Integration – Radar

Click here to download the PDF version of this article

Benefits of Integration of Intelligent Video with RadarPureTech has developed and deployed an integration of its PureActiv intelligent video system with perimeter radar. In addition to display and control of radar related functionality on the PureActiv user interface, this integrated perimeter solution also facilitates sensor alarm collaboration, slew to target, automatic target following, IFF – Identification, Friend or Foe and track fusion. The solution is deployed and operating at major seaports, military installations and utilities throughout the United States.


Radars are an excellent perimeter detection sensor. In open areas, they can provide highly reliable surveillance data at considerable range.

Figure 1 - Example PureActiv - Radar Integration Architecture
Architecture showing integration of Video Management System and Radar
However, radars are not video devices so they are unable to provide an image to accurately identify the target. For each target identified by radar you must obtain visual confirmation via some other means before taking action. This PureActiv integration addresses this issue and adds several advanced features that can aid in perimeter security efforts.


The actual integration of these two systems is not complex in terms of how to coordinate data. Radars communicate using a well-defined interface standard. Position and target information is provided to PureActiv via XML. Radars identify position to PureActiv as a “range and bearing.” This information is then converted to longitude and latitude for use within the PureActiv GUI. Radar targets appear directly on the PureActiv user interface and are utilized in the same manner as video and GPS targets.

Figure 2 - Radar Icons, Tracks and Detection Zones
Map Based VMS GUI showing radar targets, tracks and detection zones.


User Interface

Integration of the radar into PureActiv’s command and control allows the ability to dynamically view and track radar targets on the map based GUI. The display includes the radar range arcs and the target ID provided by the radar.

Manual Camera Select and Target ID

When a new radar target appears and requires visual confirmation, the integration allows a user to manually select from a list of cameras, which are then steered by the system and center the target in the camera view for visual confirmation. This function is commonly referred to as “slew to target.” Once a target is confirmed, the user interface provides the ability to change the map-based icon from unknown target type (yellow) to “friend (green)” or “foe (red)” target type. The system will remember this target identification as long as the track persists.

Figure 3 - Radar Detection Zones and Automatic Alarms for Visual Verification
Geospatial User interface with radar detection zones and video verification

Alarm Display and Automatic Coordination

The PureActiv integration also provides for automatic detection and alarming of radar-based targets. Map based zones provide the ability to automatically detect and steer a camera to the target for visual confirmation. When a radar target meets the zone alarm criteria, one or more pre-selected cameras will automatically steer to the target and provide the security officer with a textual alarm, target image, video clip and map based depiction of the event’s location. The officer may then set the target type and continue to react to the event. The camera will remain following the target until the track is lost, the operator takes control of the camera or the pre-defined time out is reached.

Figure 4 - Radar and Bearing to Target Indication
Map Based GUI displaying range and bearing to target indication

In both manual and automatic slew to target scenarios, the reacting camera will provide a graphical representing showing its line of site to the target. It will also provide an on screen textual annunciation of the actual distance and bearing to the target.

Sensor Alarm Collaboration

For PureActiv installations that include video analytics capability, the integration also provides for sensor alarm collaboration. When automatic camera slewing is set and the PTZ camera is steered to the target, the PureActiv video analytics can be invoked to further assess the type of target present. In these cases, the alarm will not be presented unless the video analytics confirms the target exists and is of the specified class. This feature provides for more precise alarm conditions than are typically achievable with only a radar sensor. In this case, video analytics can provide the additional logic to only alarm based on the class of the target: human, animal, class of vehicle or other.

Camera Auto Follow / Target Hand Off

Figure 5 - Automatic Camera Follow can be enabled once the radar target has been acquired with the camera.
Automatic Camera Follow integrated with radar detection
The integration allows for two different forms of target follow. The first, used for manual operator selection and normal alarming, involves the radar continuously providing the target’s updated location to PureActiv. PureActiv then repositions the camera based on the object’s speed, heading and new position. Although effective, this form of camera repositioning is based on the update rate of the radar and results in a stop-stare, stop-stare type motion.

The second form of target follow utilizes the PureActiv video analytics capability, whereby the radar provides the initial target position, but once the target is acquired, video-based tracking is used (PTZ Follow or Camera Auto Follow). This feature continuously steers the Pan-Tilt-Zoom camera to maintain a view of the target. The advanced tracking is not impacted by posture changes, occlusion of the target by trees or poles, changes in target speed, direction or even sudden stops. Although it receives the initial cue by the radar, the subsequent tracking is performed using only video data. This allows the cameras to be repositioned multiple times per second, which provides a much smoother tracking motion for target identification. The algorithm allows for automated control of pan, tilt and zoom, keeping the target centered in the field of view throughout the entire coverage area of the PTZ camera. Should the video lose the target, it can query the radar for the target’s current position and reacquire.

Figure 6 - Friend and Foe capability avoids nuisance alarms from friendly targets
Use of radar and GPS to detect Friend and Foe to avoid nuisance alarms from friendly targets
IFF: Identify Friend of Foe

The radar integration, along with the PureActiv GPS integration, provides the capability for IFF: Identification, Friend or Foe. When installed with a GPS, this integration can leverage the geospatial information from both the radar and the GPS to perform an automated friend or foe analysis. By knowing the “friend” locations, provided by the GPS, and correlating them with all potential “intruder” locations provided by the radar, targets known to be friendly assets can be ignored when they enter detection zones. Not alarming on these friendly targets can significantly reduce the workload for a security operator.

An example of where this feature can be applicable is a guard tour, whereby a security vehicle drives around a facility as a means of checking facility conditions and as a visual deterrent to intruders. With a friend / foe calculation in operation, this type of activity would not result in any alarms, thereby eliminating operator involvement for a nuisance type event.

Track Fusion

When both a GPS and a radar are integrated into a single command and control, they will both be providing track information for GPS targets. Additionally, differences in update rates and sensor accuracy can result in the track for the same object being slightly different. The PureActiv integration utilizes information from both sensors: latitude, longitude, elevation, speed, heading, radar ID and GPS ID, and combines that information into a single “fused track.” This avoids a cluttered user interface, eliminating multiple track lines and target icons for the same target.

Additional Information / Links
Selecting a radar target and assigning a camera for auto follow Video
Overview of slew to target, automatic alarming and Camera Auto Follow Video
Camera slew to radar and follow Video
Types of Video Analytics available view PureActiv Document
PTZ Follow / Camera Auto Tracking Video
GPS Integration IFF: Identification, Friend or Foe Document
Radar and GPS track fusion Video

Related Links
Contact Us

Follow us!