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Why Mini-ROVs Could be the Future of Contraband Inspections

Kiara Vallier   |   April 11, 2016

Geopolitical conflicts, the global marketplace and burgeoning intercontinental travel expand the need for border security around the globe. Land and air borders are well secured for most nations. It is more difficult to assure the same level of coastal protection to maritime communities along extended coastlines and waterways. Vessels of every description require inspection upon entry to new jurisdictions to ensure national and personal security.

In the summer of 2015 Deep Trekker posted a blog entry about marine inspections for contraband utilizing a mini-remotely operated vehicle (ROV). We recognized important issues concerning border security inspections and identified the hull of a vessel as the most important inspection area of a ship entering a nation’s borders.

When focusing solely on marine transportation and vessel inspections, there are a variety of threats that can face a nation. Contraband such as weapons, drugs and other prohibited items can be attached below the waterline to the hull of most vessels. Inspections performed in ports and along water borders can be tricky due to the nature of the situation. With a significant portion of every vessel submerged underwater, the inspection process can present risks and challenges.

While there are several ways in which border security inspections can take place, some present themselves as safer than others. In situations where there is a suspected threat, for example weapons being stored on the hull of the ship, sending a diver to check it out can be very dangerous.
Deep Trekker mini-ROVs are an effective solution to such situations. ROVs such as our DTG3 ROV offer security personnel portability, ease of use and detailed visual evidence to assess breaches. With a 320 degree field of view, inspection officers can use a Deep Trekker DTG3 ROV to inspect the hull of watercraft vessels while remaining on shore or deck and physically distanced from any potential threats that may be found.

With optional add-ons such as crawler wheels and auxiliary cameras, Deep Trekker offers the perfect packages to perform port security inspections. Using a mini-ROV is safe and cost effective (much less so than hiring divers); the DTG3 ROV can be deployed much faster than a dive team or larger ROVs that often require additional equipment, external power, and dedicated/certified operators.

By using a mini-ROV like the DTG3 ROV, security officers can deploy a unit and begin conducting comprehensive hull inspections in less than 5 minutes. Speedy and reliable inspections are extremely beneficial to border officials and to maintaining maritime security (especially during busy boating seasons).
To learn more about how our ROVs and hull inspections follow the link here.

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