27 October 2021 - Lara Velasco

Featured in: Market Insights, Intrusion detection

Security teams are regularly presented with new technology functionalities and features and one wonders whether they really make a difference. One of the latest developments is ‘point location’, the ability for the detection sensor to pinpoint the exact location of an intrusion.

Locating an intruder fast and accurately is critical in a good security system; the sooner the intruder is located the faster the situation can be verified and the less disruption it will cause. Most security sensors narrow down the location of an intruder by creating detection zones which work in conjunction with camera pre-sets to help security teams visually verify the event and, to a certain extent, track intruders. But is zone location precise enough for efficient security systems or is there a need for a higher level of precision to the range of a couple of meters or even the exact X/Y coordinates?

Optex point vs zone detection intrusion sensors

Point detection versus zone location?

Most sensing technologies offer the ability to set detection zones and, depending on the nature of the sensing technology used and the nature of the applications, the length of each zone can vary greatly. With OPTEX sensors, you can achieve zone detection with our Fiber Sensys fibre optic, REDSCAN LiDAR and REDWALL SIP sensor range.

Typically for fibre optics sensors deployed on large perimeter fences, while the alarm processing unit will allow up to 400m or even over a 1km long zones, the operational requirements will usually be looking at 100m zones.

Looking at LiDAR technology with a total range of 60 or 100m to protect a perimeter or building façade, the zoning will be set to cover specific areas. It could be specific detection zones to cover entry points such as gates, pedestrian turnstiles, loading bays and fire exits while other zones will be covering the perimeter wall and rest of the façade. The bespoke zones can be set, ranging from 20cm all the way to the full detection range. The number of zones is limited to a maximum of eight.

The volumetric SIP sensors will provide up to three detection zones, creep, near zone and far zones.

Our fibre optics sensors featuring point location allow the intrusion to be narrowed down to a few meter zones. +/- 1.5m to 5m depending on the total length of the perimeter. Our REDSCAN sensors provide the exact X and Y coordinates which can’t be beaten in terms of point detection. However, to make full use of the coordinates, it needs to be used in conjunction with a software platform that has integrated the coordinates, such as Genetec and Mirasys platforms.

Applications which can benefit from point detection

Point location or point detection enables the security staff to know, in real time, exactly where the security breach is taking place, which in turn makes the visual verification process significantly quicker as cameras can look precisely to the point where the intruder is, and then track them throughout the protected area.

The first application which can benefit greatly from point location is protecting large perimeters, especially for critical infrastructure. Any attack or disruption caused to sub-stations, water treatment or transportation hubs could be critical to businesses and wider society.

Being able to know exactly where the point of intrusion is allows a far quicker visual verification process, decreasing the risk of losing the target and increasing the chance of stopping intruders before any damage is done.

Another application is distribution centres where the constant activity on site could make visual verification more difficult and the quicker the intrusion point and intruder are identified, the higher chance there is to prevent theft of goods or vehicle parts.

There are corporate or law-enforcement buildings with the security needs to monitor activity for each opening, such as windows for instance. The ability to use X&Y coordinates to map each opening will provide the required level of precision. Similarly, museums and art galleries can benefit from the same level of precision to protect each and every single piece of art on a wall.

OPTEX technologies which allow point location

Our latest Distributed Acoustic Sensors (DAS), the EchoPoint series, can pinpoint an intrusion down to just a few metres, even on a fence that is several kilometres long. They can identify different types of breach, whether it is an attempt to climb the fence, cut through it or drill through a wall. Depending on the perimeter length, the DAS system can detect to one meter.

One of the most effective point location technologies is our REDSCAN LiDAR range, which enable the exact coordinates of intruders to be determined. It is also possible to create different zones and configure the sensitivity for each of them depending on risk. The new REDSCAN Pro is a long-range LiDAR which can be mounted vertically or horizontally to protect large areas pin pointing the X&Y coordinates of the intruder and allowing tracking in real-time.

The most important step is to assess the security risk and response time. How quickly can an intruder access a critical area? How quickly can the visual verification of the intrusion be performed? These factors will help determine whether zone detection can give the right level of information for a quick response, or whether a more precise point of location is required.