SAN DIEGO: USS Peleliu (LHA 5) became the first ship in the Navy to implement the amphibious low-light surveillance system (ALSS) Aug. 12 while in port San Diego.
Peleliu’s ALSS provides for safer evolutions by allowing operational leaders more visibility of spaces on the ship and wider, zoomable views of places the old camera system covered.
“We installed 29 cameras, which can be controlled from eight stations throughout the ship,” said Dan Bischoff, project leader for Naval Air Systems Command in Lakehurst, N.J. “A combination of fixed and movable cameras with zoom capability will help cover the flight deck, well deck, waterline, hangar bay, vehicle stowage and engineering spaces.”
Bischoff estimated the implementation of ALSS from start to finish cost more than $1 million and was completed by a team effort of professionals from General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, Naval Air Systems Command and Naval Sea Systems Command.
Bischoff said the bombing of the USS Cole (DDG 67) on Oct. 12, 2000, influenced the planning of ALSS.
“Originally the ALSS was going to be used primarily for flight deck and amphibious operations only, but the Cole incident showed the benefits of being able to remotely monitor engineering spaces,” said Bischoff. “So, the designs were changed and the concept grew.”
Bischoff added that the ALSS works well with Peleliu’s new green well deck and primary flight control tower’s lighting, which provides for safe night vision device operations.
Another practical use of ALSS is video surveillance, helping to assist the ship’s security force.
“This system is better than the last one we had,” said Master-at-Arms 1st Class (SW) Ronald Maples, security leading petty officer. “It has better clarity, detail and definition. Before, we could barely make out if someone on the pier approaching the ship was a male or female, but now we can actually tell specifically who it is.”
Maples said the new system’s steerable zooming features enable the ship’s security force to track “persons of interest” near the ship, which the old system’s cameras could not do.