The maritime security domain is a complex system where threats continue to evolve. To provide a common situation picture for Singapore’s maritime agencies, DSTA designed and developed an integrated command and control system which integrates data from diverse information sources and provides early warning of shipping threats. As the system is required to integrate with systems from different government agencies and commercial data sources, the DSTA team had to address several operational and security issues. Drawing from its experience in systems integration, the team developed a system with a flexible, open and yet secure architecture so that integration with other systems and data sources can be achieved with minimal effort.

The operators in the National Maritime Sense-making Centre (NMSC) receive voluminous shipping data required to conduct threat profiling of all ships that arrive in or transit through Singapore waters. Typically, operators spent a lot of time linking and making sense of this data manually. To address this issue, the team developed an information fusion engine which automatically links all related information, thus reducing the operators’ sense-making efforts significantly. 

To further enhance the system, the team designed and delivered a user customisable threat profiling engine that allows operators to create different threat scenarios to be monitored by the system. This capability eliminates the need for reprogramming of the software given the evolving threat scenarios which require frequent tuning and customisation.

The complexity of the project drove the team to tap DSTA’s expertise in various domains including systems acquisition, systems integration and software development. A good degree of understanding and cooperation allowed the team to overcome project challenges in the installation and integration of the system at other national agencies’ operations centres. In September 2013, the team delivered this robust, secure and reliable system for the operators and analysts at the NMSC, and at various operations centres of other national agencies.