Software that enables UASs to safely conduct
wildlife survey operations

Software that enables UASs to safely conduct wildlife survey operations

Ship-based Operations for UAS Swarms with Autonomous Pinniped Homing Over Nasty Environments (SOUSAPHONE)

UASs have an important and ever-growing role in support of government, military, commercial, and scientific missions. To minimize the risk to human scientific observers when accessing dangerous or hard-to-reach environments, it’s safer to dispatch UASs. UAS swarms operating as part of a SOUSAPHONE-enabled team use autonomous navigation and robust, state-of-the-art image processing algorithms for marine mammal detection and classification. SOUSAPHONE is specifically designed to detect pinnipeds, the group of animals that includes walruses and seals.

SOUSAPHONE’s algorithms power UAS swarms used by scientists to conduct semi-autonomous wildlife surveys.

“With SOUSAPHONE, we’ve applied the autonomous robotic capabilities from our defense AI portfolio to support environmental research. We’re excited to continue enhancing our swarm autonomy capabilities to advance environmental awareness and conservation.”

Headshot of Dan Stouch
Daniel Stouch,
Director of Space and Airborne Systems and Principal Investigator for the SOUSAPHONE effort

SOUSAPHONE applies artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) in computer vision to enable safe, semi-autonomous, beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations in challenging environments, such as the Alaskan Arctic.

The SOUSAPHONE framework will improve wildlife accessibility and surveying accuracy, reduce risk to humans, and develop autonomy advancements that support wildlife conservation.

Contact us to learn more about SOUSAPHONE and our other classification and artificial intelligence capabilities.

This work was funded by NOAA, U.S. Department Commerce under award NA21OAR0210109. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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