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Vibromag Cable detects intruders using the Earth's magnetic fields

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March 27, 2013

Vibromag Cables could find use in security fences such as this one

Vibromag Cables could find use in security fences such as this one

Things might be getting a little more difficult for the James Bonds and Jason Bournes of the world. A new system developed by Prof. Uwe Hartmann at Germany’s Saarland University utilizes the Earth’s magnetic fields to instantly determine when and where a security fence has been breached.

The technology is known as the Vibromag Cable, and incorporates a long cable containing regularly-spaced magnetometer probes. That cable is permanently or temporarily added to an existing metal fence, or it can be buried in the ground underneath one.

Should anyone try to cut, climb, or otherwise mess with the fence, the activity will cause tiny disturbances in the naturally-occurring magnetic fields in the immediate vicinity. The magnetometers closest to the source of the activity will detect those disturbances, and transmit that information to a central computer. Algorithms are currently being developed, to filter out fence-disturbance signals generated by things such as wind or animals.

“The smart sensor cable does not require any major conversion work to be carried out before it can be used, and makes barbed wire and camera surveillance superfluous,” said Hartmann.

The university is currently working with Votronic Technology to commercialize the Vibromag Cable.

Source: Saarland University

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
6 Comments

It sounds like a good way to spend the entire day chasing false positives. If the system is that sensitive a golf cart would play havok with the sensors just from the electric motor. I can see this ending up costing 10% for the physical system and 90% for the software to prevent the sirens going off everytime a person on a cell-phone, a golfcart or a person with a pacemaker walk past the fence.

VirtualGathis
28th March, 2013 @ 05:57 am PDT

Barbed wire & razor wire make the fence a better barrier. That's a separate function from detection. Cameras provide information about activities outside a fence line as well as about intruders. Vibromag Cable can, hopefully, allow a fence to be under the observation of as few as 1 person per shift, but it can't do the things that these other things do.

the.other.will
28th March, 2013 @ 11:02 am PDT

If the cable is cut, is the entire system down? If so, it may be best to bury it, and deep enough to avoid a well-placed spade. And how does the cost compare to a second fence line?

Bruce H. Anderson
28th March, 2013 @ 12:47 pm PDT

Barbed wire makes it more difficult to cross this just reports that something has crossed it.

Pikeman
29th March, 2013 @ 04:10 am PDT

With a solar electric fence its' the 'spark' that deters pest. Making the fence part of the capacitance seems like it'd be easy by just burying the normal electric fence wire a foot or so away as a ground and hooking the fence charger to the chain-link fence. Any 'spark' blip would signal an intruder. Why go the magnetic route- seems like it'd be a lot of teslas...

Kwazai
29th March, 2013 @ 05:42 am PDT

re; Kwazai

How are you going to electrically isolate the chain-link fence from the ground?

Slowburn
29th March, 2013 @ 08:46 am PDT
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