Automated Video Security


Contact Information

Michael Rigney
Principal Engineer
Robotics and Automation Engineering
(210) 522-5104
mrigney@swri.org

image: Infrared Video Analysis of Deer Crossing a Road.

Infrared Video Analysis of Deer Crossing a Road. Automatic driver alert could be posted on roadside message display. View the video.


image: Automatic detection and tracking of people in an indoor scene using thermal infrared camera.

Automatic detection and tracking of people in an indoor scene using thermal infrared camera.

Computer automated image analysis or video surveillance can automatically detect unusual events and trigger alarms, thereby reducing the volume of data presented to security personnel.

Computer automated video surveillance can monitor large areas and handle complex time-varying images. A video feed for surveillance personnel to monitor after the computer has announced an event (post-image analysis) will support improved vigilance and increase the probability of incident detection.

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has developed unique capabilities to provide heightened security and surveillance for a variety of applications. The cornerstone of this capability is our expertise and experience in real-time image processing and machine perception. Video surveillance can provide automatic detection of people and vehicles in video feeds from multiple CCTV (closed circuit TV) cameras. The automated system alerts security personnel and provides data unavailable from conventional systems, such as instant replay. Facilities adopting this technology can significantly increase security because of the untiring vigilance of computer automated video surveillance.

The Challenge of Video Security

Automatic detection and tracking of people in an indoor scene using thermal infrared camera - Commercially available video motion detection systems implement simplistic approaches to incident detection. False triggers are generated by moving foliage, passing headlights, cloud shadows, and more. Operation of these systems is only feasible in highly constrained applications.

Automatic detection and tracking of people in indoor scene using thermal infrared camera.

Video Security Solution

Our approach allows moving objects such as animals, people, and vehicles to be recognized, while disregarding and overcoming false triggers caused by moving foliage and changing illumination. In addition, stationary objects added to a scene, such as a package or suitcase, can be detected. This solution is possible because the SwRI advanced algorithms incorporate temporal processing and model-based analysis to achieve machine perception and recognition of normal scene motions. Subsequent discrepancies between the scene and the model can be detected and compared to classification criteria for disposition.

Video Security Applications

Perimeter Security

The perimeter of large or small facilities can be monitored. People or vehicles automatically detected by the system can be brought to the attention of security personnel. Automatic detection of illegal immigrants and a law enforcement officer in video from a Border Patrol remote video surveillance camera is shown below.

image: Border Patrol Remote Surveillance Video

Border Patrol Remote Surveillance Video. Automatic detection of illegal immigrants at U.S.-Mexico border near Eagle Pass, Texas, by computer image analysis of video feed from U.S. Border Patrol remote surveillance unit. View the video.

Interior Security

Hallways, corridors, rooms, courtyards, parking areas, and other interior/exterior spaces can be monitored. Surveillance cameras can be multiplexed for display only when monitored zones are occupied. Detection of specific incidents can be displayed with an associated alarm. Parking lot surveillance could automatically detect persons potentially looking for theft opportunities.

Under-Vehicle Surveillance

Images of vehicle undercarriages can be analyzed to automatically detect attached packages, which could be explosive devices or other contraband.

image: Example of automated under-vehicle surveillance.

Example of automated under-vehicle surveillance. (Left) Image of vehicle stored in database. (Center) Image of same vehicle acquired at a later time (note increased length, subtle brightness differences, and attached package). (Right) Resulting image difference and object detection after registering and normalizing the left and center images.

Safety

image: Video of Bees Detecting Explosives

Video of Bees Detecting Explosives. Surveillance software provides automatic detection and counting of bees for DARPA-funded explosives detection research. View the video.

The presence of large animals or joggers can be automatically detected with appropriate warnings provided to motorists.

Data Acquisition

Pedestrian or vehicle traffic patterns can be monitored, quantified, and logged. Spatio-temporal analysis can aid in optimization of facility configuration or retail store layout. SwRI software was used to identify and count bees for DARPA-sponsored explosives detection research.

Video of Bees Detecting Explosives. Surveillance software provides automatic detection and counting of bees for DARPA-funded explosives detection research. View video: Windows Media

Video Surveillance System Components

It may be possible to use existing CCTV surveillance infrastructure; basic system components include cameras, a computer, and Automated Video Security Software. Video feeds are processed by automated surveillance software configured for the specific application. Event detection is brought to the attention of security personnel, and the associated video feed is displayed along with other pertinent information.

Automated video surveillance system composed of cameras, computers, automated video security software, and video monitors. Systems may incorporate existing surveillance infrastructure.

image: Automated video surveillance system composed of cameras, computers, automated video security software, and video monitors.

Automated video surveillance system composed of cameras, computers, automated video security software, and video monitors. Systems may incorporate existing surveillance infrastructure.

Enhanced capabilities can be provided by a number of optional components:

  • Pan/tilt/zoom cameras operated by computer control.
  • Thermal infrared cameras for night vision and adverse weather capability (rain/fog/smoke).
  • Visible or near-infrared illuminators for night vision with conventional cameras.
  • Image intensifiers for long-range night vision with conventional cameras.
  • Long-range infrared/visible wavelength optics for perimeter surveillance of large facilities.
  • Remote monitoring for local computer video analysis with alarm and video data transmitted to remote security personnel upon incident detection.
  • Wireless transmission so alarms and video data can be transmitted from remote sites via wireless communications media.
  • Mobile platform so autonomous land or aerial vehicles can carry a surveillance camera and optionally, the analysis computer. Incident alarms and video data can be transmitted via wireless link to remote security personnel.

Related Terminology

homeland security  •  intrusion detection  •  facility security  •  under-vehicle surveillance  •  CCTV surveillance  •  CCTV security  •  infrared imaging  •  infrared optics  •  surveillance software  •  security software  •  real-time image processing  •  video surveillance  •  automated surveillance  •  interior security  •  perimeter security  •  video security  •   surveillance systems

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 10 technical divisions.
04/15/14