We are delighted to share the latest update on Project SeaWatch, our collaborative effort with UAVaid, aimed at revolutionising coastal surveillance through the integration of drones and cutting-edge machine vision AI. With funding support from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part of the Future Flight Challenge, we are thrilled to announce the completion of our July Xnaut SeaWatch demo sessions.
During a series of demonstration sessions, our team showcased the seamless integration of drones and advanced AI technology, providing a glimpse into the future of low-cost coastal surveillance enabled by high-performance human-machine teaming. The Xnaut SeaWatch system utilises Automatic Identification System (AIS) databases to automatically cross-reference identified vessels in the water. In the event of anomalies, users are promptly alerted, enabling life-saving interventions, enhancing safety at sea, combating illegal activity, and protecting Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ). SeaWatch represents a game-changer in coastal monitoring, providing authorities with an advantage in ensuring maritime security.
Putting Xnaut SeaWatch to the Test
Unforeseen issues with the new engine on the Hansard UAV meant that we took the decision not to fly during the week of trials, however, we were able to successfully demonstrate the integration of our AI payload into the Hansard drone, and complete a series of ground test. We also took the opportunity to operate a number of data-gathering flights using an alternative platform, as well as providing the AIS integration in a real-world environment.
We were honoured to be joined by MP Derek Thomas, who represents the Parliamentary Constituency of St Ives. Our Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Charles Smith had the privilege of discussing the significance of Xnaut SeaWatch with Derek, emphasising its value to Cornwall's coast and coastal communities worldwide.
Maritime Monitoring and Surveillance
Driven by our goal to enhance safety at sea and protect coastal Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), Xnaut SeaWatch leverages uncrewed aircraft and AI to automatically identify and classify vessels in coastal waters, providing timely alerts to the relevant authorities. SeaWatch achieves this by integrating vessel identification with live AIS (Automatic Identification System) databases. This powerful technology has the potential to save lives, safeguard the environment, and strengthen the security of coastal water users. Moreover, SeaWatch identifies Dark Vessels - those operating without broadcasting an AIS signal and promptly alerts users for immediate response.
Efficient surveillance of coastal waters is essential to uphold national security, facilitate search and rescue missions, and preserve the environment. However, current solutions present significant challenges. Traditional methods involve compromises and have their limitations. Surface vessels, although capable of monitoring nearby areas, are expensive to operate, lack flexibility, and have limited speed. Conversely, crewed aircraft offer more flexibility and broader coverage, but they come with high operational costs and shorter durations for sustained monitoring compared to surface vessels. Xnaut SeaWatch fills this gap by enabling effective, rapid, and reliable monitoring over extended periods, thanks to the on-board autonomy provided by Archangel Imaging and the Hansard UAV's (Unmanned Air Vehicle) impressive 8-hour flight endurance. This frees up human capital from mundane observational tasks, allowing them to focus on higher-value activities.
A Platform for Cost-Effective Coastal Monitoring
Xnaut SeaWatch presents a cost-effective solution for monitoring coastal resources. Low-cost means that many systems could be operated simultaneously, offering a step-change in capability for countries and regions grappling with climate change challenges and the need to protect their coastal and fishing communities. By making coastal monitoring capabilities more accessible and affordable, we aim to contribute to sustainable coastal management on a global scale. Xnaut SeaWatch is an aerial surveillance and monitoring system that combines the operational benefits of uncrewed aircraft with cutting-edge machine vision AI, to provide a system capable of patrolling coastal waters for a fraction of the current cost, resource and carbon footprint.
Xnaut SeaWatch demonstrates the immense potential of integrating uncrewed aircraft with machine vision AI for the purpose of coastal surveillance. We are grateful for the support and positive feedback we have received. We also thank Josh Smith for joining us as our work experience photographer. His dedication and positive attitude made a significant impact on our team.
As we move forward, our commitment to advancing safety, security, and cost-effective coastal monitoring remains unwavering. It is also important to note that Archangel Imaging offers a diverse range of technology solutions beyond SeaWatch, SeaWatch is just one of the way we deploy AI to help build better human-machine teams to solve the world’s stubbornly persistent problems, highlighting the versatility and effectiveness of AI in advanced missions across land, sea, and air domains. Our dedication to innovation is reflected in our comprehensive portfolio of pioneering solutions.
Stay connected with us as we continue to make strides in transforming the way we protect our oceans, coastal regions, and beyond. Together, we can build a future where smart machines collaborate with humans to solve global-scale problems in the real world.