Accurate detection and counting of people in airports is crucial to implementing integrated solutions for airport building security, safety and management. IEE works together with industry integrators and OEMs to develop plug-and-play applications for access control, tailgate prevention, people counting and occupancy monitoring based on a new-generation sensing system, the 3D MLI Sensor™.

Tailgate detector for airport access and security

IEE has developed a 3D sensor using modulated light intensity (MLI) technology. MLI technology is based on the optical time of flight (TOF) principle. A non-scanning light source emits modulated near-infrared light. The phase shift between the light emitted by the source and the light reflected by the persons and objects in the field of view is measured to create a real-time topographic image of the monitored area. By means of time of flight measurement and sophisticated embedded algorithms, the overhead-located 3D MLI Sensor measures and processes topographic 3D data, in order to detect the number of people in a specific area. The sensor accurately recognises scenarios such as tailgating, piggybacking, credential pass back, u-turn and crossing (bi-directional traffic).

The advantages of the tailgate detector include:

  • Seamless integration: the tailgate detector works with security systems by intercepting the signal emitted from the ID reader and determines the status of the access point (i.e. opened / closed door). The sensor then establishes whether or not a single individual is attempting entry, and in the event of dual or unauthorised entry, provides the necessary output by locking the door or triggering an alarm, thereby adding a security layer to the existing access control system
  • High accuracy: extensive test scenarios and sophisticated algorithms ensure reliable detection of people and objects in the detection area. Such test scenarios consist of persons carrying or wheeling luggage, wearing hats or walking closely together
  • Reliable in changing light conditions: since the sensor emits its own illumination, the detection area can be lit normally, or be pitch black without influencing its measurement

Tailgate detection at doors and turnstiles

TDflex™ detects tailgating by monitoring access at single-door access points such as swinging doors, turnstiles or even virtual doors.

IEE offers an advanced people counter suitable for airport terminals.
The people counter offers accurate detection and monitoring of airport passenger traffic.
The people counter’s in-ceiling design housing.
The people counter’s on-ceiling design housing.
The people counter’s under-ceiling design housing.
IEE’s 3D MLI Sensor™ offers innovative people sensing applications such as the tailgate detector and the people counter.
The people counter counts people and detects their direction of movement with a level of accuracy greater than 99%, even in high-traffic locations.

Depending on the desired security and throughput level, TDflex™ detects tailgating and piggybacking scenarios, provides accurate people count statistics and prevents access by locking the door and / or triggering a warning signal. TDflex™ is like a virtual mantrap or airlock providing a high security level without having to install costly two-door access points.

Tailgate prevention at two-door transfer gates, mantraps and airlocks

TDtrap™ prevents tailgating by allowing individual access to mantraps, airlocks and transfer gates. Each time a person passes the entrance or exit, the sensor determines whether or not the detection area is occupied by one person, more than one person or luggage left behind. This information allows TDtrap™ to appropriately control the entry and exit and trigger an alarm when necessary.

People counter for enhanced safety, security and building automation, and improved marketing intelligence

Being able to accurately track and record the precise number of people present in a building or moving through high-traffic areas at any given time is an invaluable asset, not only for safety and security professionals, but also for marketing intelligence gathering initiatives, building automation and to allow organisations to optimise their staffing and energy levels.

Delivering real-time data, the people counter offers:

  • Occupancy monitoring to control maximum or minimum occupancy, support evacuation measures and trigger demand-controlled ventilation (DCV)
  • Wrong-way detection and bi-directional counting
  • Wait time determination and queue management
  • Flow monitoring

Optional computer software has the capacity to provide historical data analysis, data aggregation and time plotting – allowing organisations to perform precise calculations, such as the average time an individual spends inside a particular zone.

Occupancy Monitoring

Airports are often subject to maximum occupancy regulations. Suspended above each entrance and exit, the people counter performs a bi-directional count of each person entering and exiting a single room, a particular floor or an entire building, and triggers a warning signal when a predefined threshold has been reached or exceeded. An optional occupancy monitoring software allows the data management of up to 30 groups of 30 sensors, for both real-time and post-count analysis.

Similarly, for areas requiring a minimum occupancy, such as laboratories or surveillance and control rooms, the people counter monitors the occupancy level and issues an alert when needed.

Occupancy monitoring with the people counter accurately calculates the number of people present in a room, floor or building at any given time. It also provides useful information to safety staff in case of an emergency evacuation.

Marketing intelligence gathering for retail environments

A key indicator of a store’s performance is its conversion rate or the percentage of visitors that actually make a purchase. Marketing metrics such as CPM (cost per thousand) and SSF (shoppers per square foot) can only be generated if accurate statistics on visitor numbers are available. By tracking visitor traffic and density, the people counter helps store managers analyse sales data to better plan staffing levels.

Easy installation and integration

Typically installed above entrance doors or turnstiles, the people counter’s optimised design housing allows easy and aesthetic integration into existing architecture. The design housing is available for in, on and under-ceiling mounting, providing flexibility for all kinds of ceiling structures.

After the installer has configured basic settings, such as detection area and mounting height, the sensor calibrates itself within a few seconds. During this calibration, the sensor surveys the detection area and captures the presence of any fixed objects (for example furniture) and walls.

About IEE

IEE provides people and object sensing solutions that enhance building safety, building security and building management. The company’s tailgate detector, people counter and volumetric object surveillor are implemented in commercial, public and government infrastructure such as airports, banks, military and police buildings, museums, office towers and malls.

Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Luxembourg, the company has operations in Europe, the US and Asia. IEE employs 4,100 people worldwide For more information, please visit