Improved method developed to locate ships in storms

Mar 01, 2011
A team of engineers from the University of Alcalá de Henares has developed a new system for better detecting ships in stormy seas, which has been published in the journal IET Radar, Sonar & Navigation. The technique consists of analyzing radar images and applying an algorithm based on artificial neural networks. Credit: Rui Daniel, Christiaan Conover (cc). Photomontage: SINC.

There are already systems that detect ships at sea, but a group of engineers from the UAH, led by the researcher Raúl Vicen, has introduced a new development, involving "the use of artificial intelligence techniques and improvements in the templates used to select input data".

The team has come up with a new detection method "that outperforms the one that has generally been used until now, as well as offering the advantages of low computational costs, and which can also be used in real time".

The new system, the details of which are published in the journal IET , Sonar & Navigation, involves firstly gathering information from radar data using a series of templates designed by the scientists. This phase makes use of regular radar tracking data (both horizontal and vertical), as well as other more advanced modes (diagonal).

An artificial neural network architecture called a "multilayer perceptron" that is capable of learning from its environment, is then used. This makes it possible to differentiate between ships and waves in the confused radar images seen during storms.

Test passed in the North Sea

The technique has been successfully trialled using data from an X-band sea radar system (the most common in these kinds of devices, with frequencies of between 7 and 12.5 gigahertz), located on the German FINO-1 research platform in the North Sea.

"The fact that we obtained results with real data shows that this method can be installed in ship and ocean platform radar systems, without any problem", the authors explain.

According to the study, this system offers "substantial" improvements in comparison with the conventional systems used for detecting , such as the CA-CFAR technique (Cell Averaging-Constant False Alarm Rate). Radar systems usually use these algorithms to detect targets among the waves, or 'sea clutter', but the proposed system "outperforms the current systems in terms of its detection rates".

Explore further: Off-world manufacturing is a go with space printer

More information: R. Vicen-Bueno R., Carrasco-Álvarez M.P., Jarabo-Amores J.C., Nieto-Borge y M. Rosa-Zurera. "Ship detection by different data selection templates and multilayer perceptrons from incoherent maritime radar data". IET Radar, Sonar & Navigation 5(2): 144-154, February 2011. DOI: 10.1049/iet-rsn.2010.0001

Provided by FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Warm winter also in the Arctic

Mar 29, 2007

Central Europe is not the only place where the past, warm winter has caused record temperatures. Unusually mild temperatures also prevented ice formation in the Arctic, specifically in the region around Spitsbergen. ...

Boston airport testing radar to avoid avian accidents

Jul 14, 2009

Airports have grappled with the issue of sharing the sky with members of the avian family for decades. Most recently, US Airways Flight 1549 was forced to make a water landing in the Hudson River off of New ...

Recommended for you

Off-world manufacturing is a go with space printer

Dec 20, 2014

On Friday, the BBC reported on a NASA email exchange with a space station which involved astronauts on the International Space Station using their 3-D printer to make a wrench from instructions sent up in ...

First drone in Nevada test program crashes in demo

Dec 19, 2014

A drone testing program in Nevada is off to a bumpy start after the first unmanned aircraft authorized to fly without Federal Aviation Administration supervision crashed during a ceremony in Boulder City.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.