Detecting anomalies is one of the primary goals of maritime awareness. Illicit activities can only be stopped if they’re observed and recognized.
Creating a system of rules and patterns to determine what qualifies as an anomaly is the key to noticing anomalies while there’s still time to act. Discovering a random stop, AIS blip, or deviation from a predicted travel path is useless if the ship in question is already gone.
Enforcement agencies need to see and understand what’s happening on the sea as it’s happening, and generating this kind of intelligence in real time is easier with technological solutions that use heatmaps, dashboards, and corridors.
The right maritime awareness tools for the job
Heatmaps display areas with a focus on ship motion, where more active regions appear “hotter.” These busy zones may deserve extra scrutiny, since illegal movement is easier to hide in a flurry of activity. A smart dashboard can then filter the results on the heatmap by ship type, status, and even potential to be categorized as an anomaly. Filtering is essential, as it helps operators focus on the most suspicious vessels by blending out all regular activities and their related data points.
Corridors are another method for organizing shipping information. Expected routes are classified as corridors, and any ship that appears in a location outside of a corridor is marked as questionable. That vessel can then be analyzed with heatmaps and other available data to determine the likelihood that it is performing dangerous or illegal undertakings.
Gathering and analyzing data is a key step in ensuring that waterways are kept safe. Stay tuned to this series of blog posts to learn more about how creating intelligence can lead to information dominance that enhances maritime awareness.