Preventing pirates from boarding commercial vessels - a systems approach
Cohort 311-111A4 and 311–131A
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Piracy represents a serious threat to modern maritime traffic, causing significant financial losses as well as loss of life. The system’s proposed area of operation is the waters of Indonesia, as current antipiracy solutions are not feasible due to the region’s unique physical geography. Worldwide deployment is possible with minimal modifications. The systems engineering process was used to identify a system that effectively and economically prevents pirates from boarding commercial vessels. A model of the operational environment was developed in MATLAB to run simulations designed to estimate the relative effectiveness of each assessed countermeasure. A cost analysis was performed on the most effective system configurations to determine economic feasibility; the best-value system was recommended. The results of the project indicated that the P-Trap countermeasure, designed to entangle the pirate’s propellers with thin lines, is both effective and economically viable for wide-scale deployment. The further addition of a fire hose system using net projectiles to increase the difficulty of boarders to climb onto the vessel was found to enhance the system effectiveness, while remaining cost-effective.
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