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Riding the Perimeter Fence Line

Nov 21, 20072 mins
Access ControlPhysical Security

New technology allows security to remotely monitor perimeter fences

It had to happen, right? Smart cameras. Smart doors. Now, the latest physical security product to get smart is the fence.

The newest wrinkle being added to perimeter fencing is geographical. An Australian vendor, Future Fibre Technologies, which makes fiber-optic perimeter sensors, is linking up its sensors to global positioning so that, when the sensors detect a fence breach, they can deliver the exact latitude and longitude of an event, pinpointing the precise spot of trouble.

Older systems would divvy up perimeter fences into zones. When a breach occurred, the sensors would report that something had happened somewhere within that zone, within 25 yards of the actual event. With the global positioning integration, the new sensors give the exact location of the breach. This saves response time, making nuisance alarms less time consuming and allowing a quicker response to real alarms.

What’s more, it opens up the sensors to new applications, such as overlaying alerts with Google Earth maps and automatically moving one of those smart cameras to zoom in on the trouble spot based on the coordinates of the event.

The technology comes at a time of renewed interest in barriers as security measures (see a recent blog posting by CSO Executive Editor Scott Berinato on this topic at New walls have been installed recently to create divisions between politically contentious neighborhoods and along contentious borders—in Israel, between India and Kashmir, and most recently within Iraqi towns where Sunni and Shia sects are warring.

These walls are almost always called security fences and are much more complex than simple vertical barriers. For years, fences have been evolving to become complex security systems that include barriers, traps and intrusion detection. The technologies used to make up these complex systems range from the ancient to the cutting edge. Recent advances include electronic motion detection and infrared cameras. But the fences still employ old-fashioned security measures as well, like razor wire, ditches, berms and raked sand for picking up footprints.

The latest GPS-based sensors will make smart fences even smarter.

–Scott Berinato