Sensor solutions for the intelligent detection of people on ships

The product portfolio ranges from solutions for docking support to access control as well as man-overboard detection

Man-overboard detection and electronic docking support in one sensor: The MRS6000 3D LiDAR sensor from SICK

The protection of access areas, man-overboard detection, electronic docking support, detection of paths or authorised access control mark up the SICK People Flow portfolio for maritime use. The sensor and system solutions are based on innovative technologies such as 2D and 3D LiDAR (light detection and ranging) or RFID (radio frequency identification), which are specially adapted for the detection of people on ships as well as use in ports, channels or access gates. SICK offers all these solutions from a single source, from the first consultation to project support, integration and on-site service.

Process and emission monitoring, hazard detection and automation for loading, unloading and checking in – the People Flow portfolio rounds out the wide range of SICK solutions for the shipping industry.

Man-overboard detection and electronic docking support in one sensor

One of the most innovative sensor solutions of its type is the MRS6000. This 3D LiDAR sensor is used for permanent monitoring of outdoor ship areas. It provides maximum reliability during every swell, in any weather and at all times of days as spray, rain or fog are detected as disturbances and blocked out. This is made possible by the high-speed sampling developed by SICK – a measurement process that is capable of performing, at scanning speeds of up to 100Hz, evaluation of up to five return pulses from each laser pulse which has been sent, thereby ensuring the highest availability even under harsh weather and ambient conditions. The intelligent electronic evaluation also makes it possible to differentiate between objects in the sensor field: a seabird is ignored, but a person is reliably detected as such, and an alarm – for example “man overboard” – is triggered.

If the ship is in port, the sensor can be used as electronic docking support in the same installation situation. The 5-echo technology at this moment enables highly precise position or distance detection about the quay wall – even if it’s dark, rainy or foggy. The sensor continuously measures the decreasing distance between the ship and bank reinforcement and detects both bollards and objects with which the ship could collide when docking.

Path detection of individuals and groups

With the LMS1xx 2D LiDAR sensor, SICK is providing a solution for detecting the paths people take on ships. People, their directions of movement and their speed can be detected both individually and as an entire group. For example, detection and static evaluation on cruise ships are possible to determine when which leisure areas, bars or shopping decks are frequented and by how many people and if there is optimisation potential for more attractions and more uniform utilisation. In serious situations, the non-contact measurement system outputs important information for safety and rescue measures: Overfilled escape routes are immediately detected with the LMS1xx and the people are instructed by the crew to take detours. And people who move against the flow of the passengers when disembarking are reliably detected by the 2D LiDAR sensor and – in contrast to pure video monitoring – also reported automatically.

Access protection and access control on and off the deck

Detection of people at all times access only for authorised people – SICK handles these safety-relevant tasks from a single source. LMS5xx 2D LiDAR sensors monitor decks and ship areas. They report when people move out of publicly-accessible areas into locked zones on inner and outer decks. The monitoring fields can be designed flexibly according to the constructional conditions of the ship and adapted to different functions at any time. Seabirds flying through the monitoring field or sitting on the railing set off faulty alarms as rarely as do reflections from the water’s surface, direct sunlight or spray caused by large swells. Both as a stand-alone system or as an addition to area monitoring, the RAM security system enables authorised access control with a flexibly manageable person- and area-related access rights, e.g. for the machine room or the captain’s bridge. The system is based on radio frequency technology with personalised transponders as electronic keys. The large range of the system makes it possible to open doors when they are approached, for example when goods are being delivered or during rescue missions. If a transponder gets lost or stolen, its ID number is simply deleted in the database of the RAM and any further access is prevented.