Fri, 23 October 2015
Radar is the primary means of detection for boats and ships when the visibility does not allow visual detection. However radar has its limitations in detecting small craft and other targets and cannot be guaranteed to detect everything on the water.
Alternative systems such as thermal imaging and low light cameras can be used to supplement the radar detection and now these alternative systems have been combined in a rotating system similar to radar that can help to produce close to 100% detection.
Canadian company Current Scientific Corporation offer their range of Night Navigators where it is possible to specify the type of detection and its performance so that the system can be tailored to the vessel’s specific requirements. The system can incorporate a high resolution thermal imager, a high definition day camera and a high definition night vision system and one or more of these can be incorporated into the single camera unit. The top-of-the-range unit, the Night Navigator 3000 can incorporate all three of these detection systems and an advanced version can have these three in a unit that has continuous 360° rotation in a gyro stabilised antenna unit.
These alternative detection systems can complement radar and target tracking but can also detect small targets that the radar might miss in rough seas. This could give a vessel early threat awareness and small vessel detection in hostile waters and could be particularly valuable for vessels that operate in waters where there are small craft such as fishing vessels when the visibility is low.
The company also produce a dedicated night vision camera system that is designed for high speed craft and which meets the requirements of the High Speed Code. All units display their results on a wheelhouse display and there can be more than one for the alternative types of detection systems. They can give bearings of targets with a high degree of accuracy and the company offer systems that can be specifically customised to meet individual requirements. All systems are designed to integrate with existing onboard navigation systems.
Source: Dag Pike; http://www.maritimejournal.com/news101/onboard-systems/security-and-alarm-systems/night-navigator