80% of world trade is handled through ports, so protecting them is vital because of the economic impact. They are one of the critical infrastructures on which, following the 9/11 2001 attacks, it was decided to take action, despite organized crime groups and their illegal activities adding to the purely terrorist threat.
After September 11th, the International Maritime Organization enacted regulations to prevent anti-social acts that affect the maritime and port sectors. In particular, the International Code for the Protection of Ships and Port Facilities (ISPS) was adopted as an annex to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS 1947), which came into force in 2004.
Ports can be affected by terrorist attacks, arms, drugs or ship trafficking, and the container itself is too opaque for international security. In addition, port infrastructures and even ships can be targeted by cyberattacks, e.g. B. GPS-based navigation systems or automatic ship identification (AIS).
In view of this situation, protection systems for civil and military ports have been developed that fully address this type of threat. For example, the Spanish Navantia has developed the Near Waters Surveillance System (SVAP) through its Systems division, which has already been implemented in the company’s shipyards in Ferrol, Cartagena and San Fernando in addition to the adjacent arsenals.
In 2017 the company received an order from the Ceuta Port Authority to implement the SVAP in Spain’s first civil port, including an unmanned surface vessel (UPS) Vendaval, built by Aister and equipped by Navantia, which has been in operation since the end of last year.
Your mission is to become a key element of security, both for ports and for the naval vessels that are exposed to threats from the sea there. It uses radar and electro-optic detection means to create a virtual boundary on which surveillance is focused.
The remote warning radar system and electro-optic elements automatically monitor possible warnings and identify potential targets that are managed from a control point. It adapts to the requirements of the customer by including various sensors, boats or unmanned aircraft, warning systems against the intrusion of divers or the monitoring of pollutant discharges and can analyze their origin.
Thales has developed a solution to protect ports from the threat of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which can be used to illegally obtain information or to commit acts of terrorism. The Horus Shield consists of several sensor stations with radar and electro-optical means to detect, monitor and inhibit various types of threats. The most important are micro-category UAVs up to 2 kg. Weight due to its wide commercial distribution.
The radar can detect and classify targets up to 4 km away, while the electro-optic gecko system identifies them at a distance of 2 km. and pursues them. High frequency devices can detect the operator up to 8 km. and prevent the signal from the UAVs for them to return to their place of origin or country. In addition, the system makes it possible to distinguish the UAVs that pose a threat from those that are increasingly used in the port infrastructures themselves.
Navantia pioneer in underwater surveillance and alerting for ports
Navantia, together with the Sociedad Annima de Electrnica Submarina (SAES), has launched the Ports 4.0 program, a project that offers its customers new functions in the underwater environment, thus expanding the functions of the UPS Vendaval in relation to the model it operates in the Spanish port from Ceuta. The proposed solution enables real-time monitoring of underwater noise and the estimation of the origin of the source and facilitates the assessment of compliance with environmental control regulations.
The solution also enables alerting of the presence of objects at risk for navigation and as a measure to control waste or spills by monitoring the bottom of canals, approaches and anchoring of port facilities. Also, send audible signals and warnings to the water so divers can enter the protected area. The Vendaval is the first unmanned surface vehicle to be marketed and used in real missions in Spain. Since 2019, the Ceuta Port Authority has been using the Navantia environmental monitoring and control system in the waters near the docks and docks of their facilities. El Vendaval is the latest innovation in this system which resulted in the first commissioning of a surface UPS in Spanish waters.
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