Unmanned aircraft systems in maritime operations: Challenges addressed in the scope of the SEAGULL project

TitleUnmanned aircraft systems in maritime operations: Challenges addressed in the scope of the SEAGULL project
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsMarques, MMonteiro, Dias, P, Santos, NPessanha, Lobo, V, Batista, R, Salgueiro, D, Aguiar, A, Costa, M, J. da Silva, E, Ferreira, ASérgio, de Sousa, JBorges, Bento, MNunes, Pereira, E, Morgado, J, Ribeiro, R, Marques, JS, Bernardino, A, Grine, M, Taiana, M
JournalMTS/IEEE OCEANS 2015 - Genova: Discovering Sustainable Ocean Energy for a New World
ISBN Number9781479987368
KeywordsComputer Vision, Sense and Avoid, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

–The SEAGULL project aims at the development of intelligent systems to support maritime situation awareness based on unmanned aerial vehicles. It proposes to create an intelligent maritime surveillance system by equipping unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with different types of optical sensors. Optical sensors such as cameras (visible, infrared, multi and hyper spectral) can contribute significantly to the generation of situational awareness of maritime events such as (i) detection and georeferencing of oil spills or hazardous and noxious substances; (ii) tracking systems (e.g. vessels, shipwrecked, lifeboat, debris, etc.); (iii) recognizing behavioral patterns (e.g. vessels rendezvous, high-speed vessels, atypical patterns of navigation, etc.); and (iv) monitoring parameters and indicators of good environmental status. On-board transponders will be used for collision detection and avoidance mechanism (sense and avoid). This paper describes the core of the research and development work done during the first 2 years of the project with particular emphasis on the following topics: system architecture, automatic detection of sea vessels by vision sensors and custom designed computer vision algorithms; and a sense and avoid system developed in the theoretical framework of zero-sum differential games.