• America’s outdated waterways, ports hurting economy

    Underinvestment in America’s inland waterways cost American businesses approximately $33 billion in 2010. Without a significant increase in investment, that number could increase to $49 billion by 2020. If improvements are not made, 80 percent of American locks will be functionally obsolete by 2020. The extended failure of just one lock can cost agriculture exporters up to $45 million and barge operators as much as $163 million.

  • U.S. cuts budget for nuclear monitoring at foreign ports

    In 2003 the United States decided to install radiation detection equipment in 100 large ports around the world, and train local personnel in using the equipment, so that ship containers could be scanned for nuclear material before the ship left for the United States; so far, equipment has been deployed in forty-two ports; after GAO criticism of the quality of the scanning equipment and of lack of coordination between two similar container scanning programs, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s 2013 budget will be cut by 85 percent, and further installations will be canceled

  • As maritime security rises, pirate attacks are down

    In the past four years Somali pirates have attacked 800 ships and taken 3,400 people hostage. Now shipping companies which regularly go through the Indian Ocean are fighting back by hiring private security, and the scales have tipped

  • DHS submersible Pluto mimics the real narco-subs

    In the early 1990s, South American drug cartels came up with a new tactic to transport narcotics destined for the United States: small, radar-dodging, self-propelled, semi-submersibles (SPSSs); better to address the submersible problem, DHS Science and Technology Directorate created its own submersible and called it Pluto, after the planet which is difficult to spot

  • Canada funds digital technology to enhance maritime security, surveillance

    New funding will allow exactEarth to improve its ability to locate more than 80,000 ships daily anywhere around the world and transmit this information quickly to its customers; this data is used within Canada and globally for a number of purposes, including enhancing maritime security and surveillance as well as search and rescue support

  • DHS funds more tests of autonomous power buoy for ocean surveillance

    Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has entered into an agreement with DHS Science & Technology Directorate to perform a new round of in-ocean tests on the company’s Autonomous PowerBuoy to demonstrate its use for ocean surveillance

  • Long Beach Police Department purchases underwater inspection system for port

    The Port of Long Beach is the second busiest seaport in the United States and is a major gateway for trade with Asia, handling more than six million containers annually; to enhance port security, the City of Long Beach Police Department has purchased an Underwater Inspection System (UIS) from Cod Octopus

     

  • Men in maritime disasters save themselves first --“women and children first” is a myth

    Since the sinking of the Titanic, there has been a widespread belief that the social norm of “women and children first” gives women a survival advantage over men in maritime disasters, and that captains and crew members give priority to passengers; a new study find that the Titanic disaster, in which 70 percent of the women and children on board were saved compared to 20 percent of the men, is a glaring exception to the rule; during maritime disasters, men use their relative strength to save themselves; what is more, studies of human behavior during natural disasters show the same results: in life-and-death situations, it is every man for himself

  • U.S. agency critical of Canadian ports' security

    The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission has issued a  report criticizing Canadian sea ports for lax security. The commission reports singled out Prince Rupert port in British Columbia as an especially egregious case of insufficient security for U.S.-bound cargo

  • Northrop Grumman delivers Nationwide AIS to Coast Guard

    Northrop Grumman has delivered its Nationwide Automatic Identification System (AIS) to the Coast Guard; the system provides a more comprehensive view of vessels bound for and navigating within U.S. ports and waterways

  • ONR sensor and software suite tracks, hunts down more than 600 suspect boats

    A new sensor and software suite sponsored by the Office of Naval Research recently returned from West Africa after helping partner nations track and identify target vessels of interest as part of an international maritime security operation

  • More effective radiation detection of cargo, baggage

    A new technique for radiation detection that could make radiation detection in cargo and baggage more effective and less costly for homeland security inspectors; the novel detection method relies on spectral shape discrimination (SSD), taking advantage of a new class of nanoporous materials known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs)

  • Exploring the Bermuda Triangle's swirling vortices

    Researchers, funded by the Office of Naval Research, deployed twenty-one underwater probes to study vortices at the Bermuda Triangle; a vortex is a swirl of water that can be created in several ways, including water being pushed between land masses and then released into the open ocean; the oceanographers did well to lose only one of the underwater probes, considering they were studying the notorious Triangle

  • High-seas piracy? There will soon be an app for that

    The U.S. Navy is sponsoring research aiming at developing Web applications to help multinational navies police the world’s oceans

  • CBP tests streamlined cargo security procedure

    U.S. Customs & Border Protection’s (CBP) launched Simplified Entry Pilot, which allows participants to file a streamlined data set much earlier in the import process, thus providing more time to identify security threats