The goal of this challenge is to engage with the workforce of tomorrow on challenging and relevant Naval problems. The need here is to augment unmanned surface vehicles’ (USVs’) maritime contact tracking capability.
Current traffic avoidance software relies on AIS and radar for tracking other craft and avoiding collisions. However, in a contested environment, emitting radar energy presents a vulnerability to detection by adversaries.
Deactivating RF transmitting sources mitigates the threat of detection, but without additional sensing and sensor fusion, it would also degrade the USV’s ability to monitor shipping traffic in its vicinity.
The technology developed for this prize challenge will solve this problem by developing a computer vision system that will plot the tracks of shipping traffic exclusively using the passive sensing capability of onboard cameras. This technology would also be applicable for the Navy to document vessels performing unsafe navigation on the high seas.