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Traditional Perimeters No Match for Determined Intruders

At airports and other critical sites, people are expected to prove their identity at fences or gates before entering. But not everyone adheres to the rules, with an increasing number of intrusion incidents we take a critical look at traditional security solutions.

London’s Heathrow Airport got an early wake-up call at 3:30 a.m. on July 13th, 2015, when 13 environmental campaigners breached its perimeter. Carrying fortified fencing, they camped on the runway until the authorities removed them. This caused significant disruption to the airport, inconvenience to travellers and increased costs to the airlines. The incident highlighted that traditional reliance upon physical barriers, security patrols and manned video monitoring is inadequate to counter threats from determined intruders.
Perimeter security is meant to demarcate boundaries and secure assets from theft, such as deterring someone getting in, stealing something and getting out again undetected. However, the intruder threat today is of a different magnitude. The terrorist, eco or otherwise, is unconcerned about detection and escape. Instead, the aim is to cause as much damage and disruption as possible. This threat requires a different approach to security and a different risk assessment. To avoid this, better warning solutions can deliver earlier detection and allow more time for a corresponding reaction. This calls for more sophisticated sensor technology in integrated solutions, including existing perimeter solutions.

Intruder Headcount - advantages of the AdvanceGuard perimeter intrusion detection system

Fence mounted sensing or buried cable perimeter detection only detects and locates an actual breach of the perimeter. In the dark at 3.30 a.m., this information is limited. The more pressing issue is knowing how many intruders have entered the property and where they are heading. To understand this, users need a wide-area situation awareness system to detect and track the intruders. This is where radar technology comes into the equation.

Navtech Radar has developed a solution which can be retrofitted to direct cameras to whatever incident has been flagged. At the heart of the AdvanceGuard system is a high frequency and low power radar that is safe and non-interfering with other electronic devices. Radar operates in all weather and light conditions.

The advantages of using Navtech’s perimeter intrusion detection system are while the radar scans in 360 degrees, the operator can designate detection zones, so only areas of interest are covered. A zone may cover an area outside the perimeter, allowing radar inside the perimeter to detect approaching intruders. When an incident occurs, the radar will detect and track any person or vehicle in its zones, while directing cameras to follow the intruder and produce a visual image. Unlike other systems, the radar can track multiple intruders, controlling multiple cameras.

The control room display is an aerial map, showing intruder tracks in real time. It provides the accurate location, direction and speed of each intruder together with real-time video. This enables fast direction of manned patrols to where a breach is in process. No longer can the operator be accused of not concentrating and never again will the camera be pointed away from incidents.


Why this Matters

For the Heathrow incident, even if radar-activated surveillance had alerted airport security, the airport may not have had the resources to prevent it in time. Nevertheless, early and accurate information about the number, direction and speed of the intruders with real-time video would have provided complete situational awareness and helped airport staff limit the disruption.

The critical issue, however, is the risk of a dangerous terrorist or militant eco-terrorist entering with nonviolent protesters and using their activity as a diversion. Potential situations could involve a fanatic racing across the airfield with an incendiary device. With radar-activated surveillance, the security operator will see this attack, know a rogue intruder is heading for high-risk areas and be able to direct the security response to apprehend the intruder.

About Navtech Radar

Navtech Radar is the forerunner in the design and manufacture of high resolution, cost-effective security and safety systems, which combines the company’s exclusive advanced millimetre wave radar technology with the sophisticated Witness analytical software. Navtech offers an impressive application portfolio which includes wide-area security surveillance, traffic management and incident detection as well as industrial automation, branded respectively as AdvanceGuard and ClearWay, plus sensors and custom solutions.

Navtech Radar has gained a well-deserved reputation for technology, service excellence and innovation, winning the Queens award for innovation in 2010. In 2013 the company’s AdvanceGuard AGS1600 EXTREME was awarded the Independent Detektor International Award as highly commended product in the Alarm & Control category.
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