Campus premise security : Knowing the facts


Mr. Kiron Kunte, Principal Consultant, Norik Konsult, Mumbai.
Graduate from IIT Bombay, a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers and has a post-graduate diploma, from Bombay University, in Systems Management. Has over 35 years of experience in Design and Solutions, Security, Telephony and Networking infrastructure.

The Site, due to its proximity to an unfriendly neighbour, is considered as located in a sensitive area. The threat is real and several security layers are deployed to help protect against known and unknown attacks. Some of these layers include:

  • Compound Wall, Fence, Electric fence, FOC taut fence, Virtual trip wire.
  • Access control system for Vehicles and Pedestrians.
  • Video Surveillance system with video analytics – both indoor and outdoor
  • Centralised Control and Monitoring.

The technologies deployed to protect this Site are as follows:

  • Electric Fence.
  • Video Surveillance.
  • Video Analytics.
  • Access Control.
  • Under Vehicle Security Systems.

This paper discusses the layered approach to ‘securing’ a Campus / Premise. It explains the general philosophy that is applicable to securing any Premise. It also lists and explains the technologies deployed and the ‘force multiplier effect’ of these technologies that make for a smart and efficient solution.

The degree and level of sophistication of the systems deployed is based on the threat perception of this Site. Other Premises with lower threat perception may not have the same number of layers or the same degree of technological sophistication.


The Site, due to its proximity to a not-so-friendly neighbour, is perceived as one located in very sensitive surroundings. The threat is real and securing the Site is of paramount importance.

The potential threats to the Site, based on a threat, risk and vulnerability analysis report are given below:

  • Premise intrusion through the boundary wall.
  • Known/unknown vehicles accessing the premise with potentially dangerous objects hidden  inside the undercarriage of the vehicle (with or without knowledge of the occupant).
  • Unauthorized access to premise.
  • Surrounded by unauthorized settlements on one side.
  • Hostile neighbour.

The objective, as in any premise protection solution, is to pre-empt intrusion and to provide an early warning in the event of a breach. The philosophy is to deter, delay and deny. A layered approach is taken to achieve this objective. Technology has been deployed as a ‘force multiplier’ to alert the Security guards of any breach and to help the Command and Control Staff to take timely action. Automatic mechanisms have been put in place to identify employees and their vehicles along with a proper scan of vehicles during both entry and exit.


Solution Architecture
Solution Architecture

The Security Layers:

  • Electrified Fence
  • Pre-fabricated RCC fence
  • Fixed cameras mounted on the RCC fence
  • Virtual trip wire
  • PTZ Cameras
  • U.V.S.S. for scanning of vehicles, RFID tags
  • Access Control Systems for pedestrians, biometric readers
  • Body and Baggage scanners
  • Video Management System

The perimeter is protected by two layers made up of an electrified fence as the outer boundary and a pre-fabricated RCC compound wall as the inner boundary. The electrified fencing is equipped to trigger an alarm in the event of a ‘break in’. This is complimented by a virtual trip wire using cameras mounted atop the RCC fence. PTZ cameras, installed inside the compound, would be triggered to track the object in case of intrusion or an attempt at intrusion.

The premise is under 24X7X365 surveillance using PTZ cameras mounted on high masts. Entry and exit of Personnel & Vehicles, through the Main gate, is checked manually and backed by an automated mechanism to identify employees & their vehicles along with a proper scan of vehicles during both entry and exit. All employees are provided with Biometric identity cards. Alarms from all the systems are integrated with a video monitoring system. The centralized Control centre offers an overview of the entire campus to the Security Officer.


3.1    Perimeter

The two layer perimeter fencing comprises of an electrified outer fence and an inner RCC compound wall.

The electric fence is a barrier that uses electrical shocks to deter intruders from crossing a boundary. The voltage of the shock may have effects ranging from uncomfortable, to painful or even lethal. Most electric fencing is used today for sensitive locations and agriculture fencing.

The electric fence comprises of the following:

  • Physical Fence.
  • Fence wire that carries the electric pulse.
  • Electric pulsing device – a charge device that pushes power through the fence.
  • Earthing  – a series of metal rods sunk into the earth and connected to the charge device

Electric fence

Fixed cameras are installed along the RCC compound wall. Using virtual trip wire analytics, a virtual trip wire is created along the entire perimeter. In the event of a breach this triggers an alarm. Similarly, the sensors on the power fence will also trigger an alarm should an attempt be made to cut or climb over the fence. These alarms in turn trigger the Pan-tilt-zoom cameras to focus on the zone in question, thus providing a real time view to the Security Officer in the Control Room.

3.2 Vehicle scanning and logging

Vehicle scanning and logging

All vehicles are scanned by the under vehicle scanning system for illegal/unwanted foreign objects that may be placed in the undercarriage area. Simultaneously, the cameras (integrated with vehicle scanning system) capture the driver’s image and store it in the database for future and current reference. Any discrepancy / alarm acknowledged by the UVSS will trigger the boom barrier to stay down and prevent the vehicle from entering the premises.

3.3 Boom Barrier

After getting a go ahead from the automated UVSS system, the vehicle, driver and passengers are physically inspected by the guard at the Boom Barrier. After verification the Guard permits the vehicle to enter the port premises.

Boom Barrier

3.4 Employee Identification

All employees are issued a Biometric identification card bearing his/her official credentials.

3.5 Turnstile

All Personnel have to present the Biometric card to the Access Control system at the time of entry and exit.

3.6 Intelligent Video Surveillance system

The video surveillance and alert system comprises several fixed and movable (PTZ) IP cameras streaming live over a network. These fixed and movable cameras are integrated in the video management software along with their digital inputs.

Fixed megapixel cameras have 5-50 mm lens (4.5-5 meters) and are installed on poles (6-7 meters) alongside the boundary wall to monitor the boundary of the premise and the main entry-exit gate.

PTZ cameras with 18X optical zoom capability are mounted on high mast poles (8-10m from ground level) for central security and monitoring of the entire premises. In the event of an alarm triggered by the intrusion (virtual / physical) system these movable cameras are triggered by the VMS to reach (zoom) and capture the respective event and then return to their home position after some time. These movable cameras have the capability to view objects up to a distance of 150-200 meters and pan 360°, on demand.

Fixed thermal camera installed above the main gate aid the central security to keep an eye on the activities immediately outside the main gate. Thermal cameras detect and identify objects on the basis of the thermal energy, body heat, radiated by the object. Thermal imaging cameras produce images of invisible infrared or heat radiation. Based on temperature differences between objects, thermal imaging produces a crisp image on which the smallest of detail can be seen. They work both during the day and at night. Infrared technology, the basis for thermal imaging, detects radiation at longer wavelengths than those of visible light.

3.7 Storage

The capacity of the central storage and computing system is based on the following.

Camera Type Resolution FPS Storage (days)
Live Storage Archiving Alarms
Fixed HDTV 720p 15 12 30 120
PTZ SVGA 25 20 30 120

3.8 Public address system

Outdoor horn speakers are installed on the Perimeter and high masts. The audio output port of the Cameras, located on the Perimeter, is used for communication from the Control Room to the selected Zone.

3.9 Command and Control Room

The centralized security monitoring & control room is equipped with a 6 (50’ LED monitor) screen video wall (software based) for GUI based VMS-client interface to access IP camera and alarms generated by the installed electronic security and perimeter surveillance system. This also have the following features:

  • Map view of the entire area with cameras and intrusion system plotted for event based monitoring and easy access.
  • Event book marking facility for faster retrieval and playback.
  • Alarm-Alert view along with event snapshot and corresponding footage (on demand) from analytics server, UVSS, ALPR, Power
  • Fence and individual cameras.
  • Matrix view for on demand
  • GUI based interface for Power Fence, UVSS, ALPR, VMS, NMS and Analytics Server for centralized command and control of individual system for timely actions.

3.10 Optic Fibre and STP communications network – the backbone of the system

The medium for transfer of data from the end points, cameras, sensors etc., is the cable network. This network comprises of Single mode, 24 core, armoured Fibre Optic cable, a STP cable ring, edge switches and a core switch.

3.11 Standard Operating Procedures

It is accepted that technology is only a means to an end. Processes and procedures have been put in place to ensure the effectiveness of the security system deployed. The security team is continually motivated and trained. Mock drills are taken seriously and carried out regularly.


Sensitivity of the Site and the threat perception determines the security layers deployed.

  • The objective is to
    • first deter any potential intruder
    • delay the intruder in the event of a break-in
    • finally – deny access
  • Various state-of-the-art technologies have been integrated.
  • Proper use of technology makes for smarter security.
  • Technology acts as a force multiplier.
  • Training and alertness of the security personnel is the key to the success of any system.