Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS): Futuristic Approach

The perimeter security requirement has taken a paradigm shift from physical to advanced technological based PIDS and have opened plethora of business opportunity for homeland security in the country.


The Perimeter security system is of the utmost importance in today's perspective whether it is to secure buildings, an area of strategic importance, VA/VP’s or securing international borders. The emergence of a new threat of terror attacks along with security breach for various reasons raises the problem of enhancing the capability of existing perimeter security systems.

In this regard, the development of the modern perimeter security system should include multiple layers which include building security, area security, access control systems, and perimeter security. Current perimeter protection security is unthinkable without the wide implementation of advanced technologies, which increase the reliability of modern security systems.

Thus, it is important to understand that the development of effective perimeter security solution requires substantial technical and financial efforts. Industry needs to formalise a perimeter security as a product and services and made it available to potential customers. Substantial amount of efforts would go in designing  a perimeter security system which uses multilayer of protection which includes advanced electronic devices and highly technological tools for effective safeguarding the protected area.

Formally the Perimeter security system is named as Perimeter Intrusion Detection Systems (PIDS)  and is meant to be used in an external environment to detect the presence of an intruder attempting to breach a perimeter. The adoption of fiberoptics  technology is growing rapidly as part of PIDS strategies for a number of companies across a range of industries


Typically the types of classifications that are required in most intrusion scenarios include:

Human/animal movement. PIDS should be sensitive enough to detect human/animal approaching the perimeter. The system logic should be able to distinguish between human and animal movement. The system should also caterfor alerts, most important avoiding false alerts. The range of alerts can be different for various scenario. Example for walking this can be alerted within 5 m of the cable.

Motorised movement. The system should be able to detect the movement of vehicles from the perimeter from reasonable distance and provision to neutralise constant alerts due to a busy road near the perimeter should be incorporated. The distance of alerts can be programmed depending on the requirement and sensitivity of sensor element.

Digging activities.System should instantly recognise the digging activities undertaken near the perimeter for different purpose like cave digging, etc. The signature of digging activity should be recognised and alerted to control centre.


Designing a PIDS includes various criteria. The following are few of factors that should be taken in accounting for formalising specifications of typical PIDS setup:

  • Geographical landscapes
  • System integration with existing security systems
  • Climatic conditions
  • Homeland policies in vogue
  • Quick response team and standard procedure
  • Manpower for training and operations

Additionally deliberations are needed with the customer regarding the existing situations and these will add in formalising the standard requirements:

  • What kind of technology is appropriate? (e.g., radio wave-based technology or camera-based systems). For instance, if there are ground level difference and sharp bends in perimeter? The technology needs to cover the gaps in the PIDS due to available ground disadvantages.
  • What kind of requirement for sensors is required, hidden or buried?
  • There should be frequency spectrum interferences audit so as to understand the possibility of conflicts with the PIDS.
  • Amalgamation of existing system with the new proposed PIDS
  • Matching PIDS with the customers security policy. How does the system integrate with the overall security strategy.? What is the definition an alarm and what action is taken in the event of an alarm (audio alarm, visual alarm or a combination)?
  • Use of multiple technology based on terrain changes for large perimeter scenario like Indian international borders. There are variety of topography changes and each require a typical technology constituting the PIDS. Hence PIDS should have standardisation and flexibility to integrate these technologies seamlessly through a centralized control system (e.g. Video cameras combined where the cameras slew to the specific event when an alert is raised.)

The system should be robust to cater for challenges existing or created. While multiple alarms from PIDS may be caused by environmental events, such as wind or heavy rain, operators should be warned that multiple alarms may also be a deliberate diversion caused by a potential intruder. Consideration should be given, therefore, to how multiple alarms will be stacked or queued by the entire system, or for an individual zone, and whether alarms from particular zones should be given higher priority. The system should have the ability to configure multiple smart zones, with user configurable alarms for each zone which can be adapted as the environmental conditions evolve in order to prevent nuisance alarms from such events. They can also detect multiple events at once and so this makes it more challenging for the intruder to attempt diversionary tactics. PIDS system is configured in a loop configuration so that the system can continue to provide full security coverage even in the event of a cut to the cable.


PIDS can be a system integrated with the use of products of various technology like Fibre optics, surveillance equipment, data processing servers, network equipment, power, etc.  The system should use minimal power source at the field, be completely immune to all forms of electromagnetic energy from radio communications, radar, electrical power transmission equipment or lightning and capable to any type of weather condition at the Earth (from arctic zone to the tropical zone including various geographical terrain). The system should be capable of detecting and accurately locating intruders within a specific location (that attempt to cut, climb, lift or cross) on the fence fabric, on any types of wall (against climbing, scaling, or ladder-based intrusion attempts) and at open areas (against running, walking, crawling, digging, trenching or excavating based intrusion attempts).

A typical PIDS would include the following broad components (sub-systems):

  • Fence-Mounted Part optical sensor cable or any other technology.
  • Buried Part optical sensor cable.
  • Processing Unit.
  • Security Surveillance Equipment.
  • Servers and Workstations.
  • Network equipment.
  • Command and Control Centre
  • Additional integration capability interface equipment.

For the integration with other types 3rd party systems like perimeter light systems, access control systems, radar, and radar system, etc.  the system should have Add-On Integration interface equipment. The system should be universal and capable of being integrated into the existing Security Management System and integrate to 3rd party command and control by software or dry contacts.

The Fiber Optical Cable sensor provides all primary data of all system events to Servers and Workstations at Command and Control Centre. Data processing is undertaken by the system and in the event of intrusions appropriately alerts the warning system. The location of intrusion/breach is located on the ground, and respective surveillance devices are activated which then tracks the target. The entire events are recorded as data logs and can be replayed for learning purpose or investigation. The PIDS system can have UAV as surveillance equipment and follow the target at safe distance. The target classification based on threat analysis can be part of the processing system. False alarms can be minimized based on system logic and customer requirements.

PIDS is a project-based solution and generally requires the following steps:

  • Understanding of requirement (place, conditions, details, etc.)
  • On-site survey
  • The technical requirement gathering step
  • Development of the technical project


The business opportunities are enumerated below:

  • Indo Pakistan Border, 3323 Km.
  • Indo Bangladesh Border.
  • Indo Burma Border
  • Indo China Border
  • Defense Airfields of Ministry of Defense ( Appx 150 in phases)
  • Civil Airfields, Ministry of Civil Aviation
  • Nuclear power plants
  • Vulnerable areas/ Vulnerable Parts of the Country
  • Defense Public sector units campus
  • VVIP area
  • Strategic areas
  • Misc civilian areas


The field of PIDS has just been initiated and has lots of future opportunities to unfold. Indian Air Force and Indian Navy have already started the installation of PIDS at their initial air bases with the help of DPSU's. Border Security Force is in process of formulation for the Specifications for their PIDS names as Comprehensive Integrated Perimeter security solution. Many organisations are to follow these footsteps. The lower down version of PIDS is scoping in the smart city projects. As technology advances there will be more and more security linked solutions in demand. The Homeland security of India has the potential for a massive market in the future to come.

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