For the past 5 years, the port of Windsor has been ground zero for the development and implementation of a radar-based next generation, shared, cross-border, maritime domain awareness (MDA) system that aims to offer low-cost and enhanced safety, security and environmental protection related to local marine traffic. Located at the heart of the 3,700 km long, bi-national, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway Shipping System, the opportunity to partner with so many trade corridor stakeholders couldn’t be better.
Accipiter Radar (www.accipiterradar.com) is a North American company and global provider of high performance radar surveillance solutions. Accipiter’s Surveillance-to-Intelligence™ solutions detect, track and characterize both large, co-operative, AIS-carrying ships, as well as the smaller and far more numerous recreational and commercial vessels to which ports, ships, marine safety personnel and other stakeholders are essentially blind.
Using innovative technologies, Accipiter delivers the tactical and strategic decision support needed to assist port stakeholders in their respective work. The collaboration with and leadership shown by Port of Windsor has been admirable. As a regular MDA working group host, the Port has not only graciously shared its meeting facilities and its relationships to bring stakeholders together, but through the dedication and leadership of Harbourmaster Peter Berry has also provided essential understanding of on-the-water traffic situations, activities, awareness gaps, and operational know-how to facilitate MDA requirements definition and capabilities development that would be applicable to any shipping transportation/trade corridor.
The performance and affordability of this shared domain awareness technology has been clearly demonstrated over the past decade through the generous support of Defence Research Development Canada Centre for Security Sciences, Transport Canada, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and others. In the same way that users can securely access and operate an array of apps of their choice on their smart phones, without owning any radio infrastructure, Port stakeholders can access the MDA apps of their choice without having to own/operate the underlying radar infrastructure.
In the Port of Windsor in particular, extensive testing, operational use, and feedback has been provided by the Port’s Harbourmaster, shipping companies, Coast Guards, and safety and security personnel, using: (i) cross-border sharing of radars installed on Port of Windsor and Port of Detroit lands; and (ii) ship-based radar sharing through collaboration from Canada Steamship Lines, Key Lakes Inc./ Great Lakes Fleet and American Steamship Company. These efforts have provided the basis for a set of shared, bi-national, MDA-driven enhancements to safety, environmental protection, transportation operational efficiency and security. This next generation MDA is ready for rollout across the entire Great Lakes and Seaway, and the world.
Note: content for the above article was provided by Accipiter Radar Technologies Inc.