Thursday, February 25, 2010

Electric Fencing From The 50s – Sci-Fi Style!

In our last post we paid tribute to movie maker George Lucas and his use of the word ‘perimeter’ in his “Star Wars” science fiction movies. Let’s face it, if a 900 year old Jedi Knight (Yoda) uses the word then it’s got to have an intrinsic worth! We concluded that use of this kind of vocabulary possibly has a social impact contributing to why “perimeter security” remains a popular and established term. Today, however, we have made a fascinating discovery which we’d like to share with you. We decided to delve further back into the annals of science fiction movies and found that the trend of using perimeter terminology existed over 50 years ago in one the most influential science fiction movies ever made: “Forbidden Planet”.

There are several instances in the movie screenplay where the perimeter is mentioned, such as:

“Establish a standard perimeter and set up a class "A" alert by sundown.”

“This may have been a ruse to divert us from some other part of the perimeter.”

Not only that, but the perimeter protection they set up around their space ship is an electrified system! We soon see the benefits of this ‘electric fence’ when a normally invisible alien tries to breach the perimeter and is ‘lit up’ when detected so we, the audience, get to see how monstrous and scary the ‘enemy’ is. Science fiction at its chilling best!

Made in 1956, “Forbidden Planet” is a classic movie, still revered today as one of the best of its generation. It has apparently influenced just about every major film director currently in Hollywood from Steven Spielberg, to Ridley Scott, to James Cameron and, believe it or not …. George Lucas! We know this because we found this fascinating review about the Forbidden Planet Special Edition in which they mention an hour long documentary called “Watch The Skies! Science Fiction, The 1950s And Us”. In it, apparently Steven Spielberg says he believes Robbie the Robot was possibly the inspiration for George Lucas’s C3PO and the writer of the review goes on to draw other similarities with the Star Wars movies. He cites the look of the Death Star being similar to the underground laboratories in Forbidden Planet and Luke Skywalker’s Sand Speeder being similar to Robbie the Robot’s atomic car.

It’s truly fascinating how a quick investigation into a single keyword such as ‘perimeter’ has taken us on a journey of discovery through outer space to electric fencing on another planet … and back home again!

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

007 Electric Fencing Flaw

It's true to say that movies reflect just about all aspects of everyday life but it would not perhaps seem obvious for electric fencing to be scripted in. However, the James Bond film 'Goldfinger' did just that.

Anyone familiar with this classic movie will know that the essence of the story is about Auric Goldfinger (the villain) wanting to break into Fort Knox to get access to the gold reserves held there. Whilst explaining his 'Operation Grand Slam' to a group of American gangsters, Goldfinger mentions that whilst his aerial display team spray nerve gas over the site, his men will blow up the perimeter fencing and cut through the door with the laser cutter.

However, when it comes to the actual scene where they execute the plan, they arrive at the supposed gates of Fort Knox and the shot of their arrival shows metal gates with fencing at the side ... but with not a hint of any electric fencing in sight! Chances are of course that most people will not notice this oversight - though someone within the film's continuity department should have - but here at Advanced Perimeter Systems Ltd we know an electric fence when we seen one!

This is one of our photos that shows what electric fencing looks like in reality.

So if you are ever watching a movie in which electric fencing is mentioned, now you know what to look out for!

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

World Fencing Champion 2008

Reading the title you might think we have a vested interest in swordfighting - but you would be wrong. We are talking here about the new world champion in electric fencing. This is no joke. Electric fencing is a serious subject and it has to be done properly and the fact that this world championship takes place attracting competitors from around the world is testimony to that.

So it was that in September this year, the biennial event took place in Germany. The oldest competitor, Nick Liefting (53), travelled all the way from his native New Zealand to compete and to everyone's surprise he managed to beat a world-class field.

How did he do it?
By building 100 metres of electric fencing plus a gate in just over 2 hours!

New Zealand is recognised as being the dominant country when it comes to fencing because of the agricultural bias the country has and electric fencing used to control and protect livestock plays a major role in the country's economy. Nick Liefting is MD of his own fencing company and claims to have been building fences for as long as he can remember. Perhaps it's not so surprising then that he should win the title! Having said that, Nick is the first New Zealander in 6 years to become world electric fencing champion. (Van Beers was the last to win in 2002)

As a company we specialise in providing industrial electric fencing for perimeter security of buildings, airports, banks, military bases etc - not in supplying the agricultural sector. However, we always relish hearing new stories where electric fencing is concerned and felt it only right to share this super little story with our readers.

Well done Nick - we will be watching out for how you fare when you defend your title in 2010.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Outdoor Perimeter Security - Airport Perimeters

Most people use an airport at some point in their lives and for some people, passing through an airport is a a regular occurrence. In fact, it might suprise you to learn just how many airports there are now in the world.

According to our research, the USA has the most with just under 15,000 serviceable airports followed by Brazil (4,263), Mexico (1,834), Canada (1,343), Argentina (1,272) and Russia (1,260). The UK has 449 just behind China with 467. Undoubtedly as the economy in China grows so will the demand for internal and international air travel. It's estimated that China will have spent around $17 billion (US) between 2006 and 2011 in order to build 42 new airports in locations far and wide - from its border with Russia (NEast China) to the Tibetan plateau (SWest China). In addition to the new airports being constructed, it is believed that planners have been told to expand at least 73 existing airports. More on the development of air travel in China.

Of course, the one factor of paramount importance to all airport operators is security - for both passengers and planes. So the security systems employed at airports have to be amongst the most effective available.

Securing an airport breaks down into 2 distinctive categories - interior security and perimeter security.

Outdoor perimeter security is our speciality and our Electro-Fence™ electric fencing system is ideal for providing airport perimeter security.

In addition to protecting a variety of airport locations overseas, it is also employed here in the UK to provide radio station protection for some of the operations of NATS (National Air Traffic Services).

Not only planes use airports of course but also helicopters and our security systems have also been installed to protect and secure airport helipads.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Solar Power Electric Fencing

Solar power is used more extensively than ever before but not many people realise that it can be used very effectively to power perimeter security systems. Situations where this is a necessity and the only real security solution include border controls in remote areas, wildlife protection in game reserves and equipment protection for industrial operations working in remote locations.

How does it work? Bascially, during the day solar panels power the equipment directly and at night the equipment is powered by battery, previously charged by sunlight. Advanced Perimeter Systems Ltd can supply both the electric fencing and the solar power system.

We had an interesting case study involving solar power a few years ago when English China Clay asked us to provide perimeter security for explosives stores in a quarry located in a remote area of Cornwall, SW England. We rose to the task and provided an effective perimeter protection which was solar powered, thus saving them a lot of time, effort and money that otherwise would have been spent in laying electric power cabling to the site. Read the full story.

To learn more about Solar Power visit Wikipedia's dedicated page.

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