Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Go Fetch! VIMS Submersible Has Anti-terrorism Potential

Date:
April 14, 2003
Source:
College of William and Mary
Summary:
Researchers, led by Mark Patterson, associate professor of marine science, at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science have developed an artificial neural network for use with an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) named Fetch.

Remote controlled, robot-like submarines could soon be patrolling America’s shores. Sound fishy? Well—not the way you might think.

Fish and their diminishing populations are the inspiration behind an innovative new technology—neural network-driven fish-recognition software—that soon could be at the forefront of homeland security systems.

In the late 1990s Mark Patterson, associate professor of marine sciences at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), and Jim Sias, president of Sias Patterson Incorporated, invented Fetch, an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The mini-robotic submarine travels underwater at depths of up to 1,000 feet on a pre-programmed course. Fetch2, the latest generation of this AUV, is equipped with side-scan sonar. In 2001, Patterson, Zia-ur Rahman (department of applied science at William and Mary) and Roger Mann (VIMS) received a Commerce Department grant (Sea Grant program) to investigate image processing for the data collected by the side-scan sonar. Being able to maintain accurate fish population counts is important in the battle to preserve marine ecosystems, and the numbers provide vital data for governing environmental regulations.

In order to count the fish, marine scientists must see them. This is no easy tasks in the depths of the world’s seas and oceans where visibility is generally low. However, sound waves can be used to detect the existence of objects underwater in the murkiest conditions. The volumes of sonar data can, in turn, be analyzed to reveal properties about the objects—like size, shape and density. With this technology in place, the scientists wanted to go a step further and develop automatic identification and quantification for Fetch2’s computer.

Could the computer analyze data in this way?

“Yes,” said Rahman. Characteristics of different fish species were compiled using the side-scan sonar data. This information was then grouped into test sets used for training artificial neural networks (ANNs). The team combined the use of enhancement algorithms and image processing with the ANNs to “teach” the computer to recognize characteristics of various species. As reported in the Feb 15 edition of New Scientist, the training was successful; scientists were able to have Fetch2 recognize two fish species—jacks and sharks. Fish of other species did not fool the classifier.

Said Patterson, “It’s amazing how well this particular type of neural network works with noisy data. In the future, we hope to expand the classifier’s library to include dozens of species, enabling scientists to perform stock assessments non-destructively—i.e., you won’t need to catch a fish to count it.

“We have only scratched the surface of this technology,” said Rahman. “The computer could be trained to recognize anything—a person swimming, a submarine, a missile or a mine, anything.” Ultimately, the scientists hope to have Fetch2 autonomously follow the objects it detects.

Once programmed to discriminate among underwater objects, Fetch2 could patrol coastlines, harbors, the hulls of vessels, bridge footings and other U.S. vital interests, becoming an important tool in the war on terror and the battle to keep our shores safe.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by College of William and Mary. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

College of William and Mary. "Go Fetch! VIMS Submersible Has Anti-terrorism Potential." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 April 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030414084952.htm>.
College of William and Mary. (2003, April 14). Go Fetch! VIMS Submersible Has Anti-terrorism Potential. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030414084952.htm
College of William and Mary. "Go Fetch! VIMS Submersible Has Anti-terrorism Potential." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030414084952.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Driverless cars could soon become a staple on U.K. city streets, as they're set to be introduced to a few cities in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins