Port of Long Beach security officials are installing a $1.4 million radar system in the harbor to provide a crucial ability to track on-water movements of all vessels - especially smaller watercraft - and feed the information into the Port's new Security Command and Control Center. Existing radar facilities in the harbor can monitor larger vessels, but the Port's system will be capable of tracking small vessels typical of delivering vessel-borne improvised explosive devices. The radar system will interact with existing radar and camera systems from throughout the port complex to deliver real-time images of on-water vessel activity. "Radar is an important part of building our maritime domain awareness capabilities," said Cosmo Perrone, Port of Long Beach Director of Security. "The ability to monitor small vessels is extremely important in the post-9/11 era, as these watercraft can threaten ships and facilities."
The Port's system - scheduled to be completed in November 2009 - is being built by SSR Engineering of Anaheim, which also provided the radar systems for the Marine Exchange and Jacobsen Pilots. Because it uses the same technology, the Port will be able to tap into and share information with those systems. By integrating with the existing systems, the Port will extend radar coverage at a considerable cost savings. Further, the Coast Guard also uses SSR, so the Port will be able to share data with the Coast Guard as well. SSR has a national reputation, and has built similar units at seaports along the West and East coasts. A federal Department of Homeland Security Grant will provide $1.043 million for the project,
with the Port providing $347,600.