Detection of Human Targets in Open Water
Current airborne search techniques rely on an operator to look out a window with binoculars or at a video monitor connected to a turreted camera system. Disparities in crew training, experience, qualification, and attentiveness (as well as fatigue) lead to an undesirable variability in manual EO/IR detection results. To reduce the demands placed on the search crew and increase the likelihood of detecting persons in the water, it is vital that wide area search and automatic detection capabilities be developed. By bringing to bear the latest advances in EO/IR sensors and image processing, integrated detection systems can dramatically improve the search rate and probability of detection. Specifically, wide area sensors are now capable of detecting anomalies on the surface, distinguishing targets from environmental clutter, and providing accurate georegistered detection and tracking information that a higher resolution turreted system can use to classify and identify the target. Areté Associates proposes to develop a novel forward-looking EO/IR detection system that, in combination with advanced signal detection and tracking algorithms, is capable of real-time detection of swimmers in the water both day and night with >90% PD and high search rate under a range of environmental conditions including robust seas.
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