VTS & Maritime Surveillance Issues & Solutions

Tendering for a VTS System

This is an issue that many VTS Authorities approach from completely the wrong angle. Frequently, a buyer will specify equipment parameters when his real interest is simply creating a Traffic image that accurately reflects activity within the VTS Area. By defining the physical equipment, the buyer assumes that Suppliers are not capable of working out the best equipment and software solution to each VTS problem. In addition, by specifying the equipment, the buyer takes responsibility for its performance. If specified equipment fails to achieve the required detection performance, the Buyer cannot blame the Supplier as it was the Buyer that specified the equipment to be used.

A buyer is interested in achieving full situational and environmental awareness. He needs the ability to make decisions about best navigational practice and to communicate information clearly and accurately. A VTS Authority should consider specifying the details of targets that must be detected and identified and the scenarios where it is essential for high quality tracking to be maintained. The supplier should then select the best sensor to deliver the required performance. The suppliers proposal should clearly show how his technical solution will meet the customer needs and how this will be demonstrated at both Factory and Site Acceptance.

Define Targets and Scenario’s, not hardware.

All Maritime Surveillance applications are about the detection and tracking of vessels and the management & protection of the marine environment. Within any operational area, the maximum and minimum target sizes can be specified together with typical scenarios that enable an understanding about what is required to reliably detect and track such targets. In addition to normal operations, threat scenarios can be included in the risk analysis so that a system will be capable of managing issues such as piracy and terrorism. Once a full understanding has been achieved about how a suitable situation display can be compiled, this can become the core of a system requirements specification. Suppliers should then be asked to identify the sensors that their system requires in order to deliver the operational performance required. Should you require assistance in developing such specifications, please do not hesitate to contact us using the Contact page.