WatchStander is a state-of-the-art radar system that is designed to help ships identify boats that could house pirates. Most ships today are equipped with radars that allow them to identify other ships from a distance, but these radars aren't great at detecting the small and low-slung vessels used by pirates.
WatchStander uses shorter radio wavelengths than standard ship radar systems, allowing it to detect smaller watercraft up to 2 miles away. The radar uses artificial intelligence software developed at Penn State University's Applied Research Laboratory to track suspicious boats and see if they exhibit dangerous behaviors such as approaching the ship at high speed or attempting to intercept the ship's course.
If suspicious behavior is detected, the WatchStander will shine a high-intensity spotlight at the boat, disorienting the pirates and warning them that they've been spotted.
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