The technological breakthrough for the naval supply market relies on the chance of managing a vessel in a completely autonomous way, without requiring the presence of personnel on board.
The development of naval automation technologies is gradually progressing towards this final goal, even if the “unmanned” management of ships and vessels still represents a future vision.
In this scenario, the challenge of the R&I project MARIN (2019 -2022) is to demonstrate the technological feasibility of an unmanned system for environmental monitoring, consisting of a naval platform, a surface acoustic sensor, a set of aerial drones and a terrestrial command and control station for the remote management.
RINA has joined MARIN with the aim of developing an innovative surveillance system, composed of an acoustic antenna integrated with thermal and video cameras, to be installed on UVSs (Unmanned Surface Vehicle) for remote-controlled monitoring and surveillance purposes. We have brought to MARIN our specific skills related to acoustic systems for detection and surveillance, gained in other R&D Project (e.g. AUDIS, Guardian).
The system is new in the field, as it uses passive sensors and, as a consequence, it is immune to any Electro-Magnetic Interference (e.g. jamming radio). This will push the market of “green” coastal and urban surveillance systems thus enabling the reduction of electromagnetic pollution, which is one of the main limits of traditional systems.
The system is remotely controlled and it is capable for a real-time, simultaneous detection of up to 4 acoustic targets in the field-of-view of the acoustic antenna and all the thermal targets in the field-of-view of the thermal camera.
A specifically developed software tool makes the detection, identification, and classification of a target easier (e.g. overlapping among visual, acoustic and thermal images; integration of Artificial Intelligence).
The integration of the thermal camera enables the use of the surveillance systems both in case of no-light or harsh (e.g. smog, fog, fire) conditions.
Main outcome of MARIN is an unmanned system to be used for monitoring and surveillance purposes and composed of a naval platform, an acoustic antenna integrated with a thermal camera, aerial drones, and a control station for remote management. The MARIN unmanned system can be used for several scenarios such as: coastal patrol, search and rescue (SAR), drones detection and tracking.
The increasing request for ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) services, water-quality monitoring, maritime security against threats (e.g. piracy and terrorism), ocean data and mapping, will definitively boost the market of UVS which are one of the technological breakthroughs for what concerns the market of naval solutions.
1. Seastema S.p.A 2. RINA Consulting S.p.A. 3. Co.M.Media S.r.l.
The MARIN surveillance system is developed in the framework of a Programme contract funded by Apulian Region (code KATGSO3 – CUP B88I19000250007).