Video Surveillance Outdoors – From Simple in Past to Efficient in Future
MOSCOW, May 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –
Every day we come across dozens or even hundreds of all kinds of video cameras
watching everything that is going on indoors and outside. Cameras keep track of whatever
happens around us. There is no place to hide, but the cameras are there for our safety.
However, efficiency of outdoor video surveillance is far from perfect. Comparison of
conviction rates of crimes registered by indoor cameras and those registered by outdoor
cameras shows that outdoor cameras are much less efficient, since the images are often so
unclear that subjects cannot be recognised. Because monitoring of large objects, such as
streets, open areas, parking lots or industrial protected areas, requires both coverage of
the entire territory and production of detailed images of individual areas.
Due to current rapid evolution of digital technologies, digital devices are becoming
smaller as their performance increases. Both consumer and professional devices gain new
advanced features. This certainly also affects video surveillance systems.
So, can state-of-the-art developments leading to overhaul redesign of video
surveillance systems improve efficiency of outdoor monitoring? To answer this question,
let us consider the available configuration options for construction of video surveillance
systems intended for large territories and comprising different types of cameras.
Outdoor CCTV cameras
In this scheme, video cameras are arranged to provide for the best view of spots where
people are likely to appear, or along the perimeter of the secured site.
By now, the design of video surveillance systems for large open areas based on
standard analogue cameras proved to be impractical. These cameras have very small fields
of view, and large numbers of cameras and recorders are required to provide proper detail.
Such systems are more suited for smaller objects, such as homes, offices or hotel lobbies.
- low camera cost; - extendable without modernisation of the current video surveillance system.
- low probability to reliable recognition of persons.
Digital megapixel cameras
Cameras of this class provide high-resolution images and allow to cover large areas
with minor quality loss. Large-size images provide enough detail for recognition.
Such cameras would probably be the ideal choice for the discussed video surveillance
systems, if only they did not have one intrinsic deficiency – fixed focus. The best
definition is produced in the focal point only, while images of anything located closer or
further than that distance are processed by the digital matrix (sensor) and contain
distortions. The further the object is from the focal point, the more distortion it has.
- high-quality camera image.
- large data stream generated; - high camera cost; - cannot be integrated into analogue surveillance systems.
Auto tracking PTZ cameras
These cameras are currently the optimum choice for surveillance of large territories
with low concentration of people. The camera can automatically detect a moving object and
follow it. This solution is ideal for extended objects (such as streets or passages) with
low traffic density.
However, this type of cameras have one substantial disadvantage. They are able to
analyse and “capture” moving objects only within their field of view.
- automatic detection and tracking of moving objects; - can be integrated into analogue surveillance systems;
- limited field of view in stand-by mode; - expensive.
Active tracking surveillance system
Active tracking surveillance systems
are currently the most advanced trend in development of video
surveillance applications. This portable and at the same time extremely powerful platform
for 360-degree image analysis provides efficient surveillance of the surrounding territory
and intelligent recognition of moving objects.
When a moving object is detected, the built-in PTZ camera points itself to the
respective sector, focuses and closes up on the object and tracks it. The important
advantage of the built-in control module is that several objects can be “captured” and
tracked at a time!
The main application areas of these systems include large objects with low
concentration of people (parking lots, etc.).
- automatic detection and tracking of moving objects; - can be integrated into analogue surveillance systems; - 360-degree surveillance in stand-by mode.
Equivalent efficiency of each camera type may be estimated as follows:
- 20-megapixel digital camera = 45x standard CCTV cameras; - active tracking surveillance system = 40x 20-megapixel digital cameras = 1800x standard cameras.
Comparison of efficiency
Let us take the example of a system intended for surveillance of an outdoor object.
The key factor for our judgement will be reliable recognition of persons.
Auto Active Standard Digital tracking tracking CCTV megapixel PTZ surveillance camera camera camera system Total system cost high med low low Data stream generated high high low low Number of recording devices high med low low Ability to integration into existing CCTV systems high low high high Maintenance cost high low low low General amount of detail in case of small concentration of people low low med high Amount of detail in case of large concentration of people high high low low Recognition reliability low high high high
The table shows that implementation of modern technologies in video surveillance
systems intended for large open areas definitely pays off due to low overall cost and
Objects with large concentration of people will benefit from modernisation or addition
of megapixel cameras to the existing surveillance system.
For objects with low concentration of people and secured areas where people are not
expected to appear at all, the existing system should be updated by adding either auto
tracking PTZ cameras or an active tracking surveillance system. The exact choice depends
on particular configuration and typical distribution of movements at the object.
is a leading Russian designer, developer and manufacturer of Digital
Video Recorders and other intelligent devices for CCTV systems. SMP Group was formed in
1991, and since that time has been working in the sector of state-of-the-art compact
computer devices and software.
“Made in Zelenograd” Business Cooperation Agency
SOURCE Made in Zelenograd Agency