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  • Writer's pictureOverwatch Imaging

Using AI and automation to aid in maritime patrol and search

Overwatch Imaging makes maritime patrol and search more effective with the PT-Series Oceanwatch airborne imaging system. Oceanwatch is a passive image-based radar system that enables 100x faster search for small or long-range maritime objects compared to traditional maritime patrol systems that use video gimbals alone. Oceanwatch combines high-resolution cameras and AI-enabled processing on the edge to automatically identify objects in the water during the day and at night.

How it works

The PT-Series Oceanwatch uses wide-area sensors systematically and continuously scanning the ocean around the aircraft. Overwatch Imaging’s proprietary software combines Autonomous Image Processing and Artificial Intelligence to automatically detect objects of interest. Onboard data processing software and search algorithms are used to evaluate detections. Machine learning can be applied to conduct object classifications, which allows fine-tuning of the system to detect or respond differently to specific types of vessels or other objects in the water. Upon detection, Oceanwatch alerts the user, provides the geolocation and an image chip. Vast amounts of data are thus reduced to actionable intelligence in real-time. Images of objects of interest can be displayed on the intuitive graphical user interface or be transmitted with minimal bandwidth requirements to teams in other locations.

Oceanwatch outputs the geolocation coordinates of detected objects in standard formats, allowing easy integration into Mission Management Systems, GIS software, or cross-cueing of video gimbals for additional object analysis. While the video payload inspects the target, Oceanwatch continues to scan the ocean, searching for additional objects of interest and providing users greater situational awareness.​


  • Search and rescue

  • Counter narcotics

  • ISR

  • Long-range boat detection

  • Fisheries management and enforcement

  • Environmental management and enforcement

  • Maritime border patrol

  • Migration monitoring


On-board AI enables real-time analytics of ingested data which is critical for time-sensitive missions, like search and rescue. Optimized data processing algorithms and cutting-edge AI technology can analyze large amounts of data supporting large scale operations. Faster – real-time processing Smarter – onboard data processing and AI Automated – sensor fusion and machine learning Safer – sensor-based search rather than human-based More efficient – systematic and machine-based search Lower transmission cost – intelligence rather than raw data Larger scale – systematic and continuous wide-area scan 24/7 – day and night capabilities Customizable – open and modular hardware and software architecture

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