With water covering about 70% of the planet, maritime domain awareness is one of the most important activities undertaken by national and international agencies. Traditionally, maritime security agencies relied on surveillance aircraft, ships following patrol patterns and coastal radar to search for suspicious vessels and activities. Oflate a myriad of additional data is available, creating additional big data challenges. Maritime environment is vast and complex, and with the massive amount of legal maritime traffic finding a threat is very difficult.
To help address these challenges, MDA has developed MDA BlueHawk, a multi-sensor, unclassified maritime domain awareness and threat detection solution that provides navies, coast guards, customs, law enforcement, and fisheries with immediate access to broad-area maritime surveillance across their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and global areas of interest. Fusing space-based radar, automatic identification system (AIS)data, vessel registries, and other maritime information, MDA BlueHawk delivers the information and tools to help customers detect potential threats. It provides for the detection of non-reporting ‘dark’ vessels, validation of reporting vessels, and identification of oil slicks, weather, and other events. It provides ocean and coastal coverage through the fusion of data from multi-sensor, space-based satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR), satellite and terrestrial AIS, vessel registry data and other contextual data.
Benefits: It offers national and international maritime agencies an efficient, cost-effective way to improve overall maritime domain awareness. It better utilises existing assets with queued dispatch, leverages all-weather broad-area maritime surveillance, identifies potential threats close or far from the shore and allows one to share information with other team members, agencies, or governments.
It can be delivered as an online hosted solution, a customer-managed implementation or a data feed into an existing end-user system. Through MDA BlueHawkOnline, MDA is supporting a national Navy with their maritime domain awareness activities. In one case, the Area of Interest for the programme was initially confined to an area of 1 million km2 over the Pacific Ocean, and then was expanded to cover the country’s entire EEZ. The customer is exploring a second phase of the programme, and is looking to develop a business case to acquire a maritime-optimised RADARSAT-2 ground station to improve the timeliness of their response.
- Unclassified maritime domain awareness Web portal.
- Detection of non-reporting ‘dark’ vessels, including observed vessel size and heading.
- Identification of self-reporting vessels with verification by satellite radar.
- Coastal and open water coverage (coastal and satellite sensors).
- Automatically generated alerts based on suspicious behaviour.
- Historical and predicted vessel tracks.
- Vessel registry data (e.g. IHS Fairplay).
- Oil slick detection.
- Maritime weather information.
- Available as an online service, system, or direct datafeed into customer systems.