Product: Monitor spots and tracks overboard falls

Credit: Olev Brovko

MOBtronic, by Marine and Remote Sensing Solutions (MARSS) provides automatic detection of man-overboard (MOB) incidents to alert and aid crew in rescue operations.

Each unit is self-contained, using a multilayered approach combining micro-radars, infrared cameras with video analytics, and computer processing, providing a 97% probability of detection.

MARSS claims that a combination of technologies, as opposed to relying just on video or radar, is more likely to detect a person overboard. “MOBtronic operates autonomously, instantly detecting and classifying a human falling overboard a vessel or structure,” said Alberto Baldacci, MARSS senior vice-president of science.

MOBtronic relies on a five-layer decision hierarchy, which mimics the five human senses. It uses multisensor technology for increased awareness and effectiveness in even the most difficult operating conditions, as well as sensor redundancy for high reliability. The primary detection system uses high-resolution, solid-state radars, and “the [most] state of the art detection and tracking sensors currently available”. The radars constantly monitor the area around the vessel and detect and track falling objects.

The infrared signature of MOB radar tracks is combined with thermal video imagery and radar information such as range and position. “The combination of radar and video allows analysis of object shape, size, and orientation, which would be otherwise impossible if range information was not available, as in video-only systems,” Baldacci explained.

The position of a fall can be established very precisely because of the radars’ sub-metre resolution, so it is possible to identify the balconies or open areas from where the fall originated, Baldacci added. The MOB position is presented via MARSS’ command and control interface, which notifies crew, while the GPS position of the event is marked on the ECDIS display.

“Within few seconds, a video replay of the MOB event is presented to the operator, who has the ability to review and analyse the video, enabling visual confirmation of the alarm. Both alarm position, GPS location, and video are stored for successive review and forensic purposes.”