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Bosch upgrades fire protection in one of Germany's largest data centers

Bosch upgrades fire protection in one of Germany's largest data centers

Editor / Provider: Bosch | Updated: 3/26/2015 | Article type: Infrastructure

Bosch Security Systems has upgraded the fire protection system of the Telehouse data center in Frankfurt and installed a modular and networked solution based on its Universal Security System UGM 2040. Using its Building Integration System (BIS), Bosch has also integrated the new fire panel into existing Bosch solutions for access control and intrusion detection.

With a total area of 25,000 square meters, the data center run by Telehouse Deutschland GmbH is one of the largest in the country. Many international corporations, financial service providers as well as providers of cloud services use the data center as their primary or backup site to ensure uninterrupted operation of their critical IT systems. Next to redundant IT infrastructures, Telehouse also offers an emergency power supply supporting full load operations for three days as well as sophisticated and comprehensive solutions for physical safety and security for its servers.

The new fire protection solution comprises the highly scalable Universal Security System UGM 2040 and eleven concentrators supporting the different zones of the building.
All systems are networked via optical fiber
in a ring topology.

Existing fire extinguishing and sprinkler systems were also connected to the UGM 2040. More than 3,800 fire detectors and a large number of smoke aspiration systems were installed throughout the data center. Critical detector data such as temperature, operation hours and degree of pollution are constantly collected and stored in a database (condition monitoring).

Based on these data, Telehouse can very exactly plan both maintenance and replacement of individual detectors. Continuous analysis of disturbance variables also allows very timely reaction to critical developments.

The customers of Telehouse demand the highest security levels for their critical IT systems. To guarantee this security, Telehouse has developed a very good partnership with Bosch over the years. With security solutions from Bosch, Telehouse can very flexibly respond to customer's requirements and also ensure fully certified operation.

The new fire protection system meets all requirements as set forth in the EN54 norm. Due to its modular architecture, it can easily be adapted to changing needs whenever these come up.

Hybrid intrusion: an intuitive and powerful solution with PowerSeries Neo

Hybrid intrusion: an intuitive and powerful solution with PowerSeries Neo

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by Tyco DSC | Updated: 3/16/2015 | Article type: Security 50

PowerSeries Neo from DSC is the next generation in alarm intrusion systems. By capturing the flexibility of a modular, hardwired system with the simplicity of a wide range of wireless devices and peripherals, PowerSeries Neo is a comprehensive and versatile hybrid intrusion alarm system suited for residential and small business structures through to scalable commercial applications.

The PowerSeries Neo line comes complete with four control panel options, ranging in capacity from 16 to 128 zones, to cater to a wide range of security system installations. Each panel fully integrates with the extensive selection of PowerG- enabled devices that have been created with simplicity of installation and user-friendliness in mind.

This wide range of devices leverage the most innovative technologies to capitalize on the convenience, versatility and superior capabilities offered by the 2-way wireless PowerG technology. This includes frequency hopping, adaptive path technology and 128-bit encryption.

Frequency hopping is an advanced technology that allows an intrusion device, such as a motion detector, to hop around channels within the specified frequency at a constant pace to find the clearest signal, making it difficult to disrupt because it's constantly moving. It takes a large frequency band, such as the 912-918 MHz band, and divides that into 50 channels, meaning less interference and increased robustness.

Adaptive path technology then finds the most efficient path to the intrusion panel so that, together with frequency hopping, devices always communicate optimally. With adaptive path technology, if the repeater or path in which the device is talking to the panel becomes blocked or disrupted, the device will automatically find the easiest and best path to speak with the panel without third-party troubleshooting. With a high transmission range, reliable wireless communication, transmission of images and audio clips can be achieved within / up to 2km / 2187 yards-line-of-sight. These technologies work together to ensure alarm events are not missed or misread, while extending the range of the signal, and the life of the battery in the system.

In addition, PowerSeries Neo's 128-bit encryption and frequency hopping adds another line of defense when it comes to privacy, particularly for commercial applications. 128-bit encryption is the same frequency technology used in Bluetooth technology and is part of 4G, the fourth generation of mobile telecommunications technology used in mobile devices.

All PowerSeries Neo devices require minimal installation time due to less wiring requirements, thereby allowing for installation of devices in even the most challenging areas. The broad selection of devices includes PowerG-enabled motion detectors, contacts, wireless keys and various life- safety devices such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. PowerSeries Neo LCD keypads features a simplified user interface that makes management of multiple partitions easy. With the global keypad menu, the keypad can be used to operate and check on the status of multiple partitions at the same time.

Designed with a scalable approach to cater to future needs, PowerSeries Neo also seamlessly integrates with a comprehensive remote service software suite to support innovative leading-edge features such as real-time dashboard and remote diagnostics.

A quick enroll process for devices displays a placement test directly on each device during installation. An LED light on each device provides indication to the installer the signal quality. Routine System Management Software (RSM) provides remote diagnostics on devices and systems to identify low-battery signals or other issues before rolling a truck. DLS5 downloading software enables the PowerSeries Neo control panel to upgrade firmware remotely.

In addition, two-way synchronous communication, or TDMA, is an ideal commercial solution because there is less noise and each device can communicate with the other without talking at the same time. This is particularly useful for applications with a significant number of devices. Ordered time slots for each device minimizes collisions between signals and allow for more devices in an application.

PowerSeries Neo provides users with the most comprehensive, hybrid intrusion alarm systems on the market today, meeting the needs of the most challenging security projects.

For more information on PowerSeries Neo, please contact us at or visit our website

Quarantine zone in Italian Port protected by OPTEX Redscan laser sensors

Quarantine zone in Italian Port protected by OPTEX Redscan laser sensors

Editor / Provider: Optex | Updated: 3/9/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

General Electric (GE) Oil and Gas built a giant gas turbine in Avenza, Italy, to be sent to Australia's Barrow Island as part of the Chevron's Gorgon Project, one of the largest natural gas developments in the world. The turbine had to make a stopover in the port of Carrera for four days to be completely decontaminated before being shipped to the pristine nature reserve.

The challenge
The mega turbine was stored in the Italian port of Carrera in quarantine before being hauled onto the supertanker to its final destination. Any contact with unauthorised staff could jeopardise the whole project, so the turbine had to be fully decontaminated from microbes that could affect the extraordinary wildlife of Barrow Island. The challenge was to create a temporary high-level perimeter protection system to prevent any unauthorised access to the power modules. Considering the size of the module, a system was required that could create a virtual wall around the whole length and height of the turbine.

The solution
The system integrator specified a system that included four REDSCANs that were installed in the quarantine zone at the Harbour to control access to the mega turbine during its decontamination process. Two laser sensors were placed in vertical mode to create a virtual wall by the entrance to the storage hall, and two more were placed horizontally to scan the approach to the module itself. If any unauthorised personnel entered the critical areas, the REDSCANS triggered the security system for an immediate response. GE Oil and Gas required a high level of security for the power module that could provide guaranteed detection of any intrusion during transit to its final destination. The installation of four REDSCAN RLS-3060-L units, which feature a 15m high x 54m wide virtual wall, and a 30m radius detection zone for approach security provided the right detection areas and high-level capture performance required for this project.

OPTEX secures data center from perimeter to data cable

OPTEX secures data center from perimeter to data cable

Editor / Provider: OPTEX | Updated: 3/3/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Data centers need to be as secure as a fortress to avoid any intrusion, unauthorized access and any attempt to tamper with critical data or equipment that ensures smooth operation. Looking at the generic layout of data centers and the type of intruders, no less than seven physical layers of access should be secured.

Starting at the perimeter, where fence and walls without an additional security system can be defeated. If they are it is crucial to track the whereabouts of the intruders using in-field detection. Building roofs and skylights can also represent a weak point to access the building and need appropriate protection too.

Security breaches can also happen with people who have access to part of the data centre building venturing into unauthorized areas, including people trying to piggyback authorized staff in critical areas. Finally the most critical assets, the data, could be physically accessed or tampered with, either at the server racks point or at the data cable one.

OPTEX intrusion detection solutions including its fiber, laser, 3D thermal or video analytics based technology can help secure any layer of access to data centers.

Riding on security solutions to safety

Riding on security solutions to safety

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 2/20/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

While security products can help with theme park management, operators still rely on them for the original purpose that they were designed for: keeping premises safe and secure. Products and solutions, such as video surveillance, access control, and RFID can help operators achieve their security objectives.

For amusement parks, they deal with several types of security concerns. The first is the protection of premises from various harms. “As like any pubic commercial business, threats that have the potential to prevent or hinder the achievement of objectives that the business needs to perform, for example processes to keep the business financially safe and compliant from potential threat sources, can range from vandalism, terrorism, criminal activity, and asset loss and safety,” said Pedro De Jesus, Channel Manager for Security at Gallagher.

Another concern is ensuring the safety of visitors, some of whom may enter or exit rides from the wrong side or wander off to restricted areas. Locating missing children or members of a group is another primary focus. To address those concerns, security products and solutions are deployed, offering vital and much needed assistance to operators as they strive to build an overall safe environment.

Preventing child abduction and theft
Video surveillance plays a vital role in keeping amusement parks safe, especially when it comes to detecting and deterring crime. “A premier form of electronic surveillance, video provides real-time monitoring of situations, both at the location and remotely,” said Craig Dahlman, Director of IP Camera Products at Pelco by Schneider Electric. “Video security is a proven solution that can offer a complete answer for protecting customers, co-workers, and employees while additionally offering a watchful eye over property.”

Cameras are installed at various points in the park as well as at entrances to prevent various crimes, such as child abduction, although the mere presence of cameras should serve as a deterrent. “Visible installation of cameras and the knowledge that there is a video surveillance system is mostly sufficient to repel potential kidnappers,” said Roland Feil, Director Sales at Dallmeier Electronics, adding that high-definition cameras offering crystal clear images can also help investigate theft and shoplifting, which can be quite rampant at theme parks. Another important value of video surveillance is it can help operators request the necessary compensation should something happens. “It provides indisputable documentation of an event. While serving as a visual deterrent to crime, it gives park managers and security and safety professionals the tools they need to validate liability claims,” Dahlman said.

Locating lost visitors
Tracking lost children or members of a group over a large space like theme parks can be a daunting challenge. RFID, which entails communications between a tag and a reader, can be utilized for this purpose. “It keeps children safe by determining where the child last used the RFID credential. The child's credential can also be programmed not to work without being tagged in tandem with the parent's credential,” said Scott Lindley, President of Farpointe Data.

RFID not only can track lost visitors but also park employees as well. “They can be used to track lone workers, perhaps maintenance workers working in remote parts of the park outside of opening hours, to ensure that staff are accounted for and located, so emergencies can be spotted more quickly,” said John Davies, MD at TDSi.

Better yet, RFID can be integrated with other technologies, such as video analytics, to offer visual verification of the missing person. “Passive RFID tags can allow wearers to be tracked at specific portals throughout the park. While passing through those areas, images can be logged to validate the wearer's location,” said Larry Bowe, President of PureTech Systems. “On a more advanced level, the use of active RFID tags or small GPS transmitter could allow map-based tracking throughout the park and provide the ability to instantly swing a PTZ or zoom a high-resolution fixed camera directly to the child or person in question.”

When looking for lost visitors, every second counts. Video surveillance technologies nowadays have video forensic capabilities that enable quick retrieval of critical video data. “With metadata, which adds sense and structure to video surveillance, it is possible to immediately retrieve the correct evidence of hours of recorded materials in a couple of seconds,” said Pieter van den Looveren, Manager of Marketing Communication for Video Systems at Bosch Security Systems. “Today's video forensic tools can include details on age, clothing color, gender, and even geographic vicinity, allowing a user to literally enter a video search looking for a ‘small male child, wearing a red shirt last seen in the area of a particular ride during a specified time frame,'” Bowe said. “Video clips meeting these requirements can be quickly provided to security for a timely analysis.”

Detecting suspicious objects
While the technology is nothing new, detecting unattended or suspicious items by way of video analytics continues to be a popular application for theme parks, which might be targets for terrorist attacks. “With the help of modern video content analysis, it is possible to issue an alarm if any objects remain within a certain area for a predefined period of time,” Feil said. “The systems can also prevent the blocking of escape routes, fire rescue paths, or approach roads for ambulances by parked objects, which could have very serious consequences in case of an emergency.”

Intrusion detection Perimeter protection is a major concern, especially during the night when theme parks are closed. Delinquents, thieves, or burglars trying to climb over the fence and get into the park need to be kept out. Video analytics and cameras are deployed for this purpose, keeping parks safe and sound after business hours.

“Intelligent video can determine, for example, if an object approaches an area, from which direction it is coming, or how long it stays in a certain area,” Feil said. “This means that intruders can be detected early on and an alarm can be triggered. Comprehensive validity checks reduce false alarms, which may be triggered by leaves swishing in the wind or animals, to a minimum without missing ‘real' alarm messages.”

Video recording during night time, when everything is dark, presents a daunting challenge. Luckily, advances in lowlight and thermal technologies have solved this problem. “Today's thermal imagers have become very affordable, and as video analytic technology continues to improve, protection ranges increase greatly,” Bowe said. “The ability for video analytics to utilize a single camera for distances from hundreds of meters to kilometers makes implementing measures for night time surveillance more effective and more affordable.”

Access Control in critical areas
Like any other businesses, theme parks can step up access control through multifactor authentication, or a combination of tokens, passwords, or, for entry into more critical areas, biometrics. “Biometrics is typically used throughout high security or restricted places, for example head-end sever rooms, cash holding rooms, and security operations,” De Jesus said. “Access to these areas can be controlled to ensure only those staff that are appropriately qualified or trained can gain access.”

Access control management software can offer rapid authorization or removal of access when required. “Examples include contractors needing access to service the rides or attractions, or temporary staff no longer needed to work in restricted areas,” said Davies.

Ensuring safety of equipment
Finally, security products can help ensure that rides and other types of equipment are in good shape. “Video analytics is desirable for monitoring abnormalities, for example smoke, breakage of a gear, movement of a critical component, or overheating through the use of thermal cameras. They can even be used to ensure certain safety procedures are being followed,” Bowe said.

Safe and fun
People come to amusement parks to relax and have a fun day with their family and friends. They can't have fun if constantly being bugged by worries that something might happen. With various security products and solutions in place, operators can strive to make their parks as safe as possible and offer the ultimate visitor experience.

Surveying trends in the security integration market

Surveying trends in the security integration market

Editor / Provider: Scott Lindley, President, Farpointe Data, a&s International | Updated: 2/19/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

In today's world, sophisticated security end users demand for higher levels of expertise and interoperability, forcing systems integrators to emphasize on seamless integration to provide users with optimal performance and automation.

It is evident that the majority of security installations are becoming more and more complex. No longer content to monitor and manage separate access control, fire alarm, video surveillance, intrusion, and HVAC control systems, corporate security and technology managers want to consolidate and integrate various disconnected security and facility management systems. At a dramatically increasing pace, the IT department is leading the initiative, particularly given the trend toward convergence of physical and logical security systems. End user customers are demanding that their integrator or dealer understand their business and their infrastructure. Security dealers and integrators must quickly decide whether or not they want to be part of this new security paradigm or slowly wither away, providing traditional stand-alone solutions. With every new advance in the installation marketplace, dealers and integrators must again and again decide whether to keep pace. Successful implementations require greater technical knowledge of systems than ever before along with products that work together more easily, while simultaneously providing better ease of use to end users.

Dealers and integrators who want to be positioned for continued success in this evolving marketplace need to choose not only the right products for any given installation, but align with manufacturing partners who will provide them with the best prospects for long-term success, manufacturers that heavily invest in both new scaleable technologies for their products and support programs for their channels.

A New Quid Pro Quo
It used to be that the dealer or integrator that sold the most widgets earned “most favored” status from its manufacturers. Having that status resulted in recognition, special perks, and discounted pricing for those who delivered. However, in a direct reflection of the new realities of today's security market, this simply isn't the case anymore. It is not that manufacturers no longer appreciate top sellers or want to avoid rewarding them. It is because forward-thinking manufacturers know that their dealers and integrators have to stay on top of the latest technology trends in order to stay competitive. These manufacturers want their dealers and integrators to succeed in a manner that will keep both the integrator and the manufacturer successful in the years to come.

Being Seamless is Essential
Reliance on proprietary technologies and platforms inhibits innovation, integration, and the assimilation of emerging technologies. Issues arising from proprietary technologies plague too many systems which is self-defeating for the security industry, and creates major problems for security dealers and integrators, hindering end users from having flexible, scalable security platforms that cost-effectively protect their people and assets.

We increasingly hear that a major trend that will permeate physical access control now and for the foreseeable future is the growing connection between physical security and IT security. Because of this, there is growing demand by organizations for migration of computer-based systems to a common software platform or to standards-based platforms that can be easily and seamlessly integrated. Leveraging technology breakthroughs and a need for increased security, companies will also more rapidly adapt smart cards, two-factor readers, biometrics, long-range wireless, and intelligent video into their overall systems.

Physical access control systems on an enterprise level are now described as much in IT terms as they are in access control terms. New command and control integration platforms are giving integrators a wider range of solutions to help end-users meet this challenge head-on while, at the same time, requiring the integrator to have higher levels of IT expertise.

Integration Equals Success
Today, the various components frequently used in the typical security system are not only disconnected, but from different manufacturers, complicating or making integration impossible. All too often, they employ incompatible hardware or proprietary, unsynchronized databases or completely inconsistent user interfaces that compete for space and attention. Such systems may be inefficient and need many people to manage them, and security personnel who have been forced to use them have been frustrated for some time but these systems will not pass muster with IT personnel.

However, there is a good reason for this — such systems increase employee and training costs, foster unnecessary equipment expense, have gaps causing security and safety breeches, and can produce downtime in mission-critical operations. Since IT budgets and management are responsible for many of these operations, they are beginning to dictate what will be used, particularly for physical access control systems.

Seamless integration means the physical access control department, as well as other groups in the enterprise, have the freedom to select different technology vendors, relying on the command and control platform to handle the integration. This extends to system hardware. Today, with one card reader, users can read the most popular 125 KHz proximity cards, including those from Farpointe, HID, and AWID. 13.56 MHz smart card readers can process contactless credentials based upon NXP Semiconductor's Mifare technology as well as based upon France's Inside Technologies. Such readers provide continuity throughout the organization, without having to eliminate legacy cards while additionally building a pathway to higher security applications in the future. Dealers and installers who want to be able to offer this type of powerful security platform to their customers must be willing to stay one step ahead of the technology.

Partnering for Success
Dealers and integrators must recognize and respond to these emerging trends if they want to remain competitive. That means partnering with companies that are also aware of where the market is going and are staying one step ahead of customer needs. Integrators need more than just equipment in today's market. At a minimum, they require training, technical support, sales and marketing expertise and, of course, innovative, forward-thinking products. Today's partnerships are based on helping both partners build their businesses and profits, not just selling more products.

Stanley Security partners with Digital Barriers for alarm monitoring market

Stanley Security partners with Digital Barriers for alarm monitoring market

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 2/16/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Security services provider, Stanley Security, and surveillance technology provider, Digital Barriers, have joined forces to offer an innovative automated intrusion detection application to the European remote alarm monitoring market.

SafeZone-edge, developed by Digital Barriers specifically for Axis network cameras and encoders, is an intelligent video analytics application for reliable intrusion detection. It accurately analyses scenes whilst automatically mitigating any environmental effects that can often cause nuisance alarms. This exceptional reliability is recognised with a UK Government i-LIDS certification and the award of “Intruder Alarm or Exterior Deterrent Product of the Year” at IFSEC's Security and Fire Excellence Awards 2014. The partnership with Stanley Security will see SafeZone-edge rolled out across European customer sites, providing reliable alarm information to 14 state of the art operations centres.

Dan Meyrick, Channel Sales Manager at Digital Barriers noted: “With its ability to intelligently distinguish actual intrusions from the impact of external factors, such as weather and variable illumination, SafeZone-edge is a significant step beyond basic video motion detection. But even more significantly, the application is simple and affordable enough to encourage widespread adoption.”

SafeZone-edge takes advantage of the Axis open Camera Application Platform, launched in 2009 to facilitate cutting-edge third party integrations of this nature, with installation directly onto Axis network cameras and encoders. As such, the application delivers a true alternative to both conventional server-based intelligent video analysis (IVA) and simpler edge-based video motion detection (VMD), combining performance and usability for real world perimeter security applications.

Dan continued: “With the Axis Camera Application Platform (ACAP), Axis delivers the simplicity of the ‘app store' concept to the IP camera sector. By targeting the SafeZone-edge application to run on Axis cameras, organisations are presented with a simple and affordable way of extending the functionality of their cameras. The strength in depth of the Axis product range and their strong links with leading security providers, such as Stanley Security, also partnered us with the market-leader.”

Stanley Security is now using this pioneering new analytics software in conjunction with its I-View Now video platform on Axis devices in all its major installations and projects. Footage from each device can be monitored automatically for efficient perimeter protection and loitering or intrusion detection, with alarms sent directly to one of the company's state-of-the-art operations centres.

Martyn Ryder, Director for Product Management Europe at Stanley Security, said: “Combining cameras from leading manufacturer Axis Communications, with the SafeZone-edge analytics and our I-View Now video platform creates a powerful tool to help our customers protect their people and property while optimising their spend on security personnel. This combined solution is giving customers the extra pair of eyes and peace of mind that we can detect incidents early and try to stop them before they escalate or catch the bad guys in action.”

Metadata is provided to the operators to allow them to quickly and efficiently detect the source of the alarm and take swift, appropriate action. Alarms can also be sent directly to customers' mobile devices or PCs, allowing them to be instantly notified or to cancel false alarms before costly action is taken. In a real-life operational test conducted over one week, replacement of a VMD solution by the SafeZone-edge application led to a reduction in nuisance alarms from 10,000 to just 1.

Commenting on the partnership, Atul Rajput, Regional Director, Northern Europe at Axis Communications said: “Axis is proud to support its partners in collaborative projects to design and develop security innovations that advance the field of video analytics and make a real difference to customers. Stanley Security's adoption of Digital Barriers' technology means that as a result of more accurate detection, its clients will be able to optimise their security spend and limit unnecessary call outs.”

Tamron releases new model LWIR 3X Zoom Lens

Tamron releases new model LWIR 3X Zoom Lens

Editor / Provider: Tamron | Updated: 2/12/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Tamron , a specialized manufacturers of optics and one of the leading companies in the security/surveillance equipment industry, announces release of LWIR (Long-Wavelength Infrared) 3X Zoom Lens with a standard screw-in mount and featuring F/1.0 fast aperture throughout the entire focal length range.

Since 2010, Tamron has been pursuing development of LWIR (long-wavelength infrared) camera lenses for security/surveillance applications. These lenses incorporate technologies accumulated in the photo and CCTV/IP camera lens designs, and have been developed into an optimized security lens for the LWIR camera system. The model SD006 zoom lens, which covers the range from 35 mm to the maximum 105 mm, demonstrates unparalleled performance with a fast aperture of F/1.0. The lens provides uniform and flat-field image quality from the center to the edge at all focus distances and focal length positions, which is a major advantage for surveillance installations.

Now, Tamron announces the release of a derivative to SD006, the Model LQZ3X3510V (35 – 100 mm F/1.0) with a standard screw-in mount, and image quality optimized for VGA/QVGA resolution. The new product is recommended for an extensive array of security systems, and will highlight the advantages of the LWIR lens for a variety of new applications.

Main features:
1. Substantial improvement in the LWIR light transmittance, and reduced gain noise under adverse surveillance conditions
The new LWIR lens with a constant F/1.0 aperture consists of 4-group/4-lens elements. With a proprietary optical design, Tamron has successfully realized 3X zoom while reducing the number of elements. Germanium has been deployed to raise the infrared light transmittance. This enables crisp and clear image reproduction even under a harsh surveillance condition in which a thermal profile of the scene has minimal contrast, and effectively prevents image degradation due to the gain noise.

2. Introduction of a general-use lens mount and a communication-protocol conversion board.
The new lens comes with a M34 P0.5 screw-in mount, which is widely adopted in LWIR cameras. For the lens control, the asynchronous serial communication protocol is supported by a communication-protocol conversion board. The new lens can be used for versatile applications by virtue of these two features.

3. Notable improvement in the accuracy of the camera's motion detection feature by compensating for undesirable vibrations, by VC mechanism.
Tamron's proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation) mechanism, widely renowned in photographic interchangeable lenses, has been optimized for specific vibration frequency range and designed for high durability. In surveillance applications the cameras are often installed on a pole-like structure. The VC mechanism has been designed and optimized based on the in-depth analysis of the principal vibration frequencies for a fixed -pole installation. To meet the high durability requirements of 24-hour surveillance, a new construction was employed with a superior 3-ball, 3-coil drive components. These technologies minimize false alarms caused by the camera vibration which is perceived as objects in motion, thus substantially improve the accuracy for intrusion monitoring.

4. Lens integration made simpler with automatic FB (Flange Back Focal Distance) adjustment
This is a new innovative feature that incorporates software to adjust the FB position, such that it minimizes any zoom focus drift after lens integration. The FB adjustment can be easily performed in 3 simple steps using the FB adjustment GUI software.

5. Active athermal mechanism that adjusts the back focal distance in response to changes in ambient temperature
High-transmittance Germanium is used for the new high-sensitivity LWIR lens. Germanium is sensitive to changes in ambient temperature and this may cause a drift in the focus distance. For this reason, athermal mechanism is adopted in many of the LWIR lenses to compensate for such drift. Tamron's new LWIR zoom lens is equipped with a new active athermal mechanism that compensates for the focus drift at all focusing distances by built-in thermo couplers and the control software. This new innovative feature ensures high-quality image capture under harsh surveillance environments undergoing large fluctuations in temperature.

6. Quick focus operation achieved by electric drive zoom and focus
LWIR lenses are frequently used for their detection capabilities, a key feature in many intrusion protection systems. Such a system requires the zoom and focus adjustments to be smooth and fast. The Internal Focus system with stepping motor drive mechanism provides the best solution. Combining these technologies ensures smooth, high-speed, and high-accuracy zoom and focus performance.

New prospects for building management and security system integration

New prospects for building management and security system integration

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, Freelancer, a&s International | Updated: 2/10/2015 | Article type: Tech Corner

Combining security and building management gives an additional layer of information and operational capabilities. A growing number of network-based solutions will increase the benefits of building management systems and security integration. Even though the synergies between the two seem obvious, nonetheless, ownership issues are an obstacle to this integration.

A silver robot is seen gliding along the corridors of Akershus University Hospital (AHUS) in Oslo, Norway. AHUS is one of Norway's “digital hospitals” and among other cutting edge technologies it also uses automated guided vehicles, small robots that travel the hospital using a virtual “track” that deliver supplies (e.g., linens, food, and medicine) from storage rooms to the wards and clear waste. The robots transport special containers weighing up to several hundred kilograms, free up personnel, and increase the hospital's efficiency. However, unlike human employees, these robots can't swipe an access card or press an elevator button. Technology came up with a solution: “The robots are guided by the hospital's building management system (BMS) which is linked to our access control system. The access control system is in charge of opening the doors when a robot approaches, and operating the elevators to take the robots to the right floor,” described David Ella, CTO of AMAG Technology.

This is an example of how integrating security systems with BMS can add an additional layer of information and management capabilities to answer both security and operational needs. Currently these integrations are popular in large campuses like universities, hospitals, and large corporate headquarters.

The connection between BMS and the security system is two-way. “Our products can see the alerts in the BMS system and trigger an alarm,” explained Ella. For example, when a BMS sensor goes into alert (e.g., a heat sensor overheating), this can be converted to an alarm within the security system, prompting security personnel to check if there is a fire. If a fire is detected, the access control system can open doors to make evacuation faster, or provide a report describing which employees are inside the building and where. In the other direction, a swipe of an access card will instruct the BMS to switch on the lights and heating on the employee's specific floor or switch off the lights when the last employee has left. This way, it is possible to achieve cost efficiency, cutting expenses on lighting, heating, and other expenses as well as delivering an eco-friendly value.

Occupancy sensors, used by BMS to detect occupancy and automatically switch on the lights, can alert security systems that an intruder is in the building. For instance, if the security system detects an intrusion, it can switch on the lights in the area so that detecting the intruder is easier and the recorded video footage is clearer.

Market asks for Integration
The value of integrating an access control system with building management is critical in today's data-driven business environment. “More than ever, today's customers require that the systems they invest in be able to integrate with other network-enabled platforms, such as BMS,” explained Mitchell Kane, President of Vanderbilt Industries. The ability to change the environmental or power profile of a building based on information gathered in the access control system is highly valuable, and helps users reduce ongoing costs while controlling access points securely.

The main products integrated with BMS include access control systems (including readers, cards, controllers, and software used to create, manage, and use secure identities) and visitor management systems. “Other integrated systems are mobile access control solutions, including mobile IDs and mobile access apps that are used with mobile-enabled readers, door opening solutions, and lock systems,” said Simon Siew, MD of APAC at HID Global.

Access control and video surveillance are the two systems integrated the most. “By far, the integration between access control and video surveillance systems is the integration that customers request most,” Kane said. Video is a valuable tool when combined with access control data, as it provides visual verification of alarms and a variety of access control events. “The correlation of the data from these two systems also allows for an additional level of situational awareness. Video playback can provide security personnel or first responders with a better understanding of a security or life safety event before responding,” he added.

“In the last two years, we noticed that customers want to move from ‘traditional' BMS companies that are big, expensive, and not so flexible in integrating third party auxiliary systems,” said Rick Huang, Business Development Manager of Alstron. “The solution is software houses that provide third-party software that can connect to the energy management module, video surveillance, and access system. The limitation of these systems is that they have to rely on software development kits supplied by the manufacturer,” he added.

Integraing smart functions
Integration of systems is not the only thing that end users are looking for. In fact, the integration of smart functions, such as analytics is also in demand. “There is the growing demand of more intelligent security systems, intelligent electronic locking systems, and security cloud services that fill the gaps that current systems are either too expensive or cumbersome to maintain,” said Patrick Lim, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Ademco Security Group. “The biggest trend is in smart integrated security systems, or what we call human-centric security. The whole idea is to utilize security technologies to make a facility smarter and a lot friendlier to the inhabitants.”

“Currently, most systems are just integrated but not really smart. Using big data analytics, we can use security devices, which collect the data and have daily interaction with people to predict situations and automate intelligent decisions. This is very different from current solutions that are very rigid and mostly ignore human inhabitants for the sole sake of efficiency and energy saving,” Lim added.

Furthermore, through the use of big data analytics and correlating information from different sources, the systems will be able to predict situations and act accordingly. For example, if the system detects a buildup of people in the lobby of a convention center, this can trigger the air conditioning in the convention hall to start cooling the area in advance in a more efficient way. Currently, the systems only detect the people when they are inside the convention hall, forcing the air conditioning system to “blast” the venue to cool it quickly, which is inefficient and energy consuming.

IP IntegratIon and Its Challenges
Most companies and institutions today have installed a variety of generally disparate and isolated systems, ranging from security, access control, and video surveillance to incident response, perimeter detection, and alarm monitoring. “Although these systems typically cannot easily share information, if at all, there are natural synergies between each of them. IP-based solutions make it easier to integrate the information and provide the opportunity for a single new system that can be much greater than the sum of its individual, disparate parts,” Siew explained.

“IP-based access control is particularly important for organizations that want to integrate security and BMS,” he stressed.

Integrating access control with BMS on a single network delivers better facility management. “Today's IP-based access control systems enable facility managers to bring intelligence to each door for streamlined system monitoring, management, and reporting via standard web browsers. Facility managers and venue operators not only have immediate visibility when doors are forced open, but also gain valuable key remote-management, report-generation, and auditing capabilities. Additionally, points of failure in the system are reduced when deploying edge devices, since each device controls a single door,” added Siew.

In addition, there is a preference towards system integration in a single user interface. A single interface allows for centralized control and management and helps put in place standard operating procedures, explained Ken Lee, Director of Operations at KZTech. Lee also highlighted the role of PSIM solutions, “With more PSIM solutions getting cheaper, building security managers are moving into integrated solutions rather than multiple standalone systems.”

While IP integration may be the key to a more efficient system, there are still challenges. “When people say that systems ‘integrate' it is critical to understand what this means,” said Sean Ahrens, Security Consulting Services Practice Leader at Aon Global Risk Consulting Security Practice. “Is it possible to control the other system? Or only get information? For example, the access control and the video might not be completely compatible to each other. Integration should be seamless both-ways, with bi-directional information.”

The use of data communication protocols such as BACnet (building automation and control networks) or XML for buildings and ONVIF or PSIA for cameras greatly increases the potential for integration and the potential for limiting the control of proprietary systems. However, currently there is no open standard widely applied. “The more information we bring using common protocols, the more systems we can integrate,” summarized Ahrens.

Need for Network Savvy Integrators
With the growing role of IP-based systems, the importance of installers who are extremely network and computer savvy and are able to diagnose communication faults and port issues are also growing. “The key in choosing an integrator is having a knowledgeable integrator supported by a robust manufacturer that has quality and awareness to the clients, good warranty, and service, knowledgeable about information technology/programming and fast, accurate support,” explained Ahrens. “Installers nowadays need to understand also the network transmission and distribution levels and not just cameras and should maintain constant touch with manufacturers.”

“As a company, we [Vanderbilt] partner with systems integrators to deploy our systems and we provide them with the training necessary to gain the knowledge needed to best integrate our technologies with other IP-enabled technologies,” said Kane. “We invest in providing strong support and training to our resellers because it is their responsibility to explain the benefits of linking technologies together when possible. There are many instances in which a building's security is managed by a facility manager and a tenant's security is managed by the tenant. This can lead to the installation of multiple systems. If a systems integrator can bring these multiple stakeholders to the table to have a conversation about the integration of systems beforehand, an investment will be much more valuable to all parties moving forward,” he added.

Ownership problems and knowledge gaps hinder integration
The integration of BMS and security seems natural. However, few facilities choose this integration. “We started integrating BMS and security systems about 10 years ago, but this integration opportunity is not so popular. We sell about 2,000 systems a year, but less than 1 percent are integrated with BMS,” said Ella.

The main issue hindering integration is not technological but external. In most environments the systems are owned by different stakeholders; the BMS are owned by the landlords, whereas the tenants own the security systems. In many cases the BMS is already installed in the building and tenants can't change it. In addition, knowledge gaps exist between building and security systems professionals since each system has a different focus.

“End customers themselves are facing a dilemma regarding the integration of the systems and are looking for a system that can bring services together,” added Huang. “For example, installing anti-smoking detection sensors in ‘no-smoking' areas like hospitals, who should be in charge? The facility manager or the security manager?” As the industry is trying to find a balance between the two systems, Huang believes that there will be more integration in the future.

New regulation promotes Integration
The integration of BMS and security systems is easier to plan in advance when designing a new building. For existing buildings, the willingness to change systems is very low. A new environ-mental regulation is changing things in Singapore. The new regulation stipulates that all new and existing buildings needing extension or major retrofitting work, with an area of 2,000 square meters and above, must comply with the Environmental Sustainability regulation as stipulated in the Building Control Act. “As a result, this regulation became the drive for building owners to upgrade to BMS that can comply with the regulation and monitor and reduce their energy consumption. Along with the upgrade they also look for integration opportunities with other systems,” said Huang.

Similar initiatives around the world might prompt similar integrations in other places.

Future trends
Industry players are noting many other trends, in addition to integration, when it comes to BMS. “There is significant interest in mobile applications. Users of all sizes, whether it is an enterprise customer or a small-to-medium-sized business, want to be able to manage their security infrastructure from anywhere in the world. As the industry and technology continues to advance, mobile applications and functionality will become highly adopted,” said Kane.

Siew also expressed a similar view, “the introduction and accelerating adoption of mobile access solutions is one of the most important industry developments of the past few years. We anticipate there will be growing demand for mobile devices that provide a better way to open doors.”

Lim also sees a change in business models: “The industry already sold a lot of integrated systems in the last decade. The growing trend is towards a managed service model where customers do not just purchase hardware but requires integrated 24/7 management services to run and support these systems. There is also an emerging trend of customers procuring systems as services.” Purchasing a service gives clients the option to change providers as their needs change. The industry is moving towards greater integration of systems and sensors. New environmental regulations, the Internet of Things, and different programs for smart building management are all drivers that will increase integration opportunities in the future. Additionally, as the number of sensors that are internet-ready increases, so will the role of cloud applications that will manage these sensors for different platforms. Hopefully as integration becomes easier from a technology point of view it will also help to mitigate the problems associated with system ownership and increase the benefits for both building owners and tenants.

VCA fencing off intruders: Challenges for VCA in perimeter defense

VCA fencing off intruders: Challenges for VCA in perimeter defense

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, Freelancer, a&s International | Updated: 2/2/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Integration of video content analysis (VCA) in perimeter defense is one of the most challenging use cases as it has to cope with many sources of noise and be able to generate an alert without too many false alarms. Technological improvements and competition between vendors have brought prices down and further increased the presence of VCA not only in high security facilities but also in commercial and residential installations.

The origins of video content analysis (VCA) for perimeter defense are in video motion detection (VMD) technology that has been present since the early 2000s. In the beginning, VMD was only used to detect motion. Later, advancements allowed systems to estimate and differentiate size, color, speed, and direction.

The common use of VCA is for preliminary warning of possible suspicious events. “A physical perimeter is preferred as a first form of defense and as a visible deterrence to intruders,” said Pieter van de Looveren, Global Marketing Communication Manager for Video Systems at Bosch Security Systems. “VCA supports perimeter security as an extra set of eyes supporting security personnel in the control room by alerting them when needed and helping them quickly retrieve the correct evidence when something happened.” In other words, video analysis analyzes real-time images continuously to instantly detect suspicious events and alert operators when needed.

“The basic premise of analytics along a perimeter is intrusion detection,” said Matt Bretoi, VP for North America Field Sales at FLIR Systems. “Many VCA solutions provide an extra level of intelligence, such as object classification, which significantly cuts down on false alarms especially when paired with thermal imagers. This is a critical factor for most end users. Another key benefit is the integral capability to visually assess and verify the alarm. Lastly, an analytics solution is not dependent on fencing and even provides detection well beyond, or inside the perimeter if designed correctly,” he added.

In addition, VCA also has an added value of not only complementing the physical barrier but also the abilities of the operators. It helps maintain situational awareness, an important feature that might be lacking in case there are low-level operators guarding the site or a high turnover rate of operators. It also helps keep the operators focused.

“The same way we can't watch several football matches at the same time and keep track, it is also impossible for an operator to focus all the time on all the different screens,” explained Nicholas Grange, Technical Director for South Africa-based C3 Shared Services. “The most common use of VCA in South Africa is as a secondary layer of protection, to allow early detection of a threat before it reaches the boundary, thus creating extra reaction time. This is critical for our installations which usually have a perimeter several kilometers long, such as power stations, big housing estates, mines, and golfing communities.”

The outdoor environment poses many challenges to VCA solutions. Meteorological challenges such as moving clouds, shadows, rain, snow, and lightning, as well as environmental challenges
— lay of land, lights from passing cars, neighboring facilities, and fauna and flora
— all generate many false alarms.
“In some verticals, for example in jails, a reasonable rate of false alarms are not a major concern, as guards can afford to check every alarm whether true or false. However, in other installations, where end users are more sensitive to false alarms, a high false alarm rate may force the users to lower the alarm threshold, compromise sensitivity, and maybe even miss intrusions,” explained Hagai Katz, Senior VP of Marketing and Business Development.

Two factors that greatly increase the success of perimeter VCA are proper illumination and sterile areas near the perimeter. However, these measures are not always easy to create and maintain. In addition, in order to provide comprehensive security, a large number of cameras will have to be deployed at relatively short distances. “Therefore if we want a system that is composed solely of cameras we will need many cameras that will have to be connected to a central control room, with enough storage space for the video feed and constant calibration of the cameras and analytics making this a complex and expensive system to set up and maintain,” added Katz.

To reduce false alarms, users can perform period calibrations of the analytic, choose a VCA that operates based on several alert criteria, or install a thermal camera. “We conduct periodic adjustments due to seasonal changes as well as changes in field of view such as new buildings, roads, and flora,” said Grange.

“If you are looking for an exterior application in an uncontrolled environment, then you will want to have an analytic with multiple levels of criteria before detection. The more levels of criteria will improve the accuracy and drive down false alarms” explained Todd Brodrick, Director of Southwest USA at Pelco by Schneider Electric.

The combination of a thermal camera with video analytics is another way to overcome the false alarms problem. Thermal cameras are ideal as they do not require any light and can cover greater distances compared to visible light cameras. As such, they are not influenced by many of the factors that cause false alarms in regular cameras such as moving lights, leaves and trees, shadows, and other sources of noise and clutter the video analytic has to analyze.

Another significant benefit that thermal imagers provide is the consistently higher contrast, especially at night. Thermal imaging provides an optimized and more stable stream of information for the analytics to work with. This allows for fewer cameras to be deployed, lowering costs. In addition, thermal cameras are low-maintenance and require lower inputs to run, thus making them more ‘green' compared to other technologies.

However, thermal cameras are not perfect. They give operators less forensic evidence to identify an intruder (for example, thermal cameras do not provide an intruder's clothes color). Thermal cameras are more expensive, and despite the fact that they can ‘see' through smoke or at night, they are still affected by weather conditions, especially heavy fog or rain. The presence of water droplets in the air diminishes the infrared radiation and with it the range of the thermal camera. Intruders can take advantage of these weather conditions to infiltrate the perimeter.

A recent edition to perimeter security systems is surveillance robots that travel on a monorail along the fence. “The robot is equipped with cameras and laser sensors to ensure the integrity of the fence and detect any anomalies or movement up to a distance of 20 to 30 meters from the fence,” described Katz. “Short-range cameras and a PTZ camera allow the monitoring of the fence and tracking any intruders.

The laser works as a 3D radar, mapping the fence's surroundings, and analytics are used to detect any changes, for example a hole in the fence or an object placed near the fence. If an intruder is reported, the robot acts as first responder and rushes to the intrusion point, relaying video to the control room to verify the alert.” The benefits of this solution are constant monitoring and patrolling along the perimeter fence, replacing human patrols and freeing up security personnel to take care of only verified alerts.

The challenge facing VCA providers is to continue improving the reliability of their solutions, reducing false alarms, and making the setup as simple and short as possible. Fortunately, advances in computing power and algorithms make this a feasible reality. Closer collaboration between vendors, distributors, and systems integrators in defining problems and providing training will also enhance the practicality of VCA use in perimeter defense.

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