Autonomous, interconnected, rapid and non-lethal capabilities being demonstrated on 21 and 22 November 2013 as part of the NATO Defence Against Terrorism (DAT) programme.
How could an intrusion in a maritime restricted area, either friendly or hostile, be quickly detected and identified? How could it be efficiently blocked by warning and non-lethal devices? The TALON 13 system being presented at the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (part of the NATO Science and Technology Organization) addresses these questions and features the new trends in the field: in the future port protection will be autonomous, interconnected and rapid, in order to minimize the vulnerability of assets and naval units, also reducing any risk of harm to benign contacts and minimising post-event litigation.
TALON 13 is an international demonstration organized in collaboration with the Italian Navy COMFORDRAG (Mine Countermeasures Maritime Command) and aimed at security professionals. It gathers experience from the integration of multiple types of sensor networks and non-lethal warning devices, in order to implement the "rapid contact designation and warning" concept. During the demonstration a series of possible threats from small boats, underwater vehicles and swimmers/divers are simulated. TALON shows how it can automatically detect them and react to the tentative intrusion of a unit with hostile intent, by escalating its reaction capabilities from a simple audible warning to the use of non-lethal effectors. The effectors are used first to warn, then to dissuade and slow down, and finally to stop the intruder with an entanglement device, without causing him any harm. The system is based on algorithms which integrate in a software data (data fusion) coming from different underwater and land sensors, including radar, sonar and cameras. This software is able to set up autonomous reactions, while the human operator keeps the activities under control in real-time by a user-friendly internet browsing window which can be run on mobile devices and does not require a control room in order to function.
"Reducing the vulnerability of maritime assets is one of NATO's priorities", says engineer Manlio Oddone, scientist in charge of the demonstration. "TALON is remarkable because in one system it integrates the most advanced technologies for maritime surveillance and non-lethal response: it is equipped with an autonomous intelligence capable of evaluating the risk grade related to an intrusion, and sets up an effective, but non-lethal reaction, always proportional to the threat."
The demonstration is part of the CMRE work on deterrence and non-lethal capabilities in maritime security with the NATO Defence Against Terrorism (DAT) programme.