Pirates are active in many parts of the ocean today. They are generally gangs of armed men who move around in fast small motor boats, working from larger “mother ships” where they get their supplies and fuel. These fast boats then rapidly approach slower moving yachts or merchant ships, board them and rob the people on board, steal their cargoes or passengers’ property, and can even hold a ship and its crew for ransom sometimes for millions of dollars.
Israeli company El-Op, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems, has developed the ‘Micro Compass’ system, which serves as a stabilized wide-area observation system suitable for use by day and by night. Despite its small physical size it provides a long-term view in harsh conditions.
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Micro Compass is usually attached to the main mast of the ship and consists of a zoom camera utilizing night vision capability as well as a color zoom day camera. The system was originally developed for military use, but as the growing threat from pirates has increased so has the interest in the system for civilian use by ship and yacht owners.
”Identification of a threat from a distance of many kilometers can help prevent pirate ships from boarding and taking over a yacht or ship by providing warnings in time. Boat owners recognize the huge potential dangers that can confront them on the open sea today so it is no wonder that they are taking a keen interest in the Micro Compass system, commented an expert yesterday.
Courtesy of i-HLS