, and you can gain a better idea of the power of omnidirectional cameras. Even consumers are starting to see many forms of omnidirectional cameras, from 360-degree lenses on SLRs to 360-degree video from action cameras. To that end, 360-degree cameras represent one of the strongest areas of growth in surveillance technology, with global unit shipments forecasted by IHS to increase by more than 60 percent year-on-year. Omnidirectional Vs. Traditional Cameras Both 360- and 180-degree surveillance cameras offer panoramic views, helping reduce the number of traditional narrow field-of-view cameras needed in a single installation. Omnidirectional cameras can also be used in concert with PTZ cameras, or replace them entirely depending on the application. Not only does this help increase situational awareness, it decreases the overall cost of the cameras, installation and maintenance. Compared to PTZ cameras, omnidirectional cameras have the advantage of being able to pan, tilt and zoom around in both live, as well as stored video, which means operators can pinpoint problems in real-time, ensuring incidents can be resolved quickly and efficiently, and at the same time, go back to stored 360-degree video to conduct investigations. The option for 180- and 360-degree coverage from a single camera is delivered via a specialized lens on one sensor or a camera that integrates with multiple sensors with conventional lenses aligned to provide an ultra-wide-angle coverage. Single-lens or “fisheye” cameras use a specialized lens called a fisheye lens, which, when compared to a conventional lens, employs different optical design techniques that can lead to the distortion of the captured image when viewing beyond a 90-degree horizontal field-of-view. With this, “barrel distortion” can occur, where a circular image is created and a straight line within the captured image appears curved. ‘Dewarping’ software has to be used to correct this optical illusion. As a consequence of lens design idiosyncrasies in 180- and 360-degree fisheye cameras, either an oval or circular shaped imaged is created. Since image sensors used in surveillance cameras are square or rectangular, some parts of the sensor are not used. Increasingly Affordable Solutions As the technology in these types of cameras continues to improve, they are becoming increasingly more affordable to a wider segment of the video surveillance market. Similarly, higher resolutions and more affordable storage for video data make it more affordable to get increased amounts of coverage and detail at the same time. As mentioned previously, cost savings can also be realised when a single 360-degree camera replaces three to four fixed cameras, a result that can be recreated in other areas or departments within an organization to help realize additional cost savings. Fisheye Vs. Multi-Sensor Fisheye and multi-sensor cameras both create panoramic images, but do so in very different ways. Fisheye cameras capture the whole scene in a single view without having to stitch images, so the full view of the captured video footage has consistent brightness, sharpness and contrast across the entire scene. Fisheye cameras also offer a number of other benefits: higher reliability as a result of a single sensor, camera and lens arrangement; no blind spots; fixed focus, making installation quicker; lower cost; and a smaller, less obtrusive form factor. Additionally, the dewarping of the image is carried out in the video management system or network video recorder, allowing for higher frame rates at any given bandwidth. Omnidirectional cameras can pan, tilt and zoom around in both live and stored video, which means operators can pinpoint problems in real-time However, fisheye cameras may have fewer pixels per foot, depending on the total resolution, and these types of cameras require client-side dewarping to gain the full benefits of retrospective image adjustment – that is, dewarping of stored video for investigations. Multi-sensor cameras, on the other hand, may offer a higher total resolution depending on the individual resolution of each of the sensors within the camera. Here, dewarping is not required since each sensor is, in essence, a narrow field-of-view camera. Multi-sensor cameras, however, have more than one sensor, which can lead to an overall higher maintenance costs, and with four or more cameras needed to cover a specific area, there is an increased risk that one or more of the sensors can malfunction — in essence, lower reliability. Installation of multi-sensor cameras is also more complicated and more time-intensive. Additionally, the units themselves can be large and bulky, and complex to operator and manage — each view has to be stitched together, which means captured images have to be carefully calibrated with the correct brightness, color, contrast and sharpness for the image to be as clear and seamless as it needs to be for viewing and evidentiary purposes. Other possible considerations include: additional licensing fees for each camera connected to an NVR or VMS, total frame rate is generally lower and bandwidth usage will be high. Also, storage costs are higher. As businesses look to increase situational awareness by investing in omnidirectional cameras, it’s important to carefully evaluate the technology being implemented and various options before moving forward with an implementation Dewarping Images If a camera sends a 360-degree image, the VMS software has to dewarp the image so that users can get normal views while electronically PTZ’ing around in the image. This is called “client-side” dewarping. With client-side dewarping, images can be dewarped retrospectively — that is, stored video can be dewarped, enabling users to forensically analyze a scene after the fact. The result is that investigations can be carried on as if the video were being watched in real time, making the data indispensable to investigators examining the details of a crime or security breach. Not only does this approach deliver new levels of situational awareness, but it also allows officials to use the data to examine additional areas of interest. The virtual PTZ function can only be experienced via client-side dewarping for stored video, and it can also be run on still images. Additionally, different parts of the image might be useful for different applications that are hard to predict in advance. For example, a merchandiser may want to zoom in and look at signage or an end cap after the fact to gain better insight into the business. Client-side dewarping may also be run on mobile devices, on either live or on stored video. One challenge of client-side dewarping is that VMS and NVR platforms have to support this function. There are already a large number of platforms that support this functionality because of end user demand. On the other hand, camera-side dewarping does not require a VMS/NVR platform to integrate this function. Camera-side dewarping means you can only virtually PTZ around in a live scene, which is the same as using a motorized PTZ camera – and this function requires an operator to manually navigate and record what the camera sees. Once these views are fixed, a user may only see those views in stored footage, severely limiting the possibility of being able to capture a wider scene for analysis. This means there may be more blind spots in live and stored video depending on how the views are configured. Evaluating Technology Implemented As businesses look to increase situational awareness by investing in omnidirectional cameras, it’s important to carefully evaluate the technology being implemented and various options before moving forward with an implementation. There are a number of pros and cons to dewarping software and the views within the cameras to consider. But, with higher resolutions and more efficient dewarping/stitching technologies, omnidirectional cameras may soon replace narrow field-of-view and PTZ cameras in a number of vertical markets, including transportation, retail, education, banking and finance, maritime, leisure and gaming, ushering in a new era of total situational awareness with a wealth of data and insight yet untapped.
BIRD Aerosystems, the pioneering developer of Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) and Special Mission Aircraft Solutions (ASIO), has won a contract for the delivery and installation of its AMPS-MLRD solution, that includes the patented SPREOS DIRCM, on a customer VIP and Military aircraft in Africa. The SPREOS will be installed as part of the AMPS-MLRD solution on several types of aircraft. About AMPS-MLRD solution AMPS-MLRD missile protection system provides the most enhanced protection for military and civilian aircraft against the growing threat of ground to air missiles including MANPADS, Laser guided threats, and radar-guided threats. The system is designed to automatically detect, verify, and foil SAM attacks through the effective use of countermeasure decoys (Flares and Chaff) and additionally by Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) that jam the missile's IR seeker and protects the aircraft. SPREOS DIRCM system The AMPS-MLRD includes BIRD Aerosystems SPREOS, a patented DIRCM system that provides Missile Verification, Tracking, and Jamming. As part of the program, all aircraft will be installed with the SPREOS (Self Protection Radar Electro-Optic System) that combines a Semi-Active Dual Band Radar and Directional IR Countermeasure. Sensors, interrogation, and tracking Queued by the Missile Warning Sensors, SPREOS points towards the suspected threat, performs a Doppler based interrogation to confirm the existence of a valid threat, and extract its key parameters. In addition, SPREOS precisely tracks and points an advanced 5th generation solid-state Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) towards the threat for the most effective jamming of the missile while continually assessing the jamming effectiveness. Advanced protection solution Ronen Factor, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Founder at BIRD Aerosystems: “After a careful examination process, the customer chose BIRD Aerosystems' SPREOS and the AMPS-MLRD to protect its VIP and military fleet.” “BIRD Aerosystems' AMPS with the SPREOS DIRCM makes it possible to identify and intercept high-velocity threat attacks such as enemy MANPADS and eliminate all of the systems False Alarms. Being the most advanced protection solution in the market today, SPREOS enables our customers to detect threats in a way that has never been possible before, ensuring optimal aircraft protection tailored to defeat each specific threat.”
FLIR Systems, Inc. announced that the United States (U.S.) Army, Air Force, and Navy have collectively ordered more than 250 additional FLIR Centaur™ unmanned ground vehicles (UGV), worth $32 million combined. The award is being sourced through the Army’s Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II (MTRS Inc. II) program. Over the last 12 months, FLIR has announced multiple orders totaling roughly $97 million for more than 750 Centaur unmanned ground systems from the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. Improvized explosive devices Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams across all services will use the FLIR Centaur to assist in disarming improvized explosive devices, unexploded ordnance, and similar hazardous tasks. Operators can quickly attach different sensors and payloads to the robot to address other missions, including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats. “We’re tremendously honored that EOD teams across America’s military are relying on our Centaur robot to help them perform dangerous missions with greater stand-off capability,” said Tom Frost, VP and general manager for Unmanned Ground Systems in the Unmanned and Integrated Solutions business at FLIR. Electro-Optical infrared cameras FLIR is delivering systems to the Army under that multi-year program of record “From enabling easy software updates to enhanced electro-optical infrared cameras, controllers, and communication systems, the Centaur can be a game-changer for troops on the battlefield. Sharing common technology across EOD units also creates efficiencies for joint service operations, training and sustainment,” Frost added. In 2017, the U.S. Army selected the medium-sized Centaur robot as its MTRS Inc II solution. FLIR is delivering systems to the Army under that multi-year program of record, which upon award was valued at more than $150 million, including options. These latest orders fall under the current ceiling. Ground robot system Since then, other U.S. military branches have opted to deploy the Centaur to their EOD teams as a new or replacement ground robot system. Centaur is a medium-sized UGV that provides a standoff capability to detect, confirm, identify, and dispose of hazards. Weighing roughly 160 pounds, the open-architecture robot features an advanced EO/IR camera suite, a manipulator arm that reaches over six feet, and the ability to climb stairs. Modular payloads can be used for CBRNE detection and other missions. Deliveries are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021.
A £317m contract to develop the next generation of radar for the Royal Air Force's (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoons will sustain hundreds of jobs and develop technologies for the UK’s Future Combat Air System. BAE Systems and Leonardo have been awarded a contract to develop the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) European Common Radar System Mark 2 (ECRS Mk2) to a standard ready to be integrated on to RAF Typhoons. ECRS Mk2 multi-functional array It will sustain more than 600 highly skilled jobs across the country, including more than 300 at Leonardo's site in Edinburgh, over 100 electronic warfare specialists at the company’s site in Luton, and 120 engineers at BAE Systems' site in Lancashire. The ECRS Mk2 is a multi-functional array (MFA) that will give UK Typhoons an Electronic Warfare capability, in addition to traditional radar functions, including wide band Electronic Attack. ECRS Mk2 will equip RAF pilots with the ability to locate, identify and suppress enemy air defences using high-powered jamming It will equip RAF pilots with the ability to locate, identify and suppress enemy air defences using high-powered jamming. They can engage targets while beyond the reach of threats even when they’re looking in another direction and operate inside the range of opposing air defences, remaining fully protected throughout. This game-changing capability will replace the mechanically-scanning radar that RAF Typhoons are currently equipped with and will ensure the UK retains the freedom to deliver air power wherever and whenever it is needed. It also enables Typhoon to link up with future data-driven weapons to combat rapidly evolving air defences, ensuring that UK Typhoons can continue to dominate the battlespace for years to come. Authority comments Andrea Thompson, Managing Director Europe & International for BAE Systems’ Air sector, said, "This capability will allow Typhoon to take its place in the future battlespace for decades to come, maturing key technologies for future combat air systems and ensuring interoperability." "As well as securing highly-skilled jobs, it will sustain the key skills needed to keep the UK at the forefront of the global Combat Air sector. We look forward to continuing to work alongside the Eurofighter nations and our industry partners to ensure Typhoon delivers the needs of today and answers the challenges of tomorrow.” Mark Hamilton, Senior Vice President Electronic Warfare, Leonardo said, “This contract is great news for the UK, which will get the world’s most capable fighter radar and great news for British engineering. Inventing, developing and building advanced technology here in the UK allows us to understand and meet the specific requirements of our Armed Forces and to secure export orders all around the world, boosting the whole UK economy.” AESA technology AESA has more transmit-receive elements than other radars, making Mk 2 the most capable fighter The new radar will be based on Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology and will provide game-changing capabilities based on a revolutionary MFA. It has significantly more transmit-receive elements than other radars, making Mk 2 the most capable fighter AESA radar in the world, maintaining the same power and precision of traditional radars but also enabling the simultaneous operation of its wide-band Electronic Warfare functionality. New sensor integration BAE Systems, the UK’s prime contractor for the Typhoon, will integrate the new sensor which will be developed by Leonardo, the UK’s defence electronics champion. Both companies are currently working as part of a four-nation development program alongside Eurofighter consortium partners in Germany, Spain, and Italy on a baseline version of the AESA radar. The ECRS Mk2 is a completely new approach designed to meet the operational needs of the RAF and future export customers. The UK's commitment follows a similar commitment from Germany and Spain to deliver their own national requirements for an AESA radar.
Leonardo in the UK has delivered the first of four complete baseline counter-drone systems to the Royal Air Force in support of the next stage of its Counter-Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) research and development program. The ORCUS system is now playing a key role in a wide-ranging testing and evaluation campaign which will improve the Air Force’s understanding of how it can employ technology in response to the threat posed by hostile drones. The RAF will also maintain the ORCUS system as an upgraded national standby capability, to be rapidly deployed anywhere in the country in support of emergency services in the event of a drone-based crisis. Rogue drones threat Counter-Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) study program is considered highly important to the security of the nation The threat posed by rogue drones is being taken extremely seriously by the Ministry of Defense and therefore the C-UAS study program, managed by Defense Equipment & Support Future Capability Group, is considered highly important to the security of the nation. Leonardo is working hard to ensure that the program continues to be delivered, despite the disruption caused by the global coronavirus pandemic. Evaluating capabilities The modular systems provided by Leonardo for the study will allow the RAF to evaluate a range of capabilities including advanced radar, electro-optic and radio frequency sensors, and an electronic attack countermeasure. In due course, further systems will be integrated for testing and evaluation. Throughout, RAF Force Protection operators will be examining the most effective ways to detect, track, identify, and defeat rogue drones. In the long-run, the research and development program will inform the requirements for a core RAF counter-drone capability, intended to protect air bases around the UK. C-UAS systems Elements of Leonardo’s C-UAS equipment were previously operated by the RAF Force Protection Force in 2018 and 2019, following drone sightings at Gatwick and Heathrow airports, allowing airport operations to resume. Leonardo offers its scalable and modular C-UAS systems to military and civil customers internationally. The Company has been contracted for C-UAS equipment for the Italian Army and Air Force and is in discussions with other potential customers worldwide.
The independent sensor house HENSOLDT has been commissioned by Airbus Helicopters to provide the EuroGrid Tactical Mission Computer (ETMC) for helicopters with new functions. The two-year further development contract includes a guarantee for the acquisition of 200 production units in the subsequent years. The new ETMC generation, ETMC-NG, will be based on the computer which HENSOLDT has delivered for a long time to Airbus Helicopters for integration into the NH90, Tiger and CH-53 helicopters. Higher storage capacity for future system extensions Based on the experience gained during their many years of cooperation, HENSOLDT has defined the follow-up model, ETMC-NG, together with Airbus Helicopters and has launched the process to develop this system. Apart from the elimination of obsolete characteristics, the new model will have more computing power, higher storage capacity for future system extensions and new interfaces. For example, a new function for identifying ships and boats will be incorporated, which will allow the relevant data from the crew to be shown in the ETMC-NG display and to be used for mission planning, border surveillance or maritime search and rescue operations.
The sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT has delivered the 300th equipment set for the MUltifunctional Self-protection System (MUSS) of the German Army’s new ‘Puma’ infantry fighting vehicle. Thus, deliveries currently amount to 1,500 devices, comprising 1.200 sensor heads and 300 central units. HENSOLDT is under contract to deliver in total 342 MUSS equipment sets by 2020 to primes Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall. Apart from that, HENSOLDT’s Optronics subsidiary provides the ‘Puma’ program with weapons optronics systems, periscopes and driver sighting systems. Enhanced possibilities for protecting armored vehicles Electronic protection systems like MUSS are opening up enhanced possibilities for protecting armored vehicles from attacksMUSS was the Active Protection System (APS) selected for the UK DSTL MEDUSA Program which was delivered by QinetiQ in the UK and Australia. The MUSS was successfully integrated onto the British Army Challenger 2 MBT by BAEs and the capability extensively trialed by serving British Army personnel during the Op User Trials. “Electronic protection systems like MUSS are opening up enhanced possibilities for protecting armored vehicles from attacks, as is already the case for aircraft or helicopters,” said Thomas Müller, CEO HENSOLDT. “Compared to conventional solutions, we are able to increase the protection level considerably without adding weight or risking collateral damage around the vehicle.” MUSS drastically reduces the likelihood of a hit by antitank guided missiles or laser-guided ammunition and is the only operational soft-kill active protection system for ground vehicles worldwide. It achieves a level of protection which is not possible for the same total weight with passive armor while avoiding collateral damage. Detects approaching missiles and laser beams The warning sensors detect approaching missiles and laser beams aimed at the vehicleEach MUSS system consists of four warning sensors, a central unit, an infrared jammer head, jammer electronics and a smoke grenade launcher. The warning sensors detect approaching missiles and laser beams aimed at the vehicle. The central unit activates an infrared jammer, which interferes with missiles’ guidance systems, and/or initiates the use of pyrotechnic countermeasures. An active protection system like MUSS defeats threats before they strike a vehicle, by sensing them and providing a ‘soft’ response based on jamming or obscuration of the guidance mechanism with no risk of collateral damages. Moreover, MUSS is a discrete solution, which has no significant influence on the vehicle radiation as it features only passive sensors and an infrared Jammer with short activation time, not detectable either in visible or in thermal image spectrum. Expert for decades in self-protection sensors and systems, HENSOLDT delivers major components for the electronic self-defense systems of platforms in the air, sea and land domain.
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