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Automated Detection of Whale Blows in Infrared Video

Award Information

Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Sonalysts, Inc.
215 Parkway North P.O. Box 280 Waterford, CT -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Automated Detection of Whale Blows in Infrared Video
Agency / Branch: DOC / NOAA
Contract: WC133R-11-CN-153
Award Amount: $95,000.00


The gray whale migration generates many hours of video that must be examined carefully to identify passing whales and get an accurate count of their numbers. Unfortunately, humans lack the necessary attention span. To solve this problem, a detector will be developed that can process hours of video, detecting whale blows while minimizing false positives and negatives. With an accurate record of the time and position of whale blows, it is possible to calculate the numbers of animals in each group, their average swimming speed, and, in the longer view, to measure the species abundance. Sonalysts, along with the University of Dayton’s School of Engineering and Whale Acoustics, will design a software architecture that encourages the loose coupling of pluggable components for: input processing of sensor streams, analysis algorithms, visualization systems, and storage components to support the workflow of whale population monitoring. This solution will draw upon our research-grade Heuristic Intelligent Storage System, a distributed, intelligent, large stream data ingest, data mining and storage system. This framework, coupled with image processing algorithms and whale population density estimation expertise, will define a video processing system that will produce more accurate results with less labor.

Principal Investigator:

Margaret P. Bailey
VP Software Development
(860) 326-3621

Business Contact:

Sara Theriault
Contracting Officer
(860) 326-3634
Small Business Information at Submission:

Sonalysts, Inc.
215 Parkway North PO Box 280 Waterford, CT 06385-1209

EIN/Tax ID: 060902362
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No