Subscriber Discussion

Why Arent Lasers Used More For Intrusion Detection?

Why don't you hear more about lasers being used for intrusion detection? It seems like they can provide pretty accurate feedback on a person's location, not just that they've crossed into a certain zone. Paired with PTZs it seems like they could be a pretty good solution for some deployments. Is it a power issue? Cost? Or is it just not the most popular technology? Are customers not asking about them? All of those?

Laser detection products are out there (see Optex's Redscan for example) but they are costly compared to other technologies.

Ground based radar, thermal cameras, and microwave sensors are more economical. There are too many products out there to directly compare accuracy of one technology versus the others, but most generally carry a manageable overhead of false alarms when deployed properly.

Thermal cameras, for example, are equal to or less expensive than Redscan's ~$5000 pricetag, yet have a longer range.

When it comes to pinpointing movement, products like SpotterRF and Xandem provide wider coverage areas for less per-unit of area space cost than laser technologies.


OPTEX Redscan detector distribution pricing is in line with most outdoor thermal cameras with 19 mm range. Also, Redscan does not require additional analytics.

But it *does* still require a camera system.

A big reason (IMO) laser, and other technologies like it, are not more common is because you don't get any cost or performance benefit over a decent analytics system. No matter what, you still need video in order to verify the alarm, so when you look at TOTAL system cost, there isn't a compelling benefit to a laser-based system.

It seems to me you would want to detect intruders, not blind them. Besides, land mines are more efficient.

Front toward enemy.

They work well when used in conjunction with a two-way radio battery, some wire, a clothespin, a plastic spoon handle and a piece of string...

We have used SICK laser products for demanding surveillance environments. Not cheap but very good quality and limited false alarms in harsh places like deck of the marine ship and so on.

I watch the movies, so I know, laser detection is easily defeated by a few mirrors and a couple C-stands.

...and if you can't get ahold of those, just blow some smoke in the area to illuminate the laser beams without breaking them and then you can just avoid them.

I'm not sure they are useful for intrusion detection but they work great for extracting information from the intruders once you catch them.

If memory serves me correclty, that method still ultimatley failed.