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New radar detection safety system launched on Niagara River


Thu, Feb 7th 2019 04:35 pm

Technology will monitor vessels approaching hazardous or restricted river areas

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and New York Power Authority (NYPA) have launched a public safety detection and alerting system that will help around the vicinity of the International Niagara Control Works in Niagara Falls.

“Boaters who fail to stay clear of marked exclusion zones are exposing themselves to a real risk due to the high turbulence and strong currents, which can be encountered near the International Control Dam,” said Mike Martelli, OPG president, Renewable Generation. “While this additional tool will help ensure the public’s safety, it’s important to remind boaters that they are responsible for their own navigation safety and must obey warning signs and buoys.”

“This new radar system that can detect even very small craft like canoes and paddle boards is a big leap forward in public safety for the many people who use the Niagara River both recreationally and commercially,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. ”We’re grateful for the cooperation of our partners at OPG and the advances in technology that have made it possible to bring this critical new safety system to the shores of the Niagara River.”

The safety system, designed by Niagara Falls-based company Accipiter Radar, is designed to help detect, track and identify recreational users who may be in danger due to hazardous conditions, whether through mechanical failure, disregarding warning signage or deliberate risk-taking. A steerable high-powered acoustic device, equipped with search light and high-resolution camera, will enable the nearby International Control Works operators to assess the situation and provide an audible alert that the approaching vessel is in imminent danger. Both OPG and NYPA began implementing the new technology in November.

Accipiter is currently working on a new generation of the system that will give an early warning of ice floes and help steer NYPA and OPG ice-cutting crews to areas with potential ice build-ups that can cause flooding and hinder power generation.

OPG generates safe, clean, reliable, low-cost power for Ontario. More than 99 percent of this power is free of smog and greenhouse gas emissions. OPG’s power is priced an average of 40 percent lower than other generators, which helps moderate customer bills.

NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit‑miles of transmission lines. More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean, renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information, visit www.nypa.gov.

Accipiter Radar is a North American company that develops, sells and operates high-performance Radar Intelligence Networks that monitor the behavior of uncooperative targets such as small vessels, low-flying aircraft, vehicles and birds, as well as distributed phenomenon such as weather, waves and ice. Accipiter is a world leader in extracting actionable intelligence from multiple surveillance sources. Its suite of Surveillance-to-Intelligence (S2I) analytical user apps provides both tactical (real-time) and strategic (historical) situational awareness for 21st century safety and security applications.

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