by Christopher Knauss
The ecological importance of healthy oyster populations is well-known by now, and Maryland’s Natural Resources Police (NRP) are using new radar technology to stop poachers from harvesting the bivalves on marine sanctuaries. Kelvin Hughes has supplied SharpEye Solid State X Band surveillance technology to the NRP to enhance its enforcement network. Without a magnetron, the SharpEye technology is an innovative departure from typical marine navigation radar. The technology uses “coherent
transmission,” the term for its ability to separate targets from clutter due to their differing radial velocity components. This extra dimension gives a performance advantage in detecting small targets in clutter, which can result in safer ship operations and better law enforcement.
The SharpEye radars are a component of the NRP’s Maritime Law Enforcement Information Network, which is tasked with securing 3,100 miles of Maryland coastline. The two X Band radars provide high-resolution radar pictures 24 hours a day in all weather conditions. The images are transmitted to officers in the field in real time. The information is being shared with other government and law enforcement agencies to assist in detecting illegal activities and to help with search and rescue.