HarbourWatch is a special Envirovision Solutions application for event monitoring in a busy port setting, where incidents, whether accidental or illegal, can go unnoticed. Designed primarily as a security tool that vastly enhances users’ situational awareness, HarbourWatch’s ability to monitor vessel movement means the system has an ever growing number of uses.
HarbourWatch is the product of a collaborative venture between EVS’s team of innovative programmers and engineers, and the various great minds at South Africa’s CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), which is based in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, South Africa.
As with EVS’s groundbreaking ForestWatch® and CityWatch automated fire detection systems, HarbourWatch combines cameras, computers and intelligent software to monitor and analyse a specific environment – in this case a port setting. Sets of images are captured of the environment and image processing software automatically applies a mathematical algorithm to them to identify scene changes. If changes are discovered, the system alerts a human operator at a control centre, and he or she can use various manual controls and tools to examine the situation further.
Of course, the algorithm required for detecting forest fires is very different from the one applicable to ship movement. It was with the help of the CSIR, and the use of their model hall that, that we at EVS were able to develop an algorithm that simulates vessel movement dynamics from an oblique camera angle – making HarbourWatch possible.
HarbourWatch was implemented in Cape Town harbour in 2007. Since then, various other port authorities around the world have expressed an interest in the HarbourWatch system.