Integrated Maritime Surveillance Platform

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Technology abstract

This integrated platform for maritime surveillance is based on the synergistic use of heterogeneous satellite technologies, it exploits and fuses: 1)data from satellite Earth Observation (EO) products (mostly Synthetic Aperture Radar images for ship detection), 2)info derived via satellite navigation systems (AIS, LRIT) and 3) data from terrestrial in-situ sensors collected via satellite communications platforms, in order to produce an Integrated Maritime Picture for a given area. 

Technology developed through extended R&D and can be offered as a ready to be deployed solution. The organization offering the technology has a strong record of deploying integrated it solutions.

- Paris Rallis -

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Technology Description

The platform jointly exploits several space-based technologies for efficient maritime surveillance:

  • Earth Observation (EO) SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) as well as optical images are exploited, applying state-of-the-art ship detection algorithms which exhibit significant accuracy in detecting vessels in open sea over a wide coverage area
  • For focused areas (coastlines, straits etc) an in order to achieve low response times, in-situ sensor data are also used. Coastal thermal and optical cameras are used to quickly detect small targets (e.g. speedboats) at distances relatively close to the shore. Object recognition mechanisms are employed to isolate the vessels in the captured image, while depth extraction/reverse projection techniques are used to calculate the vessel position.
  • Data from both satellite images and coastal sensors are correlated in real-time with ship identification and positioning reports (AIS/LRIT) produced by onboard satellite navigation/positioning mechanisms. These data are used to identify the legitimate vessels among the detected targets and to mark suspect/unknown vessels.
  • As an option, realtime information low-cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can also be integrated into the platform for examining specific targets at defined locations.

 
The information (detected vessels, their status and their route) are displayed to the end user via a user-friendly, web-based GUI using a GIS (Geographical Information System)-based front-end. This front-end can also be accessed via mobile devices (e.g. tablets) for on-board use by patrolling vessels.
The platform has been developed in a modular manner and can be thus adapted to match a wide variery of end users’ needs. The following use cases are indicatively identified:

  • Sea Border Surveillance
  • Harbour Surveillance
  • Fisheries Control
  • Maritime Safety
  • Protection of Critical Infrastructure (e.g. offshore oil platforms)

Innovations & Advantages

While satellite/EO-based maritime surveillance and sensor-based coastal monitoring are already offered in the market as separate solutions, our platform synergistically combines all the aforementioned technologies in order to offer a single integrated solution for maritime surveillance, suitable for both open-sea and coastal areas. It is thus adaptable and suitable for a wide variety of use cases, which is an unprecedented advantage over competitive solutions.
The platform can either be adapted to exploit existing, already installed coastal sensors, or can be offered as a complete turn-key solution accompanied by the sensor system and the communications network.

Further Information

The technologies and modules supporting the maritime surveillance platform have been developed in the context of related R&D projects, such as ESA STINGRAY, ESA MARISS and MARISS Scale-Up, FP7 DOLPHIN and the recently commenced JASON project, funded by the Greek Secretariat of Research and Technology.

Current and Potential Domains of Application

The offered integrated maritime surveillance platform can be applied in a wide variety of use cases such as:

  • Sea Border Surveillance
  • Harbour Surveillance
  • Fisheries Control
  • Maritime Safety
  • Protection of Critical Infrastructure (e.g. offshore oil platforms)