Power plant security
BIRD Aerosystems, globally renowned developer of Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) and Airborne Patrol Solutions (ASIO), will launch and present its new ASIO Protection of Critical National Infrastructure solution, which utilizes state-of-the-art technologies and methodologies, and is uniquely designed for protection of critical infrastructures, such as oil, gas, electricity and utilities, at the IDEX (The International Defense Exhibition & Conference) event in Abu Dhabi. ASI...
The greatest challenge that the energy sector faces in modern times is how to meet the continuously changing risk factors and addressing all of the necessary security aspects. Considering their unique infrastructure, expensive and sensitive materials onboard, and sometimes even classified national assets, energy facilities and critical infrastructures will always be subject to varied security threats. With hundreds of oil refineries, nuclear power plants, research reactors and fuel cycle facili...
Thermal cameras are not only used to safeguard property and people but also to protect mission-critical equipment. At manufacturing plants, maintenance teams want to aggregate data to continually evaluate an asset’s health and know if it is about to fail. Production managers are keen to catch process anomalies that result in faulty products or packaging before these products leave the production line. Safety managers need to detect excessive heat build-up on fuel, hazardous material, and...
Eagle Eye Networks, the pioneer in cloud video surveillance, has raised $40 million of Series E funding from venture capital firm Accel to continue its growth and expand its technology leadership. Eagle Eye is leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) on its true cloud platform to dramatically reshape video surveillance and improve safety, security, operations, and customer service for businesses around the world. Video surveillance systems have multiple security features, such as motion detectio...
The increasing cyber security threat and COVID-19 are causing challenges everywhere, including in the energy sector. The European Network for Cyber Security (ENCS), the Association of European Distribution System Operators (E.DSO), and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), hosted the first of two webinars to discuss some of these challenges. ‘Cybersecurity: Data Sharing’ webinar Renowned cyber security experts from the grid operator commun...
An innovative streamlined perimeter security system, capable of stopping a 7,200 kg vehicle traveling at 50 mph, is now available to protect Critical National Infrastructure sites from vehicle ramming attacks and forced entry attempts. The StronGuard Beam is the latest development in impact-tested perimeter security from ATG Access, the world’s designer and manufacturer of road blockers, bollards and vehicle barriers. Impact and forced entry tested The new sy...
ProWire Unified Power Systems, the highest level of integration between a power system and an access control solution, has expanded its family of products with the introduction of ProWire XPRESS, a new value line of single-voltage power systems featuring prewired controller terminal strips for rapid, reliable setup and in-the-field savings. ProWire XPRESS models come prewired for system power, faults, communication and tamper switch. Models are currently available for Mercury Security controllers in four-door (FPV4-E2M/T4X) or 12-door (FPV102-D8PE2M1/T12X; FPV104-D8PE2M1/T12X) configurations at 12 or 24VDC. ProWire XPRESS carries a joint Mercury/LSP UL, ULC certification and CE listing (EU). Pre-Wired integrated access solutions ProWire XPRESS provides faster, more consistent installations, helping overcome manpower challenges by freeing the technician from tedious enclosure wiring to quickly move on to other tasks. The solution comes in LifeSafety Power’s spacious E2 enclosures measuring 20 inches high, 16 inches wide and 4.5 inches deep with lock and tamper switch, as well as lifetime warranty. ProWire XPRESS also provides a lower-cost opportunity for installation consistency Part of the ProWire pre-wired integrated access solutions, ProWire XPRESS also provides a lower-cost opportunity for installation consistency and standardization by eliminating guesswork and site variability. “There’s a large sector of the security integrator market looking for an inexpensive, yet professional way to expand their access control projects,” said Matt Virga, Vice President of Sales, North America, LifeSafety Power. Intelligent networking power solutions “ProWire XPRESS checks all the boxes, with the ability to save precious time and labor costs. With the addition of ProWire XPRESS, LifeSafety Power now has a product to meet every job, vertical market and price point.” LifeSafety Power is a consummate innovator and specialist in physical security and access control, creating a new category of intelligent networking power solutions that monitor and manage system connectivity across the enterprise. Embracing technology collaboration with some of the most recognizable companies in the industry, LifeSafety Power has carved a unique niche and along the way received numerous awards for its innovation, including Security Industry Association New Product of the Year; Secure Campus Award for Networked Power; and many others. LifeSafety Power is an ASSA ABLOY company.
The adoption of commercial smart lighting systems has grown significantly as organizations strive to improve energy efficiency and operational costs in buildings. Power over Ethernet (PoE) is rising in popularity for these systems, providing a reliable and easy-to-install solution that manages power and data over a single Ethernet cable. To support larger and more efficient lighting systems, Microchip Technology Inc., via its Microsemi subsidiary, announces a cost-effective eight-port PoE switch that provides guaranteed power of 60 watts (W) per port for all eight ports simultaneously. Ideal for digital ceiling installations, the IEEE 802.3bt-compliant PDS-408G PoE switch runs noise-free with a fanless design. Remote power management Designed for enterprise connected lighting applications, the PDS-408G connects separate systems such as lighting, sensors, HVAC and Wi-Fi® access points over a single switch. The switch has eight PoE ports – the optimal amount for connected lighting – and offers end applications additional cost-savings from energy savings and lower operating expenses. In compliance with IEEE 802.3bt, the PDS-408G provides a total of 480 W, including up to 90 W for any individual port or 60 W for eight ports simultaneously. The PDS-408G is plenum rated and can be installed in any air handling space The PDS-408G is plenum rated and can be installed in any air handling space, making it ideal for digital ceiling installations. Its fanless design provides the features needed for buildings that require noise-free and reliable operation, such as offices, hospitals and hotels. The PDS-408G also provides other proven advantages of PoE, including safe power, simple installation, flexible deployment and remote power management. Connected lighting systems “Demand for Power over Ethernet in connected lighting systems has accelerated, and our new PoE switch is designed specifically for the needs of these applications,” said Rich Simoncic, senior vice president of Microchip’s Analog, Discrete and Power business unit. “The PDS-408G continues Microchip’s leadership in PoE technology, providing an IEEE 802.3bt-compliant solution that provides almost six times the amount of power than the original PoE standard.” The PDS-408G joins Microchip’s portfolio of end-to-end PoE solutions. Developers can use the PDS-408G switch alongside the company’s extensive portfolio of 8- and 32-bit PIC® and AVR® microcontrollers (MCUs) at the end node. Microchip offers an array of easy-to-use hardware and software tools to accelerate PoE designs, including the PIC18 PoE Main Board, which features a PIC18 MCU, ATECC608A secure element and MIC28512 buck regulator.
Antaira Technologies is a developer and manufacturer of industrial networking devices and communication solutions for harsh environment applications and is proud to announce the expansion of its industrial networking infrastructure family with the introduction of the LNP-0500G-bt series. Antaira Technologies fulfills the need for low port count PoE gigabit connectivity solutions for industrial applications, with the new LNP-0500G-bt and LNP-0500G-bt-24 series. The LNP-0500G-bt Ethernet switch is rugged and reliable and perfect for applications that require up to 90 Watts of PoE power. Unmanaged Ethernet switches When working in automation and transportation the LNP-0500G-bt-24 is an even better fit, providing the same high power PoE with a wider range of input voltage powering the switch. Both LNP-0500G-bt and LNP-0500G-bt-24 series are 5-port industrial 802.3.bt PoE, gigabit unmanaged Ethernet switches, with 48 to 55VDC high voltage power input (LNP-0500G-bt) and a 12 to 55VDC wide voltage power input (LNP-0500G-bt-24). Each unit is designed with five gigabit Ethernet ports that are IEEE 802.3af/at/bt compliant on four of the ports (data and power output maximum 90W/port). The series supports MDI/MDI-X functions and 10Kbytes jumbo frames. This makes it ideal for applications with high power requirements using Power over Ethernet. This product series provides high EFT, surge (2,000 VDC), and ESD (6,000VDC) protection to prevent any unregulated voltage and can support the power redundancy feature using a dual-power input design with reverse polarity protection. There is also a built-in relay warning function to alert maintainers when power failures occur.
The AES Corporation has announced reporting financial results for the year ended December 31, 2019. "In 2019, we achieved our strategic and financial goals, laying the foundation for strong growth in the coming decade," said Andrés Gluski, AES Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Innovative green energy solutions Gluski adds, "We are leading the global energy transition by completing 2.2 GW of new projects, adding 2.8 GW to our backlog, and expanding our LNG infrastructure in the Dominican Republic, Panama and Vietnam. At the same time, we are delivering innovative energy solutions through Fluence, Uplight, and a strategic partnership with Google. As a result, they are announcing that they are accelerating their decarbonization goals for the company and will aim to reduce our coal-fired generation to below 30% of total MWh by year-end 2020 and to less than 10% by 2030." We are leading the global energy transition by completing 2.2 GW of new projects" "I am very pleased with our strong financial performance in 2019: delivering once again on all key metrics, while attaining an investment grade rating for the first time in our history," said Gustavo Pimenta, AES Corporation Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). "With our 2019 results, we are confident in reaffirming our expected 7% to 9% average annual growth in Adjusted EPS and Parent Free Cash Flow through 2022." Full year 2019 financial results Full year 2019 Diluted Earnings Per Share from continuing operations (Diluted EPS) was $0.45, a decrease of $1.03 compared to full year 2018, primarily reflecting lower net gains on asset sales of $1.15, particularly at Masinloc in the Philippines, partially offset by lower tax expense related to the impact of the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Full year 2019 Adjusted Earnings Per Share (Adjusted EPS, a non-GAAP financial measure) was $1.36, an increase of $0.12, or 10%, primarily reflecting contributions from new businesses, including US renewables and AES Colon in Panama, and a lower effective tax rate, which was partially offset by the impact of asset sales. Transitioning to clean, sustainable energy solutions AES Corporation is leading the industry's transition to clean energy by investing in sustainable solution AES Corporation is leading the industry's transition to clean energy by investing in sustainable growth and innovative solutions, while delivering superior results. The company is taking advantage of favourable trends in clean power generation, transmission and distribution, and LNG infrastructure to grow the profitability of its business. Sustainable Growth: Through its presence in key growth markets, AES is well-positioned to benefit from the global transition toward a more sustainable power generation mix. In 2019, AES Corporation signed 2,798 MW of renewables under long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPA): 1,130 MW of solar and solar plus storage in the U.S., including: 665 MW at sPower 365 MW at AES Distributed Energy 884 MW of wind and solar at AES Gener in Chile and Colombia 434 MW of wind and solar in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Panama 331 MW of wind and solar at AES Tiete in Brazil As of December 31, 2019, the company's backlog of 6,144 MW includes: 3,008 MW under construction and expected on-line through 2021 3,136 MW of renewables signed under long-term PPAs In 2019, the company completed construction of 2,181 MW of new projects, including: 1,320 MW OPGC 2 plant in India 555 MW of solar and energy storage globally 306 MW Mesa La Paz wind project in Mexico In the third quarter of 2019, the company finalized a joint venture in the Dominican Republic to increase its LNG storage capacity by 50 TBTU, in order to meet the demand from new take-or-pay contracts In the third quarter of 2019, the company received approval from the Government of Vietnam to develop the 2.2 GW Son My 2 combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant, which will be co-located with 480 TBTU of previously approved LNG storage The company has announced that it will participate in the proposed $500 million equity raise at AES Gener, by investing $335 million AES Gener has signed contracts for 2.5 GW of renewables under its Green Blend and Extend strategy, which will diversify its portfolio and largely offset the roll-off of legacy contracts through 2024 AES Gener will utilize the equity raised to fund the 1.6 GW of new capacity needed to meet the demand under these Green Blend and Extend contracts Innovative Solutions: AES is developing and deploying innovative solutions such as battery-based energy storage, digital customer interfaces and energy management. The company's joint venture with Siemens, globally renowned tech firm in the fast-growing energy storage market, is expected to increase energy supplies by 15 to 20 GW annually Fluence has been awarded or delivered 1.7 GW of projects, including 961 MW awarded in 2019 In the third quarter of 2019, the company announced the merger of Simple Energy into Uplight, globally renowned in providing cloud-based digital solutions to 100 million households in the U.S. In the fourth quarter of 2019, the company formed a 10-year strategic alliance with Google to develop and implement solutions to enable broad adoption of clean energy Superior Results: By investing in sustainable growth and offering innovative solutions to customers, AES is transforming its business mix to deliver superior results. In the fourth quarter of 2019, following the company's efforts to strengthen its balance sheet, its credit rating was upgraded to investment grade (BBB-) by Fitch and its BB+ credit rating was raised to Positive outlook by S&P. The company is executing on $100 million in annual run rate cost savings from digital initiatives, including utilising data and technology for maintenance, outage prevention, inspection and procurement, to be fully realised by 2022. AES also announced a target to reduce its coal-fired generation below 30% of total generation volume by year-end 2020 and to less than 10% by year-end 2030. AES is initiating 2020 Guidance for Adjusted EPS of $1.40 to $1.48, compared to 2019 Adjusted EPS of $1.36 2020 Guidance for Adjusted EPS AES is initiating 2020 Guidance for Adjusted EPS of $1.40 to $1.48, compared to 2019 Adjusted EPS of $1.36. The company also expects 2020 Parent Free Cash Flow of $725 to $775 million, compared to 2019 Parent Free Cash Flow of $726 million. AES is also reaffirming its average annual growth rate target of 7% to 9% through 2022 for both Adjusted EPS and Parent Free Cash Flow, from a 2018 base. Adjusted EPS and Parent Free Cash Flow are non-GAAP financial measures. The company is not able to provide a corresponding GAAP equivalent or reconciliation for its Adjusted EPS guidance or its Parent Free Cash Flow expectation without unreasonable effort. From a base of 2018 Adjusted EPS of $1.24 and 2018 Parent Free Cash Flow of $689 million. The company's 2020 guidance, expectations and growth rate target through 2022 are based on foreign currency and commodity forward curves as of December 31, 2019. Conference Call Information - AES will host a conference call on Friday, February 28, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Antaira Technologies is a global developer and manufacturer of industrial networking devices and communication solutions for harsh environment applications, and is proud to announce the expansion of its industrial networking 10 Gigabit family with the introduction of the LMP-1002G-10G-SFP, LMP-1002G-10-SFP-24, and LMX-1002G-10G-SFP. Antaira Technologies’ LMP-1002G-10G-SFP, LMP-1002G-10G-SFP-24, and LMX-1002G-10G-SFP are industrial-grade equipment that is Ethernet ready to fulfill various markets’ edge-level networking applications in manufacturing automation, security surveillance, power/utility, water wastewater treatment plants, oil/gas/mining, and transportation. High-density Ethernet port connectivity These devices support high-density Ethernet port connectivity, the widest bandwidth with 10 gig fiber ports, long distance data transmission, and an exceptional reliability factor. For intelligent transportation systems the LMX-1002G-10G-SFP is ideal. Often times there may be 1000mbps fiber links in place that need more modern 10 gig speed links. The LMX-1002G-10G-SFP devices can support the existing link with 1000mbps SFPs installed and will run at 1000mbps speeds when faster SFPs are placed at both ends of the fiber. The link can be upgraded to 10Gbps speeds. This makes migrating from a gigabit speed fiber back bone to 10Gbps possible by not changing out all the switches at one time. Antaira’s LMP-1002G-10G-SFP Antaira’s LMP-1002G-10G-SFP will provide up to 30W per port and two SFP+ slots If one’s application requires PoE, Antaira’s LMP-1002G-10G-SFP will provide up to 30W per port and two SFP+ slots with speeds of 1000Mbps or 10Gbps, depending on the SFP used. One can mount the switch by DIN-Rail or wall mount, wall mounting plates included. If one is looking for a PoE switch, which uses low voltage input as a power source, Antaira’s LMP-1002G-10G-SFP-24 will be the best choice with a voltage input range of 12~55VDC. Light Layer 3 capabilities Fiber interfaces give the ability to extend a network out past traditional buildings, across campuses, and even from town to town. For long distances, the fiber interfaces can make it difficult to manage switches that are remote. Managed switches are critical in controlling and predicting failures on the network as well as determining when and where issues reside. These new 10 gigabit Antaira switches are fully managed with Light Layer 3 capabilities. The management software can allow for redundancy which can be built into the network using Spanning Tree, Ethernet ring technologies or other available redundant features.
HGH showcases its new generation SPYNEL-U 360° panoramic thermal and visible camera surveillance system at ISC West. The optronic expert reinvented this maintenance-free, uncooled thermal imaging camera from design to performance to provide unrivalled situational awareness. The dual-channel SPYNEL-U when used in conjunction with CYCLOPE advanced image processing software provides multiple threat detection, day and night, even in adverse weather conditions. The SPYNEL range is world-renowned in the defence and security sectors. Spynel-U offers both a thermal and visible high resolution panoramic channel on the same sensor. While the high contrast thermal panoramic video is ideal for real-time long-distance detection and tracking, the high-resolution visible panorama enables the rapid identification of the detected threats. Protect critical infrastructure The new SPYNEL-U design utilizes the same base as SPYNEL-X and SPYNEL-S, supporting straightforward sensor interchangeability on platforms and tripods. Employ the SPYNEL-U to protect critical infrastructure such as ports, airports, nuclear plants and prisons, as well as at public events and demonstrations. Jeffrey Anderson, General Manager of HGH’s United States subsidiary said: ‘’At ISC West, attendees will discover the only sensor in the world providing both a thermal and visible panoramic video. SPYNEL-U is a reliable uncooled technology requiring no maintenance; we are very excited about the evolution of its performance and its impressive visible and thermal image quality.’’
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.
Global and domestic threats have highlighted the need for tighter security across all verticals. One of the technologies that has redefined situational awareness and intrusion detection is thermal imaging. Once a technology exclusively manufactured for the military operations, thermal cameras today are deployed across hundreds of security applications and continue to see strong demand in existing and emerging commercial markets. With thermal technology, security personnel can see in complete darkness as well as in light fog, smoke and rain Technology Overview And Early Adoption What distinguishes thermal cameras from optical sensors is their ability to produce images based on infrared energy, or heat, rather than light. By measuring the heat signatures of all objects and capturing minute differences between them, thermal cameras produce clear, sharp video despite unfavorable environmental conditions. With thermal technology, security personnel can see in complete darkness as well as in light fog, smoke and rain. Originally a military developed, commercially qualified technology, the first thermal cameras for military and aircraft use appeared in the 1950s. By the 1960s, the technology had been declassified and the first thermal camera for commercial use was introduced. However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s - when FLIR Systems introduced a camera with an uncooled thermal detector - when the technology began to see substantial adoption beyond government defense deployments. Installations At Critical Infrastructure Sites In the 2000s, industrial companies were some of the first adopters of thermal, using the technology for predictive maintenance to monitor overheating and machine malfunctions. In the years following the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, there was an increase in thermal camera installations across critical infrastructure sites. Stricter security requirements drove the deployment of thermal cameras for perimeter protection, especially in the nuclear power sector. Thermal cameras produce clear video in daylight, low light or no light scenarios and their sharp images result in higher performing analytics In 2010, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Committee released its 73.55 policy, which states nuclear facilities must “provide continuous surveillance, observation and monitoring” as a means to enhance threat detection and deterrence efforts onsite. Because thermal cameras produce clear video in daylight, low light or no light scenarios and because their sharp images result in higher performing analytics, thermal cameras quickly became the preferred option for nuclear facilities. Likewise, following the 2013 sniper attack on PG&E Corporation’s Metcalf transmission substation, the Federal Energy Regulation Commission introduced the Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard 014 (CIP-014). The policy requires utilities to identify threats to mission critical assets and implement a security system to mitigate those risks. This statute also led to more thermal installations in the utility sector as thermal cameras’ long-range capabilities are ideal for detection of approaching targets beyond the fence line. The demand from both industrial and critical infrastructure entities, as well as other factors, helped drive volume production and price reduction for thermal, making the technology more accessible to the commercial security marketplace. Commercial Applications In recent years, the increasing affordability of thermal cameras along with the introduction of new thermal offerings has opened the door to new commercial applications for the technology. In the past, thermal cameras were designed for applications with enormous perimeters, where the camera needed to detect a human from 700 meters away. Locations like car dealerships, marinas and construction supply facilities can be protected by precise target detection, thermal analytic cameras providing an early warning to security personnel Today, there are thermal cameras specifically designed for short- to mid-range applications. Developed for small to medium enterprises, these thermal cameras ensure property size and security funds are no longer barriers to adoption. Lumber yards, recreation fields and sports arenas are some of the commercial applications now able to implement thermal cameras for 24-hour monitoring and intrusion detection. Affordable thermal cameras with onboard analytics have become attractive options for commercial businesses Innovation And Advancements Innovation and advancements in the core technology have also spurred growth in thermal camera deployment, providing faster image processing, higher resolution, greater video analytic capabilities and better camera performance. In particular, affordable thermal cameras with onboard analytics have become attractive options for commercial businesses that need outdoor, wide area protection. Car dealerships, marinas and construction supply locations all store valuable merchandise and materials outside. Without protection, these assets are vulnerable to vandalism and theft. However, by providing precise target detection, thermal analytic cameras provide an early warning to security personnel so that they can intervene before a crime is committed. By helping to deter just one incident, the thermal solution delivers a clear ROI. New Market Opportunities Not only are there more thermal cameras in use today than ever before, but there are also more thermal sensors being integrated with other multi-sensor systems, driving the adoption of thermal in new markets. For large perimeter surveillance applications, thermal is repeatedly being integrated with radar and drones to expand situational awareness beyond the point of fixed cameras. Users get immediate, accurate alerts of approaching targets and evidentiary class video for target assessment In the commercial market, thermal imagers are combined with optical sensors, analytics and LED illuminators into one solution that integrates with central monitoring station platforms. By bringing these technologies together, users get immediate, accurate alerts of approaching targets and evidentiary class video for target assessment. The result is a lower number of false positives, reducing the total cost of ownership for the solution. These multi-sensor solutions also feature two-way audio capabilities, which enable remote security officers to act as “virtual guards” and speak to intruders in real-time to dissuade them from illegal activity. The introduction of solutions that integrate all these state-of-the-art technologies under one unit reduces the amount of capital and infrastructure needed for deployment. Consequently, more small businesses and alarm monitoring companies can implement advanced perimeter security technologies like thermal sensors, some for the very first time. Thermal cameras have gone from military defense devices to widespread commercial security cameras Multi-Sensor Thermal Solutions Multi-sensor solutions featuring thermal are quickly gaining traction and opening the door to new business opportunities for the security channel. One of the primary reasons for the strong market interest in these systems is they enable integrators to increase their recurring monthly revenue (RMR). With intense price competition and eroding margins on CCTV equipment, integrators have to rely on RMR to grow their businesses. Offering remote video monitoring services and virtual guarding technologies is one of the best ways to do so. Additionally, there is a clear demand for it. Central stations are continually looking for new technologies to offer their customers and businesses are interested in economical alternatives to physical guards. In conclusion, thermal cameras have gone from military defense devices to widespread commercial security cameras that are a substantial segment of the outdoor security protection market. From nuclear power plants to construction locations, thermal technology is being implemented to secure sites around the globe.
It had been a particularly slow night. The plant security guard had just made his rounds on this Sunday evening shift. As soon as he passed the weighing scales, he could enter the guard shack and get off his feet. Challenging A Curious Incident However, on this night, he noticed the waste vendor’s truck sitting half on and half off the scale. He stopped dead in his tracks to see if the truck would back up and completely sit on the scale. It never did. The observant guard walked up to the truck and challenged the driver who seemed surprised. “Hey, you’re not weighing your truck properly.” The driver fumbled for a response before replying, “Sorry, I was on the phone with a friend. I didn’t notice it.” But this security guard had the presence of mind to demand the driver’s phone. The driver was caught off guard and surrendered the phone. The guard then pulled up the most recent incoming/outgoing calls and saw no calls during the last 30 minutes. “I don’t think so.” “You don’t think so what?” The security guard was frank, “You haven’t used this phone in over half an hour.” The truck driver sheepishly acknowledged the fact. It was decided to install video surveillance covering the weighing area and scales – no easy feat due to poor lighting Preventing Crime As It Happens Knowing the driver was lying, the security guard ordered the truck back on the scale for a correct weighing and advised the driver that he would report the incident. The security guard wrote up his report and handed it off to his supervisor who, in turn, contacted the local corporate investigator. This investigator was soon on the phone with his boss at corporate headquarters on the other side of the world. Together with Security, they decided to install video surveillance covering the weighing area and scales – no easy feat due to poor lighting. However, once completed, they waited. They would not have to wait long. For the next two months, the waste vendor trucks, filled to the brim with production waste, black-and-white paper and other waste products from the plant, would stop on the scale only for a moment and then drive the front half of the truck off the scale for weighing. It was obvious that the vendor was cheating the company by only paying for half the waste. After two months, it was decided to catch the next cheating driver “en flagrante.” Sure enough, the next truck went half on and half off the scale and was weighed. Security then asked the unsuspecting driver to park his truck and invited him inside the building to talk to a supervisor. The driver signed an incriminating statement about the scheme and his role therein. They sent him on his way asking him to keep it quiet Waiting for the driver in a large office was the local investigator and his close friend, the Head of Security. After a difficult interview, the driver admitted to cheating on the scales over a two-year period—he claimed that some of the scale cheating was done at the direction of the vendor’s management, while some of it he did himself by “ripping off” the vendor—which he acknowledged was dangerous. Working With Authorities The driver signed an incriminating statement about the scheme and his role therein. They sent him on his way asking him to keep it quiet—they would see what they could do for him later on. In the meantime, Corporate Investigations had received a due diligence report on the vendor company which contained disturbing news—the company and its managers were associated with a countrywide waste management mafia. The report suggested that the vendor had a reputation for thefts and involvement in numerous lawsuits regarding thefts and embezzlement. Shockingly, no prior due diligence had ever been conducted on the vendor. Fortunately, the plant’s finance and audit team had maintained good records over the past 5 years and were able to re-construct the amount of waste going out the plant door and the amounts being claimed and paid for by the vendor. The discrepancy and loss stood at a multi-million dollar figure. After consulting with the local police authorities and company lawyers, it was decided to pursue a civil case against the vendor. Pursuing Legal Action The regional lawyer, the Head of Investigations, the Head of Security and the CFO invited the vendor to discuss the problem. Some of the evidence was shown to the vendor’s CEO who became indignant and, in order to save face, promised to fire the truck drivers and to repay any losses for the last two months. Inter-dependent entities - security, investigations, finance/audit and legal - combined their resources and agendas to form a unified front That was not enough for the company and a protracted legal battle ensued which lasted several years and resulted in the vendor’s paying almost the entire amount in instalments. The vendor was dropped from the contract and internal controls strengthened—the only plant employee dealing with the waste issue left the company and was replaced by two individuals. The plant also began paying more attention to the waste process and less to the production side. Several “lessons learned” come to mind. First, the tripwire came in the person of an astute and well-trained security guard who exhibited some of the best characteristics you want to see from men and women in that profession. The Security Department was also adept at installing the surveillance system and capturing the fraud live on videotape. But a far greater lesson was learned—of what can happen when inter-dependent entities (security, investigations, finance/audit and legal) within a company combine their resources and agendas to form a unified front. The results speak for themselves.
The mission of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is to ensure the reliability of the North American bulk power system (BPS). While electric utility companies are responsible for administering the day-to-day operations of the electric grid, regulators such as NERC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) are charged with the overall responsibility of ensuring reliability and security. NERC develops and enforces Reliability Standards, annually assesses seasonal and long-term reliability, monitors the bulk power system through system awareness, operates the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) and educates, trains and certifies industry personnel. Normal everyday operations of the system are the responsibility of utility owners and operators. Protecting critical infrastructure An attack by a disgruntled former employee, ideologically motivated activist, or a criminal could inflict significant damage Currently, a significant reliability threat to the U.S. grid is associated with squirrels and balloons, and not religiously inspired terrorists. However – and more applicable to grid operators – we have recently seen noteworthy interest in disabling or destroying critical infrastructure. Coordinated attacks can target the grid, and an attack by a disgruntled former employee, ideologically motivated activist, or a criminal stumbling across a “soft target,” could inflict significant damage. With an interconnected grid of over 450,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines (100 kV and higher) and over 55,000 substations (100 kV and larger), the targets of opportunity are endless. Data capture form to appear here! According to the Department of Energy, the number-one cause of most power outages in the U.S. is bad weather, which costs the economy between $18 billion and $33 billion every year in lost output and wages, spoiled inventory, delayed production and damage to grid infrastructure. The number-one cause of most power outages in the U.S. is bad weather, which costs the economy between $18 billion and $33 billion every year Large power transformers A large power transformer (LPT) is an enormous, custom-built piece of equipment tailored to customers’ specifications. They usually are not interchangeable with each other, and they are not produced for spare-part inventories; so if one blows, a lot of companies and homes could be without power for more than six months. They are not cheap, either. According to EEP (Electrical Engineering Portal), $10 million is a fairly average cost, but that doesn’t include transporting the gargantuan piece of equipment or installing it, which usually adds an additional 35 percent to the bill. Protecting power grids is essential to deliver electricity that serves millions of consumers. Transmission substations are a component of the power infrastructure that presents unique security challenges. These important facilities often sit out in the open, in remote locations, and were historically protected by little more than cameras or chain-link fences. According to EEP, $10 million is a fairly average cost for a large power transformer NERC/CIP guidelines The North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Critical Infrastructure Protection (NERC/CIP) guidelines address security needs of electrical substations. Every facility has a baseline requirement for perimeter security protection around the site, although medium- and high-impact sites will have more stringent requirements. The geography surrounding sites – Is it an urban area or rural? Does the surrounding elevation provide additional lines of sight? – also impacts the types of systems they require. Electricity coming from coal, nuclear or hydroelectric plants goes to local utilities The U.S. power grid is divided into three sections: The Eastern Interconnection for states east of the Rocky Mountains, The Western Interconnection for states from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountains, and the smallest—the Texas Interconnected system—covering most of Texas. Electricity coming from coal, nuclear or hydroelectric plants goes to local utilities and they distribute power to homes and businesses, to millions of personal devices, lights, refrigeration, computers, and to other “loads,” that tap it. Inherited challenges According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the nation’s electric infrastructure is “nothing but a patchwork system” that has evolved wildly since the first substation was erected by Thomas Edison in 1882, on New York City’s Pearl Street. Contributing to the challenges of securing the grid are the crazily disparate ages and capacities of the grid’s equipment. There are many possible targets, too. Approximately 300 control centers around the country monitor voltage and watch the data from SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems, which are placed at transformers, generators and other critical areas. Ideally, this allows engineers to monitor the data for signs of trouble and then communicate with each other to deal with whatever is happening to the grid, but SCADA has cybersecurity issues.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, present a range of threats, from the careless and clueless to the criminal. While many incidents may seem harmless, the threat to any location at any time depends on a range of factors. Drones are inexpensive for criminals to buy or make, and there are continuously improving battery, airspeed, and payload capabilities. UAVs can also fly without an RF signal to jam or hack. Fortunately, sensor technologies including radar are available for security agencies and personnel to protect assets and the public. Radio-Wave Signals Radar works as a deterrent by sending out a radio-wave signal using a transmitter antenna, and a small portion of that signal reflects off objects in its path and returns to a receiver antenna. The highest performing radars use an antenna technology called Active Electronically Scanning Array (AESA), which enables all-electronic reconfiguration of the antennas. When an AESA radar detects an object, it can ‘focus’ its antennas to track the object, in much the same way as the zoom on a camera does. Multiple objects can be tracked while continuing to scan. Kirkland, WA-based Echodyne offers a radar product that brings these ESA capabilities to non-military security applications at commercial price points. Combining proprietary hardware with intelligent software, Echodyne produces a compact, solid-state, electronically scanning array Echodyne’s ESA Radar Echodyne says they are reinventing radar price-performance for security applications in the ground (people, vehicles) or air (counter-UAS) domains. Combining proprietary hardware with intelligent software, Echodyne produces a compact, solid-state, electronically scanning array (ESA) radar that is affordable for commercial, law enforcement, and governmental customers. The company is backed by high profile investors, including Bill Gates, Madrona Venture Group, Vulcan Capital, NEA, and Lux Capital. “Radar is a sensor,” says Leo McCloskey, Echodyne VP Marketing. “It is most applicable when security professionals can both understand its capabilities and define risk assessment and deployment requirements that call for those capabilities. Our customers are primarily security system integrators and consultancies, which integrate the performance of radar into a sensor array that meets mission requirements.” Radar Technology For Border Surveillance Echodyne was selected by the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for its Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) to demonstrate the performance of its radar technology for border surveillance applications. The radar was deployed both in fixed remote surveillance towers and as a lightweight rapid deployment kit for field agents. Able to surveil ground and air domains, the radar combines versatility and commercial price with surveillance capabilities. “We set out to build the world’s best compact, solid-state ESA radar sensor, and we are demonstrating that we’ve reached that objective,” says McCloskey. “We’re excited to introduce these capabilities for other security applications.” Able to surveil ground and air domains, the radar combines versatility and commercial price with surveillance capabilities MESA Technology Echodyne’s proprietary technology provides a small true electronically scanning array (ESA) radar. Unlike expensive Active ESA (AESA) phased array radars, MESA requires no physical phase shifters, thus reducing the cost, size, weight, and power by several orders of magnitude while maintaining all the benefits of fast ESA radar. Echodyne combines its MESA technology with an intelligent software suite, Acuity, to produce a configurable, software-defined radar for commercial, law enforcement, and governmental security applications. The capability is also useful for temporary events such as rallies and marathons, and many other market applications “Technology seems to make everything more available to more people over time,” says McCloskey. “What is a retail product today will be a purchased self-assembly kit tomorrow and an improvised self-made drone the following day. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is diligently at work on creating rules for safe UAV operation, though any final rules remain some distance off. As drone volumes increase, delineating friend from foe in the airspace requires clear legal and regulatory frameworks, which are nascent but would help distinguish the threat of nuisance flyers from illegal overflight.” Radar Sensor For Security Applications “Detecting and tracking airspace objects of interest is imperative for airports, chemical plants, oil and gas installations, refineries, water and energy utilities, stadiums and other public spaces”, says McCloskey. The capability is also useful for temporary events such as rallies and marathons, and many other market applications. “As with any product, our applicability will depend on variables like location, terrain, risk assessment, and existing security technologies,” says McCloskey. “Our mission is to deliver the very best radar sensor for security applications.”
ISC West in Las Vegas kicked off with a bang on Wednesday, reflecting a healthy physical security industry with an overall upbeat outlook on the future. Driving the optimism is a pending new wave of product innovation, propelled largely by developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning. Some of that new wave is evident at ISC West, but much of the talk still centers on what’s to come. Attendees flocked to the first day of the show to check out the newest technologies, and they were rewarded with a wide range of innovations. Tempering the optimism are ongoing concerns about ensuring the cybersecurity of IP-based physical security systems. Cybersecurity Standards For Physical Security At least one news announcement is related to cybersecurity at the show: Johnson Controls is the first company to achieve UL (Underwriters Laboratories) certification 2900-2-3 for cybersecurity of life safety and security products and systems for their VideoEdge network video recording platform from American Dynamics. The UL brand ensures that the certification involves a standards-based and scientific approach to evaluating cybersecurity, and that JCI’s certified products meet the requirements. “We were able to be first because we understand issues of cybersecurity, and the UL standard matches very closely to what we have been doing in cybersecurity,” says Will Brown, Senior Engineering Manager, Cyber Protection at Johnson Controls. Tempering the optimism are ongoing concerns about ensuring the cybersecurity of IP-based physical security systems Neil Lakomiak, Director of Business Development and Innovation at Underwriters Laboratories, says relatively few companies have invested sufficiently in cybersecurity, and much of UL’s work in the physical security market is to help manufacturers develop a roadmap to meet cybersecurity goals. “A lot of companies have not invested, but Johnson Controls has,” said Lakomiak. He speculated that it could be some time before another security company achieves the certification; there certainly won’t be a rush of additional companies to do so in the near term, based on the progress he has seen to date, says Lakomiak. “Cybersecurity is a topic that has hit the Board of Directors level,” says Lakomiak. “They are definitely inquiring about it and trying to understand what their posture should be. The leadership teams of companies will be asking a lot of questions.” In terms of cyber-consciousness among the integrator community, Brown estimates about 10 percent are “on board” with the issue. Among the manufacturing community, more than half of the companies are pursuing cybersecurity goals, although the levels of those efforts run a full gamut, says Lakomiak. Vertical markets that are especially cyber-aware are enterprise, government, and critical infrastructure. Financial and retail companies are also coming on board, as well as companies — even small companies — in regulated industries such as utilities Cybersecurity is a topic that has hit the Board of Directors level Cybersecurity In The Cloud Another company emphasizing cybersecurity at ISC West is access control company Isonas. “What’s really new at the show for us is that we are being very transparent about the levels of cybersecurity we are applying to our cloud software platform and our IP network hardware,” says Rob Lydic, Isonas Global Vice President of Sales. “The levels of complexity we are putting into our cybersecurity, including the fact that we host our software on Amazon web services, ensures a really high level of security. We are taking painstaking efforts to subject ourselves to third-party penetration testing to give us the visibility of what is going on with our cybersecurity — are we actually as cybersecure as we believe?” The answer: “They have come back to us to say we have an amazing strategy for cybersecurity; the surface that is attackable is minuscule, and the complex layers underneath really prevent anybody from hacking the product.”We are being very transparent about the levels of cybersecurity we are applying to our cloud software platform" Lydic says he sees higher levels of awareness about cybersecurity at the show, especially among end users. Several other exhibitors agree. Because edge devices have often been targeted in cybersecurity attacks, they are especially an area of concern. “We’re raising that conversation, saying we are a cloud service provider that uses edge devices, and it is core to us to make sure we have a great cybersecurity profile, so the customer can be assured we are doing what we say we are doing and delivering on those promises,” says Lydic. Awareness is filtering through channel: Isonas is seeing many customers who want to have that cybersecurity conversation at the show. “We have had probably 20 or 30 conversations with end users at the show who want to understand what it means to be in the cloud, to understand how the level of communication is encrypted between devices,” says Lydic. Many end users at ISC West want to understand what it means to be in the cloud Ambitions For Growth Successful companies often increase their ISC West booth size as a reflection of their ambition to grow as a company and their success in sales so far. One such company is Paxton Access Inc., which has increased its booth size from a 20x40-foot booth last year to a 30x50-foot space this year. Beyond the show, another reflection of Paxton’s growth is addition of personnel to cover 11 U.S. sales territories that have been newly restructured. New regional sales managers will work with dealers locally. At the show, Paxton is introducing its Net2 Entry Premium monitor, the latest addition to the company’s Net2 Entry line of door entry products. “The show is definitely a great way to promote who we are and what we offer,” says Linda Soriano, Paxton Marketing Communications Coordinator. “It’s great to meet new customers and interact with existing customers, to build new relationships. It’s an opportunity to promote the new things we have going on.” Paxton measures success at ISC West in terms of how many people they interact with at the show. In addition to welcoming booth visitors, the company is signing up attendance at free training through a show promotion. Anyone who signs up for training at the show is entered into a drawing for a $500 Visa gift card and a $1,000 discount off MSRP of Paxton products. Tim Shen, Director of Marketing at Dahua Technology USA, one of the larger exhibitors, says the company is emphasising solutions at ISC West, just one element of the successful international business model they are bringing to the United States.With AI and business analytics in transportation and retail markets, we are letting the market know that we can build solutions" Another topic for Dahua is artificial intelligence. “With AI and business analytics in transportation and retail markets, we are letting the market know that we can build solutions,” he says. Dahua sponsored a keynote address Wednesday on AI, including a presentation from Intel about AI trends. “AI is the future, but what can we use it for now?” asks Shen. “We need to give a very clear strategy of what we think about AI.” Dahua will bring AI cameras and an AI network video recorder to the U.S. market in the second quarter; in effect, they will be testing the water to see how well the AI concept is embraced here. Other new products from Dahua include multi-image and thermal cameras. In the thermal category, Dahua has developed their own chipset to help bring the price down and provide affordable thermal cameras to the U.S. market. Another focus will be e-POE (extended Power over Ethernet), which Dahua sees as a big differentiator. [Main photo credit: Abbey Masciarotte | Larry Anderson]
Verkada, the provider in cloud-managed enterprise building security, announced the release of its environmental sensor product line and its initial product, the SV11. The announcement comes on the heels of Verkada’s recent Series C funding and successful launch of its access control line, further establishing the company as the provider of the operating system for modern, integrated buildings. Monitoring “Our customers are responsible for the systems that keep facilities online, and our mission is to give those administrators the best possible tools to do their jobs,” said Filip Kaliszan, CEO and co-founder of Verkada. “Whether it be monitoring the status of a server room, the temperature of a patient room in a hospital, or the air quality of a school, the SV11 gives facilities and staff unprecedented visibility and control over the sites they’re responsible for keeping safe and secure.” The SV11 is a simple-to-deploy, powerful sensing device that provides enhanced visibility into what is happening in a physical space. The cloud-managed device seamlessly integrates with Verkada’s enterprise video security solution, allowing organizations to review context and quickly associate sensor events with relevant video footage. Real-time insights and proactive alerts The interface delivers real-time insights and makes it easy to respond to proactive alerts or conduct investigations into past incidents. Customers across a range of industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, education, retail, and hospitality, have already deployed the SV11 to monitor: Air quality: Protect one's environment from invisible threats like gas and chemical leaks, or detect illicit activities like vaping and smoking. Temperature and humidity: Monitor changes in temperature and humidity that may damage expensive infrastructure, materials, or food and medical supplies. Motion and occupancy: Detect motion or occupancy in bathrooms, locker rooms, and other private areas where cameras are not appropriate. Noise levels: Detect activity or disturbances without violating privacy. Receive and manage alert notifications remotely “The ability to deploy Verkada's sensor in our network closets has provided us with complete visibility into what’s happening in those rooms,” said Rick Palandro, Security and Facilities Operations Engineer at Fox Rothschild LLP. “With Verkada, I'm now able to receive and manage alert notifications remotely the moment temperature rises above a specific threshold. I can instantly mobilize the team to respond to HVAC issues. We’ve shifted from a reactive approach that often resulted in damaged equipment to a proactive one that ensures our equipment is always operating properly.” Monitoring preventative and predictive maintenance Verkada’s SV11 has empowered us to take a data-driven approach to food manufacturing" “Verkada’s SV11 has empowered us to take a data-driven approach to food manufacturing that helps us stay ahead of the curve on environmental improvements across our plant facility,” said Frank McKinney, COO and Plant Manager of Carolina Ingredients. “By pinpointing where we can set up both preventative and predictive maintenance, we can closely monitor and optimize air quality, efficiency of our HVAC units, and behaviors in the plant, which enables us to more effectively manage the business and deliver quality ingredients and superior blending services that support our customers.” Integration with video monitoring solution "We installed the environmental sensor across campuses in areas like bathrooms that are difficult to properly monitor and are therefore likely places for inappropriate activity such as vaping," said Marty Oliver, Director of Technology at Godley Independent School District. "Paired with Verkada's video monitoring solution, the SV11 provides a new level of visibility into what's happening in those spaces without infringing on students' privacy, giving principals, superintendents, and office administrators a more holistic understanding of student activity in school." Environmental sensor The introduction of the environmental sensor follows accelerated business growth in Q2 2020, highlighted by: Sixty-five percent quarter-over-quarter revenue growth (compared to Q1 2020), including new deployments with Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Rubrik, NextGen America International expansion with new Sales operations in Sydney and Latin America and deployments with Heinemann Australia, Lifeview Residential Care, and Transportes Canales A projection to double headcount by year-end 2020 (compared to year-end 2019) Expansion of its global channel partner program to more than 1,500 resellers The launch of its Access Control solution, which oversold in the first quarter of general availability and surpassed projected sales by more than 400 percent The release of the Bullet Series of hybrid cloud cameras as well as new features as part of a COVID-19 Response Suite, including People Heatmaps, Person of Interest Notifications, and Crowd Notifications Smart buildings The launch of the SV11 is the next step towards Verkada delivering on its vision to power the modern, integrated building. With security cameras at its core, Verkada is expanding its product offering with new applications such as access control and sensors to deliver the infrastructure that runs safer, smarter buildings.
Loughborough University has selected the ASSA CLIQ® Remote system from the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group to help secure its plant control rooms. With more than 18,000 students at Loughborough University for 2018-19, the award-winning ASSA CLIQ® Remote technology has been used across the site for a range of different applications, including teaching laboratories and offices. Its success as a security and access control solution has led to it being extended to cover the university’s plant control rooms too. Providing an easy-to-use electromechanical locking system, the ASSA CLIQ® Remote solution uses high-end micro-electronics and programmable keys and cylinders to offer flexible control over access rights. ASSA CLIQ® Remote solution Loughborough University can program and update each key remotely, removing or granting access privileges for the key holder in real-time. This allows only those with the necessary authority at the university to enter a plant control room. Furthermore, the system removes the security risks associated with lost or stolen keys, eliminating the time and cost spent on replacing a mechanical lock. For staff that have access to these areas and then leave the university, their access rights can be easily be removed by using the system’s simple, web-based interface, ensuring ex-employees and contractors never pose a security risk. ASSA CLIQ® Remote also provides a full audit trail for assured peace of mind around who has accessed the plant control rooms and - because the locks are powered by a battery inside the programmable ASSA CLIQ® Remote key - no extra wiring is required when installing the system. Wireless electronics locks Phil Sheppard, Senior Clerk of Works at Loughborough University, said: “For us, a big advantage to ASSA CLIQ® Remote is that its electronics effectively extend the patent of the key indefinitely. The system cannot be copied, which means ASSA CLIQ® Remote provides a long-lasting access control solution.” “The audit capabilities of the system are also really useful, ensuring we know exactly who accessed a plant control room, and when. The system can be extended really easily as well, which has been another key reason why we continue to use ASSA CLIQ® Remote to meet our access control needs across the university.” “Ultimately, by working with a trusted manufacturer such as ASSA ABLOY, we can be safe in the knowledge that only authorized individuals can access the university’s plant control rooms.” Secure access control solution Sean Falkinder, National Sales Manager for ASSA CLIQ® Remote, adds: “We have provided a range of solutions for Loughborough University over the years, and the use of ASSA CLIQ® Remote for the university’s plant control rooms is just the latest success story. We’re delighted that the technology is able to provide such a safe and secure access control solution for the site.”
Multiple electrical substations in the Mid-West United States are operated by a large electric power holding company. Due to the high price of copper, the customer faced the growing issue of theft and damage at multiple sites. The large amount of copper theft at the electrical substations site was causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, repairs, and down time, while creating unsafe grounding conditions for the electrical equipment. Countering copper theft at site Changing site conditions, large perimeters and the inability to trench, along with remote location of the substations were all challenges that needed to be addressed when deciding on an appropriate security solution to counter the rise in cases of copper theft. An integrator was selected who then teamed up with Optex to create a reliable, effective security solution. The team decided on protecting multiple areas on the properties by taking a layered security approach. The solution would meet the customer's needs by protecting the sites from copper theft, while also eliminating the chance and liability of injury or death from trespassers. SL-350QFRi photoelectric detectors installed The battery-powered perimeter beam system allowed the integrator to set up the units without running power to them At the first area of intrusion, both the existing perimeter fence and automatic gate systems were reinforced using pairs of the SL-350QFRi, a battery-powered, wireless 350ft. point-to-point photoelectric detector. The battery-powered perimeter beam system allowed the integrator to set up the units without running power to them, eliminating the need to trench or run cables. SIP series and HX series passive infrared detectors For the interior locations on the electrical substations site, mid-range SIP series and short range HX series passive infrared detectors were installed to offer the customer a stable back-up to the perimeter system. Because the customer operated their own central monitoring station, all detectors on the property were set up to trigger PTZ cameras that were fixed within the sensor's area of detection. This allowed the monitoring station to capture and record any intrusions on the property and take the necessary action before any theft or vandalism occurred. Enhanced perimeter protection solution The end user now maintains a secure perimeter and site that detects intruders and helps to prevent possible injury. With the system in place, the customer has multiple levels of protection and can respond with quick efficiency to catch criminal activity.
Combining radio detection and ranging (RADAR) with thermal imaging technologies produces unparalleled monitoring coverage and perimeter protection for power plants and electrical substations. By integrating SpotterRF Compact Surveillance Radars (CSR) with FLIR PT-Series cameras, end users gain exceptional situational awareness, both inside the substation and beyond the fence line. This cost-effective solution requires substantially less infrastructure than other fence line detection systems and yields higher accuracy. Video surveillance of electrical substations There are over 55,000 electrical substations in the United States. These substations, along with power plants and transmission lines, provide power for millions of people. It is imperative that these locations remain secure from intrusion and sabotage. If just a handful of these substations were rendered inoperable, the U.S. could face a serious blackout. The 2013 sniper attack on PG&E Corporation’s Metcalf transmission substation, which knocked out several transformers and totaled over US$ 15 million in damages, was considered to be a catalyst for the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) establishing new security standards for utilities. Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard 014 One of the most notable policies introduced was the Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard 014 (CIP014) One of the most notable policies introduced was the Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard 014 (CIP014). This statute requires utilities to identify ‘mission critical’ facilities and assets, conduct a security inspection to identify threat, and implement a security system to address those risks. In response to security incidents such as Metcalf and other FERC activities, a large electrical utility with hundreds of substations across the country, looked to expand security beyond its fence line. Enhanced perimeter protection solutions The end user wanted to enhance and possibly replace traditional fence protection systems, including fiber optics, microwave barriers, and video analytics as these systems all proved to be costly, as well as time and labor intensive. In the end, the utility company relied on VTI Security for a recommendation. VTI Security, based in Burnsville, Minnesota, is an industry-renowned integrator that has been servicing security needs in the commercial, utility and oil and gas sectors for over 35 years. To determine the best system for its end user, VTI reviewed six different technologies, including some with multiple vendors of various solutions. Cost-effective total surveillance solution VTI also tested systems in in field deployments and conducted a cost analysis. The integrator concluded that SpotterRF’s product was superior to all others and selected it as its sole radar standard for perimeter solutions. “Our findings were that SpotterRF not only provided the most comprehensive detection in a substation environment, but SpotterRF was also by far the most cost-effective total solution based on the ability to mount equipment on existing structures,” said Jerry Klapak, Senior Account Manager for VTI Security. SpotterRF Compact Surveillance Radar system CSRs enable security monitors to never be blind, providing 100% coverage, 24/7, in all weather conditions SpotterRF, based in Orem-Utah, provides perimeter protection through its patented Compact Surveillance Radar (CSR) systems, which provide up to 300 acres of radar tracking power in a hand held, four-pound device. The CSRs enable security monitors to never be blind, providing 100 percent coverage, 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions. They are designed to detect threats up to 3300 feet beyond the fence line and provide early warnings to staff before situations escalate. FLIR PT-Series cameras Upon selecting a radar system, VTI needed a video manufacturer to supply cameras to deploy with the radar. In 2015, the integrator approached the globally renowned thermal imaging and perimeter security solutions expert, FLIR Systems, for a solution. FLIR’s PT-Series was selected for the project. “The ability for FLIR’s products to perform beyond published performance specifications was a surprise we don’t often see,” said Klapak, added “Each product exceeded published performance metrics on our field testing and actual deployments.” The PT-Series is FLIR’s offering of high performance, multi-sensor pan/tilt dual cameras that feature both thermal and visible-light imaging. The system is known for providing the highest precision. The pan/tilt mechanism gives end users accurate pointing control, while providing fully programmable scan patterns, as well as radar slew-to-cue and slew-to-alarm functions. Seamless integration With the radar and thermal technologies selected, VTI worked to ensure seamless integration and performance between the systems. “We worked with each company’s support and development teams as well as the VMS manufacturer to ensure the technologies not only worked with one another, but also met the client’s needs for bandwidth consumption and VMS interface and display,” said Klapak. Maximum coverage and perimeter security SpotterRF C20 and C40 radars and FLIR PT-Series cameras deliver maximum coverage and perimeter protection Together, SpotterRF C20 and C40 radars and FLIR PT-Series cameras deliver maximum coverage and perimeter protection. “The FLIR PT-Series, when deployed with SpotterRF, can cover a wide area of substation footprint. It is a cost-effective solution for substations needing to monitor the perimeter as well as inside the yard,” said Michael Chaffee, Director of Business Development at FLIR Systems, adding “The speed at which the FLIR PT-Series slews to the cue of the SpotterRF detection is impressive.” Effective intrusion detection solution When someone walks into the field of view of SpotterRF’s C20 or C40 radar, the radio waves bounce off the person and back to the radar, which then calculates the precise GPS location of the target and target size. The radars then tell the FLIR PT-Series camera to zoom to that location. The camera automatically stays on the target, moving with and tracking it. Because the radars control the cameras, the cameras only move upon detection, which significantly extends the shelf life of the cameras and allows them to last for years without replacement. Technology impact This FLIR and SpotterRF solution addresses an important pain point for the perimeter security and intrusion detection market. “In the past, utilities tried to use video analytics to find targets. Because these systems were outdoors, a number of environmental factors affected performance, including weather, lighting and moving trees,” said Logan Harris, CEO of SpotterRF, adding “However, by combining our radar with FLIR’s pan tilt thermal cameras, you will be able to solve this problem.” Radar technology and thermal imaging integration Logan adds, “Together, SpotterRF’s radar technology and FLIR’s thermal imaging are able to locate a person in a 15 or 100 acre space, see hundreds of yards beyond the fence line, cue the camera, and alert the personnel all without the help of an operator.” In the past, only military organizations could access this level of advanced technology. Now, the FLIR and SpotterRF solution makes this security capability accessible and affordable for critical infrastructure, power distribution and commercial applications. High-level security for critical sites Our client is very pleased with the ability of the technologies to provide security for their critical sites" “Our client is very pleased with the ability of the technologies to provide security for their critical sites. One surprising benefit was the ability to use both the thermal cameras and radars for additional security and production uses.” said Klapak. He adds, “They now use the radars to activate security lighting based on motion within and outside the fences. This provides not only a green approach to security by lowering energy costs but also improves customer relations by reducing light pollution in residential neighborhoods.” Minimal installation time The entire team was also impressed by the solution’s minimal installation time. Unlike deploying fiber optic cables on fence lines, which requires months for digging trenches, the FLIR and SpotterRF solution allows one to mount the radars and cameras on control shacks and lattice poles. This process only requires a week for installation. “The deployment occurred 4x faster than was anticipated,” said Harris, adding “VTI installed the systems at 25-30 sites in just three months.” Phased deployment VTI began installation in 2016 with plans to roll out the solution in a phased approach as part of a multi-year plan. Approximately 50- 75 sites will deploy the solution. On average, each substation has two FLIR PT-Series cameras and four SpotterRF radars (two per camera). Some of VTI’s other clients are also expected to deploy the same solution at 10-20 sites over the next few years based on the success VTI has proven in the utility environment.
Based in Muscat, Oman, the Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC) owns and operates the main electricity transmission network, transferring electricity from generating stations to distribution load centers in all governorates of the Sultanate of Oman. Asset and public protection Protecting the company’s assets while ensuring the safety of the public is central to ensuring business continuity for OETC and reliable distribution of electricity to over 4.6 million people. With 90 grid stations in remote locations, identifying and responding to unauthorized intrusions in a timely way was challenging. OETC required a robust perimeter security system to deter intruders, manage risk, and protect the public “It can take up to an hour to reach some of our sites after an alarm is triggered. By then it’s too late, the intruder is gone,” says ESC Gulf Project Lead. Members of the public were also entering the sites to have picnics, unwittingly risking injury or even death. After a fatality when someone interfered with an electricity transformer, it was clear the OETC required a robust perimeter security system to deter intruders, manage risk, and protect the public from harm. Monitored pulse fencing solution The Gallagher solution OETC work in partnership with an established local consultant ESC Gulf who provide a wide range of services including design, tender evaluation and project implementation support. During tender submission stages, security contractors Majees Technical Services and Mustafa Sultan Enterprises, proposed a Gallagher Security monitored pulse fencing solution to protect OETC’s remote sites. Upon contract award the certified contractors installed the system, while Gallagher provided support and oversight of the installation and commissioning works. Using Gallagher’s effective and reliable fencing solution, perimeter breach attempts are deterred by an energized pulse, delivering a short but safe shock. The monitored wires detect unauthorized entry or exit and trigger instant alerts. Gallagher Z20 Disturbance Sensor Gallagher Z20 Disturbance Sensor heightens perimeter security by ensuring continuous monitoring and motion detection The Gallagher Z20 Disturbance Sensor in use at the gate heightens perimeter security by ensuring continuous monitoring and detection of vibration or movement of the gate when it is closed, and the system is in an armed state. Gallagher delivers robust perimeter security systems suited to the most rigorous requirements of high security sites. The ability of Gallagher technology to easily integrate with CCTV cameras, automated lighting and a remote monitoring system, further ensures a safe and secure environment. A world class solution, Gallagher perimeter products are designed to comply with international safety and electromagnetic compatibility standards. These standards set out the safety requirements for the design, installation, and operation of pulse fencing and associated equipment. Gallagher perimeter control solutions Saving money while keeping people safe Gallagher perimeter control solutions are now under construction or completed at 70 of the remote grid station sites – including over 25 kilometers of monitored pulse fencing. Unauthorized entry to these sites has been reduced to zero. OETC now has peace of mind that assets at its remote sites are protected, while being secure from unauthorized access – ultimately keeping people safe from harm. Gallagher’s accurate and responsive security monitoring systems have also resulted in significant cost savings and business efficiencies for OETC. “OETC were employing up to six guards on each grid station at a significant cost,” says ESC Gulf Project Lead. “With a fully monitored solution, the number of guards has been reduced and they have been redeployed on other tasks”. Gallagher security solutions are successfully supporting OETC’s mission to transmit and dispatch electricity safely, reliably, securely and economically. ESC’s Gulf Project Lead concludes “Gallagher provides a great amount of support to all stakeholders and both OETC and ESC Gulf are very pleased with the outcome of this project.”
The power grid is a modern engineering marvel, providing us widely available and affordable energy for not only our day to day lives, but also highly critical infrastructure elements for which we rely on personally, and as an economy. However, our reliance on the grid also makes it highly susceptible to adverse events, including physical attacks. All parts of the grid can become victims of malicious events, but substations are particularly vulnerable due to their role in power distribution and the nature of their equipment. Power utilities’ security The challenge power utilities worldwide are facing is finding an affordable solution The challenge power utilities worldwide are facing is finding an affordable solution, which can help detect, deter and facilitate an informed response to a substation security event. In the United States, this need is furthered by the physical security mandate CIP-014 issued by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), calling for identification of security issues, vulnerability assessments and deployment of appropriate processes and systems to address. CIP-104 specifically calls for implemented security plans which include measures to deter, detect, delay, assess, communicate, coordinate and respond to potential physical threats and vulnerabilities. Fortunately, there are many solutions to help power utilities address these security concerns, one effective choice is the use of intelligent video. Intelligent video analytics solution Intelligent video, or video analytics, is a popular choice for the protection of critical facilities given its ability to detect, provide instant visual confirmation of the event and subsequent event forensics. The capability of this technology is increasing at a rapid rate, while decreases in hardware cost make such solutions affordable for owners or operators of critical bulk-power system sites. This case study looks at the issue of substation vulnerability and how to best use video to address, keeping in mind requirements of CIP-014. Such a system consists of fixed cameras, pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, a deterrence device and data communication capability. Perimeter designs can vary based on the vulnerabilities identified, aspects of the site, budget, etc Perimeter designs can vary based on the vulnerabilities identified, aspects of the site, budget, etc. In most cases, substations can benefit from a simple “camera-following” design, which includes surveillance of a potential breach at the fence line, as well as, the ability for early detection for some distance beyond the physical perimeter. Camera-Following design In a camera-following design, in addition to its own coverage, each camera is responsible for covering the blind spot of the adjacent camera. That camera is then responsible for covering the blind spot of the next camera, and this pairing continues around the perimeter until the final camera covers the blind spot of the first. This type of coverage design is very effective and affordable for locations with well-defined perimeters, such as substations. Using this layout, the video feed from the fixed cameras are then enabled with video analytics algorithms to alert when predefined conditions are met. This is done by inputting the video signal into a server, edge device or NVR, located at the site, or remote to the location. Intelligent video technology Today’s intelligent video technology provides for very specific alarm criteria Today’s intelligent video technology provides for very specific alarm criteria, which in addition to only alarming when a target enters in a specific region, can also discriminate, or classify, by the type of target: human, vehicle, etc. Furthermore, the alarm can be restricted by specific actions taken by the target, such as loitering in an area, dropping or throwing an object, more than one target entering with a valid badge swipe (tailgating) or even the speed at which a target is entering an area. This level of discrimination provides the ability to address very specific vulnerabilities, as well as, avoid nuisance targets, such as wildlife, debris or moving vegetation. Another key feature with significant value to substation protection is the geospatial aspects available with some video analytic solutions. This capability maps each pixel of video to its real-world latitude, longitude and elevation. This results in further assessment of the target, including the actual location, the real size of the target, the real speed and the current track. It also affords the opportunity to provide a real-time display of this information to the security operator through an easy to understand map-based user interface. Autonomous PTZ cameras Geospatial video analytics provide the benefit of knowing the exact map-based location of the target Another key assessment aspect of this substation protection scheme is the use of autonomous PTZ cameras. These are typically placed at the corners of the perimeter where they can service detections from multiple fixed cameras. As previously mentioned, geospatial video analytics, provide the benefit of knowing the exact map-based location of the target. Knowing the location of the target is extremely valuable to the security officer, but it is also the basis for a feature known as “slew to cue,” whereby PTZ cameras armed with video intelligence can be automatically steered to the same location for instant confirmation of the target. In most cases, “slew to cue” functionality also includes an “intelligent zoom” feature, which uses the target size information from the alarm, the PTZ camera location and the target location to adjust the zoom level of the PTZ for an instant view of the target that can provide identification details (clothing color, car type, etc) without the need for the operator to further adjust the zoom. Target detection and response Once a target is detected, a security approach leveraging intelligent video can continue with a coordinated response Once a target is detected and confirmed, a security approach leveraging the use of intelligent video can continue with a coordinated response to the event. When video analytics is applied to pan-tilt-zoom cameras, it has the ability to automatically follow a defined target, freeing the operator to take other actions, such as coordinating with law enforcement officials. This feature, referred to as camera auto follow or PTZ following, can be automatically engaged as the result of a detection event, or subsequent to a slew to cue action. The system will continue to follow the target until it reaches a pre-defined system time-out, the operator takes manual control, or the camera can no longer view the target. The system can then provide the resulting PTZ video as a component of the detection alarm, for a more complete understanding of the intrusion for the operator to review. Effective deterrence At this point, the system has detected the target, classified its type and verified it has met alarm conditions. As part of the alarm it has also included dynamic indication of its location on a map, autonomously steered a PTZ to the target to allow for gathering of more detailed target information and a PTZ has locked on and is now following the target without any required user interaction. Total elapsed time to this point in the security response is typically less than 5 seconds. Deterrence is often realized as a fence, physical barriers or access controlled gates This level of automated response addresses many vulnerabilities typically identified as part of a CIP-014 security assessment, but with minimal extra cost, it can be extended to help with the aspect of deterrence. Deterrence is often realized as a fence, physical barriers or access controlled gates. These are physical items and should certainly be included in a substation security plan. Intrusion detection However, another form of deterrence, which can be enabled through the use of intelligent video is the idea of audio talk down. This is the use of live or pre-recorded audio, which is activated upon an intrusion to deter the intruder. Different from a general alarm warning audio, audio talk down uses information about the location of the intruder and their actions to select appropriate pre-recorded audio to deter the intruder. Worse case, the understanding that they are being actively monitored may hasten their plan. Video-Based security and alarm system A common concern when deploying such a system is the amount of bandwidth required A common concern when deploying such a system is the amount of bandwidth required. Substations are almost always unmanned, which means the intrusion information must have a means to get communicated back to the main monitoring location. From a design aspect, this is typically the case, but it is important to know that it is not a requirement in order to gain security benefits from a video based system. The system described in this case study has the capability to detect, assess, respond and deter without any communication back to a main command and control. Alarms, events and system actions can be logged and stored remotely for review at a later time. In reality, utilities will want to be notified and react in real time. In these cases, video systems can adjust to the available bandwidth – from a low bandwidth situation where a textual alarm is provided with an image of the detection, to a high bandwidth installation where feeds from multiple cameras can be monitored and controlled in real time. Web-Based, mobile access In each case, complete alarm information, including meta data, images and video can be readily available to the security operations center, which can then take action based on their security response plan, including contacting and coordinating this alarm data with local law enforcement through web-based access or mobile phones. This case study outlines the effectiveness of utilising video analytics to address the physical vulnerabilities of a typical substation. The study outlines how recent technological advances can autonomously address assessment, response and deterrence This case study outlines the effectiveness of utilizing video analytics to address the physical vulnerabilities of a typical substation. Further, the study outlines how recent technological advances allow such a solution to extend beyond the mere detection of events, but can also autonomously address assessment, response and deterrence. Key capabilities Of intelligent video include: Advanced Detection – Accurate alarming based on specific targets types and actions Situational Awareness – The ability to quickly convey the critical details of a security event in an easy to understand map-based format. Real-time Target Location – Real-time location information of events and real-time location tracking of potential intruders. Autonomous Sensor Control – Automated steering of cameras to an event location and subsequent hands free video tracking of a suspect. Although each utility and substation may encounter different vulnerabilities, this case study outlines how video can be considered to address NERC guidelines for protecting critical substation assets by providing situational awareness of a potential threat and initiating an appropriate and timely response.
Round table discussion
Terrorism is in the headlines all over the world. After any such incident, many of us in the physical security market find ourselves asking: What could we have done to prevent it? Assessing risk and preventing catastrophes before the fact are part of our market’s DNA; and yet, too often the random nature of terrorist attacks and their targeting of public places leave us unsure of anything anyone could have done. How can we translate the benefits of our industry’s products into real-world solutions that can prevent terrorist attacks? We presented the question to this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable, and received a variety of interesting responses. Specifically, we asked: How is the recent rise in terrorism impacting the physical security market (e.g., higher demand, different mix of products, etc.)? How should the physical security market respond? What solutions are needed?
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