License-plate recognition grants drivers access to business site
A stately manor is nestled amidst 55 acres of green space in the Thames River Valley near Windsor, England. The neo-gothic mansion was originally built for a Belgian ambassador in 1857, but today New Lodge is a business complex whose office suites mix 19th-century elegance with 21st-century technology.
Some of that technology is utilized in the New Lodge's security plan. Marchday Group, the property development company that manages New Lodge, understood that the location of the access gate and the reception desk had potential for problems. "The [access] gate is a couple of hundred meters (650 ft) away from the reception desk," explains Stuart Box, Director of Cybertronix (Reading, UK), the company hired to install the security system. Naturally Marchday wanted its tenants to enjoy a safe, secure site, but the property developer also sought a smooth entry system. During an initial sales meeting, Box listened to Marchday's concerns and proposed a license plate recognition system for the access gate. "We thought it would be quite a slick way of allowing access to the site," he says. "[Marchday] liked the idea, and then we put the bits together."
Together, those 'bits' comprise a fully-integrated CCTV system for both interior and exterior cameras (the vehicle recognition is only one component of New Lodge's security network). The ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) system features an AXIS 241Q video server (with relay output for gate control) by Axis Communications, a narrow angle day/night CCTV camera, and a Dell Workstation PC running software based on the Matrox Imaging Library (MIL). "The camera we use features a narrow field of view - it's a 12mm lens - so we can ensure the images of the plates are of a reasonable size," says Box. " And the ring of infra red LEDs in the lens mount is enough to get a nice reflection off the plate so you can actually see them at night."
The Cybertronix ANPR system has been in operation since March 2006. When a car stops at the access gate, the camera acquires a picture of its plate. Software 'reads' the plate and compares it against the database of those 'pre-authorized vehicles'. If a match is made, the gate opens and the vehicle enters the site.
If a match is made, the gate opens and the vehicle enters the site.