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Coastal Sea Surveillance
Coastal Sea Surveillance may be split into 2 areas with different objectives:

  • Coastal traffic monitoring and guidance
  • Coast Guard Services

Coastal traffic monitoring and guidance
This is often an extension of VTS for one or several ports, and normally to monitor and guide the traffic with the aim to avoid accidents like collissions and grounding, participate in search and resue operations and monitor environmental hasards.

Coast Guard Services
The primary objecties of the Coast Guard are to take measures against:

  • Smuggling
  • Illegal immigrants
  • Piracy
  • Terrorist acts
  • Pollution
  • Illegal fishing
  • Hostage taking, and
  • Other illegal activities

Secondary objectives:

  • Maritime Search & Rescue (SAR)

Although the difference in objectives are extensive, the requirement for information is basically the same, except that the Coast Guard must analyze the traffic in order to detect illegal and harmful operations.

Anyhow, since the Coastal Traffic Monitoring and guidance is much the same as for Port VTS, we will here focuse on Coast Guard requirements, and ask the user of coastal sea surveillance for traffic monitoring and guidance to study our Port VTS solution, and then see what extensions to Port VTS we are offering here might be of interest.

Note that the following is not a technical description of the solution. It is an indication of the most common sensors and services together with application software and servers VisSim can offer for Coastal Sea Surveillance.

Coastal Sea Surveillance Solutions
A Coastal Sea Surveillance system will normally consist of a range of sensor sites, and also oftest several control centres. The following configuration drawing is only giving an overview of what may be included.

A configuration may consist of one radar with Extractor & Tracker and one Operator Traffic Display; no servers or any other sensor shown in the drawing. But it may also be extended to - for all practical purposes - any number of radars and other sensors and Operator Workstations, all distributed, but integrated in one or more TCP/IP networks.


Sensor Sites
A sensor site may consist of any combination of the above shown sensors. It may further be extended by VisSim’s RTS3000 Transponder, VHF/DF, UHF, MF/HF, VisSim’s AtoN3000 Aids to Navigation Transponder and other sensors and applications as required.

VTS Operator Console
A VTS Operator Console is based on a Traffic Display with S57 chart as a minimum, and may be extended by CCTV displays, VHF Communication, Met & Hyd, Oil Spill Display, Wave height display and other as necessary. Note that many applications may also be based on pop-up menus in a Traffic Display instead of own display, which may be a good solution because the operator does not need to move focus away from the traffic situation to a separate display.

For larger installations, covering a wide area it may ease the operation using a large screen display like the following:


VTMS Server
The VTMS server is the systems "brain". It can be installed in master/slave configuration for redundancy and may also have RAID hardisk as a further redundancy.


System Components
VTMS3000 - Vessel Traffic Managment System
VisSim’s Coastal Sea Surveillance is based on an upgraded version of VisSim VTMS3000. The heart of the system is basically the same, but it is adapted to special Sea Surveillance operational requirement. But, there is one significant difference: the radar Extractor & Tracker. This tracker, ETS3000, is one of the the masterpieces in VisSim’s library of applications.

Radars
The primary sensor for target detection and tracking is the radar with VisSim ETS3000 Extractor & Tracker. Coastal Sea Surveillance is based on information about all vessel traffic, especially very small crafts intruding the area at often high speed. It may be tempting to select radars at the higher end, and anybody who have been working with a 27’ parabola radar antenna may have difficulties accepting other antennas for coastal surveillance, but to get real advantage of the high gain you will need a pretty high antenna location asl. So, the requirements should be carefully defined before radar is selected. Often a 12’ SWG antenna can do the job when ETS3000 is processing its output. Note that the radar may have a single transceiver mounted socalled downmast or upmast. It may also have dual transceivers mounted downmast.

ETS3000 - Radar Extractor & Tracker
The radar is providing reflected radar video, or echos to the extractor & tracking system, which is processing these data for target detection and tracking. ETS3000 Extractor & Tracker has been refined based on more than 10 years of operational experience from UK MOD firing ranges, where detection of smaller targets like wind surfers, canoes and small pleasure crafts must be detected before firing out at sea can take place.

Meteorology
The installation may use one or more sensors as shown depending on the requirement.

AIS
AIS is used to identify targets. This eases the operation as the CSS operator normally can check an identified target out of the potential harmful group of targets. AIS target data are integrated with radar data by the Multi-Sensor Tracker.

VHF3000
VHF is an essential tool for Surveillance Operations. It is used to communicate with own patrol vessels as well as communicate with vessels in order to identify them and mark them as “harmless”. It is also essential in search and rescue operations. Note the option of integrating the system in the public telephone system. In this way we can connect a vessel using VHF to a public telephone subscriber.

CCTV3000
A long range CCTV camera helps in identifying targets like radar echoes from floating debries and also smaller crafts without AIS. Note that we may integrate different types of cameras like IR camera, thermal camera and active laser camera.

VHF/DF - Radio Direction Finder
Radio direction finders are still used in identfication of targets communicating on VHF, but as AIS Transponders are rapidly spreading, VHF/DF is becoming less important.

Oil Spill Detection
Oil spill in coastal waters are often harmful to the environment by polluting beaches, killing sea birds and also ruining fishing grounds and environment for other sea creatures. VisSim has developed an automatic oil spill detector based on the same radars as are used for target detection and tracking. In this way a possible oil spill from a tanker cleaning its tanks will be detected and the polluter tracked and identified.

The earlier a spill can be detected the better the chances for limiting a possible environmental damage.

Wave Height Detection
Information about sea state is important for assessment of traffic conditions, and also conditions for detection of smaller targets.

ETS3000 is using input from the wave height detection system for radar video threshold calculations. It is a good tool for VisSim’s Wave Height Detection Module is using data from the same radar as the radar detecton & tracking system to estimate wave height, length and direction.

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