The rapid ongoing rise in the global surveillance and security market is beset by a number of problems: fragmented surveillance systems, lack of information-sharing on standards, agreements, policies or processes, the difficulty of detecting small vessels used for illegal purposes or in extreme weather conditions, uncoordinated and diverse sensor data, and the unpredictable and constantly changing behaviour of suspicious vessels. The challenge faced by RECONSURVE was to develop an open interoperable maritime surveillance framework that can enable existing systems to share information and so improve maritime security.
The project developed a complete maritime surveillance system with situational awareness, smart sensor data processing, the ability to use several platforms with a variety of sensor types and advanced algorithm-based capabilities for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and thermal cameras. Algorithms were developed for vessel recognition integrated in a ground station for small boat detection, vessel classification and behaviour analysis, including threat assessment.
Innovation is evident in the actual integration of multimodal sensors (including UAVs) for global maritime surveillance and situational awareness, and in the development of natural human-machine interfaces for managing complex command and control systems along with a complete smart system to support command & control centres.
The technical capabilities were demonstrated in two scenarios. First, at the Turkish Coast Guard Command facilities in Antalya, Turkey, vessels revealing suspicious behaviour were detected successfully by the situational awareness component of the RECONSURVE system. A second large live demonstration was performed in Brest, France, with the participation of the French Coastguard.
Aselsan has improved its current portfolio with new features and capabilities, situational awareness capability and a new smart decision support functionality based on image processing and behavioural analysis. The main exploitation of the situational awareness and vessel classification component is planned for 2018-2020 with the Turkish Coastguard and Turkish Navy.
Being its first maritime surveillance project, RECONSURVE directed SRDC to this new market and encouraged the company to develop its Plug-and-Play Sensor Interoperability Platform, and increase its product portfolio. Currently, SRDC is starting marketing activities for this product.
The automation of the identification and classification data chain, developed in the context of the RECONSURVE project, has now been implemented in the AIRBUS RPAS and light mission aircraft for maritime surveillance missions. According to customer requirements, the architecture of the ground station can be customised to integrate internal or external algorithms for ship detection and classification; cooperation with Evitech and GREYC could be reinforced during future projects.
Evitech has sold several licences of the auto-tracking algorithm for military site surveillance. Evitech is proposing to reuse and improve the RECONSURVE algorithms in a joint project with Airbus. Evitech has also established a longer term cooperation with GREYC and will start a new project with them in 2018.
The French naval academy (École Navale) has exploited research in the detection of suspicious behaviour and maritime situational awareness into a large more generic approach that also considers cyber-attacks that affect maritime operational surveillance.
After RECONSURVE, GMT is expanding products and solutions for the ship safety and security authorities by improving vessel navigation pattern analysis and collision risk analysis capabilities based on information gathered from the operating systems. In addition, the improved artificial intelligence algorithm has been applied to the SMART-Navigation system of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in Korea, to comprehensively analyse and monitor the maritime risk situation. Furthermore, GMT is supplying the RECONSURVE results to the Korea Coast Guard by providing a solution for managing automatic entry and departure of fishing vessels, responding to distress incidents, and the monitoring of illegal fishing.