Aesthetically innovative structure with its captivating lines, defying gravity with its inclination, applaused by some, repulsed by others.
Surrounded by the waters of the Tagus estuary, the VTS Tower of the Port of Lisbon is located in Algés, on the edge of an artificial pier of a port, that will soon host the barges and boats of the Bar Pilots. Inaugurated in July 2001 by the Minister Ferro Rodrigues, the structure designed by architect Gonçalo Byrne serves as a shelter for the Bar Pilots and works as a Center for Coordination and Control of Marine Port of Lisbon (CCCMPL). Also, there are coordinated actions for surveillance, port security and port environment.
It is supported by 25 cuttings with 1 meter diameter and 20 meters in length, sunk 2 meters in the basaltic platform. The APL (Administration of the Port of Lisbon) had spent € 67,710 just for the foundations, when the whole construction was up by 11 million euros.
A system VTS (Vessel Traffic System - Control of Maritime Traffic) aims to monitor and provide additional information to vessels in confined or heavy traffic waters
. The controllers, through security cameras, radars, sensors, among other equipment, receive data allowing them to monitor and control the movement at sea. They also manage the pier for berthing.
The first VTS system appeared in Liverpol in 1949. The system consisted of a ground radar that provided the necessary information to coordinate the movements of ships. A similar system with more radar stations was mounted by the Netherlands in 1956 to monitor maritime traffic in the port of Rotterdam. The system is spread rapidly through much of the ports of Western Europe.
The VTS of the Port of Lisbon monitors the region understood "Entre-Cabos" (imaginary line between the Cabo Espichel and Cabo da Roca), west of Lisbon, to Vasco da Gama bridge in the east. To do this, it uses two radars installed in Cacilhas along the quays of the Cacilheiros, and on top of the Trafaria Silos, both in southern Tagus, satellite communication and surveillance cameras installed at strategic locations, such as marinas and ports of anchorage. The Port of Lisbon is about to change the west limit, the line Entre-Cabos as already stated, to the line delimiting the fifteen nautical miles (about 28 Km) from the Fort of São Julião, in Oeiras. This change is due to the proximity of the buoy 2 (beginning of the string * of the entrance to Port of Lisbon) to the Entre-Cabos line, which means that in a short space of time is required to establish new contact between the tower and the ship.
* A string is an imaginary line defined by two fixed objects, widely used in navigation along the coast to establish a position. In the Port of Lisbon, the string that prevents banks of sand (cachopos) of Bugio and São Julião is defined by three buildings: the Gibalta, a lighthouse located between Caxias and Cruz Quebrada, the Esteiro, another lighthouse, smaller, located in Mata in the National Stadium; and Mama South, a building built on a hill near the Serra de Carnaxide.
A Cache: Trata-se de uma Micro (sorry...) escondida perto do ponto ideal de observação da torre. Não está dentro das instalações do IPIMAR e sejam MUITO discretos! Há muitos muggles dentro dos carros, especialmente aos fins de semana. Divirtam-se!
The Cache: It's a Micro (sorry...) hidden near the ideal spot to look at the tower. It is hiden outside the fence and be VERY stealth! There are a lot of muggles inside the cars at weekends. Enjoy!