Maritime Domain Awareness

Research projects in Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA)

Nearshore and Harbor Surveillance
Given the density of commercial and recreational vessel traffic in the nation's estuary and harbor environments, vessel detection, tracking, and classification of small ships (including surface and underwater) is essentially impossible given today's COTS and GOTS technologies. This project's goal is to examine the use of systems of sensors that can provide continuous, high-resolution, all-weather vessel detection surveillance of the vessel traffic in these environments. New and existing sensor technologies are examined, including underwater acoustic, video cameras, and IR cameras operating at different wavelengths. These sensors are coupled with advanced data integration, pattern recognition, anomaly detection, and decision-support systems.

Space Surveillance
This vessel detection research project develops new understanding and new processes for receiving and analyzing large maritime area data from multi-satellite and multi-frequency sensors such as Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and electro-optical (EO) sensors. Algorithms will be developed to employ the data to detect vessels, including small ships, in harbors, the coastal ocean and the high seas. Algorithms are also being developed to integrate this vessel detection information with ground-based systems such as AIS.