• Sunday, December 9, 2018

Turnkey solution for maritime surveillance gaining in popularity

By BCShippingNews 05 March 2017
Ready-made package offers all the advantages of a standard system at a fraction of the cost of custom-designed system...

With maritime surveillance becoming more and more a key part of coastal management, many companies — ports and harbours, terminals, oil and gas platforms and other organizations are looking for a technical solution that provides answers to a number of questions: Build or buy? Do we have sufficient human and financial resources to implement an effective maritime surveillance system that is easy to use, quick to implement and offers low maintenance costs? What system will provide us with the best value for our budget? The answer is TZ Coastal Monitoring.


SigNet Group, a world leader in marine navigation software, is the developer of TZ Coastal Monitoring, the first, true turnkey solution for maritime surveillance. TZ Coastal Monitoring is a ready-made package that offers all the advantages of a standard system that most businesses require but at a fraction of the cost of a custom-designed system.

SigNet Group — a conglomeration of four companies located in France, the U.S. and Spain (MaxSea International SAS, MapMedia SAS, Nobeltec Inc. and MaxSea Naval S.L.) — is well known for its ground-breaking technology. Founder and President Brice Pryszo first developed weather routing software in 1984 and since that time, the company has pioneered a long list of innovations for the maritime industry –the first seamless chart display; the first weather forecast file received onboard; the invention of the personal bathy generator and 3D bathymetric display just to name a few.

In 2007, SigNet entered into a technical and financial partnership with Furuno, marine electronics experts, and since that time, they have been expanding their product range to the maritime safety industry. Released in 2012, TZ Coastal Monitoring is now used in dozens of sites worldwide.

Addressing the concerns of those charged with ensuring a safe, effective and efficient coastal management process, TZ Coastal Monitoring has been developed to allow industry stakeholders to benefit from a system that has been tried and tested by other companies with similar needs. As a result, typical problems that are encountered when new custom-designed systems are implemented can be avoided.

Issues and solutions

Using ports and harbours for example, Frederic Algalarrondo, Sales & Marketing Director for Nobeltec Inc., describes the issues and demonstrates the solutions offered by TZ Coastal Monitoring. “Ports of all sizes have concerns that focus on the risk of collisions between ships; inefficient berthing services; inefficient maritime transport for passengers and goods; congestion problems; managing extreme weather conditions; and, of course, safety,” Algalarrondo said. “Each of these risks can be greatly reduced with TZ Coastal Monitoring. Through the integration of radars and thermal cameras, real time information can be monitored and highly personalized alarms can be set to help harbour managers and masters keep abreast of activity.”

Algalarrondo described a process where, by integrating one or two radars with the Coastal Monitoring solution, users are able to display on-screen targets within a selected range. Automatic Radar Plotting Aids (ARPA) and Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) are automatically acquired and can be tracked on the monitor. “One of the big advantages to TZ Coastal Monitoring is the fact that it’s an open system,” Algalarrondo said. “Users can easily link it to other programs that can send an automatic text or email to smart phones and other remote devices. It is also compatible with the latest generation of Furuno Radars, the world leader in marine electronics.”

As for the cameras, day or night, users will be able to clearly distinguish objects and people. “This is particularly useful for the safety of passengers or employees,” Algalarrondo said. Up to 12 cameras can be integrated and controlled with a cursor or dedicated joystick and customized rules can be created so that vessels entering specific areas are automatically tracked by the closest or predetermined camera (or multiple cameras). TZ Coastal Monitoring is compatible with selected FLIR cameras as well as the Pelco-D standard protocol to control virtually any type of camera.

Additional features include record and replay functions and real-time weather sensor integration.

Terminals and waterside facilities are also finding the benefits of the TZ Coastal Monitoring System. “Operators of container terminal yards, warehouses, wharves, jetties, and fleet moorings like the easy installation, easy use and low maintenance costs,” Algalarrondo said. “It provides a higher level of security and safety without having to invest the time and money on a complicated, tailor-made system.” Algalarrondo was quick to note however that the standard system can, in many cases, be configured to meet the specific needs of the user.

TZ Coastal Monitoring is gaining in popularity with maritime industry users on a wide scale — while examples above consider the benefits for harbours and ports and well as terminals and waterside facilities, other organizations charged with coastal management are also finding the standard system fits well within their budget and allows them to monitor activities without the added stress that comes with new technology in the workplace. Fish farm operators and stewards of marine protected areas are seeing the benefits afforded by the easy-to-use monitoring system.

“For these organizations, the ability to monitor and respond quickly to activities like illegal fishing or anchoring are key to their success,” Algalarrondo said. “To prevent poaching, TZ Coastal Monitoring can detect unknown objects approaching an area and trigger an alarm immediately, giving operators a better chance to catch the perpetrators.”

To illustrate the benefits of TZ Coastal Monitoring in more detail, readers are encouraged to view the demonstration video at:  http://bit.ly/2la9o6s (or www.bcshippingnews.com/video). More information can also be found at www.coastalmonitoring.com or by contacting Frederic Algalarrondo directly (email: fred@nobeltec.com / 503-579-1414).