Port of Antwerp invests in digitalisation of radar infrastructure. Photo by Port of Antwerp
Radar infrastructure plays an important role in the guidance of shipping traffic. As part of this, a framework contract was recently awarded to Securitas to fully digitalise and further expand this infrastructure.
Because of its location in the hinterland and the associated complex calls, the nautical chain operation is of crucial importance for smooth traffic in the port of Antwerp. In recent years, significant investments have been made in the digital interconnection of the chain partners, including more and better data exchange. At the port itself, Port of Antwerp began rolling out vessel traffic management in 2021, with the aim of upgrading the guidance of shipping traffic behind the locks. In that context, a milestone was reached recently with the award of a framework agreement to digitalise and further expand the entire radar infrastructure.
The 12 current analogue radars will be gradually replaced and, in addition, seven radar set-up points will be added. An IALA-compliant (International Association of Lighthouse Authorities) Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) is the final objective to be rolled out by the first quarter of 2022 and will have three sectors. The introduction of VTS is in full swing.
The digitalisation of this radar infrastructure will further support and accelerate efforts on other innovation projects. This will simplify the connection with the digital twin APICA (Advanced Port Information and Communication Assistant). This digital twin allows various real-time data to be brought together and, via data science, translated into actionable information for a diverse group of internal and external stakeholders. Ultimately, this allows for evolving from situational awareness about the port to predictive and steering behaviour. The connecgtion to detailed radar data is an important building block in this.
Following a European tendering procedure, the framework agreement was awarded to the integrator Securitas, which will use products from the Italian radar manufacturer ICS.
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