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Vessel Traffic Systems (VTS)

What makes up a VTS?  A VTS typically will consist of a suite of sensors systems, a command and control software suite that provides tools by which operators develop and manage the maritime picture, a display system and a communications capability. This type of system is used mainly for vessel identification and for maritime traffic management.

The main subsystems include:


• Radar
Radar is a device that uses electromagnetic waves to -among other functions- measure distance, direction and speed of targets or objectives. These targets can be static or moving objects such as vessels or little boats.


• Automatic Identification System (AIS)
The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a transponder based technology used to identify and locate vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships and AIS Base Stations. The AIS operates in the VHF maritime band and it is capable of sending information such as unique identification, position, course, speed, or hazardous cargo. The AIS info supplements marine radar information.


• Radio Communications
The Communications and Voice Switching capability must be considered as a part of the overall system.  In anything but the most simple of one man operations, the Communications and Voice Switching capability needs to consider all aspects of communications including:

  • maritime VHF communications, channel management, frequency allocation and emergency response;
  • transmitter and receiver remote management and control;
  • internal and extended intercom and “hot line” management
  • strategic emergency communications management, hospital, fire services, police, customs and so on;
  • telephone management
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• CCTV
CCTV is a contributor to the development of the raw surveillance picture and is a particularly important sensor in that at shorter ranges a CCTV sensor is able to recognize target type and in some cases target identity. Modern cameras can provide high definition coverage in all types of visibility during both day and night. Infrared and thermal imaging improves target detection and recognition. When coupled with image recognition, optical character recognition and other sophisticated image processing software, the CCTV becomes a very effective sensor in its own right and a supplier of essential identify information.


Coastal Surveillance SystemsIt is a system used to detect, identify and track vessels’ traffic, regardless of design, size, and speed. This system helps to detect ilicit activities in coastal áreas and provides valuable information to the governmental agencies such as the Coast Guard, Port Authorities, Port Polic, Customs, etc. A maritime surveillance system may include a radar, AIS and CCTV.


Management Information Systems (MIS)
MIS allows safe and efficient port operations including capabilities such as ships and docks scheduling, resource allocation (i.e. pilots and tugs), cargo management, billing and reports of the whole operation.


Electronic Security Systems
There is a broad range of electronic security systems depending on the customers’ needs. It can include Access control systems, perimetral control, video surveillance systems or a combination of all these systems in just one solution.


Aids to Navigation
Allow safe navigation when approaching channels, the coast or any port facilities. The Aids to Navigation include lights, beacons, buoys, etc..