Man-Overboard Detection and Monitoring

OVERVIEW: The cruise line industry has recognized the need for man overboard (MOB) detection systems and many manufacturers have invested research and development to create technology which results in accurate detection and notification, including the video-based system developed by PureTech Systems.  The result is a system with highly accurate detection and the capability to supply crew members with critical event location data to reduce the delay between the time of the event and the deployment of rescue procedures

Industry

Test Dummy for Man Overboard Testing

Man-overboard detection systems must reliably analyze real-time information with high accuracy to provide precise probability of detection with a minimal false alarm rate.

The marine industry has been innovating and implementing advanced state-of-the-art technologies to ensure safety of the people on board ships and other vessels.   Ships are constantly subjected to environmental and weather changes, and climate and waves tend to become rough and hazardous as a ship enters deep waters. During these difficult times, there is a high chance that a person might fall overboard.

A man-overboard (MOB) event may occur due to various reasons, some accidental, some intentional. In response, the U.S. government introduced regulations by signing the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) in 2010. The act introduced the requirement of automatic man-overboard detection/monitoring systems and operators’ need to record and track these types of events.

As a result of these regulations, many companies are now developing systems that can detect and sound an alarm in the case of man-overboard events. These systems must reliably analyze real-time information with high accuracy to provide precise probability of detection with a minimal false alarm rate.  The systems must also be affordable and easily installed, taking into account the minimal downtime available for cruise ship maintenance. Continue reading

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Anti-Boarding Alarms using Man Overboard Technology

Cruise Ships Address Anti-Boarding

Cruise line efforts as well as government mandates have called for the installation of man-overboard detection systems. These same systems can also be used to aid in anti-boarding efforts.

PureTech Systems currently addresses the issue of man overboard detection through the use of intelligent video technology.  Its man overboard (MOB) system captures images using thermal cameras surrounding the ship’s perimeter, extending from the lowest passenger deck to the waterline.  The result is a system that addresses a need in the cruise line industry to accurately and quickly detect and notify a ship’s crew of a possible MOB event.  However, this same technology can also address other problems within the maritime industry: piracy and unlawful boarding.  Although cruise ships try to avoid operating in high risk areas, the threat of piracy, hijacking and kidnapping is still a safety issue which must be considered.  Ideally, early detection and deterrence measures can be taken to keep pirates at a safe distance from the vessel, but in situations where this cannot occur, or in the case of a covert boarding attempt, the same technology used to detect a person falling from a ship can also be used to help detect an illegal boarding attempt.

The Technology

The man overboard system from PureTech Systems utilizes a patented approach using geospatial video analytics and pairs of thermal imaging cameras which face each other. Continue reading

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Testing MOB Detection Systems with OSCAR

Man Overboard Detection Test

Man overboard detection systems are a revolutionary jump in the detection and response to an MOB event

“Man overboard!” is an exclamation given aboard a vessel to indicate that someone has fallen off of the ship and is in need of rescue. Traditionally when a man overboard event occurs, the person who sees the fall shouts, “Man overboard!” and the call is then repeated by everyone within earshot, even if they have not seen the event. This is intended to be repeated until everyone on deck has heard the man overboard (MOB) call.

Until recently, this same process continues to be utilized with only a few advancements through the use of ship-wide alarms. However, recent technology advancements have enabled the development and deployment of man overboard detection systems which can instantly detect an MOB event, provide supporting evidence to the crew, facilitate a ship-wide notification and provide information valuable for rescue efforts.  Such systems are a revolutionary jump in the detection and response to an MOB event, but how exactly does one go about testing such a system to ensure they actually work?  Do these technology companies hire Acapulco cliff divers to jump from ships?  Let’s take a closer look at how man overboard detection systems are tested.

Who is OSCAR?

OSCAR Man Overboard Test Dummy

“OSCAR” is a man overboard rescue dummy used for simulating man overboard events.

Crazy enough, people have jumped off cruise ships in order to facilitate the testing of man overboard detection systems.  However, from a practicality standpoint, using real humans is not the safest or most efficient approach, Continue reading

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Man Overboard – Technology Suppliers Are Not the Only Ones Taking Actions

Obama Signing Cruise Security ActThe marine industry, considered to be one of the most dangerous industries, has been innovating and implementing advanced state-of-the-art technologies to ensure safety of the people on board ships and vessels.  Ships are constantly subjected to environmental and weather changes, and climate and waves tend to become rough and hazardous as a ship enters deep waters. During these difficult times, there is a high chance that a person might fall overboard.  A man-overboard event might occur due to various causes, such as unexpected ship movement, a loss of balance, slippery deck floors, and in some cases, people might deliberately jump off the ship in an attempt to commit suicide.  Technology providers are actively developing and testing systems to aid in the detection and response to such events, but they are not the only institutions taking actions. Continue reading

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Man Overboard Integration and Crew Notification

Man overboard events (MOB) can happen at any time during the day or night, in all types of weather and sea conditions, and from almost any location on the ship, ranging from a few tens of feet above the water to over 180 feet.  Falls from these heights can injure and often kill the victim.  MOB events may be reported by a bystander or by a member of the person’s party who reports the person missing.  This information must all be verified by the crew before taking action, which can take a considerable amount of time.

Cruise Ships must turn around in the event of a man overboard

The Williamson Turn is one of several maneuvers made when a man overboard event is detected. It is effective, but is a slower maneuver.

Consider these facts:

  • The typical stopping distance of a cruise ship is 1 mile.If it takes 15 minutes to confirm an MOB event, a ship may have moved 7 miles from the original fall location.
  • A typical man overboard detection system can report a MOB event in under 1 second.

Accurately detecting a human falling from a moving ship is not an easy problem to solve, but it is now achievable with recent technology efforts, including the use of video analytics, as patented in the man overboard detection system developed by PureTech Systems.  Man overboard systems such as these use thermal video from dedicated MOB cameras to intelligently evaluate potential fall events, while filtering out environmental conditions (rain, waves, sea spray, debris) and normal crew activity (crew changes, maintenance). Continue reading

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Man Overboard Detection for Cruise Ship Safety

Most of us have gone on a cruise vacation or know of a close friend or relative who has done so.  Cruising is a popular vacation option enjoyed by families and individuals throughout the world.  What is not so well known, though, is the fact that man overboard events continue to be a common occurrence within the cruise industry.  Since 2005,

Man Falling off a cruise ship

On average, 22 people fall off cruise ships every year. However, few cruise ships in operation today, have any form of system to detect these “man-overboard” events.

  • 268 Man Overboard Events have been reported.
  • On average, 22 people fall off a cruise ship every year.
  • 86% of those victims do not survive, or are never found.

Man overboard events (MOB) can happen at any time during the day or night, in all types of weather and sea conditions, and from almost any location on the ship, ranging from a few tens of feet above the water to over 180 feet.  Falls from these heights can injure, render unconscious, or even kill the victim. Likewise, falls from ships operating along northern routes can expose the victim to extreme water temperatures, which can result in hypothermia and death.

Given these scenarios, one approach to increasing the survival rate of MOB events is to ensure accurate timely detection, followed by a rapid response protocol.  However, few cruise ships in operation today have any form of man overboard detection system.  Although they may have cameras and imaging systems to monitor activity on board the ship, these camera systems are primarily used for basic surveillance or evidential activities and are not designed to actively notify the ship’s crew in the instance of a man falling overboard.  In most cases, MOB events are reported by someone who happens to notice the fall, or by a member of the person’s party who reports the person missing.  This information must all be verified by the crew before taking action, which can take a considerable amount of time.

READ THE FULL WHITE PAPER HERE

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Detecting Man Overboard Events Using Video Analytics

Man Overboard Detection with Video Camera

Few cruise ships in operation today, have any form of system to detect man-overboard events, which on average, occur 22 times per year.

On average, 22 people fall off cruise ships every year.  However, few cruise ships in operation today have any form of system to detect these man-overboard (MOB) events.  MOB events are typically reported by someone who happens to notice the fall or by a member of the person’s party who reports the person missing.  Although ships typically have cameras and imaging systems to monitor activity on board the ship, these camera systems are not designed to detect a man falling overboard. Increasing the survival rate of MOB events requires accurate and timely detection, which can be achieved with the patented man overboard detection technology from PureTech Systems. Continue reading

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Mobile Border Surveillance

Mobile Border Surveillance ALERT Truck

Today’s surveillance needs have moved beyond the traditional fixed camera on a fence line. Sensors need to be smart, easy to set up, collaborative and able to move rapidly as threats move.  The use of mobile surveillance platforms, including truck- and trailer-based, provide increased surveillance during critical times and allow flexible incident response, without the large infrastructure costs and time required to install a complete fixed sensor perimeter.  Today’s mobile systems also deliver the same, or higher, detection capability and accuracy as its fixed location sensor brethren.  One such system, the ALERT Truck system, is an excellent example of a mobile surveillance platform which leverages geospatial technology with intelligent video, radar, precision distance and highly accurate cameras to provide world-class surveillance in a cost effective mobile package. Continue reading

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Customs and Border Protection (CBP) grants “Full Operating Capability” of Remote Video Surveillance Systems (RVSS)

RVSS and PureActiv receive approval from Customer and Border Protection (CBP)

RVSS deployed for protection across the southern U.S. border, utilizing PureActiv as its command and control and patented video analytics, receives Full Operating Capability from DHS’ Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Congratulations to our team here at PureTech Systems in light of the recent announcement that the Remote Video Surveillance Systems (RVSS) deployed for border protection across the southern border of the United States has been granted “Full Operating Capability (FOC)” by the U.S Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The RVSS system consists of a series of elevated towers and structures equipped with advanced electro-optical and infrared sensors to provide persistent ground surveillance to Border Patrol agents.  An important component of the RVSS system is PureTech Systems’ Geospatial Video Management System for Command and Control and the PureActivÒ patented video analytics used for real-time automated long range detection, classification, and tracking in support of  CBP’s mission along the U.S southern border.

Read the entire release HERE

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Video Analytics for Perimeter Surveillance

Critical Facilities have a continued need for efficient security, especially pertaining to protecting their perimeters. Facilities must actively monitor and respond to theft, unauthorized intrusions, safety events and potential terrorist activities. The ability to monitor a wide range of events over a vast amount of area in varied weather conditions, while accurately identifying potential threats and reacting is a complicated scenario. The solution calls for knowledgeable personnel and accurate sensors that work together to quickly assess a situation and react to it. This presentation looks at how video analytics can be used to address the perimeter surveillance needs for critical facilities.

Click here for other Presentations from PureTech Systems

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Protecting the Power Grid – Video Surveillance

The Department of Homeland Security said it well….

“Everything is dependent on electricity.  EVERYTHING.  Without electricity, we’re basically back in the 1850s.”

Most of us haven’t had to deal with not having electricity, internet, television, refrigeration or telephone so it’s often hard to imagine the chaos that might ensue if the power grid were to experience a major issue.

This presentation explores ways to protect the power grid.  We’ll look at the various aspects of NERC CIP014 and how intelligent video surveillance solutions (video analytics) can be deployed to address these vulnerabilities.

Interested in reading more about protecting the power grid?

Read our Case Study – Substation Physical Security

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Measuring Service Duration with Intelligent Video

INDUSTRIES

Quick Lube, Auto Service, Fast Food, Pharmacies, Coffee Shops, Emission Testing Facilities

Intelligent Video as a means of monitoring service duration for express lube

Intelligent Video, as a means of monitoring service duration, provides valuable data including lane number, start of service, end of service, total service time and evidence images for entry and exit.

CHALLENGE:

We live in a faced paced society.  We want everything fast – fast information, fast coffee, fast money.  This need has given rise to the drive-thru era and continues to be the pacing metric for many service businesses including the quick lube industry. In addition to service quality, the express oil change industry competes on quickness of performing the oil change, or service duration.  This same metric is of interest to many other industries, which have drive-thru components, including fast food establishments, pharmacies, coffee outlets, emission testing facilities and other types of quick turn auto service locations. One way to increase customer satisfaction, implement process improvement, reduce labor costs and protect against loss is to monitor and manage service duration times.  The challenge is how to effectively and accurately measure this length of the service

SOLUTION

Turns out, there are several ways to measure drive-thru service. Continue reading

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Substation Security Automation

When addressing NERC CIP014 physical security requirements, substations and power transmission facilities must not only consider how to detect, deter and delay, but also the means to assess and respond.  A traditional approach to address these components of a security plan might rely on a security officer to perform these tasks.  However, when considering available funding and allocation of human assets, it is important to realize that today’s security technology can automate many of these tasks by quickly and effectively assessing, responding and deterring an intrusion event without requiring any interaction from security personnel.

Automated Security Camera Auto Follow on Thermal

Many of the actions required to verify and respond to an intrusion event can be automated through intelligent video and sensor control.

 Traditional Response Scenario

To understand the automation capability of today’s security systems, let’s first consider a typical intrusion scenario.  The first task is understanding a threat has actually occurred.  This may be accomplished by a security person physically monitoring video feeds, or some type of security sensor providing an intrusion warning.  When such a threat is detected, a series of operations are set in place to validate the threat and determine if it warrants action. Continue reading

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Substation Physical Security – CASE STUDY

Electric Substation NERC Physical Security

All parts of the power grid can become victims of a malicious events, but substations are particularly vulnerable due to their role in distribution and the nature of their equipment.

INDUSTRY:

Energy, Utilities, Power Transmission

CHALLENGE:

The power grid is a modern engineering marvel, providing us widely available and affordable energy for not only our day to day lives, but also highly critical infrastructure elements for which we rely on personally, and as an economy.  However, our reliance on the grid also makes it highly susceptible to adverse events, including physical attacks.  All parts of the grid can become victims of malicious events, but substations are particularly vulnerable due to their role in power distribution and the nature of their equipment.

The challenge power utilities worldwide are facing is finding an affordable solution, which can help detect, deter and facilitate an informed response to a substation security event.  In the United States, this need is furthered by the physical security mandate CIP-014 issued by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), calling for identification of security issues, vulnerability assessments and deployment of appropriate processes and systems to address. CIP-104 specifically calls for implemented security plans which include measures to deter, detect, delay, assess, communicate, coordinate and respond to potential physical threats and vulnerabilities.  Fortunately, there are many solutions to help power utilities address these security concerns, one effective choice is the use of intelligent video. Continue reading

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The Ultimate Perimeter Duo? Radar + Video Analytics

This article first appeared in Security Middle East magazine

Today’s security market offers a wide array of highly advanced sensors and systems, all designed to help protect perimeters, monitor assets, and safeguard lives.  The reason for the many choices stems from the fact that different sensors have their sweet spot in terms of where they perform best – whether that be a certain environment, a type of intrusion or even expected performance based on budgetary requirements.

SpotterRF Radar and PureActiv Video Analytics

Combining security sensor technologies expands the capability beyond the two sensors acting independently

A typical approach by sensor manufacturers is to continue to innovate, expand its sensor’s capabilities, enhancing its strengths and minimizing its weaknesses.  Another approach to the problem of expanding the “sweet spot” is to combine the capabilities of current sensors, allowing them to work together as more intelligent solution, with all the advantages they possessed as individual entities, but with a vast amount of new capabilities gained from their union with a complementary technology.  One such collaboration is the integration of perimeter radar with video analytics. Continue reading

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