Advanced Research Workshop 2005
Data Fusion Technologies for Harbour Protection
Tallinn, Estonia (June 27 - July 1)

Background > NATO ARW

     The protection of Harbours has always been very important throughout the history of human civilization. With time this task became more and more difficult due to increasing cargo and passenger traffic and increasing sophistication, speed and types of marine vessels. The Volume II of the Defense Science Board (DSB) 2003 Summer Study on DoD Roles and Missions in Homeland Security issued in May 2004 gives a good understanding of the volume of this traffic with the following statements: "The U.S. domestic Marine Transportation System (MTS) includes 361 sea and river ports, approximately 5,000 cargo and passenger terminals, and more than 1,000 harbour channels. The MTS is responsible for approximately 97% of all U.S. overseas trade. In 2001, approximately 5,400 commercial ships made more than 60,000 U.S. port calls." This study also states "...a major terrorist incident in a U.S. port would cost the U.S. economy on the order of a trillion dollars."

Naturally there is an increasing requirement for technology to monitor, and at all times to be fully cognisant of any entity approaching on the sea surface, underwater, in the air, and from the landward side of the harbour, establish situation awareness, predict how the situation will evolve in time as well as select an appropriate action to deal with threats.

Until recently (less than 10-20 years ago) this meant the development of sensors of increasing sophistication with humans analyzing the information to establish situation awareness. To cope with the current influx of information and the increased sophistication of potential threats, humans require decision support technologies such as Data/Information Fusion.

The Data/Information Fusion (DF) technology provides methods and techniques to:

Until now there have been very few scientific international events where the DF methods for Harbour security have been addressed. In 2004-2005 the events addressing harbour security include:

However the technology discussions in these events focus mainly on sensor technologies, to a lesser extent on Level 1 DF and do not address high level DF decision support requirements or benefits.