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Yaacov Frucht Ph.D
The circle of threats to gas platforms, critical infrastructure, air and sea ports and borders has expanded in recent years.
Two of the many threats relate to the Mediterranean gas explorations and to the threat of drones. The need for threat detection and identification and for securing critical infrastructure has led to clear definitions, regulations, and accelerated development of unique technologies and products.
The US and European authorities define the sectors and facilities considered “critical infrastructure” as:
∙ Energy related sites – power plants, nuclear reactors, nuclear material and waste disposal sites
∙ Defense and chemical plants
∙ Bridges and dams
∙ Drinking water and water treatment facilities
These critical infrastructure sites are exposed to terrorism acts by intruders from three categories: human, small ground and sea unmanned vehicles, and aerial penetration by mini drones and parachutes.
Laser Radar Technology and especially Dr Frucht Systems Ltd (DFSL) products, suit the task of securing critical infrastructures.
Physical security fences or walls may increase significantly the time required for penetration, but will not prevent it. Whenever the intruder can “touch” the sensor, it is a matter of time until he defeats it, by jumping over, using a mobile crane or digging under it.
There is a need for a technology which can cope with the problem. What should be the attributes of such a technology, and to what extent is the Laser Radar Technology appropriate?
∙ Enable defining sharp and accurate detection borders. With technologies based on the video analysis of shadows, “allowed” objects may be taken as true alarms. Thermal cameras will minimize this effect but they have other weaknesses.
∙ Detection not depending on clutter/background. The basic component of any Laser Radar Sensor is a High Frequency (PRF) Laser Range Finder which measures the distance between the sensor and the intruder and compares it to previous measurements.
∙ Detection not depending on inclination to the ground. The Laser Radar sensors are not affected by the inclination to the ground and the user can place the Laser Curtain far or at close vicinity of the fence.
∙ Detection not depending on temperature. Thermal cameras sense the temperature difference between the intruder and the surroundings, however, when the intruder’s clothing temperature becomes close or identical to the environment, his detection becomes very difficult and may drop to zero. The Laser Radar sensors are not affected by temperature.
∙ Detection not depending on weather and visibility conditions – a weak point of the Laser Radar technology. The laser radiation is absorbed, dispersed and reflected by the rain or any aerosol drops (such as fog). However, there are methods of diminishing this effect on the Laser Radar performance.
∙ High Resolution. The Laser Radar provides high resolution and accuracy in the intruder’s location. In DFSL Laser Radar Sensors, this resolution is used to filter out unwanted alarms which may arise from moving vegetation, birds, deposit of snow etc.
Additional special attributes of the Laser Sensors manufactured by Dr. Frucht Systems Ltd (DFSL) facilitate their use and integration in the protection of critical infrastructures, most of them are due to the Sensor’s proprietary algorithms.
The analog design of the DFSL Sensors Laser Range Finder and its integration with the algorithm allow detection in marginal conditions such as sensor pointed toward the sun and very low reflective targets such as the clothing of Special Forces.