Founded in 1976, Perle Systems is a designer and manufacturer of highly reliable device networking, media conversion, and internet of things (IoT) connectivity hardware.
With an extensive range of products, Perle's solutions are billed as ideal for organizations that need to establish network connectivity across multiple locations, securely transmit critical and sensitive information, or remotely monitor and control networked devices and appliances. AcoustAlert, a manufacturer of Perimeter Intrusion Detection Systems (PIDS), recently provided a real-world example of utilizing Perle's Ethernet Extender products when securing site-perimeters.
Keeping unauthorized intruders from entering a business location is a critical part of protecting corporate assets, note the companies. In many cases, fencing or walls are adequate deterrents. Other times, more sophisticated intrusion detection systems, such as security cameras, thermal energy detectors, and sensor cables, are required. In these scenarios, the data recorded by these field devices need to be transmitted in real-time over a network to a communication control room.
The physical cables used for data transmission are generally fiber-optic or copper. While data transmission distances over fiber can exceed 180 km, it is sometimes not readily available and expensive to install. Copper cabling is often already installed and can be cheaper to maintain but, the data transmission distance is limited to 100 meters. To overcome that distance, barrier technicians will reach for an Ethernet extender device.
The AcoustAlert platform is a Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS) build for cost-efficiency that uses the microphonic effect of special sensor cable to listen to a perimeter fence. This special cable is attached to the fence generally with cable ties and can span distances of up to 300 meters per zone.
When the AcoustAlert system detects fence movement, an alarm indicating the position and description of the zone is displayed on a computer screen to the control room operator monitoring the AcoustAlert management software. The operator also has several soft outputs that can be controlled on the user interface to open or close gates, switch lights on and off, or monitor cameras.
Cliff Rose, managing director at AcoustAlert, explains, “We had an inquiry from a gold mine in Ghana. Their perimeter fences were being breached on a regular basis and they needed a system that would detect the breach and pinpoint the location of it so that their security team could investigate further.”
Dual fences with AcoustAlert PIDS on both inner and outer fence lines were erected. The fence was divided into eight zones of around 300 m each. The fence perimeter stretches 2.4 km with the field equipment protected inside custom steel cabinets and located between the two fences. In the event of a fence breach, the field analyzer transmits details of its location to the datacoms room on site for interpretation and action.
According to Rose, “Our initial proposal was to use fiber-optic cable around the site to LAN-link the AcoustAlert field processors. The IT Team on-site were more familiar with copper cabling and reluctant to take on the maintenance of the fiber LAN infrastructure. Due to the size of the mine’s perimeter, the 100 m Ethernet distance was just not sufficient. That is where the Perle Ethernet extenders come into play.”
Two Perle Ethernet Extenders, with four ports each, were installed in each field enclosure and connected to the AcoustAlert field processors to act as both a switch and Ethernet extender. Rose added, “The spare Ethernet ports give us flexibility for additional installations, should security cameras or other surveillance equipment need to be installed.”
Perle has offices in 9 countries and sells its products through a globally established distributor, system integrator, and reseller channel organization. For more information, visit www.perle.com.