Surveillance technology in the maritime environment



Stuart Flynn, Vice President Business Development, Securewest International


Eyes are needed everywhere, and in an age where security threats have become more prevalent, surveillance systems can offer a reduced strain on manning at a time when regulatory compliance and general security can place an increased burden on personnel.

CCTV is now being used increasingly in the maritime domain. Modern CCTV offers long-range detection and thermal imaging in both sub-sea and extreme conditions. Software Analytics is one of the newer applications to enhance CCTV capability, especially in active detection and quality of resolution through extreme weather conditions and light sources. The application is capable of processing massive amounts of digitized data captured by video cameras and interpreting that information for the user via a predetermined set of rules.

More recently, R&D has focused on commercial systems integrating video intelligence with secur ity cameras. The traditional CCTV centred on an independent network, but with the standardisation of IP technologies, these networks have merged into the IT framework as converged systems. High-end CCTV imagery can now be deciphered through an intelligent analytics application capable of event detection, and alarm reporting with the additional benefit of minimising the human oversight risk.

As an experienced maritime security provider, Securewest International is convinced that the decision to implement any particular surveillance solution must be based upon a detailed evaluation of the security needs of the operation in question. Only then can realistic parameters be established for threat identification and operational response allowing appropriate, cost effective solutions be designed.

Identification and evaluation of r isk will dictate the appropriateness of any equipment. While security equipment may be able to provide automated target recognition at 15 kilometres through a blizzard, it is important to establish whether there is really the need for identification at such distances or in such conditions.

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