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Integrated Systems

Solid state radars against poachers

Kelvin Hughes , a London-based supplier of surveillance and navigation systems, recently supplied two SharpEyeTM Solid State X Band surveillance radars to the Maryland Natural Resources Police (MPRP), to cover around protected oyster beds.

The radars are key sensors in the MNRP Maritime Law Enforcement Information Network (MLEIN), whose mission is to secure the 3100 miles of Maryland coastline. The system was launched in the autumn of 2013, with the first detection of illegal activity soon after. The two X Band radars provide high resolution radar pictures 24 hours in all weather the UK makers say, and these images are transmitted to officers in the field in real time. The information is shared with other government and law enforcement agencies, to assist in detecting illegal activities or help with search and rescue operations on the water.

The solid state radars enable the detection of small, low radar cross section targets, such as the boats typically used by oyster poachers. One such incident occurred in Tangier Sound, with two poachers apprehended by an officer watching his laptop as the cameras and radar units of the MLEIN tracked the watermen.

Officer John Bromley of the MNRP said: “MLEIN was a definite asset on the water and enhanced our ability to respond to the situation. It was like having an extra pair of eyes on the patrol boat.”

THe makers say that the product can detect small targets in heavy rain and high sea states; by the patented pulse sequence and Doppler processing.

Adrian Pilbeam, Vice President of Kelvin Hughes LLC said, “SharpEye radars provide MNRP with reliable, low maintenance surface search radar. Detection of small targets was critical in the selection of the radar, which already has assisted MNRP in successfully intercepting illegal activity.”


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