One of the central tasks of the Institute for the Protection of Maritime Infrastructures is the creation of improved and innovative situational awareness systems to ensure the protection of critical maritime infrastructures and the development of the entailed technology. This applies not only to port facilities but also to other maritime infrastructures such as offshore wind farms, ships (container ships, passenger ships, etc.) and international maritime routes which are inherently essential for German exports.
Although DLR has thus far mainly developed satellite and airborne systems, the monitoring of maritime infrastructures in close range both above and below the waterline with high-resolution oblique vision systems is particularly important in the context of technology development. In addition, there is increasing demand, in this context, for automated and real-time assessment methods, such as the automated identification of relevant objects or system statuses.
This is where the project MARLIN (Maritime Awareness Realtime Instrumentation Network) is expected to provide innovative solutions. The aim of the project is the development and demonstrative operation of an innovative situational awareness system for monitoring maritime infrastructures. The focus here is on measuring, assessing and representing the protection status of maritime infrastructures in real-time. For this purpose, novel sensors and state-of-the-art data processing and analysis methods will be used to provide users with a compressed representation of complex information on the situation and with recommendations for action on different kinds of user terminals.
To achieve this goal, an overall system is being set up according to the innovative principles of System of System engineering. This is a system in which data from the widest range of innovative sensors and monitoring systems (including optical near field and remote survey systems, RADAR systems, AIS, etc.) can be generated and integrated. The data are then merged and analysed, and finally represented in a specific situation context. This situation picture is not restricted to a conventional situation display; rather, it can be presented on a range of different terminals. It should be possible to connect various instruments in a dynamic way in order to be able to respond as appropriate to the respective user, the respective issues and the available resources. Accordingly, this flexible, open system will be capable of jointly displaying data of different types and from a range of sources in a safety- and security-relevant situation overview. The determination of the situation picture should be as much automated as possible. In the interest of providing adequate protection from deliberate interference, cyber-security aspects will be duly taken into account at all system levels.
The real-time situation overview should provide the basis for a timely assessment that will enable recommendations for immediate action taking KPI-based parameters (KPI = Key Performance Indicators, critical key figures for describing system states) into account. Recommendations for action should also be made in compressed form, e.g. as short text messages, and should be transferable to a mobile display terminal so users are always able to keep up to date with changes in the situation.
The experimental system is to be trialled for demonstration purposes in two separate test campaigns, planned for 2020 and 2022. Potential end users will be included at the very outset of the project, during the preliminary phase of overall system design. Accordingly, it will be possible to incorporate users’ needs in terms of new methods and new technologies which will be incorporated into the project development.In addition to the MARLIN technology mission, associated research is being carried out on the ethical, legal and social aspects of the project.
Project duration: October 2018 – September 2022