31 May 2013 Real-time beyond the horizon vessel detection
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Abstract
The marine transportation system (MTS) is a vital component of the United States Economy. Waterborne cargo accounts for more than $742 billion of the nation’s economy and creates employment for 13 million citizens. A disruption in this system would have far reaching consequences to the security of the country. The US National High Frequency radar network, which comprises 130 radar stations around the country, became operational in May 2009. It provides hourly measurements of surface currents to the US Coast Guard for search and rescue (SAR). This system has the capability of being a dual use system providing information for environmental monitoring as well as vessel position information for maritime security. Real time vessel detection has been implemented at two of the radar stations outside New York Harbor. Several experiments were conducted to see the amount vessel traffic that the radar could capture. The radars were able to detect a majority of the vessels that are reporting via the Automatic Identification System (AIS) as well as 30 percent of mid to large size vessels that are not reporting via AIS. The radars were able to detect vessels out to 60 km from the coast. The addition of a vessel detection capability to the National HF radar network will provide valuable information to maritime security sector. This dual use capability will fill a gap in the current surveillance of US coastal waters. It will also provide longer-range situational awareness necessary to detect and track smaller size vessels in the large vessel clutter.
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Hugh J. Roarty, Michael Smith, Scott M. Glenn, Donald E. Barrick, "Real-time beyond the horizon vessel detection", Proc. SPIE 8714, Radar Sensor Technology XVII, 87140Z (31 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2015871; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2015871
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