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Charles River Analytics Develops Surveillance Video Analysis Tool for DARPA

Charles River Analytics is developing Video Analysis for Nighttime Surveillance and Situational Awareness (VANESSA) for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been a demonstrated need for timely situational awareness, especially to quickly locate specific individuals and notify their location to central command. Using the requirements called for in a Detection, Classification, Identification, and Tracking surveillance mission, VANESSA uses video-based surveillance to track the arrival and departures of individuals in both day and nighttime settings.

VANESSA is primarily designed for real-time video analysis in parking lots to detect people entering and exiting vehicles. VANESSA offers far more than the typical motion detection option included in many security and surveillance systems. Even at significant standoff distances where biometrics are not feasible, VANESSA can distinguish pedestrians from vehicles, associate which vehicle a person entered or exited in, and—in some circumstances—report when it has seen this person and vehicle before.

In earlier development, issues associated with video surveillance at night were identified as well as solutions to overcome these obstacles. Charles River Analytics plans to improve night-time detection and tracking of moving objects (people and vehicles). Other improvements include the ability to detect people in the process of entering and exiting vehicles and a database of the best views of each person and vehicle.

For some of these improvements, Charles River Analytics is collaborating with Boston University’s Image and Video Computing Group and Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories. Charles River Analytics has several years of experience developing video analysis, 3D scene reconstruction, and object tracking; Boston University’s Image and Video Computing Lab has expertise in human body motion analysis; and Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories has technology for pedestrian detection. This unique team is ideally suited to develop VANESSA with their combined expertise in motion tracking, scene analysis, behavioral modeling, and human body tracking.

In addition to VANESSA, Charles River Analytics has developed several projects for DARPA in recent years. DARPA is the main research and development agency for the Department of Defense. Charles River Analytics’ projects include Joint Air-Ground: Unified Adaptive Replanning (JAGUAR), Sign Understanding in Support of Autonomous Navigation (SUSAN), and Mixed Initiative Control of Automata-teams (MICA).

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