Norwegian operator Color Line has been trialing Ladar, a light-based laser technology anti-collision system designed to identify floating objects on or under the surface of the water, including drifting fishing nets, logs, containers and ice, as well as plastic and other flotsam.
Wonder if this might be useful in finding people in the water, especially in rough weather and at night?
“The system we tested was better at detecting smaller items than we had anticipated, but not as good on metal objects in still water.”
The reason for this: waves caused by wind increase disturbance in the water around an object, making it easier to detect. “This includes up to storm level winds,” Dokken confirms. “The more activity in the water, the better.”
Frequently we need to go close to shore to execute a rescue. This could conceivably allow us to get closer without running aground, than we would using charts alone.
Might also be useful for the Waterways Commerce Cutters that operate in rivers with shifting bottom contours.
Really the Navy and Marines should be interested in this too.
Sounds like a good project for the R&D Center.