What I Saw at the Surface Navy Association Annual Symposium



A few weeks ago, I attended the Surface Navy Association Annual Symposium in Crystal City VA which is the annual gathering for members and non-members of SNA.  It featured over 200 exhibitors and over 3,000 attendees.  It is geared towards surface Navy warfare. However, with the inclusion of the Cuttermen Association, it also brought U.S. Coast Guard attendees.  

It was by far the largest gathering of U.S. Coast Guard leadership.  Not since the Coast Guard Innovations program which ended in 2012, has there been a public program that brought together this many flag officers in one place.  During my visit to SNA, I saw Admiral Zukunft (Commandant), Admiral Papp (former Commandant), Admiral Thad Allen (Former Commandant), VADM Schultz (LANTAREA Commander), VADM Midgette (PACAREA Commander), VADM Ray (Deputy Commandant for Ops), and VADM Stosz (Deputy Commandant for Mission Support) just to name a few.  In addition to the Coasties I saw, there were countless base COs and vessel commanders.  It was truly a who’s who of surface warfare.

On the technology side, every exhibitor was relevant.  Since they sold out the exhibit floor this year, they were able to be selective in who they allowed to exhibit.  Although many of the exhibitors only catered to Navy, there were a few great exhibitors that offered cutting edge technology that can be applied to domestic maritime security.  

Here are the few I saw that I would like to highlight:

Electro-Optical Industries:  These guys offered a really innovative camera technology that offers a panoramic 360 degree view while tracking and detecting objects much like a radar.  I thought it would be ideal for use in ports and coastal/harbor surveillance application.  
EOIHere is a quick blurb about the technology as provided by the company:

Spynel are a unique line of panoramic infrared thermal imaging systems with built-in, automatic detection and tracking software used for persistent wide-area surveillance of critical infrastructures. The constantly spinning camera head captures a full 360-degree full panoramic image, in real-time, every second and the software, Cyclope, automatically detects and tracks any and all targets from any direction, including hard to detect ones such as UAVs, RHIBs and swimmers. The infrared sensor ensures day/night surveillance with no additional illumination and can successfully operate at sea state level 5/6 (rough to very rough seas) using an autonomous gyro-stabilized platform. Cyclope, developed and constantly updated over the past 15 years, also come with sea-specific image processing stabilization algorithms.

In addition, an optional software plug-in can display AIS data from boats that can be fused to generate alarms on those boats without AIS transmitters. With an open platform, Spynel can also be integrated with other existing systems on board such as radars and PTZs to provide a layered surveillance tool or can be used as a standalone system.  A rugged system currently deployed on ships and at ports around the world, Spynel provides a cost-effective, easy to use solution to provide a streamlined situational awareness experience for operators at sea and at ports.

To learn more about this product, please go to www.electro-optical.com or contact Derek Bond at 617-401-2185.

martacMartac: Of all of the unmanned systems I have seen over the last few years, this one really caught my attention.  It is an unmanned surface vehicle that can do long term critical infrastructure and coastal surveillance.  It is lightweight, flexible and pretty cost effective for its capabilities.  

Here is a quick blurb about the technology as provided by the company:

Maritime Tactical Systems, Inc. (MARTAC™) has patented a unique class of MANTAS™ next generation unmanned vessels. Our unmanned surface and hybrid vessels are accompanied with a robust Command and Control (C2) system known as TASKER™. Our MANTAS USV enables the coverage of open ocean and littoral waterways with extended on-station persistence capability. Our product line of unmanned vessels can range from 2.5' to 50' and capable of extreme high surface speeds. Our patented catamaran hull is suitable for surface, subsurface and unaided air drop operations.

To learn more about this product, please go to www.martacsystems.com or contact Bruce Hanson at 321-917-2202.

 WAVCam:  You may have seen these guys at our Maritime Security East and West programs over the years.  They have one of the most cutting edge and capable wide area cameras on the market.  At SNA, they took it to another level by introducing a new software (WAVTrack) that makes an impressive image more useful.

ISA2Here is what I learned:

Their WAVcam EO/IR product is already impressive with a 90 degree field of view, >80 Megapixel image, that records 24/7 for up to 30 days at a time. You just have to see the video quality to understand the power of this system! The latest upgrade is a new, not yet released to the public, add-on software package called WAVtrack now takes the moving items in the field of view and plot them like a radar display, top down view over a map of your choice. It’s like looking at a radar display, but no emitting radar, just dots on the map – click on a dot and a tracking image of the object pops up along with its lat/lon, speed, heading… and it’s crazy accurate. According to Robert Swain, their marketing and sales consultant, the system can be purchased or leased (new for this industry). One WAVcam camera replaces tens or even hundreds of conventional pan, tilt, zoom cameras.

To learn more, please go to www.wavcam.com or contact Robert Swain at 909-742-9150.

KHKelvin Hughes:  A mainstay in the radar market, these guys are all over the world with shipboard and coastal surveillance radars.  At SNA, they were showcasing their capability to detect and track drones.  Makes perfect sense since the technology is adaptable and drones are one of the leading threats in maritime security.

Here is a quick blurb about the technology as provided by the company:

Kelvin Hughes SharpEye™ SxV radar is highly sensitive and has been optimised for the detection of drones, quadcopters, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). We provide complete radar based solutions for border and perimeter security and SharpEye™ with its ability to detect small low aerial targets even in clutter conditions makes it the ideal sensor to detect and provide early warning of the operation of drones.
To learn more, please go to www.kelvinhughes.com or contact Adrian Pilbeam at 703-548-4007.


TermaTerma:  Terma has been a long time supporter of our Maritime Security programs and is the leader in VTS and port security radar.  They offer the most cutting edge solid state systems that has the ability to track the “small dark vessel” with incredible usability.  At SNA, they announced and introduced Frank Christophersen as the new Director of Business Development for Surveillance and Mission Systems.  He will be in charge of all North American Sales and customer relationship management for border and port security.  
Frank was recently with Raytheon Anschutz USA, a division of Raytheon IDS, where he spent a little over 7 years.  At Raytheon, Frank was responsible for running the Raytheon Anschutz division in North America.  

Frank brings a total of over 30 years of experience in the Surveillance and Maritime business segment.
Frank can be reached at 703-412-9410.