Denver, Colorado - 25 August 2010 --[ASDWire]-- To enhance maritime domain awareness, Sentient, Australian specialist in computer vision technology, today unveiled Kestrel Maritime, a computer vision solution for automated EO/IR surveillance in the maritime environment. This expands the Sentient's Kestrel product range beyond the existing Land MTI solution currently deployed in Afghanistan.
Kestrel Maritime automatically detects and tracks objects on the surface of the ocean below an aerial vehicle. It assists ISR operators by processing and exploiting EO/IR imagery in real-time, locating objects too small for fatigued human eyes to detect. The solution complements radar by detecting objects in littoral environments or objects with a low electronic signature.
"The maritime environment is very challenging for aerial surveillance. The constantly changing surface of the sea makes detection and tracking of small vessels and objects very difficult for both humans and automated analysis systems," said Dr Paul Boxer, Managing Director of Sentient. "In addition, radar has its own limitations in small object detection as it is often unable to detect small boats or humans in the water."
Kestrel Maritime is capable of detecting small objects through scattered clouds and in high sea states, despite whitecaps and sun glare.
"Kestrel Maritime's ability to operate in littoral environments and to find very small targets in difficult conditions assist with counter narcotic operations close to shore, passive submarine surveillance, illegal littoral operations and search and rescue missions," stated Boxer.
Kestrel Maritime has been successfully tested in a maritime surveillance role on the P-3 Orion and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) such as the Insitu ScanEagle.
Kestrel Maritime has the potential to significantly enhance Maritime Patrol Operations. In one possible Concept of Operations, Kestrel Maritime processes real-time imagery on board the UAV, and thus enables multiple Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS) to operate over the horizon (OTH).
"This application overcomes the bandwidth constraints for SUAS operating over the horizon, giving manufacturers of smaller UAS the ability to compete with alternative forms of Maritime Patrol," Boxer said.
Kestrel Maritime will be available for order in November 2010.
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