Security FAQs

Security FAQs

Border and Perimeter Security Monitoring: Your Questions Answered…

We often get asked about how DAS (distributed acoustic sensing) helps to monitor borders, perimeters and other security boundaries. So, here are some of the most common questions we receive about fibre optic cable monitoring along the length of borders and perimeters.

If you cannot find the answer to your question, please contact Fotech. Our team is always happy to discuss your security monitoring needs and advise on the best strategy and solution for your business.

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Security FAQs in Full

Security boundaries are a business-critical asset. When they fall under threat, it is vital to deploy a fast, safe, well-informed response. An effective automated solution is DAS fibre optic monitoring with Fotech LiveDETECT II®. This modular, DAS-powered system is used by Fotech customers globally to ensure that their precious assets remain safe and effective, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

Protecting asset and territory boundaries is crucial to avoid disastrous events, maintain the safety of personnel and occupants, meet public and private insurance conditions, and protect your reputation with your customers. When a threat does occur, your security teams need to be able to respond and deal with the threat efficiently, safely, and fast. Because LiveDETECT II® analyses not only the threat, but the location and cause of the threat, your teams are equipped to deliver a fast, safe and cost-effective response to deal with the problem.

The most common risks to your security borders and perimeters are:

  • Malicious damage from criminal activity such as theft or vandalism.
  • Accidental damage from natural events or nearby activity, such as building works and excavation.
  • Illegal or accidental breaches to perimeter security.
  • Threats to governmental or geographical borders.

Distributed Acoustic Sensing, when combined with AI and machine learning technology, provides constant, real-time monitoring of any perimeter or border, including:

  • Airport and seaport perimeters
  • High value assets, such as oil & gas refineries, nuclear and chemical plants.
  • High security locations, including governmental buildings and military headquarters.
  • Protected areas, such as game reserves, nature reserves and areas of conservation interest.
  • Civilian assets, for example high net value residences, hospitality venues and business headquarters.
  • Geographical and proprietary borders.
  • Perimeter or border security in remote, hard to reach or hostile terrains.


DAS distributed acoustic sensing uses the fibre optic cables co-located with a perimeter or border to deliver 24 hour a day intelligence on threats and activities occurring nearby. Unlike traditional manual systems such as CCTV, DAS generates vast amounts of data, second by second, and pinpoints the disturbance to within metres of the disturbance. Combined with Fotech’s machine learning and AI technology, DAS not only gathers, but interprets that data rapidly, reporting only relevant disturbances and filtering out naturally occurring false alarms. Because DAS can report this data remotely, it is an invaluable way to automatically monitor perimeters and borders without costly, manual on-site monitoring.

Yes, it is possible to automate monitoring of any border or perimeter if you have the right technology. LiveDETECT II®, Fotech’s modular border and security monitoring, uses advanced DAS technology that detects disturbances along the fibre optic cables co-located with the perimeter or border.

DAS works 24 hours a day, monitoring the entire length of any border or perimeter, and detecting unusual events in a matter of minutes. The acoustic data generated by DAS monitoring is fed back to Fotech’s monitoring module (Helios® DAS) and sensing module (the Panoptes alarm management server). This modular system, LiveDETECT II®, delivers accurate information on the location and nature of the threat within metres, alerting your security teams within minutes. They can then decide on the best response – whether that be manual intervention to prevent the threat, or close-quarter monitoring and deterrents deployed via UAV integration.

DAS – or distributed acoustic sensing – converts standard optical fibres into thousands of acoustic sensors, creating thousands of very sophisticated “microphones” along the length of the fibre optic.

Pulses of light are constantly pushed out along the length of the fibre, returning backscattered light (known as Rayleigh Backscatter) to the DAS unit. Even tiny anomalies in these acoustic patterns can be detected. What’s more, Fotech’s LiveDETECT II® with DAS deploys AI and machine learning to continuously evolve the system’s understanding of different acoustic signatures. This means that the data you receive on any perimeter or border disturbance is highly accurate, and also ensures that false positives or irrelevant events are filtered out.

Dual loop perimeter monitoring is the configuration of DAS technology in a loop, so that if one fibre optic cable is damaged or cut, monitoring continues uninterrupted. Fotech’s LiveDETECT II® monitoring with DAS can also be mirrored to a secondary site, so that no single security monitoring person is fully responsible for your border or perimeter security.

When you are investing in business-critical security monitoring, it is important to consider the quality of the technology, it’s automated capabilities, the accuracy of the intelligence gathered, and the speed and accuracy with which the system can raise the alarm.

Unlike traditional monitoring systems, such as CCTV or UAV passes, Fotech LiveDETECT II® with Helios® DAS and AI pinpoints the location of potential threats within just metres. It then feeds back rich data to the Panoptes alarm server, which reports threats using a “traffic light” warning system. Your security personnel are quickly alerted to not just the location of the threat, but the likely cause and severity of the threat. This equips them to decide on a fast, optimised response to prevent common problems such as malicious attack, intrusion, or accidental damage.

Crucially, field tests have shown that Fotech’s DAS technology delivers 100% accuracy with no false results, saving vast amounts of time and money in your security strategy.

This depends on your choice of distributed acoustic sensing system. Fotech LiveDETECT II® is a fully modular DAS system, and so can expand along the entire length of any perimeter or border to monitor security twenty-four hours a day, every day. A singe module has the capacity to monitor 100km of fibre optic cable along the perimeter or border. It can also be operated with a dual loop configuration, to ensure that even if one fibre optic is cut or damaged, monitoring continues uninterrupted.

Yes, Fotech LiveDETECT II® offers full UAV integration. This is particularly useful for monitoring perimeters or borders, since the drone can be flown directly to the location as soon as a warning is issued. Via your control room or CCTV, the threat can be observed to plan the right mitigation strategy. A drone can also be integrated with your control room, to deliver warnings to third parties and even follow an intruder if you suspect theft or liability for damage. Not only does this allow the threat or event to be dealt with quickly and safely, it also saves huge amounts of time, manpower and risk.

Fotech’s DAS-powered security monitoring technology is built and configured to specifically address each customer’s security challenges and risks. If you would like to find out more or discuss your requirements, just contact Fotech.

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