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Finnish company launches new surveillance device to protect undersea infrastructure

The third-generation UNWAS system enables 24/7 highly automated and cost-efficient surveillance and protection of underwater pipelines, subsea cables, ports, and harbours. (Image Soft)

Image Soft, a Finnish underwater and maritime technology company, launched on 8 May the latest version of its Underwater Surveillance System (UNWAS) designed to protect subsea cables, pipelines, and harbours.

The new third-generation UNWAS system is a highly automated maritime surveillance system that detects, locates, and classifies all underwater threats such as submarines, divers, autonomous underwater vehicles, and remotely operated vehicles, the company said.

According to the company, the third-generation system can detect approaching threats from “extreme ranges”. It achieves this by integrating a digital electronics and software suite along with a distributed modular sensor network with passive hydrophones. The system can also operate in congested and acoustically challenging conditions, such as the Baltic and the North seas, and functions without causing sound pollution to the oceans.

Tuomas Pöyry, vice-president of the company, told Janes that its detection range exceeds 30 km in good weather conditions. He was unable to elaborate further on the system for security reasons.

Included with the latest UNWAS system is a subsea protection software suite that leverages deep learning processes. This means the system can be taught to recognise specific threats and activities – for example, identifying a mini submarine that is attempting to hide under a noisy civilian cargo ship.

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