Airport wide area protection

Terma provides wide area radar perimeter security solutions for both civilian and military airports.


T.react CIP Illustration cover

As the world’s largest supplier of surveillance radars, over 3,000 SCANTER radar systems have to date been installed worldwide to improve security and safety at airports, harbors, borders, wind farms, and coastlines.

Over 140 major airports worldwide rely on Terma´s SCANTER surface movement radar technology for mission critical situational awareness. The SCANTER 1002 ground surveillance radar is an affordable, best-in-class, all-weather detection to customers aspiring to the highest levels of perimeter and wide area protection.

Outside and inside the perimeter

Whilst commercial airports across the globe have steadily improved their security measures (not least in the terminal buildings and baggage handling areas) the perimeter line is now often the weakest link and easiest point of unauthorized access into airside. This can also be said of several military airports, which have been attacked recently, demonstrating the level of deadly determination that darkens the threat and risk picture.

Controlling a perimeter line that sometimes stretches tens of kilometers can be a daunting task. In the US alone, there are over 1,000 human airport perimeter breaches every year. Any breach of the perimeter, be it by humans or animals, have an immediate impact on airport operations. Most breaches are considered minor but with recent airport attacks in Paris, Brussels and Istanbul there is now an increased pressure on airport security professionals to find new and improved solutions to strengthen not only the perimeter line but also to ensure a full understanding of the areas both inside and outside the same line.

Deploying the right countermeasure

Terma´s T.react CIP and SCANTER technologies will provide the airport security team with more time to react by fully controlling far and near areas rather than a thin boundary line. T.react CIP´s ability to provide an understanding of any incoming threat in a split second also allows for the correct countermeasures to be deployed rapidly. This not only reduces the risks of catastrophic impact but cuts operational costs, as smaller incidents can be scaled back at deployment level.

A T.react CIP system implementation can therefore have a return on investment that is measured in a few years only.

The most advanced intelligent wide area detection system

The T.react CIP solution consists of 3 key elements working together to provide a Single Picture of Activity inside the area of responsibility.

  • SCANTER 1002 ground surveillance radars 
  • T.react CIP Command and Control system
  • A suit of tailored cameras, geo-sensors and effectors to suit each and every unique project


SCANTER 1002 - 464Terma's SCANTER 1002 ground surveillance radar

Increased reaction time

With the ability to scan 360º every single second, a deployed SCANTER 1002 can cover up to 542 Km² a second and detect persons at a distance of nearly 4 kilometers (depending on the height of the installation). This early detection translates into half an hour of reaction time (assuming the person is walking or jogging). Should the reaction force not be fast enough for that, the SCANTER 1002 will continue to track the subject after the real or virtual perimeter line has been crossed – thereby gaining more valuable reaction time.

Easy to operate

During operations in desert conditions the SCANTER 1002 has detected and tracked persons at close range and at a range of more than 6 km, making it a radar that can fulfill even the most demanding requirements in the most challenging environments. Advanced processing automatically adapt to changed environments and makes the radar very easy to operate. Furthermore pre-defined profiles make it easy to configure the radar to different applications.

Easy to install

The SCANTER 1002 is a compact and lightweight radar for fast and inexpensive deployment on standard poles or structures. An unlimited numbers of radars can be combined to provide full coverage of any size area. The area of activity can then be presented to the operator as a single picture of activity using Terma’s T.react CIP command and control system.

SCANTER 1002 - 464The SCANTER 1002 is a compact and lightweight radar 


How to implement a T.react CIP solution at your airport

Our security experts and engineers have decades of experience working holistically with airport perimeter security around the globe. The deployment of any security solution is always preceded by careful planning and understanding of the customers unique operations and demands in conjunction with those set out by international and national aviation authorities. 

Terma will also undertake to survey any airport perimeter to establish the best-practice-deployment of radars, other geo-sensors, cameras and infrastructure (including power and network).

To fit into any customer driven project model, Terma has chosen to be both sensor neutral in its system approach and flexible in the way projects can be executed. This allows the customer to freely source core components from others than Terma and also chose the level of involvement that Terma should have, be it as a sole service provider or as a subcontractor.

Last but not least, our experts can also help with establishing the rate of return on the investment by evaluating current safety and security expenditure based around the current process of controlling the perimeter area.

An intelligent wide area detection solution from Terma

T.react CIP is the most advanced intelligent wide area protection solution to date. It is a system that provides maximum levels of security, situational awareness and control over your external environment - regardless of size. A solution designed to give you a good chance of preventing a disaster from happening in the first place.

CIP Console april 2020T.react CIP provides the right information at the right time


Command and control (C2) system

It is important to remember that radar is not an intelligent device. Neither is a camera or a fence line detector. Having deployed a SCANTER radar system it becomes critical that the relevant unwanted behavior is filtered out from the normal daily activities and presented to those responsible in the simplest way possible.

Once the radar system design is completed it is therefore time to select a command and control system that can do all the necessary calculations automatically, handle near unlimited numbers of cameras and sensors and then present only the relevant information to the user in a way that error and confusion is avoided in order to aid the fastest possible reaction. Filtering action from distraction - ensuring that every second counts.

T.react CIP command and control system

benefits_464Simplicity is a key word for T.react CIP, allowing composed control of both small but also large sites, regardless of sensor complexity and the amount of moving objects

Proven technology

Terma have developed and deployed more than 150 mission critical C2 systems (T-core) worldwide in the past 30 years. This includes systems for ballistic missile defenses, where every 1/10 of a second counts. Understanding what it really takes to protect lives and property during that one, short critical moment has allowed Terma to move in the opposite direction of the traditional commercial VMS/COP/PSIM systems when developing T.react CIP.

The weakest link

The first acceptance of how to implement a true perimeter security solution lies with the acknowledgement that at 4 am, on a rainy, dark morning - all responsibility of protecting the area lies with the person tasked with maintaining control over his area of responsibility. Be it patrolling, scanning the perimeter with night goggles or behind an array of screens in a control room, this task is only as good as its weakest link.

And that link is human.

When multiple, simultaneous, potentially catastrophic events trigger the systems, the last thing the operator wants is complexity.

Efficient decision making

Yesterday’s traditional VMS/COP/PSIM systems normally fail for three simple reasons when things get hot:

  • a lack of simplicity,
  • a lack of true one-to-one sensor control to fully automate the initial system response 
  • the lack of a powerful rule engine to truly filter action from distraction.

Complex interfaces leads to systems being ignored or overlooked. Semi-manual control takes focus away from the response and the rate of nuisance and false alarms eats away at both confidence and vigilance.

With several hundreds of thousands development hours providing the base of Terma’s T-core platform, the recent years of R&D have therefor been spent on perfecting a new, unique human interface, allowing both commercial and military users the same ease of operation.

In addition to simplicity, T.react CIP’s 4-dimensional sensor controls frees up the operator to focus solely on the response whilst the systems massive, unique rule engine works silently in the background to ensure that real alarms are filtered out and prioritized in a way not seen before.

In T.react CIP, the relevant track and video data of any moving threat is instantly and automatically presented to the operator as a single coherent activity within his area of responsibility. This allows for an immediate understanding - and if needed - one-touch, fingertip control of any situation, however stressful it may be.

Supporting simplicity at operator level, razor-precision at responder level and having the ability to overlap with other safety functions at an airport also enables the organization a return on the investment that will start from the first day of T.react CIP implementation.

T.react CIP enables you to apply your resources more precisely and effectively



Frequency band

  • Terma manufactures radars in many frequency bands including S, X & Ku. Choosing the right bandwidth normally comes down to the application area or a specific characteristic that is preferred to perform one or a number of tasks. After years of testing, Terma acknowledged that the Ku band was preferred when looking at key performance indicators for a compact, lightweight and sometimes portable radar.

To provide maximum security in adverse weather conditions it is important to look at a radars ability to detect, track, target separate and its ability to follow both slow and fast moving targets at both short and long distances.

Terma has chosen to use the Ku band for the SCANTER 1002 for a number of vital reasons. Firstly, it is the optimal compromise to obtain both precipitation penetration and Doppler sensitivity on slow moving objects. That is why the Ku band is the preferred frequency band on most military ground surveillance radars.

Secondly, by using the Ku bands to combine precision and high scan speed it is possible to integrate the radar into a fully automatic command and control system, such as Terma´s T.react CIP (see below). The first criteria for this to happen is that the radar is able, not only to detect, but also to separate 100´s of small, slow and fast moving targets from each other – at the same time. The very fine range resolution of the SCANTER 1002 improves target separation even without the radar’s Doppler discrimination. This is where lower band compact radars start having problems, such as the X band.

As a compact Ku band radar can focus more energy onto targets than e.g. a compact X band radar would, it allows the system the precision it needs to present the operator with extreme levels of automated camera control and smoothness in the automated camera tracking. For the operator, smooth tracking of an object or person is essential not only to gain vital, updated information about the threat as it moves but equally so to avoid getting tired of jittery video images.

As with all things ruled by the laws of physics, great consideration also has to be taken to the radars ability to detect the same objects when the sun is not shining. The attenuation of the radar signal in various states of rain is near exponential with the frequency used. This means that the higher the frequency, the more loss of power through a medium (attenuation), the poorer its ability to penetrate droplets of water and humidity.  As X and Ku band radars operate in the lower frequencies, adverse weather has a minimal effect on performance unlike Ka and W band radars (see graph below).

A 12 dB loss per Km between the Ku and X band in heavy rain is however not favored if the radar is to be positioned in areas where rain is expected. Sand and dust affect neither X nor Ku band much as the particles are too small.

Radar attenuation graph - 464Radar attenuation graph - click here for larger version of image

With the need for both precision and weather penetration, Terma have chosen to present the new SCANTER 1002 as a Ku band radar.

Terma's patented signal processing has made Terma´s SCANTER radars the world benchmark in all its market segments. The famous EC2 tracker from its larger SCANTER siblings is built into the SCANTER 1002 allowing for a state of the art processing normally used only in tactical radars.

Automated processing

The SCANTER 1002 is a fully automatic radar with no need for adjusting weather parameters or detection parameters such as for conventional flat panel e-scan radars (more commonly referred to as “battlefield radars”). Unlike such radars, each SCANTER 1002 can update track information of hundreds of simultaneous targets in a 360º sweep every single second, near and far, making it ideal for busy environments such as an airport.

White paper

Airport perimeter security

Airport Perimeter Security – Moving to 2025 without passing GO Airports around the world have been sharing information, experiences and best practices for many decades now. Together with aviation authorities, security experts and law enforcement agencies the world’s airports look nothing like the time when grandma and grandpa went on their first charter tour.

Protected travelers

By now, the frequent air traveler knows the routines lying in wait up ahead. Parking is done well away from the terminal. Police, bollards and cameras stand to greet before and inside the entrance. After routine check-in questions a variety of electronic scanning devices, operators and search personnel eagerly awaits the chance to let you know that you must now take your shoes off and try again. A last row of armed officers make sure that you feel safe on your journey through to your gate – safe in the knowledge that nothing and nobody will disturb your day. Finally, at the gate you quickly whip your belt off for the last xray machine, wishing that you had indeed chosen the tight fit jeans rather than the preferred comfy loose fits you love to travel in. Standing ready to board you will be forgiven for thinking that you are in an elite company of world class protected citizens – mainly because you are. Or are you? That will depend on which airport you decide to travel from and to. The gap between the best and the worst airports in the world in terms of security is still very large. No doubt, some airports receive more funding but the differences can also be felt in areas such as planning, execution and efficiency where funding has been available. In some countries the process is halted at the hands of slow moving bureaucracy, interdepartmental rivalries, numerous 3rd party stakeholders unable to find common ground and even the lack and availability of experienced personnel to fill key roles. THE WEAKEST LINK Looking out of the glass window of this modern day castle that you have just “forced” your way into you might sense the outline of the airport perimeter fence. This place is huge. You passed it on the way to the terminals. Took all but 10 minutes of driving to get around it? Wow. Chain link wasn´t it? Same as a chicken farm that you passed half an hour earlier - except for a couple of strands of barbed wire at the top. Surely not? Security experts are constantly trying to find the weakest link in any protection plan. In today’s airport threat environment, the weakest link is now, in many cases, the airport perimeter. It is estimated that there are numerous airport perimeter breaches in the US alone each year . Most are minor incidents, many have a safety impact, several disrupt airport operations and a few have been serious attempts to cause damage to both lives and property. Driving through an airport fence or crash gate still remains perhaps the quickest way for a criminal or terrorist to get close to an aircraft without having to engage first with security personnel. Reaction times to get to the opposite side of a busy runway within a 25 km² area can in most cases be minutes and not seconds. Bad weather and darkness does not help.

Situational awareness

The problem is no longer detecting the breach. It is continuously understanding the situation as it unfolds and then trying to delay and defeat a known threat with more force. Today’s electronic perimeter fencing systems have all improved in recent years but still carries the huge disadvantage of only providing “single footprint alarms”. Such alarms tells you that something has happened at a particular sector but as it is dark and raining the allocated cameras cannot provide any real clues to substantiate the alarm or help keep track of an unfolding event. With the continued focus on improvement of airport perimeter security, todays best airports are therefore looking beyond the realms of traditional CCTV monitoring and fence sensors along the perimeter line. They are looking to completely control their environment down to the last meter. In 2010 Terma took the decision to try and solve some of the perimeter problems that airports face today. Having delivered surface movement radars to nearly 85% of all the world’s major airports in the past two decades the company believed it had the knowledge to develop an inexpensive radar system that could also detect small moving objects in all-weather conditions across large areas.

User friendly

But the problem needed another dimension in order to be complete. Something that would combine the all-weather detection ability and translate it into something that would be an automatic and intelligent assistant to the person responsible at 3:12 on a foggy morning. Terma, being Denmark’s largest defense company set about the task by looking into their tool bag of military command and control systems. The company has over 30 years of delivering large mission-critical C2 platforms to allies around the world. But a military platform is not necessarily compatible with the demands of the civilian market although it could act as a foundation for it, so the first task was to make it more user friendly.

After meetings with some of the major airports and studying daily commercial security operator routines, Terma began the project of designing the world’s most advanced wide area perimeter system to date. Included in the scope were a few key parameters:

  • How to combine data from a wide range of geo-positional sensors into one complete picture of activity.
  • Making sure that a single object would never create more than one alarm despite being tracked by multiple sensors.
  • Ensuring that any camera in the system could be used automatically to track a subject depending on its position in relation to the target.
  • Finding an intelligent way in which cameras could automatically hand-over tracking to each other in order to free up the operators hands.
  • Disconnecting standard camera features such as zoom and focus in order for the system to use them instead – allowing cameras to be sharp on target simultaneously with turning to avoid losing valuable seconds.
  • Building single-touch functionality on key actions such as instant playback of a scene in progress and switching between multiple simultaneous alarms.
  • Safeguarding operations from both internal and external threats.
  • Using existing cameras and infrastructure to maximize investment return.
  • Directing non-lethal sensors towards targets to discourage further advance
  • Allowing own personnel and vehicles to be automatically identified.
  • Creating an advanced multilayered rule engine in the simplest possible way to allow layers of unique user rules to minimize the risk of nuisance alarms and intelligently warn of any behavior deemed to endanger operations.
  • But above all, creating the simplest user-interface ever seen in a perimeter protection system.