The Intaero approach to Maritime Surveillance is to integrate a system rather than procure individual platforms.
The integrated system is based around a Common Operating Picture and incorporates the following elements:
Depending on the Geography and the operational requirements we would work with up to 3 layers of surveillance sensors:
1 Strategic, persistent coverage provided by Aerostats carrying long range radars and long range cameras up to a height of 3,000ft giving an effective radar range of around 120Km using a radar such as a Selex Seaspray SS7300E.
2 Medium Range radars providing back up in all weathers with a range of around 40Km from an 80M high tower. If the installation is in the tropics, we would recommend the use of a combined X band and S Band radar such as the SBS-900-4 radar from Kelvin Hughes.
3 For shorter range tracking of small boats a doppler radar such as the Blighter, represents an excellent solution to monitor small vessels in and around critical areas such as ports and harbours.
Common Operating Picture
At the core of the Maritime Surveillance System is the Intaero Common Operating Picture. All tracks are brought to a central, server –based fusion engine that integrates all tracks from all radars into a single, Recognised Surface Picture (RSP). The software also integrates and correlates data such as AIS data and ensures that tracks retain their identity regardless of which radar has Reporting Responsibility. The RSP is imported into the COP software that also displays all air tracks, land tracks and fixed assets.
The COP is very easy to work with and can be made available on large, projected displays as well as individual personal computers. In addition to displaying tracks, the COP has advanced features to support operators by using computer assistance to evaluate radar returns exhibiting potentially threatening behavior. This can be set within the system to incorporate behavior such as:
- Exceeding a specific target speed
- Target position (for example approaching a restricted area)
- Target distance from a specified point, (for example a sensitive area)
- Target vector (for example, entering the radar coverage from the North East)
Track Extraction and Track Identification
Key elements to make the output from the radars useable operationally are track extraction and video management. Cambridge Pixel specialize in advanced tracking algorithms that are used for finding small vessels in waves and for target tracking in a region of dense maritime traffic. Their software also enables full control of the radars from a central command site, is well proven and has been interfaced to numerous radar systems,
A radar-generated track by itself is of limited value as it and selecting the right camera to complement the radar system is critical in order to identify the track. We work with Chess Dynamics who use a Selex cooled IR camera (either the Horizon or the Hawk, depending on the range required). With an easy to use, slew to cue capability, the track manager is able to quickly identify tracks and find the potential threats in the midst of a high maritime traffic environment
Proactive security requires that operational maritime resources are able to accurately intercept potential threats. The COP can easily be distributed to operational units in the field, such as Patrol Boats tasked with intercepting potential threats. By fitting fast RHIBS with MESH communications and a rugged tablet computer, a flexible, networked “Mother ship” / “Interceptor” force can easily be created with a number of RHIBS attached to each Patrol Boat. This is shown diagrammatically in the figure below.