A top concern for today’s security integrator is meeting customer security needs with projects that are on time and within budget. This concern highlights an emerging best practice in the industry to install technology that considers project performance and overall cost rather than individual component price. In fact, there’s a trend towards using more capable – albeit more costly -- components that actually result in lower overall savings, resulting in greater project predictability for the integrator and more satisfied customers.


In intelligent video surveillance systems, long-range capabilities and detection accuracy over large outdoor areas can combine to lower infrastructure costs (camera poles, trenching, wiring, cabling, storage, etc.) by a significant amount, as much as 50 percent, while delivering a dependable security system that can be completed on time. Lower costs, better security and timely delivery are the cornerstone for repeat business. 


The foundation for cost-efficient and accurate outdoor detection begins with a high level of image processing incorporated into each camera. Such image processing is used to offset the effects of outdoor environmental elements such as wind, weather, debris and lighting variations, impediments that would otherwise trigger excessive nuisance alarms and lead to endless tuning of the video analytics. With SightLogix cameras such image processing is performed before the on-board video analytics are applied, increasing the ability of the camera to accurately detect targets without nuisance alarms. The ability to configure such self-contained cameras once, and know that they will overcome all of the outdoor issues – without excessive nuisance alarms – is the key to a satisfied customer and a profitable project for the integrator. 


The same image processing used for accurate detection is also what gives SightLogix cameras their extended range and coverage, often resulting in two-thirds fewer cameras needed for the same application. For instance, a Thermal SightSensor can accurately detect a human-sized target over 600 meters away. As a result, fewer SightSensor cameras are required to cover large areas, and the decreased infrastructure needs can lower overall project cost by as much as 50 percent.


We can see the story of better security and lower project costs playing out in a range of applications. Let's look at three examples:


Application 1: Large Port


Originally proposed system: Eighty pole-mounted megapixel cameras, located 300 feet apart around the perimeter.

Problems: Little to no lighting, a challenge for megapixel technology; coverage gaps; cost overruns from the need to install 80 poles, wiring and trenching costs; the need to trench under a rail line to reach each camera.

Solution: Twenty Thermal SightSensor cameras spaced 1,500 feet apart provide coverage across the entire perimeter with no gaps; 24-hour automated surveillance (day and night); greatly minimized nuisance alarms and efficient outdoor operations.

Better Security/Lower Cost: The resulting solution provides 24/7 dependability with a 40 percent reduction in overall project costs (totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars), including cameras and infrastructure.


Application 2: Water Treatment Facility in Major U.S. City


Originally proposed system: Various perimeter security measures, including patrols monitoring multiple facilities, CCTV cameras and DVR systems to provide post-incident analysis.

Problems: Persistent intruders penetrated the premises every few weeks; post-incident video showed the intrusions only after the fact; concerns about the publicity fallout from security violations around large quantities of dangerous chemicals stored on site. Other proposed systems had exorbitant costs, could not operate using existing infrastructure, and had unacceptable nuisance alarms levels.

Solution: Three SightSensor outdoor cameras installed and configured in an afternoon replaced six existing perimeter cameras to cover the entire volume of the perimeters and provide situational awareness. Outdoor cameras were connected directly to the Security Operations Center (SOC) via an existing T1 line without requiring a local workstation or server. Long-range SightSensor cameras, which are edge-based, self-contained devices, were configured once and now provide year-round coverage.

Better Security/Lower Cost: Measurable savings of city assets when an alarm sounded at 1:16 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Operators were automatically alerted to view the live video of a perpetrator climbing under the perimeter fence to enter the facility. The geo-registered SightLogix SightMap gave the intruder’s exact location on the topology map as he proceeded through the water facility. The operators notified law enforcement, and the perpetrator was apprehended. Within a few weeks, a second perpetrator was likewise apprehended. This success resulted in dozens of additional deployments at facilities throughout the city.


Application 3: Rail Storage Yards for a Major U.S. Metropolitan Transit System


Originally proposed system: Video system using pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras mounted on poles.

Problems: Repeated vandalism of cars by perpetrators who climbed down from an adjacent bridge to gain undetected access to the yard; low-light environment reduced the chances of identifying the vandals; and the existing video system could at best display evidence of break-ins after they occurred. Additionally, there was little likelihood that the PTZ cameras would be pointed at the exact location of the intrusion when an event occurred.

Solution: By employing fewer SightSensor cameras and poles to cover the area, the rail organization shifted a portion of their resources to offset the cost to install taller poles, thus providing more effective coverage over the entire yard at reduced cost. On-board electronic image stabilization in the SightSensor cameras eliminated the pole sway associated with the higher poles as well as the vibrations from passing trains which would have resulted in nuisance alarms. Ultimately these cameras were installed with minimal configuration time, even in such a complex environment.

Better Security/Lower Cost: Security was greatly increased by delivering a high probability of detection and low nuisance alarm rates, while from an economic perspective, the system eliminated two-thirds the number of cameras along with associated poles, power and communication requirements. In some cases, the long-range capabilities of the cameras allowed existing buildings to be used for installation purposes, further reducing costs. The system also saved the sizable costs associated with intrusions: Restoring an individual rail car after an act of vandalism or graffiti is many thousands of dollars and takes the cars out of circulation, another expense.


At the end of the day, a security system needs to meet the customer’s needs with an on-time delivery completed within the proposed budget. When properly designed for the outdoors, long-range, accurate video intrusion systems can ensure project success — with measurable benefits. It's great news for today's systems integrators, who stand to benefit from repeat business from satisfied customers.