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May 30, 2024 11:13:49 AM2 min read

The need for innovative solutions in maritime security


While AIS and Radar systems provide a baseline for maritime surveillance, they leave significant gaps that can be exploited by those engaging in illicit activities. These gaps can be categorized into three main areas: detection, identification, and tracking.


Detection: Both AIS and Radar have limitations in detecting small, non-metallic vessels or those employing stealth technologies designed to evade detection. These types of vessels are often used in smuggling operations, illegal fishing, and by traffickers. The inability to detect these threats at a distance allows them to approach coastlines or enter protected areas undetected.

Identification: AIS relies on transponders aboard vessels to transmit their identity and status. However, vessels engaged in illicit activities can easily tamper with or disable their AIS transponders, rendering them invisible to this surveillance. Radar can track the presence of vessels but cannot provide detailed information about the vessel’s identity, cargo, or activities, making it difficult to assess the threat or legality of operations.

Tracking: While Radar is effective for real-time tracking, its range and accuracy can be affected by environmental conditions and the radar horizon. AIS data, although useful for tracking vessel movements over longer distances, can be incomplete or falsified. These systems also struggle to provide continuous tracking of vessels that navigate through archipelagic or heavily trafficked areas, where vessels can blend in with legitimate traffic or use terrain to mask movements.


The gaps left by current technologies underscore the urgent need for innovative solutions in maritime security. These solutions must be capable of overcoming the limitations of AIS and Radar, providing comprehensive coverage, accurate detection, and actionable intelligence.


Comprehensive coverage: An effective maritime security solution must offer wide-area surveillance capabilities that extend beyond the radar horizon and are not limited by environmental conditions. This includes the ability to monitor vast, remote areas of the maritime domain and detect vessels regardless of their size, composition, or attempts to evade detection.

Accurate detection and classification: Beyond mere detection, there is a critical need for technologies that can accurately classify vessels. This involves analyzing behavior patterns, distinguishing between lawful and suspicious activities, and providing visual confirmation of a vessel’s status.

Real-time tracking and response: The ability to track vessels in real time, with minimal gaps or delays, allows for quicker response times to potential threats. An innovative solution should enable continuous monitoring and tracking of vessels across different maritime zones, facilitating prompt intervention by law enforcement or security agencies.


The integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning with advanced imaging and sensor technologies offers a promising path forward. These technologies can analyze vast amounts of data from diverse sources, detect patterns indicative of illicit activities, and provide decision-makers with the insights needed to respond effectively.


SEAGULL Surveillance embodies this new wave of innovation. By harnessing the power of AI to analyze video streams in real time, it addresses critical gaps in detection and classification that AIS and Radar systems cannot fill. SEAGULL offers a more nuanced and comprehensive approach to maritime security, enabling authorities to safeguard maritime interests more effectively against the complex landscape of global threats.

>> continue reading: this blog is just an excerpt from our eBook 'Never blink an eye, enhanced maritime security.'

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