The research activities of the System Integration and Verification Group focus on the integration, validation and testing of innovative sensor systems. To this end, the group provides test vehicles that operate either on land or under water. The group’s activities are divided into the following topic areas:
Monitoring of the entire area above and below the waterline is essential for the preparation of a fully-assessed maritime situation overview. The detection of serious threats, and the identification and/or classification of anomalies, as well as their assessment, requires the further development of underwater diagnostics methods. These mainly include hydro-acoustic sensor systems for surveying complex underwater scenarios. Where conventional systems comprising dedicated transmitter-receiver arrangements are employed, it is impossible to achieve comprehensive surveying of complex scenarios such as the monitoring of harbour entrances, observation of complex offshore foundations, underwater installations or, to take a further example, a damage/loss situation on a container ship compounded by ‘cargo overboard’ situations and the consequent hazard to rescue teams. The focus is on innovative application systems such as the testing, further development and use of novel camera systems with active laser illumination (range gated viewing). The data basis for underwater situation representation can be obtained and improved by placing such multi-sensor systems on autonomous underwater vehicles.
The large-scale monitoring of extensive harbour facilities and complicated infrastructures (such as oil platforms and windfarms) plays a major role in the above-water area. Imaging sensor systems with conventional optical cameras and residual-light amplifiers do not allow for the comprehensive monitoring of complex scenarios such as harbour facilities with a high density of traffic, or the observation of complex offshore platforms under adverse visibility conditions. Consequently, it is hardly possible to conduct monitoring under conditions of darkness, fog, snowfall and rainfall. The focus of research for such applications is on mobile and innovative application systems such as the testing, further development and use of novel camera systems with active laser illumination (range gated viewing) in combination with high-resolution (> 40Mpix) optical sensors and microbolometer detectors. The only way to achieve the data required for situation imaging representation and assessment in the area of sensitive maritime infrastructures is to combine and to overlap a variety of methods for multi-sensor systems on a mobile platform.