Harbor Security System

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Project Type: 

Students Involved:

Matthew Birkebak University of New Hampshire
Timothy Brown University of New Hampshire

Faculty Advisors:

Firat Eren UNH - Department of Mechanical Engineering
May-Win Thein UNH - Department of Mechanical Engineering
Shachak Pe'eri UNH - Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping
Harbors and ports provide the infrastructure for commercial trade and naval facilities. It is vital to ensure the safety of these locations. The Harbor Security System provides an optical “gate” using underwater lasers and photodetectors. This system allows monitoring of both surface and submarine vessels traveling into and out of the harbor. Also, the system provides real time alerts when unauthorized vessels enter the harbor. This project provides a proof of concept for a Harbor Security System to be implemented in Portsmouth Harbor. A scaled model of the detection system was constructed and tested. This detection system is capable of detecting surface and submarine vessels along with their velocity and length. Results of the study showed that the average error of the size estimate was 15% and the average error of the velocity estimation ratio (slope) was 9%.


Available from the National Sea Grant Library (use NHU number to search) or NH Sea Grant


  • Harbor security system (2015). Matthew Birkebak and Timothy Brown. Advisors: Shachak Pe'eri, May-Win Thein and Firat Eren.