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Motion Detector Technology

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Motion detectors with respect to alarm systems refer to devices that are designed to identify when an individual enters a secure space. Motion detectors or motion sensors have many looks and work using different technologies. Understanding how each type of motion detector works is critical in order to deploy them properly and to maximize the chances of catching an intruder.

Many integrators don’t understand the differences between the motion detector technologies and where each is most effective. However, expert integrators like Orion Security Solutions are able to optimize an intrusion detection system design by combining the various technologies.

Motion detectors come in many shapes and sizes. In custom designs, motion detectors can actually be designed into the building in ways to conceal their existence. The proper type of motion detector technologies to use depends on the environment in which they are being installed. Important details such as ambient temperature, proximity, obstacle count, detection angles, and others are what an expert integrator uses to determine where to deploy each type of motion detector.

The most common motion detector technologies used in today’s installations include infrared, microwave, and laser. Other motion detector technologies such as ultrasonic, Doppler, and seismic are also used, but less frequently. The important thing to understand is that not all motion detectors are created equal and that each is effective in certain environments and ineffective in others. For example, infrared motion detectors sense heat changes in the monitored space. These detectors alarm when a drastic heat source enters a comparatively cool area, such as a 98.6 degree body entering a 70 degree room.  If one of these motion detectors is installed in an attic or somewhere that gets very hot, then a human body entering that space will not cause the needed heat differential to initiate an alarm.

Several motion detector manufacturers are aware of the advantages of combining detection technologies. Many of them produce and sell dual technologies motion sensors as evidence to their recognition of this need. For example, motion detectors are available that include both infrared and microwave technologies and perimeter beams are available that include microwave, laser, and Doppler technologies within the same detection device.  Some of these advanced sensors can be configured to either alarm when one of the technologies senses an intrusion or can require both of the technologies to verify an intrusion status prior to initiating an alarm.

Don’t forget to join The O next Wednesday as we continue to explore vast world of technical security.

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Sean Crain is founder and CEO of Orion Security Solutions (OSS). Prior to starting OSS, Sean spent over eight years with the U.S. Department of State as a Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Officer working in nearly 40 countries on 6 continents around the world including Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Switzerland, Indonesia, Australia, Cambodia, Austria, Germany, Poland, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, Brazil, Peru, and Columbia.

He received advanced training in the techniques and methodologies of counter intelligence and anti-terrorism in order to carry out responsibilities which included designing, installing, and maintaining state-of-the-art security solutions to protect national security information, U.S Embassies and other sensitive U.S. facilities, and diplomatic personnel, including U.S. Presidents and Secretaries of State. Sean was also called upon to design and implement security protocols and systems which included video surveillance, intruder detection, access controls, locks, perimeter security, and assessments. He also played an integral role in writing the U.S. Department of State security policies for post communications centers, controlled access areas, and building management systems in U.S. Embassies, U.S. Consulates, and inter-agency facilities worldwide.