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INSIGHTS

Video integration gives radar detection a powerful boost

Video integration gives radar detection a powerful boost
Security radar offers a non-visual way to detect objects. So typically, it’s integrated with IP cameras for visual verification. This article examines the benefits of radar-video integration.
Security radar offers a non-visual way to detect objects. So typically, it’s integrated with IP cameras for visual verification. This article examines the benefits of radar-video integration.
 
Radar systems are an effective object-detection tool, especially in perimeter security. The technology uses a transmit-and-receive method, detecting objects as well as their distance and velocity. Today, radar technology has become increasingly advanced.
 
“There are some features in radar signal processing where AI can be applied. Radar data can be used for classifying objects – for example for discriminating between a person and vehicles and even for determining the vehicle class in traffic radars. If trained well, this task can be well solved by a neural network,” said Eva Maria Buchkremer, Head of Product Management at InnoSenT.
 
Indeed, demand for radar applications is expected to drive growth. According to MarketsandMarkets, the global surveillance radar market size is projected to grow from US$ 8 billion in 2020 to $11.5 billion by 2025. This translates into a CAGR of 7.6 percent from 2020 to 2025.
 
“The market is driven by various factors, such as the advancement in border surveillance systems, ongoing military modernization, demand for border surveillance, and the need for advanced air defense systems among others,” the report notes.
 

Video-radar integration

 
A security radar can be a standalone unit. However, typically it’s integrated with other security systems to add another layer of protection. For example, the radar can integrate with speakers or strobe light to warn potential intruders approaching the end user site.
 
Of all security devices radar can integrate with, none is more common than video surveillance cameras, which offer visual verification.
 
“Radar-video integration is a complete surveillance solution. The radar will detect a moving object, but the camera will provide video verification of the alarm event in real-time,” said Mark Rainbow, Business Development Manager for UK and Export at 360 Vision Technology.
 
“Combining video analytics into the solutions offers a very powerful system that not only finds moving targets over large areas but can also classify them as vehicle or person, providing detailed information to the end user enabling a faster reaction time to deploy resources,” he added.
 
“A radar-video integration is recommended to optimize a security solution. Installing just radar wouldn’t allow operators to identify an intruder, nor notice the colour or license plate of an unauthorized vehicle that’s entered the premises. These details can become crucial for the police if a potential suspect needs to be identified or found,” said Martina Lundh, Global Product Manager for Radar Products at Axis Communications.
 
Especially, a PTZ camera can add more power to the radar security system. “If radar detects an unwanted activity, security operators can view the activity using a visual camera (for example, a PTZ camera) or thermal camera, understand what’s happening and react accordingly. The PTZ cameras can then specifically be used to zoom in on the details and – thanks to the information about position and velocity of the object delivered by the radar – automatically follow the person’s or vehicle’s movement 24/7,” Lundh said.
 
“The radar data can be used for localizing an object and telling the camera where to zoom on the object. A fusion of different technologies increases the reliability of detection and reduces the false alarm rate at the same time,” Buchkremer said.
 

Applications

 
Any use case where video verification is needed can benefit. “A typical application example would be large industrial or critical infrastructure sites with vast, outdoor areas, where it’s used for building and high-value asset protection,” Lundh said.
 
Further, such integration also provides a good law enforcement tool. “A radar is an accurate speed detector that can notify drivers of whether they should slow down. When combined with a video camera with license plate recognition (LPR) analytics, a snapshot of the license plate can be taken for each speed offender and sent to a security manager. This could also be useful for low speed areas such as airports, harbors and warehouse sites,” she added.
 

Two separate units or one

 
The benefits of radar-video integration abound. The next question would be whether to get them in one unit or two separate units.
 
Combining both in one unit has its advantages. “The integrated platform advantages are that there is no camera or radar blind spots, no compatibility issues and one installation, deployment is therefore generally quicker, easier and more cost effective,” Rainbow said.
 
Yet Rainbow adds this depends on the use case. “In some locations it may not be possible to install the camera and radar together or it may not suit the operational requirements which is fine if the two are compatible and will work together,” he said.
 
Getting a radar and a PTZ as two units also offers benefits.
 
“It’s unlikely that a single fixed camera will cover the same area as a radar. A solution with several fixed cameras on the other hand, would certainly increase the installation time and cost. It can also be quite complex and time consuming to configure analytics on video and thermal cameras. The level of configuration of a radar and a PTZ camera together is limited, which positively impacts the time and costs needed for the configuration,” Lundh said.


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