Spynel: A New Way to Fight Piracy on the Open Sea (Learn More, Video)

Piracy had been on decline since 2010 due to increased security efforts and precautions taken aboard ships.

However, in the past few years, as per the OBP report, there has been decreased vigilance by the shipping community such as hiring smaller private security teams and taking less security measures aboard ships.

In 2017, only halfway through the year, there have already been two hijackings including a tanker and a commercial ship.

To read the full OBP report, visit http://oceansbeyondpiracy.org/reports/sop

(In 2016, the Western Indian Ocean continued to see limited piracy activity, largely due to at sea mitigation efforts over the recent years. However, several attacks in early 2017 highlight the many gaps that still remain. Courtesy of One Earth Future and YouTube)

A solution to the rise in piracy is not just to increase the number of security personnel aboard ships, but to also outfit the ship with surveillance technology which will allow them to take the precautions necessary to avoid a conflict.

Electro Optical Industries’ line of 360-degree panoramic view infrared thermal cameras, Spynel, are able to detect and track targets that could present a threat to a ship and its crew.

They act as optical radars but can pick up targets that radar could not detect, such as small wooden and rigid inflatable boats up to the horizon.

(See the unparalleled capabilities of the Spynel 360 degree panoramic infrared thermal imaging system with the accompanying Cyclope software. On land or sea, during night or day, Spynel can detect and track targets in any direction. Courtesy of Spynel and YouTube)

The Spynel cameras can successfully operate at sea state level 5/6 (rough to very rough sea) thanks to an autonomous gyro-stabilized platform and in addition to mechanical stabilization, Spynels come with a sea-specific image processing stabilization algorithm.

Spynel-S with the Cyclope interface
Spynel-S with the Cyclope interface


  • Extremely wide area coverage: 360° in azimuth
  • Simultaneous and real time visualization, detection and tracking of multiple intrusions in all directions
  • Less cameras required for surveillance of wide areas
  • Day & night vision even in total darkness
  • Improved vision through fog and smoke
  • No optical distortion in panoramic image
  • Passive: undetectable
  • Automatic target detection and tracking
  • Easy to set up and to use


  • Persistent wide area surveillance
  • 24/7 perimeter security
  • 360° asymmetrical threats detection
  • UAV, USV, low air target tracking
  • Border and coastal passive surveillance
  • Auto-protection of ships
  • Fight against piracy and smuggling
  • Night time navigation
  • Search and rescue

Spynel are currently deployed on ships and at ports around the world to combat against theft, piracy, terrorism and espionage.

An optional software module enables the display AIS (Automatic Identification System) data from boats in the thermal panoramic video.

Electro-Optical Industries logoThe automatic thermal detections and the AIS data can be fused to generate alarms only for instance objects without AIS transmitter, like a pirate. (Note: This function requires an AIS receiver)