How Technology is Keeping Search and Rescue Secure

June 6, 2019

The Irish Coast Guard, the Portuguese Navy and the National Maritime Safety Authority of Papua New Guinea are just three organisations relying on Critical Software's Oversee to keep search and rescue missions safe. Discover how we put the 'security' in maritime security.

four boats on the ocean

The National Maritime Safety Authority of Papua New Guinea has recently started a project to use Oversee, an award-winning information system designed to support maritime organisations. The goal is to use the technology to provide quicker and more accurate responses and save resources in three main areas: search and rescue, law enforcement and environmental protection. But how exactly can systems like Oversee make a difference?

By Integrating with Multiple Data Sources

From Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) distress alerts, weather information, Automatic Identification System (AIS) traffic information, resource position and status, as well as vessels and contacts databases and even emergency telephone calls. All of these are crucial information that should be received, processed in real time and seamlessly integrated within a management system like Oversee.

To give you two examples:

- The Irish Coast Guard now uses Oversee to integrate maps using satellite images and nautical charts, allowing them to add new sources of cartographic information.

- The Portuguese Navy uses Oversee to integrate with the radars of the “Costa Segura” system, allowing it to visualise and control Portuguese National Maritime Authority (AMN) radars and receive information from the tracking radars. The system can then correlate all the information from different sources like AIS, MONICAP and more.

By Providing Better Visualisations

Integrating so many different sources makes visualisation tools a key part of the system. Easy-to-read dashboards are able to provide a way to understand the current status at a glance. An example of these capabilities would be to provide easier ways of identifying the closest available resources with the appropriate capabilities to respond to any emergency.

With Reporting Capabilities

It isn’t enough to work on answering emergency calls – it is equally important to work on prevention. Reporting and alarm features are essential. Statistical reports help managers identify risk factors and behavior, to develop preventive strategies. Visualisation tools are really useful, as managers can use interactive dashboards to explore data and perform statistical analysis - as well as track performance against KPIs to identify areas that need improvement.

By Going Mobile

Mobile applications of this kind of system are especially useful for patrol vessels and inspection teams, integrated with vessel databases and historic records of inspections and incidents. All the information like ships owners, operators, masters, and other onboard personnel should be retrieved and easy to record, both online and offline.

With Machine-Learning Techniques

The success of maritime systems depends largely on techniques like machine learning. To give you an example, the deploy of Oversee for the National Maritime Safety Authority of Papua New Guinea includes a state-of-the-art model to calculate drifts, both for human and material rescues and pollutants. The drift model integrates with a search patterns module. These two components work together as the search patterns module uses drift calculations data to determine search areas and the best way to conduct search operations.

Technology Can Be a Powerful Ally

The Irish Coast Guard, the Portuguese Navy and the National Maritime Safety Authority of Papua New Guinea are just three examples of organisations using Oversee to improve efficiency in keeping coastlines secure. This system provides situational awareness through data fusion, risk anticipation, machine-learning techniques and an easy-to-use interface.

You can learn more about how Oversee is used by the Irish Coast Guard and its surprising results by downloading our free case study.