Kent Science Park is one of the UK’s largest communities of agrotechnology, biotech, and biopharma businesses and is home to Nobel Prize-winning discoveries, such as ways to stabilize penicillin and the development of statins to control cholesterol. The 65-acre campus, situated in the heart of Kent, was awarded the UKSPA Best Life Science Research Facility in South East England, with over 45 buildings containing high-specification labs, offices, and coworking spaces. Given the commercial sensitivity of the pioneering work being carried out in these spaces, Kent Science Park is proud of the high-level security it provides to its residents.

OPTIMA Security System are responsible for securing the site needed to secure the extended perimeter with a solution that would integrate into the existing security platforms. The decision was to install OPTEX’s Fibre Sensys FD322, a fibre-optic intrusion detection system.

The whole site is surrounded by a 3m high perimeter fence with razor wire, infrared CCTV cameras, and a 24/7 manned security gatehouse. When the customer’s property boundary was being extended by 2km, an additional 400 metres of fencing was installed to square off the site completely. The new fencing needed to be integrated into the existing security platforms. Optima, the security system provider, chose to install OPTEX’s Fibre Sensys FD322, a fibre-optic intrusion detection system.

OPTEX’s Fiber Sensys solution is specifically designed for middle-sized fenced perimeters and detects people climbing or cutting through the fence. The perimeter intrusion detection system (PIDS) provides two detection zones of 250m each and is designed with an alarm processing unit mounted on the fence. This bespoke and upgraded perimeter protection was perfect for Kent Science Park’s needs.

The technology is extremely reliable and low maintenance because the fibre optic sensing cable is unaffected by corrosion, electromagnetic interference (EMI), or lightning strikes. It is operationally robust in adverse weather and uses sophisticated algorithms which enable the Fibre Sensys can distinguish between actual threats and false alarms that can be caused by wind or wildlife.

How does it work?

Fibre optic sensors work by transmitting light through the glass core of a cable, travelling by reflecting off the casing. This information is then turned from light into electrical signals at the end by processors.

When the cable is disturbed, and the signal changes, this can trigger an alarm, or use computer logic to ensure it is not a false alarm first (such as birds landing on a fence). The alarm signal triggers responses based on your automated and protocol security measures. For example, security teams could be alerted to intrusion attempts, along with lights being activated in the area.

Optex kent science park case study fibre sensys detection

For Steve Poynton, Security Engineer at Optima Security Systems, OPTEX was a natural choice to work with on this project. He says, “Having worked together in the past to deliver bespoke security solutions for our clients, we were more than happy to work with OPTEX again. Its proactive and multi-layered approach to security provides the highest quality intrusion detection and service, which we’ve come to expect over the years. Their knowledge and expertise in delivering a reliable and robust security solution were crucial in supporting us on the Kent Science Park project.”