Keeping an eye on your farm

Alex Penhaligon, project sales manager, Hikvision SA
Published: 1 October 2020


Like most industries, agriculture is using advances in technology to keep ahead, resulting in dramatic changes. Inevitably, as farming tools get more complex, they become more of a target for thieves. But there’s another side to this story too. Advances of another type of technology – security alarm systems – can provide a counterbalance to protect the livelihood of producers.

In terms of farm security, the challenges are low illumination at night and long perimeters. Producers should take note of industry-leading, dual-sensor technology that is available, which will give you incredible night performance. Another option would be a camera range with built-in supplement light to fight the darkness. As for long-distance perimeter defence, thermal imaging cameras would be the best choice as they can detect a person up to hundreds of meters away and more importantly, they perform at night. With built-in artificial Intelligence (AI) chips, thermal cameras will focus only on humans and vehicles and filter many false alarms. For people who might also be concerned about power and transmission, a comprehensive solar and wind hybrid power system with NanoBridge for wireless transmission in rural areas can be obtained.

Do’s and don’ts of security installations
One should make use of professionally trained installation companies that are well aware of the potential problems caused by electrical interference. The installation companies should also have a thorough knowledge of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) Networking, since almost all surveillance systems are now IP based (using Internet Protocol). The camera should be installed on a steady pole or a watchtower to prevent movement, which reduces false alarms. The installation height should be selected according to the detection area, with knowledge of the blind distance that each camera might generate. Line of sight is usually an aspect that gets overlooked. Any obstacles that might prevent view and potential angulation of the ground can cause problems. Surge protection and an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) are necessary if the power is not stable.

Future of security technology in South Africa
The future of security technology will be much more ‘intelligent’ and ‘integrated’. Actually AI is already changing the security industry. Technology such as facial recognition, target classification and data structuration have dramatically improved the capability and efficiency of security systems. The coming era of 5G will bring the industry an ultimate supply of bandwidth and less delay, which will popularise 4K video surveillance and even higher resolutions as well as multi-system interaction.