Target Detection & Identification

The task of detecting the unknown target is normally achieved by exception. With commercial vessels caring AIS and LRIT, the legitimate targets are easily detected and identified. Fishing vessels that are not using AIS will be operating around the normal fishing grounds which are well known and so fishing activity can be easily monitored where it is in the range of coastal sensors and identification can be achieved by integrating with a national VMS system. So the detection and identification of unknown targets is the starting point for the work of Coastal Surveillance operators and differs to VTS Operators in that VTS is principally interested in the safe navigation of known targets whereas Coastal Surveillance is focussed on the unknown target and abnormal behaviour. The detection and subsequent identification of unknown targets may require higher specification sensors than traditional VTS systems as the requirement to detect smaller and faster manoeuvring craft at greater ranges is likely to be part of the requirement. Many of these sensors are discussed in the System Solutions section of this website. Speed of response is a key factor in determining the requirement for sensor systems and where fast moving targets must be detected early, sensors with an appropriate detection capability are essential if, following detection, an interdiction plan is to be prepared and implemented in a timely manner.