Work in progress.
Satellite-based AIS (S-AIS) is a powerful, standardized and proven technology for vessel traffic monitoring. It turns out, however, that S-AIS alone is not sufficient to provide continuous and comprehensive maritime domain awareness (MDA). Reasons are temporal gaps due to limited satellite coverage and low reporting frequency, the fact that AIS transponders are not mandatory for small vessels, and false AIS reports due to technical failure or even spoofing.
The objective is to show which and how complementary sensors – space borne, airborne, and ground based - may contribute to an enhanced MDA. For remote areas such as the Canadian Arctic, satellite SAR (synthetic aperture radar) and optical imagery, naturally, play a key role and can be used not only for earth observation but also for vessel traffic monitoring purposes. For more local tasks such as choke point and perimeter control, or search and rescue operations, remote sensor data can be supplemented, e.g., by ground based active and passive radar systems. Based on sensor performance models, we present possible multi-sensor solutions to enhance the maritime situation picture for realistic, operationally relevant scenarios. A key element to achieve this, are robust multisource tracking algorithms that are able to cope with different heterogeneous and potentially delayed, imprecise or misaligned sensor data as well as contextual information.