Information dominance is all about possessing intelligence — accurate intelligence, and a lot of it. Maritime awareness depends on achieving information dominance. The more information that enforcement agencies can collect and have accessible at their fingertips, the better equipped they are to act and protect the seas from those with nefarious purposes.
For gathering details about ships themselves, databases exist. These databases include company affiliations and port associations in the commercial sector; for military vessels, they hold data on characteristics such as weapons systems and nationality.
Incorporating Additional Data Sources
Data from other sources also play a role in true maritime awareness. Satellite data, for example, can be used to validate ships’ reported positions. Does the vessel’s AIS data match what can be seen on satellite imagery? If not, that’s suspicious, and possibly an indicator of location spoofing.
Weather data can also be helpful. Deviations from a projected course might be explained by weather events, and these justified anomalies are typically not a cause for concern. Robust technological solutions that create intelligence can help prevent false alarms in such cases, freeing up authorities to focus on more worrisome irregularities.
New Technologies Powered by Game-changing Capabilities
Deep learning is the latest method being pioneered for vessel detection purposes. Synthetic aperture radar run by trained networks searches for echoes from ships’ radar; electro-optical sensors with smart network backing can find the wave signatures created by moving ships or the ship itself, depending on the ground resolution of the image.
These new frontiers are exciting and highlight the possibilities that exist when machine intelligence is channeled into applications that explore its full potential. Stay tuned to this series of maritime awareness blog posts to learn more about how information dominance aids in developing AI counteractivities to combat illicit operations.