Comprehensive radar and camera network over the entire Antwerp port area

Comprehensive radar and camera network over the entire Antwerp port area

Port of Antwerp-Bruges — 2023-06-28

Members Corner

Port of Antwerp-Bruges is taking traffic management to the next level with the launch of an extensive digital radar and camera network. This advanced equipment scans the entire Antwerp port area and will become the backbone of safe and efficient shipping traffic. Following the recently launched drone network, this represents another important step towards the realisation of a complete digital nervous system covering the area.

Full coverage

The vast Antwerp port area covers more than 120 km2 with 11,000 hectares of waterways and quays. About 300,000 shipping movements take place in the port every year. In order to continuously monitor this entire area and all ship movements, the Port of Antwerp-Bruges has expanded and digitized the camera and radar infrastructure.

The 460 cameras and 22 radars are directly connected to the Antwerp Coordination Center and provide operational services such as Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) and the Harbourmaster's Office with a complete, comprehensive view of the port. This allows them to closely monitor shipping and incidents and to manage waterways and berths more efficiently and safely according to the highest IALA (International Association of Lighthouse Authorities) standards. The images are then viewed and analyzed by colleagues with police authority and can be shared with security services and other authorities.

Future proof

With this network launching today, the port now has one of the most advanced and high-performance systems of any port in the world. Thanks to the digitisation of the entire network, it is also ready to be connected to APICA (Advanced Port Information and Control Assistant), the port's digital twin. This digital copy of the entire port area provides a scan every second to create a real-time picture of what is happening at the port based on thousands of pieces of data from a network of cameras, sensors and drones. Operational since 2022, APICA supports port workers to quickly gain visibility into the situation on the ground, and, therefore, to carry out their work more safely and efficiently.

The smart cameras are equipped with specially developed artificial intelligence with which they can recognize ships. In combination with detailed radar data, this real-time data will further increase situational awareness in the future in order to evolve towards predictive and steering behaviour.

You can download images via this link

Annick De Ridder, Port Alderman of the City of Antwerp and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, "This extensive state-of-the-art radar and camera network is a first in the port world. We are also putting it into operation less than three months after the launch of the unique drone network. Our port therefore continues to invest thoroughly in the very latest technologies and infrastructure. The aim is to make the Antwerp port area, with its 11,000 hectares of waterways and quays, one of the safest and most efficiently run in the world and improve and strengthen the services to customer companies.

Rob Smeets, Chief Operations Officer Port of Antwerp-Bruges, “This network is a great asset to our port in terms of safety and operational efficiency. The new sensors form the technological backbone of shipping assistance. In the past, there were a few blind spots in the port area where we had no insight into unexpected shipping movements or incidents. Thanks to the successful cooperation with our concessionaires, we have been able to install radars and cameras in many new locations. Not an inch of blue stone escapes this extensive network.

Erwin Verstraelen, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer Port of Antwerp-Bruges, “This network is essential for the further roll-out of a digital nervous system across the physical port, supporting a safer and more secure port. Integrating this data into the digital twin brings us closer to the goal of having a finger on the pulse of what is happening in the vast port area permanently and everywhere.