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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Friday, February 5, 2010

Science Fiction Perimeter Security

Occasionally on our Perimeter Security Blog we like to take look at the more lighthearted aspects of our business and the terminology we use. Today is one such occasion ...

When people talk about perimeter security it's usually of the 'earthly' kind such as providing oil refinery perimeter protection or cellular phone mast security against theft and vandalism.

So what about perimeter security in outer space? Sounds odd? Well, it's something that our children may well have already taken onboard as being quite real thanks to science fiction movie makers like George Lucas.

In 'Attack Of The Clones' (2002) for example, there's a scene where the Jedi are outnumbered and surrounded by the forces of Count Dooku. Out of nowhere space ships appear with Yoda in the leading craft who gives the order:

"Around the survivors a perimeter create"

Another example is "Return Of The Jedi" (1983) where Admiral Akbar talks about the Death Star orbiting the Forest Moon of Endor and says:

"Once the shield is down, our cruisers will create a perimeter, while our fighters fly into the superstructure and attempt to knock out the main reactor"

You can read a whole array of quotes from these movies on the website, as follows:

Attack Of The Clones (2002) quotes

Return Of The Jedi (1983) quotes

Nice to see modern day movies using good, formal English vocabulary!

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Securing The Perimeter For Quantitative Easing

One of the most featured news items in the media both last year and currently, has been the crisis in the global economy. Reports on how governments are handling the situation have become daily occurrences and 'the man in the street' has become accustomed to hearing a plethera of previously unfamiliar terms - such as Quantitative Easing.

This is where, in order to revive consumer spending and economic growth, national banks expand the amount of money circulating within their economy. In the UK for example, where interest rates are currently at their lowest in the entire 315 year history of the Bank Of England, the Bank is reported to be using the quantitative easing process to expanding the amount of money in the system by some £200 billion. However, it will done electronically, not by printing more actual paper money.

Printing great volumes of paper money has been synonomous with serious hyperinflation in the past - read Wikipedia's page on the history of hyperinflation to learn just how many countries have suffered because of this. Moreover, according to the Maastricht Treaty, EU member states are not actually allowed to finance their public deficits by printing money. Effectively, we think this is a good analogy of perimeter security in monetary form.

As for the physical kind, we once provided perimeter security using our Flexiguard™ system to protect premises where newly minted Euros were being housed for the Portuguese Mint.

With a large volume all in one location it was a prime target for theft.

Read our Euro Security Case Study.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Perimeter Security For UN Building

The United Nations is recognised worldwide as perhaps the most valued of organisations - its continued efforts over many years to secure and maintain peace between all nations are undeniable. The UN has many buildings in many countries and between them they perform a wide variety of functions.

In 1994 the UN Security Council set up the ICTR - the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal For Rwanda or the Tribunal pénal international pour le Rwanda (TPIR) as it is also known. The court still operates today in Arusha, Tanzania. Due to the nature of the valuable work conducted within the court, security to protect the perimeter of the building is an important consideration. We were delighted to receive the commission in 2008 to provide this element of United Nations security.

Here is a photograph of part of the perimeter security installation which uses all 3 of our main security products Flexiguard™, Electro-Fence™ and Multisys Security™.

As we approach the end of 2009 we take this opportunity to thank all our customers for their business and support. We wish everyone a happy, healthy and fulfilling year ahead - one that is hopefully full of the peace that the UN strives so hard to preserve.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Security For The Hydrogen Car?

As producers of perimeter security and intruder detection systems, we know there are many applications for our security products - as diverse as palace perimeters to military bases.

For many years we have provided security systems for manufacturers. Their needs have, logically, been consistent but we are now beginning to see an increased demand from this sector. This is for various reasons including soaring crime figures due to the current, worldwide economic downturn and also the fact that more sophisticated and valuable goods are being manufactured.

Take for instance, the car manufacturing industry. We were privileged to supply a large Flexiguard system offering perimeter security for cars produced at the Toyota plant in Burnaston (UK) - Toyota's main car factory in the whole of Europe - at the time the factory was actually built. Looking to the future, Toyota are reported to be busy working on a new generation of motor vehicle - the hydrogen car. Photo: hydrogen fuelling system

So far, Toyota have built a hydrogen version of their Highlander SUV and some experts are now saying we might see their hydrogen system come to market in a much more mangeable car in as little 4 years from now. Will Toyota be building new manufacturing plants to accommodate this? Possibly, who knows, but one thing is for sure, they will need effective perimeter security in place to protect their investment.

We found some interesting reading on hydrogen cars ...

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Camel Mounted Security In Egypt

The posts published to date from “Andy’s Security Travelogue” have focused on his experiences whilst in the Middle East and, in particular, Iran. So we thought we would move on to another country for this post … Egypt.

Advanced Perimeter Systems Ltd is privileged to have supplied the perimeter security system for the Great Pyramids of Giza, protecting a perimeter of no less than 13.2 kilometres. You can read more about this installation on our Pyramids of Egypt post.

As Technical Director, Andy often has to attend on site prior to and during any key installation project.

Whilst on a site visit to the Great Pyramids, he was able to take some stunning photographs which he brought back to show us here at our Head Office in Stirling, Scotland. The world-famous William Wallace Monument which we are proud to have on our doorstep (and for which we have provided perimeter security!) is a stunning piece of architecture BUT it pales into the shadows when compared to the Great Pyramids. Sorry Sir William but there's little on earth that can compare!

One of the most popular photos Andy took during his trip to Giza was this one of the camel police on patrol. Think of it ... a policeman on a camel. What a wonderfully, simple yet effective way to compliment our high-tech security system!

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Andy's Security Travelogue - The Persian Carpet Shop

"Walking In Alexander's Footsteps" described a fascinating trip to Persepolis in Iran when our Technical Director Andy Moon was in the country on business. Perimeter security takes our company's key 'boffin' to many places! The history and atmosphere of the place left its mark and Andy's keen eye for photography helped to convey that to the rest of us when he returned. The photograph of Persepolis in the afore-mentioned post is one of many that he took and today we are going to share some more with you.

The culture and scenery in Iran is something special and this first photograph is of what we would most readily refer to as a "Persian carpet shop" in Tehran. Look closely and you will see a host of beautifully handmade items, not just carpets .... jackets, other clothing, table linen and bags.

The photograph evokes a timeless atmosphere and according to Andy it was difficult to resist buying lots of what was on show!

Whilst he was there, Andy learned that the shop owner had originally lived in Tabriz in Northern Iran - deemed as the 'home' of Persian carpet making. Years before, he had decided to travel the long distance down to Tehran to try and sell just one carpet. He sold it, returned to Tabriz for 2 more carpets, returned to Tehran, sold those and so it went on - until he realised that having his own shop in Tehran would be the best way to run his business!

The second photograph in this post is of the mausoleum of the celebrated Iranian poet Saadi, born in Shiraz and whose life straddled the 12th and 13th centuries.

Andy took the photograph at sunset hence the lighting and said it was one of the most beautiful buildings in Shiraz. A timely coincidence is that only a few months ago in March 2009, US President Barack Obama quoted an extract from one of Saadi's writings as part of a New year greeting to the people of Iran. The President said:

"There are those who insist that we be defined by our differences ... but let us remember the words that were written by the poet Saadi, so many years ago: 'The children of Adam are limbs to each other, having been created of one essence' ...."

Powerful and emotive words written centuries ago by a clearly great writer.

We all love to see these pictures whenever Andy returns from a trip because providing perimeter security systems is a serious business involving close liaison with people in positions of responsibility and we feel it helps if we can understand more of their background and culture. We knew little of Iranian culture before Andy started his 'travelogue' and thanks to our Perimeter Security Blog we have a great catalyst for him to continue!

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Wildlife Security

Most perimeter security applications on a large scale - for example where several kilometres of perimeter fencing are required - provide security for buildings and ancient monuments. The Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt provide a good example where we were privileged to supply extensive perimeter security protection.

However, there are times when living things need a perimeter security solution such as animals in wildlife parks and zoos. In such instances the protection is for both the animals and for their visitors.

We were called in to help provide security for some very rare parrots at Edinburgh Zoo. Providing perimeter security for a parrot cage may not sound the most prestigious of security contracts but it was a challenge we were proud to rise to. Protecting the parrots against thieves had been a problem in the past but once our security system was installed, they were safe again.
Read our previous Parrot Perimeter Security blog post.

Wildlife Parks
Our Flexiguard™ system was installed on the perimeter fencing around a wildlife park in the North East of England. There had previously been problems with attempted animal and bird theft as well as general vandalism where animals were let loose. Again, once our perimeter security system was installed, the problems ceased.
Read more on our Wildlife Park Perimeters page.

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Multiview - The Apex Of Perimeter Security Monitoring

At this year’s IFSEC Exhibition which takes place at the NEC Birmingham between May 11-14, we will be exhibiting on our new stand this year, (Stand G6 located in Hall 3A) and as usual we will be only too happy to demonstrate our security systems and welcome all enquiries about our perimeter security products.

IFSEC is the world’s single most important security trade fair attracting company representatives from many countries so it is the perfect place to launch new security equipment. We have done exactly this in previous years with products that have included our innovative perimeter management system Multisys™ Security.

Our Research and Development team headed by Technical Director Andy Moon, have been hard at work on yet another new piece of advanced security technology - Multiview™. This is what we will be launching at IFSEC 2009.

So what is Multiview™? Well, it works in conjunction with our Multisys™ Security, essentially providing the facility to remotely monitor the security of different site perimeters via LAN or WAN from one, single location, thus increasing security management efficiency whilst reducing manpower and management costs. In fact using the internet you can control multiple remote sites worldwide. Sounds exciting? You bet!

To find out more visit us at our IFSEC stand G6 in Hall 3A. We look forward to seeing you there.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Police Security Of A Different Kind

The police are often called in to provide security - and for a wide variety of situations. For instance, there might be a heavy, extra wide goods load moving along a motorway that requires a police escort such as we saw the other day when driving down from Stirling to Cumbria. At the other extreme, there might be a celebrity in attendance for a special occasion such as when the Queen visits Royal Ascot each year and so a strong police presence is required.

However, there are times when the police actually need someone else to provide security - for their police compounds. You might not think this an important type of security, but you would be wrong. The compounds where police vehicles are parked up and maintained have to be protected against vandalism and theft, otherwise there would be the risk of too few police cars being available to go out in emergencies to tackle crime.

Then there are the police compounds where impounded vehicles are kept. These are vehicles that have been involved in a crime or perhaps a road accident. Many of these vehicles have to undergo forensic tests as part of the criminal investigation procedure. So if they were stolen, valuable evidence would be lost and even if they were not stolen but just tampered with or vandalised, then the forensic scientists would not have 'clean' evidence to work with. That in turn could prevent criminals being brought to justice.

So with vehicle theft and vandalism always a potential threat, it is crucial that these police compounds have effective perimeter security installed. Our Flexiguard ™ perimeter security system has to date proven itself extremely effective in this application and we are delighted to know that in our own small way we are playing a part in crime prevention. After all, when you need a police car in a hurry, you don't want to hear that it's not coming because it's been vandalised!

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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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Friday, August 15, 2008

Mobile Phone Masts, Cellular Phone Mast Security

Advanced Perimeter Systems Ltd has been in operation for over 25 years and in that time has provided perimeter security for many industrial, commercial and military sites around the world. However, when the company first began trading there was one application that we didn't cover - security for mobile phone masts or cell site base stations as they are known in the USA. Why? Because they simply didn't exist then!

The advent of more communications technologies in recent years has resulted in greats benefits to both business and everyday life, but as technology has advanced so, it appears, has the scope for criminal activity. Mobile phone masts have become targets for both theft and vandalism and because this technology now exists in many countries, the problem has become a global one. So much so that our distributor network is busy dealing with this new perimeter security application in places as far apart as the UK and Malaysia.

Mobile phone masts are relied upon by many people but are particularly important in emergencies, enabling relay of communications so that people in accidents and incidents receive assistance faster than ever before. In other words, they help save lives. So if a mobile phone mast is vandalised, the downtime could have very serious consequences. Mobile phone mast security is therefore an important issue and, if the measure of enquiries we receive is anything to go by, telecommunications companies are now striving hard to find the right perimeter security for their sites.

Here at Advanced Perimeter Systems we have both the technology and expertise to provide quality security for mobile phone masts perimeters.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Pyramids Of Egypt Perimeter Security

Being asked to help protect and secure something nearly 5,000 years old is not an everyday occurrence for a perimeter security manufacturer - but that's exactly what happened to us in 2003.

On the outskirts of Cairo in Egypt stand The Pyramids of Giza, the focal point of which is the gigantic Pyramid of Khufu. This, until 1888, was the highest known structure on the entire planet. Here's a satellite view for anyone interested in taking a closer look. View the WikiMapia image

We were approached because, at that time, the Pyramids were suffering from continual damage due to over-zealous souvenir hunters and it was not going to be long before the damage might be irreparable. The problem was to come up with an effective, high security system which would not interfere with or spoil the look of the site as a whole and with a perimeter of over 13 kilometres we knew this would be a challenge. To read the full story of how we provided the solution please go to our Pyramids perimeter security case study. As a result of the success of this installation our company has been privileged to be invited to supply perimeter security solutions in various parts of the Middle East.

Photo taken by APS Technical Director Andy Moon whilst on site.

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Parrot Perimeter Security at Edinburgh Zoo

One of the more unusual security problems we were asked to solve was when, some years ago, Edinburgh Zoo had a serious problem with intruders stealing their rare parrots, worth thousands of pounds. The Zoo contacted a security company in Edinburgh and they in turn came to us as we are well known for our expertise in high level perimeter security installations.

We knew our Flexiguard perimeter security system was probably the answer but we were told there might be a problem - these parrots loved chewing through things! This meant that if we installed the sensor cabling in the standard way, it was probably going to prove a tempting challenge for the parrots and therefore would not last very long!

So we gave the matter some thought and had further discussions with the Zoo. Amongst our questions was what the parrots could not chew through! Bingo ... we came up with the solution: stainless steel. So to protect the sensor cable from being damaged by the parrots we encased it in a special stainless steel tubing. Using this tubing, we were able to attach the cable around the sides and over the top of the parrots' cages and their security was complete.

Read more of our security case studies

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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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