With the outdoor perimeter of a site often representing an important security gateway, outdoor security systems provide the first view of visitors, intruders or other members of the public, allowing the most time to react effectively, if needed.

For many industries, from health care and government to industry and retail, outdoor surveillance is just as essential to the overall security picture as the indoor system – and often, more so. Features such as perimeter protection, facial identification and license plate recognition are of the many deterrents Axis brings to perimeter surveillance.
Each outdoor application has special requirements, but successful video surveillance demands suitable image quality and equipment reliability regardless of conditions, as well as cost-effective installation and user-friendly operation.
“It is imperative that outdoor cameras have the highest build quality possible, to cope with the full assault of the weather – from freezing snow storms to dusty, hot deserts,” says Roy Alves, Axis Communications.
“Since outdoor cameras are often located in difficult to reach places, reliability is also key as maintenance or replacement can be expensive, time-consuming and difficult, and it also often requires specialist equipment, which is not likely to be easily – or cheaply – accessible,” explains Alves.
"One of our notable installations, where challenges were overcome by planning a thorough design, was at the Mauritius airport, as the IT department’s brief was far reaching."
Charged with redeveloping the whole IT infrastructure of the airport, there was a need to ensure that IT could keep ahead of the ambitious expansion plans for the SSB International Airport. Its remit extended from managing operational IT at the airport, and unusually, the specific development of IT infrastructure for physical security, including surveillance.
The previous CCTV security system was ageing, entirely analogue, and provided poor quality black and white images.
The system allows users to view and record on-demand the output of any camera or to schedule timed recordings. It also allows for automatic video display and recording if motion is recorded within a defined area.
Another benefit is the video recording of any incident can be reviewed to help with training and to improve procedures. New members of staff at SSR International Airport are trained using stored video footage to highlight the range of situations that can occur, and to work through a best practice response.
"The airport’s ambitious expansion master plan running to 2010 also incorporates plans for expansion of the surveillance system, in tandem with building management upgrades," says Alves.
Cameras used in outdoor and/or perimeter security should make provisions for the following:
*Reliability in extreme conditions – outdoor security systems are required to endure exposure to wind, rain, variations in temperature (from extreme heat to extreme cold), humidity, dust, vibration, corrosive environments and acts of vandalism. Systems that fail to live up to these requirements can pose a serious security risk.
*Tampering and vandalism – it is important for cameras to be able to fend off attempts to disable them – with vandal-resistant design, hardened casings and active tampering alarms. It also helps to use equipment that is unobtrusive in design, diverting attention away from it.
*Image quality – factors such as extremes of light and dark, shadows, and fast-moving objects can also adversely affect the effectiveness of the security camera. Constantly changing light conditions are the norm for outdoor surveillance installations, and cameras should be selected to manage the dynamic outdoors.
*Ease of installation – whether a site needs five or five hundred cameras, installation is critical and often costly. Outdoor network cameras are often placed in difficult areas, high up on walls, ceilings or poles, for example.
In large-scale systems with hundreds of cameras, all time-savings during installation significantly reduce the system cost. The easier the installation and configuration, the bigger the benefits to both customer and maintenance support.
Cameras include the AXIS 215 PTZ-E and AXIS Q6032-E PTZ dome network cameras, and the AXIS P33 and AXIS P13 network camera series. Dome network cameras are dustproof and protected against dust and water, complete with IP66 classification, and a wide operating temperature range, made possible by built-in heater and fan, and removable sunshield.
The AXIS Q6032-E offers temperature control for intense Arctic temperatures, with quick and secure start-up after power loss at temperatures as low as -40°C, and pre-heating to avoid PTZ motor damage.