Mapping Dark Maritime Networks
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This research sought answers to the following the questions: A - Can social network analysis enhance maritime domain awareness and interdiction operations? B - What role do maritime dark networks play in supporting artificial reef construction in the South China Sea? C - Can existing analytic tools (e.g. ORA, UCINET for social network analysis; AIS and SEAVISION for geo-locating/tracking) be integrated for improved identification, geo-location, and tracking of maritime dark network platforms (military and commercial), associated owners/operators/State Owned Enterprises, commonly used ports, activities, and cargoes? D – Can technologies currently being pursued by SPAWAR, NRL, and ONI (e.g. ship recognition algorithms and sensors) be integrated as unstructured data into the social network matrices to enhance identification and tracking? E – Can this research be used to enhance maritime domain awareness in other areas of maritime dark network activities such as illicit trafficking, piracy, hybrid warfare, Illegal and Unregulated fishing? User-Filtered Ships, Ports, and Islands Findings Using commercially available geospatial and temporal data, researchers were also able to develop a network of homeports for dredging and support vessels. This data enables more robust analysis within the maritime network. NPS researchers have identified 314 Chinese vessels that are assessed to have engaged in dredging, terra forma, or reef enhancement operations in the South China Sea. Principally, these vessels are involved in the construction of artificial land formations in the Spratly and Paracel Islands, Mischief, Subi, and Fiery Cross Reefs. We have concluded from the research we conducted and the tools we developed, that depictions of the maritime networks and chord diagrams of OPAREAS and ports visited associated with specific ships of interest could, with relative ease, be integrated into existing platforms such as SEAVISON. ?Initial Depiction of Ships (red nodes) and Holding Companies
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