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Canada's Larus Technologies provides data fusion and analysis for North Atlantic situational awareness project

OTTAWA, ON, 25 November 2014 – Under a Technology Validation contract with LOOKNorth, Larus Technologies of Ottawa, Ontario is participating in a project to enhance maritime situational awareness through improved surveillance of vessel traffic in the North Atlantic. The project, conducted in the Greenland, Iceland and the United Kingdom (GIUK) Gap, is demonstrating the value of combining satellite-based Automatic Identification System (AIS) and satellite-based radar surveillance of an extended sea area with intelligent traffic analysis.

The project involves a complementary partnership of end users and technology providers. The Irish Coast Guard (ICG), as end user, has a strong interest in knowledge of maritime traffic west of Ireland, as well as in detection and tracking of non-reporting/non-compliant vessels. The Irish National Space Centre (INSC) is providing correlation capabilities and synthesis of a maritime common operating picture to ICG. exactEarth is providing satellite-received AIS data to INSC, while KSAT is providing satellite radar surveillance imagery to be integrated at INSC.  Larus Technologies is providing its Total::Insight™ Decision Support System (DSS) to intelligently assess regional maritime traffic by gathering and analyzing AIS, radar and other data to automatically detect anomalous ship behavior as it occurs.

The project focuses on mission-critical risk-aware Search-and-Rescue (SAR) operational situations. The system will be evaluated on reduction in SAR response time, improvements in response operation, reduction in SAR costs and, most importantly, lives saved.

The results of the project are easily transferable to the Canadian North.  Total::Insight provides extensive maritime surveillance capability, including intelligent vessel traffic analysis, and can provide improved maritime situational awareness for missions in the areas of Safety (e.g., search and rescue), Security (e.g., detecting and monitoring illicit activities) and Defence.  “Total::Insight builds upon existing maritime surveillance programs such as I-STOP, Polar Epsilon and Clean Sea Net (EMSA) to provide enhanced knowledge to support both private and public sector users,” said Dr. Rami Abielmona, Vice President of Research and Engineering at Larus Technologies.  “Larus envisions that the project results can be extended to the Canadian maritime domain, in particular in the north, by providing additional capabilities such as persistent surveillance and intelligence report generation.” 

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The GIUK Gap has been selected for this demonstration because of its proximity to the entry and exit routes to the increasingly-used North West Passage and Northern Sea Route. The project will result in proven enhancements in situational awareness, including: the ability to identify changes and anomalous activity during maritime reconnaissance, better vessel anomaly detection and identification, and a better maritime picture over large territorial areas (domestic and international coastlines, northern maritime passages, and high-value ports and assets). Thus this project increases efficiency, chiefly by reducing human operator overload and stress caused by an overwhelming amount of raw data and transforming the role of operator into that of an alert investigator who can give decision makers the right information, at the right time, to make the right decisions.

"This is not only a great project that will enhance situational awareness capabilities for the North Atlantic and Arctic shipping routes,” says LOOKNorth Executive Director Bill Jefferies, “it also showcases Canadian monitoring technology in the European market.”