DOD, Navy developing pirate-fighting apps

In the ongoing global fight against pirates, the Defense Department is looking to develop apps that will help target threats on the high seas, according to a release from DOD’s Armed with Science blog.

The effort is launching under a new, $1 million-dollar award from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics as part of the Coalition Warfare Program. The project is a part of a research partnership between the Office of Naval Research, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, the Technical University of Federico Santa Maria in Chile and a group of African universities.

Scientists working on the International Collaborative Development for Enhanced Maritime Domain Awareness (ICODE MDA) are building web-based applications that U.S. and foreign navies and sailors will use to analyze data to “combat pirates, drug smugglers, arms traffickers, illegal fishermen and other nefarious groups,” according to the release.

The focus is on designing software that enhances automation, small-target detection and intent detection, and that is compatible with a number of different maritime network systems for international collaboration and information-sharing.

According to a Google website for ICODE MDA, the project has two main goals: creating a global community of open source algorithm and tool developers, and developing a web portal that helps users from different countries communicate and visualize and share data for improved situational awareness.

Some of the projects under way include automated systems for detecting ships, oil slicks and anomalies, according to the site.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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Reader comments

Thu, May 31, 2012 Guy Thomas Baltimore, MD

Great initiative. The only way we are going to successfully address the issues of safety and security as well as environmental and resource protection on the high seas is via full collaboration with our foreign partners and private parties/industry. Anything that assists that collaboration, and this tool would certainly seem to do that, is a good thing. Guy Thomas

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