Vanguard Magazine

Aug/Sep 2013

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 41 of 47

T The eDGe oF TecH Dr. rami abielmona is the vice president of research & engineering at Larus Technologies corporation ( tacKLinG BiG data in maritime domain aWareness Photo: RCN I n a world where more than 40 percent of the population lives within 100 kilometers of a coast and where traditional and asymmetric threats to physical and cyber infrastructures and borders continue to rise each year, countries are becoming increasingly aware of the gaps that exist in their ability to achieve persistent surveillance and continuous awareness of their maritime domains. Persistent surveillance is an essential component in a global system to ensure Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). The latter is defined as the situational understanding of activities that impact maritime security, safety, economy or environment. MDA involves a system of people, processes and technological tools that discover, sense, analyse and react to events, and perform physical and virtual defence of the country's borders. It includes the capture and storage of domain knowledge obtained along with the actions, effects and outcomes for use in planning future surveillance operations. The outcome expected from MDA is the effective tasking of joint and interagency assets to respond to offensive/illegal activities, disasters and rescue scenarios in the maritime domain. In Canada, MDA requires the surveying of 10 million square kilometers across the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans, over 200 thousand kilometers of coastline and five million square kilometres of Arctic landmass, and the inherent challenge of monitoring 42 AUGUsT/sePTeMBer 2013 and controlling the vast amount of data and information that will be generated. This activity falls within the jurisdiction of the Marine Security Operations Centres (MSOCs) and the Canadian Forces' (CF) Regional Joint Operations Centres (RJOCs). These organizations are responsible for detecting and assessing Canadian marine security threats and providing support to responders. Threats include individuals, vessels, cargo and infrastructure involved in any activity that could pose a risk to the safety, security, environment or economy of Canada. Using the many existing loosely connected surveillance and exploitation systems, operators and analysts have been overwhelmed by the tide of incoming data, including sensor outputs, databases, reports and other sources of information. This situation has led to operator/analyst fatigue, overload, stress and inattention which, in turn, have led to human errors. We have seen that on a limited basis, surveillance solutions have been effective, particularly where the regions of interest were well delineated, data sources structured and precise, events-of-interest few and far between, and response requirements neither time-critical nor calculated. However, this level of performance is not sustainable over time and on a global scale. Any proposed solution to these challenges will need to feature continuous awareness of the environment unconstrained by data parameters or geographical boundaries, i.e., persistent surveillance. persistent surveillance To enable effective continuous awareness, threat mitigation and re-

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Vanguard Magazine - Aug/Sep 2013