You are on page 1of 4

2010 International Conference on Intelligent Systems, Modelling and Simulation

Electric Field and Ultrasonic Sensor Based Security System

Rohit Sharma, Karandeep Singh Dhingra, Nikhil Pandey, Rahul Garg, Rohit Singhal
Department Of Electronics and Communication Engineering Jaypee University of Information and Technology, Solan, Himachal Pradesh-173215, INDIA Email:

Abstract- This paper proposes an inexpensive solution towards the safe-keeping of the precious artifacts in museums, art galleries and private collections by employing an innovative non-contact based sensing mechanism clubbed with some of the previously used, well tested and efficient sensor-networks based on physical parameters. Such security standards are met by covertly deploying a low level electric field, with intent to perceive any intrusion by the trespasser for a visual or audio alert. Further, it explains how this system incorporates with other sensing devices such as ultrasonic sensors and the control units like microcontrollers and processors to deliver a fail-safe security system. Keywords- Non-contact based sensing, Electric Field Sensing, Security System, Ultrasonic sensors, Microcontrollers. I.

array of tin plates which would be installed on to the desired surface, whereas the secondary detection is achieved using ultrasonic sensors [8-9]. The extent of the field from the surface as well as the sensitivity of the disturbance detection can be varied as per installation requirements. The system proposed being extremely flexible is provided with the virtue of being used in conjunction with other systems for the region where it is not possible to use electric field sensing. Analog signals though produced by change in the electric field are fed into a micro-processor. This in turn, controls CCTV sweeps and is also responsible for alarm activation as well as isolation of a particular grid. II. DESIGN CONCEPT.


Securing artifacts of incalculable worth has been an arduous task for public museums and galleries. These institutions cope with a conflicting dilemma of keeping objects safe, yet permitting millions of visitors to observe them; which leads to nothing else than an conundrum regarding the security of these valuables. Undoubtedly, art theft is among the highest rated crimes in the world as it deals with the worlds highly appraised possessions like paintings, jewelries and other valuables. A few systems, namely, Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) [1], laser fence [2], temperature, biometric [3-4], touch [5-6], pressure sensors act as the primary equipments with a worldwide usage. However, they have significant shortcomings in their practical implementation and use. The restricted angle for CCTV cameras invariably leaves some portions unexplored. Laser sweepers and trackers have a downside that they can be duped by the advanced glasses which help in locating the lasers. Other sensors like temperature, biometric, touch and pressure sensors are specifically employed for the places inaccessible to the masses with minimal human-system interaction, such as vault, and therefore may have limited applications for the proposed purpose. This paper proposes a novel idea which can be implemented to further augment existing security systems. Our primary detection is accomplished via non-contact based sensing of the disturbance in the electric field, which would be generated using the IC MC33794 [7] aided by an
978-0-7695-3973-7/10 $26.00 2010 IEEE DOI 10.1109/ISMS.2010.82 423

The basic working principle of the system proposed is based on generation and detection capabilities of the IC MC33794 and ultrasonic sensors. MC33794 generates a low-level electric field and uses feedback to detect the presence of objects resulting into a non-contact based mechanism. To implement the desired results we lay out a grid of plates producing electric field which is shown in the Figure1 (a). There are four control lines (A, B, C, and D) that represent the Binary Coded Decimal (BCD) representation of the sensing electrodes (E1 to E9), along with the selection of the Ref_A and Ref_B pins, among other selections as shown in Figure2. By toggling the A, B, C, and D selection lines, we are able to select the sensing electrodes whose electrical potential is to be detected. Only one electrode is selected at a time for processing, although the order of electrode selection and the amount of gain for that electrode is up to user. For continuous checking of the values returned by the electrodes we can program the microchip as per requirements. When a disturbance is detected the resultant is passed on to the microprocessor which, in turn directs our camera to the anticipated location, also the alarm would be activated and any other traps would come into motion. This raises a question of Triggering due to false conditions, So as to lessen the probability of false alarms we collaborate with the readings from other physical and biometric sensors. In the case of ultrasonic sensors, the principle of sensing revolves around the simple concept based on the use of

sound waves of ultrasonic frequency being thrown from walls. Transducers of ultrasonic sensors are placed in a composite array so as to cover region enclosed within walls as shown in Figure 3 (which happens to be a tentative representation of the applied arrangement and the number of sensors, may vary). Since they are not unidirectional, they emit from a point and spread as they go, hence, the placement of transducers is dependent upon the dimensions of the enclosure. Supposing the time taken for the sound wave to travel from transducer and reflect back is 'T0' seconds. In case of any obstruction in its path, the time taken by the wave to emit from the emitter and to be perceived is changed to 'T' seconds as shown in Figure 4.

Hence, by monitoring these transducer(s) by microcontroller(s), we can calculate any amount of time difference as the speed of sound, 330 ms-1 being negligibly small in comparison to operational rate of a micro-controller (0-16 MHz). In case of positive detection, alarm is triggered. This removes the possibility of any one going over the region covered by the electric field. Another positive aspect of using ultrasonic sensors is that it does not fall under the audible range which makes it safe to use for humans and also shields sensors from being detected by thief.



Figure 1. Visual Explanation of Electrode Current

-- Ultrasonic sensor.

Figure 3. Tentative representation of ultrasonic sensor array.

M C 3 3 7 9 4


Ultrasonic sensor

T0 T



Figure 2. Visual Explanation of Electrode Selection.

Figure 4. Visual representation of change in time in case of any obstruction






The concept of sensing is grounded upon the amount of current recorded by the IC across the plates. In the ZeroIntrusion state, the current recorded across the plates be I amperes and in case of any intrusion let it be IR, as explained in the Figure 1, so as, I = IR + IH (1) Whenever, any manner of interference is encountered by intrusion in the defined boundaries of the electric field. The disturbance creates a change in the feedback of current. The output of the MC33794 is the LEVEL or SIGNAL pin. The output at this pin is the output of the internal low-pass RC filter with capacitance set by the capacitance to the LPF pin filtered. The processed signal is presented at the LEVEL pin. Alternatively, we can look at the gained, but detected and unfiltered, output signal at the SIGNAL pin. In either case, the detected voltage it that sensed at one of the eight electrodes, which are selected for processing by setting the sense electrodes BCD value at the A, B, C, or D inputs. At this point, the users application may digitize the value or use it in real time to compare to a threshold and trigger the alarms only if the value meets the threshold criteria. The sensitivity and the threshold would be determined by the nature of the place to be protected. For example, if the place is opened to the public then at viewing hours use of CCTV would be necessitated, allowing for the system to be less sensitive. Whereas, in case of non-viewing hours when the artifacts are more liable to theft and highly secured places, the sensitivity of the sensors would be increased. The grounds to elect Electric Field as a surface primary sensor happens to be a well observed phenomenon that when any substance such as conductor, insulator or dielectric comes in contact the electric field, it causes a change in it which can be conveniently detected and appropriate actions can be taken. It also provides a contact less sensing mechanism. Whereas, the grounds to elect ultrasonic sensors as means of aerial primary detection are firstly, not being in audible range. Secondly, being invisible to all kinds of cameras (in contrary to Lasers and Infra red detectors).

The above referred system would be applied mainly to the roof section and the ventilation section of the museums and art galleries as these places are inevitably used by the intruders. At these places there is a very minimal amount of external electric field interference, thus any kind of disturbance would be easily sensed. Further they can also be inserted in the restricted places such as adjacent to the artifacts and other valuables. As soon as there is any intrusion, alarm will blow off indicating that there is an attempted trespassing or theft.


Calibrate Electrodes Cycle and activate Electrodes one at a time.

Calculate difference between calculated reading and calibrated readings.

Determine maximum reading and corresponding electrode.

Ultrasonic sensor

Max value > Threshold? No Yes

Send signals to Microcontroller for further Processing.

Trigger Alarm

Microcontroller is the main logical part of the device which processes the signals which are send to it once the sensing is done by the electrodes. The logic defined in the controller is responsible for the activation of all the alarms and other sensors. The calibrated data from both the ultrasonic and the electric field sensor is fed into the microcontroller. Figure 5, explains the working of the system through the use of a flow chart.

Figure 5. Flowchart for Control System.



After the working hours of the banks these sensors could be activated in order to keep a check if someone has encroached into the restricted premises or the vault.


VI. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE SCOPE. This paper happens to be one of the most innovative ideas with high feasibility and focuses on the application of electric field sensing and ultrasonic sensing to design a fail-safe security system. The future scope of this paper is beyond all the above elucidated applications, As the sensors can be used for sensing where any kind of check is anticipated. Advancement in the electric field sensing clubbed with ultra sonic sensor could lead us to entirely new horizons of non touch based keyboards as they could provide a complete 2-d coordinates of the element creating the disturbance. If we could make our device precise enough then we can use all the keys of the "qwerty" keyboard without even touching it. We can also use these types of locks where we want our codes to be entered as the persons will just have to move the fingers in the field thus helping us to keep the locks more secure. Another horizon in which these could find a variant application is the field of the zoology where these could be used as the presence and movement sensing device and thus we would be able to monitor the exact movements the animals in the restricted area.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT We are really thankful to Anupam Chahar and Nitish Paliwal for providing their precious time and advice in development of this paper.

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] Hybrid wired/wireless video surveillance system, United States Patent Application 20010037509. Laser security fence apparatus, United States Patent 6259365. Capacitive biometric sensor, United States Patent Application 20030103873. Biometric Lockset, United States Patent Application 20080061927. Sarun Sumriddetchkajorn and Ratthasart Amarit,Optical Touch Sensor Technology, The Annual Meeting of IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society 2005,LEOS 2005,22-28 Oct 2005, pp.824825,doi:10.1109/LEOS.2005.1548254. P.T. Krien and R.D. Meadows, The Electroquasitstatics of the Capacitive Touch Panel, IEEE Transaction on Industry Applications, volume 26, issue 3, pp. 529-534, 1990. Datasheet of MC33794: Proximity Sensor, Freescale Semiconductors Inc. Shinyoung Yi, Jiyoung Yi, and Hojung Cha Tracking Multiple Mobile Objects using IEEE 802.15.4 - based Ultrasonic Sensor Devices, Proceedings of the 2007 ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, pp. 1638-1639, 2007. Shinyoung Yi and Hojung Cha, An Active Tracking System using IEEE 802.15.4 - based Ultrasonic Sensor Devices, Lecture notes in Computer Science, volume 4097, pp.485-494, 2006.


[7] [8]