Outdoor video analytics are a valuable tool for detecting intruders either at the perimeter or around important assets. Knowing best practices of selection and use are key to being successful. Here are some pointers to keep in mind when deploying outdoor video analytics to help stop theft, vandalism and sabotage.
Choose video analytics specifically designed for the outdoors
Smart cameras operate by sensing movement, but outdoors everything moves, including the camera itself. A camera mounted on a bridge will move from the vibration of cars, trucks or trains, while cameras mounted on a pole will move from wind, aircraft taking off or other factors. In all cases, outdoor video analytics need stabilization to maintain a high probability of detection without nuisance alerts from these vibrations.
Use thermal cameras instead of visible cameras
Thermal cameras will ignore stray headlights and reflected light, and eliminate the expense, power and difficulty of lighting large outdoor perimeters. New thermal cameras have even better detection sensitivity even while their costs have come down significantly, making them affordable for commercial security use.
GPS analytics for accuracy
Smart cameras need to ignore stray movement caused trees and foliage, blowing debris or reflections from the water while detecting intrusions anywhere in the field of view. Using geo-registered cameras allows outdoor video analytics to know the location and actual size of all objects in the field of view. This is the basis for size filters that accurately detect what’s relevant and ignore objects that don’t meet your size criteria.
Make sure the camera can withstand the elements
Outdoor cameras should be designed to handle temperature changes and keep out humidity, snow or even blowing sand.
Determine an analytic camera’s true detection range
The best way to determine a perimeter camera’s true detection range is to measure the distance at which a camera can detect an intruder either walking “inbound” towards the camera, or across its field of view. While crossfield detection is often twice the distance of inbound detection ranges, there are times when you should use one or the other. Sometimes vendors only publish crossfield detection, resulting in designs that leave large security gaps. For perimeters, we recommend inbound ranges; for applications that cover areas (like car lots), crossfield can be a good choice. Knowing the actual distances your video analytic camera can detect will help you make a solid design that you can count on.
Use overlapping camera views to avoid blind spots
All cameras have a “blind spot” under the pole. This area must be viewed by an adjacent camera to ensure no gaps in security. To provide complete coverage, be sure to cover perimeter camera blind spots.
Longer range cameras lower costs
A majority of a perimeter security solution’s costs relate to supporting infrastructure: Poles, cabling, connectivity and power. Long-range thermal cameras cover more area with fewer devices, lowering costs.