Coast Guard in the Arctic: High-latitude maritime Artificial Intelligence

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Technology aboard the Healy
Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area

YOLO! But we don't mean You Only Live Once!

It's time to see what the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy has been up to and talk about high-latitude maritime Artificial Intelligence!

The changing environment in the Arctic is leading to increased marine traffic. As the maritime industry embraces technology like AI on vessels, having datasets from the Arctic environment to train new models on is critical to making tools that will work in this environment.

A team on the Healy is collecting arctic imagery to serve as a basis for AI Computer Vision Models.

An MIT Lincoln Laboratory (MITLL) and a Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC) team are using the MITLL system to record infrared video and still imagery.

Due to the long periods of darkness in the Arctic, the use of infrared technology to develop models that will still work at night was important to the team.

Cmdr. Blair Sweigart, PhD, who directs the service’s AI research portfolio, is running the project on the vessel. As the imagery is collected, he and his team are also running preliminary tests with standard computer vision models like YOLO (You Only Look Once) version 8, to better understand the need for model retraining. 

The work also supports the RDC Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis Branch’s research project on computer vision.

The MITLL team, led by Amna Graves and Jo Kurucar, is looking to make the dataset publicly available to allow a broader community to work on models that will benefit those working in the Arctic maritime regions.

The project is a collaboration between MIT Lincoln Laboratory (MITLL) and the Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC). The resulting dataset will be used to develop AI tools for the Arctic region.

--U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy is homeported in Puget Sound


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