José Antonio Rodríguez Artolazábal
FLIR PT Series cameras were used in a surveillance project to detect and monitor illegal fishing and poaching activities along the Spanish Galician coast. The FLIR thermal imaging cameras combined with maritime video analytics from Gradiant were ideal for spotting illegal vessels on a 24/7 basis and at a long range. The vastness of the Galician coastline and the multitude of fishing and farming activities call for a more automated surveillance approach. Fishing, shellfish harvesting, and marine aquaculture - mainly mussel farming in inshore waters are important economic activities in Galicia (northwest of Spain). Local public authorities strictly control these activities to prevent exploitation, fish stock depletion and resulting economical losses. They are fighting a constant battle against this unfair and illegal competition that affects thousands of professionals who make a living from the fishing and seafood industry. Challenges of coastal monitoring Illegal fishing and poaching has an enormous impact on the environment and food safety Illegal fishing and poaching of seafood resources also has an enormous impact on the environment and food safety; especially during periods of toxic algal bloom (red tides), when fishing conditions are hazardous for public health. The detection of unauthorised fishing and shellfish harvesting is of paramount importance for the Galician authorities. However, monitoring and protecting all of Galicia’s inshore and offshore fisheries, shellfish harvesting areas, and marine aquaculture farms is a challenging task. Galicia has 1,200 km of coastline. Its protection involves the surveillance of activity in 122 ports, including around 5,000 fishing boats, 400 beaches dedicated to shellfish harvesting, and 47 mussel aquaculture farms, with a total of more than 3,000 bateas (floating mussel farms). Long-range thermal imaging Moreover, most illegal activity takes place at night, making it extra difficult for law enforcers to detect any type of vessel. The Galician climate does not help either. With an average of 128 days per year of rain, visibility conditions are usually not ideal for surveillance operations. Manned surveillance patrols can only do so much; they are hindered by the climate and visibility conditions, making it impossible (from a practical and financial standpoint) for coast guards to cover the entire Galician coastline. In 2017, the Galician Coast Guard started a project to test video surveillance of the coastline based on thermal imaging cameras. The pilot included the use of FLIR’s PT Series multi-sensor camera, combined with maritime video analytics software from Gradiant (Pontevedra, Spain). Multi-sensor installation FLIR thermal images were enhanced by Gradiant’s intelligent video analytics software for maritime applications The multi-sensor installation was extensively tested on two different locations along the Galician coast. One set-up was used to monitor illegal vessels on coastal waters at short/medium range, while another set-up was used for long-range monitoring. The PT Series thermal cameras allowed the Galician Coast Guard to monitor the required area over a long range on a 24/7 basis, even at night and in adverse weather conditions. In addition, the FLIR thermal images were enhanced by Gradiant’s intelligent video analytics software for maritime applications. This software is specifically adapted for monitoring coastal environments and allowed the coast guard to detect, track and geo-localise people and vessels, including small wooden and plastic boats. Visible-light camera The software enabled the thermal cameras to detect objects and people despite adverse maritime conditions, such as high waves, low contrast due to low light, fog and rain, reflections on the sea surface, camera vibrations, and the presence of distractors, such as birds and vessel wakes. The FLIR PT Series is a high-performance multi-sensor pan/tilt security camera, incorporating an uncooled thermal camera with sensitivity of <35mK and a visible-light camera with 36x optical zoom. While the thermal camera is used to detect threats over a long range based on their heat signatures, the visible-light camera can be used for verification and identification. Long-range surveillance The requirements for this long-range application were extremely challenging for any thermal camera" “FLIR is the reference for long-range surveillance applications with thermal imaging,” says José Antonio Rodríguez, Head of Video Analytics at Gradiant. “The thermal performance of the camera and the fact that this technology is easy to set up makes it ideal for this type of application. In addition, FLIR supported us from the start for lens selection, calibration of the system and much more.” “The requirements for this long-range application were extremely challenging for any thermal camera,” says Nikitas Koutsourais, Product Marketing Manager at FLIR Systems. “Thanks to the FLIR PT Series’ unique thermal sensitivity of less than 35mK, we could provide the best image performance in the market.” IP video streaming Two different configurations were used in this application. The long-range surveillance station used a FLIR PT-606 camera, and was able to detect a rubber inflatable boat at 4,000m. Despite its narrow field of view, this camera allowed for wide coverage thanks to the high-precision pan/tilt unit. The camera was able to sweep a wide field of view span in a pre-programmed sequence of pan/tilt presets. The port surveillance station used a PT-625, offering a good compromise between detection range and field of view with a single pan/tilt preset. The integration of the video analytics software with the camera was easy thanks to IP video streaming and the camera’s ONVIF compliant interfaces for pan/tilt control. Long-range surveillance typically requires the use of lenses with a narrow field of view, which is a problem when you want to monitor wide areas. Coastal protection applications The FLIR thermal cameras provided the Galician coastguard with increased situational awareness However, the video analytics from Gradiant was able to take advantage of the Preset Sequencing mode of the FLIR PT Series. This allowed the coastguard to cover a wide field of view with a single camera and to perform video analysis on each pan/tilt preset. The FLIR thermal cameras provided the Galician coastguard with increased situational awareness and allowed them to respond much quicker to illegal fishing activities. The pilot project was performed in a realistic surveillance environment along the Galician coast and generated very positive results. The combination of a multi-sensor system with Gradiant’s maritime video analytics proved to be effective to deal with the intricate Galician coast lines and a lack of open view. In addition, this technology combination is a cost-effective alternative, making automated surveillance applications accessible for fish farm companies worldwide. Extremely rugged systems Finally, the PT-Series are extremely rugged systems, which makes them ideal for coastal surveillance, especially in an extremely humid environment such as the Atlantic coast of Spain. The system’s vital core is well protected against dust and water ingress, and complies with IP66 requirements.
Gradiant is taking part at XPonential 2018 for the third time. This is the most important international fair for unmanned vehicles. This year, the Colorado Convention Center in Denver is hosting the event from April 30 to May 3 where the most relevant actors are showing the latest advances. Hand in hand with ICEX, inside the Spain Trade and Investment space in booth 1611, Gradiant is showing in the States UAS technologies and their own developments in life detection technologies. As Iago Gómez, head of UAS at Gradiant, explains “taking part in this event one more time is essential to validate and show our innovation and development work with drones, our goal is to give companies the best solutions.” At XPonential 2018, Gradiant is presenting the challenges and applications of intelligent video analysis technologies for UAS Marine surveillance from UAV “The technologies our team is showing at XPonential been developed and validated by both, national and international companies and prove Gradiant’s innovation skills in such a competitive industry like unmanned aerial vehicles. Being present at such an event for the third consecutive year is an important recognition to the quality of our work, in addition to as well as the confirmation of mature state of our technologies in an exceptional international space,” adds José A. Rodríguez Artolazábal, head of Video Analytics at Gradiant. At XPonential 2018, Gradiant is presenting, in one of the poster sessions, the challenges and applications of intelligent video analysis technologies for UAS. Highlighting marine surveillance from a UAV, as well as search and rescue and other land management applications. Drone detecting technologies In this international and specialised scenario, Gradiant is showcasing Counter UAS, a system that comprises a suite of technologies for unmanned vehicles threat detection, classification, tracking and neutralisation. This system, specially designed for critical infrastructure protection and a perfect match for other surveillance scenarios, is modular, scalable and decentralised. Counter-Fi detects and neutralises UAVs using WiFi as communication systems. RF Ear sensor uses signal intelligence techniques to detect drones by using its own communications link. Smart Eye is a module based on passive EO/IR sensors, able to work as both primary or secondary sensor for automatic UAVs detection, tracking and classification on fixed and moving cameras. SJam is an adaptive waveform generator for neutralising drones. Specially designed for alive victims detection, Alivetor is a new tool for first responders that allows them to find survivors in a quick and reliable way Alivetor tool for victim detection Besides, Gradiant is presenting security, defence and victims detections solutions. Alivetor is a drone payload designed for the detection of victims after earthquakes and other catastrophic situations resulting in people trapped under debris. Specially designed for alive victims detection, Alivetor is a new tool for first responders that allows them to find survivors in a quick and reliable way. Designed by Gradiant, Alivetor has been awarded at European Satellite Navigation Contest (ESNC 2017). To end up the US tour, Gradiant is assisting Connect:ID 2018, one of the biggest international conferences focused on biometric technologies, next-generation secure credentials, advanced digital ID solutions, mobile ID and fintech. In this context, the Spanish technology center is showing face, voice and signature biometric authenticators for digital on boarding and KYC processes with mobile devices. Gradiant Signer biometric authentication Gradiant Signer, specifically designed for Samsung Galaxy Note, allows accessing and securely signing any document anywhere. The user is authenticated via Samsung Pass to get access to a confidential document and sign it with S-Pen anywhere and anytime in a secure and reliable way, since user’s signature is verified through Gradiant’ DSV technology. faceIDNN verifies user’s identity by comparing the face with the photograph in his/her ID faceIDNN verifies user’s identity by comparing the face with the photograph in his/her ID, driver’s license or passport. Using both images, the verification techniques developed by Gradiant verify in real time if they belong to the same person. selfie&sign face biometric recognition Likewise, selfie&sign is a secure and easy-to-use solution for mobile biometric login. This face biometric recognition solution incorporates an advanced mechanism to avoid spoofing based on the simultaneous verification of the user’s handwritten signature. Gradiant’ experience in facial recognition has allowed developing techniques for anti-spoofing attacks, as well as guaranteeing verification even when there are changes of appearance in front of the photograph of the ID card, or the person has aged. Both, faceIDNN and selfie&sign incorporate these technological innovations, especially in dealing with the customer and digital on boarding services.