EMS – Real-time services for maritime security
EMS – Re­al-time ser­vices for mar­itime se­cu­ri­ty
Image 1/8, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

EMS – Real-time services for maritime security

Ex­pand­ing and im­prov­ing mar­itime sit­u­a­tion­al im­agery – the DLR sen­sor net­work for mar­itime se­cu­ri­ty.
MaRPAS – Maritime Remotely Piloted Aircraft System
MaRPAS – Mar­itime Re­mote­ly Pi­lot­ed Air­craft Sys­tem
Image 2/8, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

MaRPAS – Maritime Remotely Piloted Aircraft System

When it was time to land, the un­manned su­per­AR­TIS he­li­copter let its rope down to the deck of the ship us­ing the winch and fixed it­self there us­ing mag­nets. The he­li­copter was then pulled down to the point of at­tach­ment on the deck us­ing the au­to­mat­i­cal­ly op­er­at­ed winch.
Deck landing in poor weather conditions
Deck land­ing in poor weath­er con­di­tions
Image 3/8, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Deck landing in poor weather conditions

He­li­copter ap­proach to the deck of an F219 frigate in the AVES sim­u­la­tor. As part of the HEDELA project, DLR is de­vel­op­ing var­i­ous as­sis­tance sys­tems de­signed to help he­li­copter pi­lots land on the deck of a ship in poor weath­er con­di­tions.
AIS Plus – Automatic Identification System (Plus) in Hamburg
AIS Plus – Au­to­mat­ic Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Sys­tem (Plus)
Image 4/8, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

AIS Plus – Automatic Identification System (Plus)

Re­li­able po­si­tion re­port­ing for ships when there are high vol­umes of mar­itime traf­fic or in poor trans­mis­sion con­di­tions. The yel­low sig­nal lo­ca­tions show a high­er num­ber of AIS sig­nals from the DLR AIS Plus re­ceiv­er at the jet­ties in the Port of Ham­burg, com­pared with a con­ven­tion­al AIS re­ceiv­er.
PNT – Position, Navigation and Timing
PNT – Po­si­tion, Nav­i­ga­tion and Tim­ing
Image 5/8, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

PNT – Position, Navigation and Timing

Mon­i­tor­ing of mar­itime traf­fic in space and time – re­li­able pro­vi­sion of po­si­tion, nav­i­ga­tion and time in­for­ma­tion us­ing mul­ti-sen­sor tech­nol­o­gy.
Radarbild von Cuxhaven
Radar im­age of Cux­haven
Image 6/8, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Radar image of Cuxhaven

Ful­ly-po­lari­met­ric X-band radar im­age of Cux­haven. The im­age da­ta was ac­quired by the F-SAR air­borne radar sys­tem op­er­at­ed by the DLR Mi­crowaves and Radar In­sti­tute. The colours re­sult from the dif­fer­ent backscat­ter­ing prop­er­ties of the ob­jects in the dif­fer­ent po­lar­i­sa­tion modes of the radar sig­nals. Due to the low backscat­ter, the sea ap­pears pre­dom­i­nant­ly black. The coloured and slight­ly blurred ob­jects in the sea are ships and chan­nel buoys.
Rotterdam Waalhaven district
Rot­ter­dam Waal­haven dis­trict
Image 7/8, Credit: 2019 European Space Imaging / Digital Globe, a Maxar Company

Rotterdam Waalhaven district

The Ger­man Re­mote Sens­ing Da­ta Cen­ter (DFD) team at the Mar­itime Safe­ty and Se­cu­ri­ty Lab in Neustre­litz is re­search­ing meth­ods to de­tect and clas­si­fy ob­jects on the ba­sis of op­ti­cal re­mote sens­ing da­ta. The res­o­lu­tion of these da­ta is usu­al­ly in the range of 10 to 30 me­tres, but some­times al­so less than one me­tre. The im­age de­tail shows Rot­ter­dam’s Waal­haven dis­trict in an im­age ac­quired by the World­View-3 satel­lite with a res­o­lu­tion of 30 cen­time­tres on 8 Septem­ber 2014.
Greater security for shipping
Greater se­cu­ri­ty for ship­ping
Image 8/8, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Greater security for shipping

The AIS Plus ship sig­nalling sys­tem, which was de­vel­oped by DLR, of­fers re­li­able po­si­tion re­port­ing even when there are high vol­umes of mar­itime traf­fic or in poor trans­mis­sion con­di­tions. The sys­tem al­so com­ple­ments coastal surveil­lance.

Germany is both a shipping nation and a coastal state. Maritime security is therefore of paramount importance for the Federal Republic of Germany as an export-oriented country. New challenges, such as the growing demand for safe and effective shipping on the world's oceans and inland waterways, call for modern maritime safety systems and services. DLR is making an important contribution to increasing maritime security. In addition to government authorities and public institutions, the maritime industry also benefits from the innovative solutions of DLR security research.

The maritime space and its uses

For centuries, maritime space has had a great influence on the life, economy and prosperity of mankind. In the 21st century, much of the world's long-distance goods transport will continue to be carried by sea, and this will not change in the foreseeable future. This may happen a little faster than it did 100 years ago and for some goods, maritime transport may also be in competition with air transport. However, the increase in globalisation and population, and general economic growth have multiplied the number of shipping movements for the transport of goods compared to earlier times. The volume of traffic on the world's oceans and in coastal areas is also rising sharply: on the one hand due to increasing tourism, on the other hand due to the use of the oceans as a diverse source of resources and as an important location for offshore wind fields.

This is hardly noticed in everyday life. The result of this development is a dependence on maritime space, which is hardly recognisable to many people today, or, to be more precise, on the fact that worldwide shipping traffic and the handling of international cargo in the world's harbours take place smoothly and, above all, safely.

Global challenges of maritime security

Piracy is not the only phenomenon that requires attention. Rather, it is a matter of tackling the myriad problems of maritime security in an effective and synergistic way. The maritime system with its classic – in the future, automated or autonomous – ship traffic, offshore facilities of the oil, gas and wind energy industry, submarine cables and pipelines, and not the least ports, must therefore be seen as a network of often critical infrastructures. These pose many challenges to a safe working environment, safe transport routes, efficient and safe shipping and a marine environment that is as unpolluted as possible, both in terms of operational safety and security.

Many associations, organisations, and authorities are already rising up to these global tasks. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set itself the goal of making shipping safer and more efficient and the oceans cleaner. The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) and the EU initiative Copernicus have also taken up and promoted the issue.

National Measures and Instruments

On 1 April 2009, the German government adopted guidelines for the ‘Sea Development Plan’ as part of a comprehensive German maritime policy. Germany's maritime policy interests are bundled together here based on the known challenges and the resulting requirements of the Federal Government and the individual Federal state governments; priorities, measures and instruments for political action are also identified. The National Master Plan Maritime Technologies (NMMT) is a strategic instrument available under the priority ‘Strengthening Marine Science and Research; Promoting Technological Innovation’. DLR's Research Network for Maritime Security, in close cooperation with industry, would like to make a contribution to this implementation and support the 2025 Maritime Agenda of the Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy (BMWi). The Maritime Agenda 2025 defines key objectives, fields of action and proposals for coordinated measures that contribute to the sustainable use of the oceans and a high level of protection. Furthermore, the competitiveness of Germany as a technology, production and logistics location is to be strengthened in the medium and long term.

Synergies – Maritime security research at DLR

 Civil maritime security research at DLR is a cross-sectional field that encompasses various topics from the aeronautics, space and transport programmes with a direct link to maritime security issues. The primary objective of the research work conducted by DLR must be to develop solutions to reduce the tension between the increasing use and importance of maritime space, its maritime infrastructures and the resulting risks, dangers and threats. To achieve this goal, the Maritime Security Research Network attaches particular importance to innovative solutions in the following areas:

  • Ground and space communications and navigation
  • Airborne and space-based Earth observation of maritime space
  • Big Data analysis, data intelligence and knowledge acquisition
  • Further development of aerial systems for maritime use
  • Development and improvement of sensor technology for maritime issues, and
  • Security in maritime cyberspace
  • Dr. Stephan Brusch
    Co­or­di­na­tor Mar­itime Se­cu­ri­ty
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-4049
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Köln
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