While there are multiple types of barriers, there are also differing opinions among perimeter protection experts as to which ones constitute the most effective deterrent. For active vehicle entrances, sally ports and unmanned entrances, the following Active Vehicle Barriers (AVBs) are used: wedges, bollards, sliding, rising or pivoting horizontal beams and lethal net barriers – making it important for the buyer to do proper due diligence and obtain at least two opinions from the experts.
One thing that helps is that there is documented risk methodology recommended by the U.S. Government, called the Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC) 4-022-02. This risk based design takes a number of items into account: attack vehicle size, weight, speed and contents; allowable penetration based on standoff distances; traffic patterns; site specifics, such as approach, bends, natural obstacles; civil engineering; facility engineering; climate; and barrier operating procedures.
Another good basis for making these decisions can be obtained from the Protective Design Center (PDC) of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The PDC has developed standards for Design/Criteria drawings for ACPs that provide not only recommendations but also mandatory requirements to Army installation security specialists for designing Army ACPs.
Factors that should always be taken into account are safety, security, integration, aesthetics, maintenance and total cost of ownership over 3-5-7 years (TCO).
Speed Gates & Other Technologies
Speed gates, such as the Bavak speed gates installed at the Port of Long Beach, can open and close in 3-5 seconds. These speed gates can work with physical security readers, such as prox readers, auto license plate recognition and under-vehicle cameras. It is important to make sure that a speed gate system is UL 325 listed, because the 325 listing means that the gate has been tested and proven to be safe.
The Army Corps of Engineers has developed an automated system called the AIE (Automated Installation Entry) that is becoming an integration standard. The system combines cameras, sensors, computers, EPS Systems, Electronic Security Systems (ESS), BMS Sensors that notify a central monitoring station whether a door is opening, red-green light with drop arm gate, CCTV facial recognition cameras checked against four databases and driver’s license plate recognition that is also checked against databases. The process is so fast that it can be completed in seconds.
Other new trends and technologies include detection sensors that can pinpoint intrusions to 3 meters, and actually adapt the site with automatic compensation fence condition, terrain and environment. In addition, video analytic software can also be integrated with these location type sensors to greatly improve the effectiveness of the software analytics. And finally, adding thermal imaging cameras will allow the full video assessment in any light conditions, saving the cost of lighting and allowing the guards to have a full situational awareness 24/7.