For military operations, the availability of high-quality imaging information from Electro-Optical / Infrared (EO/IR) sensors is of vital importance. This information can be used for timely detection and identification of threatening vessels in an environment with a large amount of neutral vessels. EO/IR sensors provide imagery of all vessels at different moments in time. It is challenging to interpret the images of the different vessels within a larger region of interest. It is therefore helpful to automatically detect and track vessels, and save the detections of the vessels, called snapshots, for identification purposes.
Of all available snapshots, only the best and most representative snapshots should be selected for the operator. In this paper, we present two different approaches for snapshot selection from a vessel track. The first is based on directional track information, and the second on the snapshot appearance. We present results for both these methods on IR recordings, containing vessels with different track patterns in a harbor scenario.
Detecting maritime targets with electro-optical (EO) sensors is an active area of research. One current trend is to automate target detection through image processing or computer vision. Automation of target detection will decrease the number of people required for lower-level tasks, which frees capacity for higher-level tasks. A second trend is that the targets of interest are changing; more distributed and smaller targets are of increasing interest. Technological trends enable combined detection and identification of targets through machine learning. These trends and new technologies require a new approach in target detection strategies with specific attention to choosing which sensors and platforms to deploy.
In our current research, we propose a ‘maritime detection framework 2.0’, in which multi-platform sensors are combined with detection algorithms. In this paper, we present a comparison of detection algorithms for EO sensors within our developed framework and quantify the performance of this framework on representative data.
Automatic detection can be performed within the proposed framework in three ways: 1) using existing detectors, such as detectors based on movement or local intensities; 2) using a newly developed detector based on saliency on the scene level; and 3) using a state-of-the-art deep learning method. After detection, false alarms are suppressed using consecutive tracking approaches. The performance of these detection methods is compared by evaluating the detection probability versus the false alarm rate for realistic multi-sensor data.
New types of maritime targets require new target detection strategies. Combining new detection strategies with existing tracking technologies shows potential increase in detection performance of the complete framework.