Editorial Feature

Sensors for Security: Their Importance and Potential Impact

Security, sensors, importance, impact

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Every security system, whether it is installed in your home, small business or even an international airport, will utilize a compilation of various sensors to keep all individuals and belongings within the entity safe from any potential threat or disturbance.

Regardless of their application, all sensors used for security and military purposes must maintain an exceptional reliability, sensitivity, selectivity, self-adaptability and environmental resistance.

Sensors for Home Security Systems

Almost every home security system involves various different types of detectors that function to protect the home from a number of different potential threats. For example, it is not uncommon that a home security system includes glass break detectors, motion sensors, smoke and heat detectors, as well as water sensors. Homes can also be equipped with control panel alarms that sense if an intruder is attempting to tamper with the panel.

Motion sensors are often a critical component of home security systems, as these types of detectors can immediately recognize the presence of someone inside the house who should otherwise not be there, and subsequently send an alert to the home owner and local officials. There are numerous types of motion sensors capable of accurately sensing an intruder, some of which include:

  • Passive Infrared (PIR)
  • MicroWave (MW)
  • Dual Technology Motion Sensors
  • Area Reflective Type
  • Ultrasonic1

In addition to its usefulness for home security measurements, motion sensors are also useful within the industrial sector, as they are often used on assembly lines to keep track of the number of products or to disable dangerous equipment if an individual is sensed to be too close to the equipment2.

Various industries also utilize motion sensors to open and close automatic doors, turn on and off automatic water faucets and toilets, control ATM displays, turn lights on or off depending on whether anyone is detected within a room, as well as for some parking meters and automatic ticket gates.

Security Applications of Magnetic Sensors

Magnetic sensors are commonly found in numerous security and military systems. Traditional magnetic sensors include fluxgates, induction coils and resonance magnetometers; however, these sensors are now being replaced by Anisotropic MagnetoResistors (AMR), Giant Magneto-Resistance (GMR), Spin-Dependent Tunneling (SDT) and Giant Magneto-Impedance (GMI) sensors.

Magnetic sensors detect objects through a number of different technologies. For example, DC magnetic detectors utilize the distortion of the Earth’s field that is caused by the permeability of a ferromagnetic object; a technique that is particularly useful for objects that are farther away from the sensor, such as an unexploded ordnance (UXO) or moving targets, such as a vehicle.

A second example of magnetic sensors include Eddy current metal detectors, which depend upon excitation, or primary field, that is within the frequency range of 1 kHz to 100 kHz3. Two types of Eddy current metal detectors include continuous-wave (CW) detectors, which utilize a gradient coil system, whereas pulse detectors instead dependent on the time difference between the start and end of decay within the excitation field.

Sensors and Information Security

The European Union, as well as several other states throughout Europe, has become increasingly interested in developing accurate ways in which they can counterattack and protect themselves against potential security threats to information systems. As a top security priority for their public sector, these countries are particularly interested in adopting information security systems that continuously monitor potential security threats against the network servers.

For this specific security application, a sensor system that proves particularly efficacious is that which operates by monitoring various aspects of the connected systems within a general information database. Some of these attributes include the originating IP-address, email address, request resources or any specific content of the emails or other forms of communications that both leave and enter the information system that is being investigated.

In doing so, these types of systems are capable of monitoring traffic data to determine a specific security incident, as well as potential ways in which this type of threat can be avoided in the future.

References and Further Reading

  1. “What are the different types of security sensors?” – Security Alarm
  2. “The Beginner’s Guide to Motion Sensors” – Safewise
  3. Ripka, P. (2013). Security Applications of Magnetic Sensors. Journal of Phsyics: Conference Series 450. DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/450/1/012001.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the author expressed in their private capacity and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited T/A AZoNetwork the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and conditions of use of this website.

Benedette Cuffari

Written by

Benedette Cuffari

After completing her Bachelor of Science in Toxicology with two minors in Spanish and Chemistry in 2016, Benedette continued her studies to complete her Master of Science in Toxicology in May of 2018. During graduate school, Benedette investigated the dermatotoxicity of mechlorethamine and bendamustine; two nitrogen mustard alkylating agents that are used in anticancer therapy.


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