When it comes to protecting outdoor areas, security professionals often have two main concerns: Not being aware of the risks that are lurking, and not knowing the place and nature of an intrusion should one occur.
Intelligent video cameras address the first concern by leveraging the inherent strengths of automated systems and people. Smart cameras never tire, can cover large distances, and “see” what the eye would miss. People can then be counted on to make response decisions.
It’s this second concern — the “what and where” of an unfolding event — that has been more difficult to address. Typically, a perimeter intrusion detection system will combine several technologies, including fixed cameras for long-range surveillance and PTZ’s to zoom and follow an object for more detail. The problem is that there’s almost no chance the PTZ cameras will be looking in the right place when an intrusion occurs. Trying to manually locate a detected alarm with a PTZ camera — especially over large outdoor areas — can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
The better way is to use systems that capture GPS positioning data, which is then used to steer PTZ cameras to automatically track and zoom in on intruders, making the target large enough to reliably identify. This information can also be used as forensic recording for post-event management.
You can see this in action in the following video. Each video panel displays one element of a video intrusion detection system. The left panel shows a visible detection camera; the center panel shows a wide-area camera; the right panel shows a thermal camera, and the bottom right panel shows the PTZ. You’ll see how it is automatically steered to zoom and follow the target, which is simultaneously displayed onto the topology map on the bottom left.
Such automatic control is especially valuable for facilities that monitor large areas with long-range detection cameras.