Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

New system for vessel monitoring

An EU-funded project has offered a new monitoring solution combining active and passive sensors for the maritime and offshore industries, increasing safety and navigation for shipping operations.
New system for vessel monitoring
The APS-NET (Active & passive sensor network) project has unveiled a highly sophisticated system interfacing a range of sensors for monitoring movement on a vessel and reviewing the surrounding conditions.

The newly developed system combines three different sensor technologies. These include long-range radars for tracking objects over long distances, man overboard (MOB) radars for detecting people on board, and passive radars for detecting radio signals between smaller or larger vessels.

Attention was devoted to eliminating any frequency interference between the different sensors. Project partners also set up a measurement station in Norway to assess how the system responds in different weather and sea conditions. Radome surface finishing helps create a hydrophobic surface to repel water and ice films.

A test target running from somewhere close to the vessel up to the farthest point in the harbour area served to demonstrate the capability of the long-range radar to selectively detect small targets at medium to long ranges. Likewise, a dummy was used to demonstrate how the MOB radar detects targets on board.

Unlike the other two active technologies, the passive sensor system detects objects at greater distances using radio waves, without the target necessarily being in sight. This commercial solution can also monitor sea state and waves and detect sea ice. Conventional radars can hardly track small wooden boats approaching, but use of radio signals should make it easier for the new system to estimate the range of the approaching vessel and avoid collision.

APS-NET's high-resolution system combining active and passive sensors is unique, providing another pair of eyes to operators and allowing them to become more efficient with vessel management.

Related information


Vessel monitoring, sensors, APS-NET, long-range radars, radio signals
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