Watch buildings by satellite, companies told

Large organizations in the U.K. are being offered a new service that could be the ultimate in physical security -- building surveillance via satellite.

The service is the work of two companies, Scyron and Datasat, which have spied a need among large multinationals and government agencies to secure remote buildings and assets remotely. Scyron supplies the software analysis element, which can assess threat using satellite imagery, while Datasat has access to a satellite network to supply input for the application.

Scyron -- which invested in its partner Datasat in July -- uses the example of a shipping company watching over its fleet in any part of the world. If suspicious incidents are recorded, the system can adjust bandwidth to ensure the efficient transfer of images back to its monitoring HQ. It can also be tied into biometric and audio security systems as an extra layer.

Such a service doesn't come cheap, but then again neither does any remote security analysis. The company claims its approach will still save time and money when compared to manual incident analysis.

In addition to maritime and transport, other industries that might be interested include border controls, utilities, and even the military, though the latter might be expected to have their own systems in place for such security.

"The system gives a solution to the headache of permanently manned controls at numerous locations across the world. It is more targeted as it only alerts to suspicious activity but also in conjunction with satellite -- it reaches the parts which others just cannot reach," said Phil Emmel, Datasat's managing director.

What the company describes as an 'entry-level' system would set an organization back about £35,000 (US$70,000), but an accurate cost would depend on the number and type of sites being secured, the company said. The service was demonstrated at the Alarmes, Protection Securite Expo, held this week in Paris.

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