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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Capella Space Revolutionizes Maritime Surveillance with Automated Vessel Classification and Advanced SAR-Based Analytics Partnerships

May 9th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

At the forefront of satellite technology innovation, Capella Space announced its new automated Vessel Classification capability at the 2024 GeoINT Symposium in Kissimmee, Florida. This announcement not only underscores Capella’s leadership in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery but also highlights its strategic collaboration with industry leaders like Preligens and EMSI to enhance geospatial intelligence applications.

Revolutionary Vessel Classification Technology

David Hemphill, Senior Product Manager at Capella Space, explained the functionality and strategic importance of the new Vessel Classification system. Developed using Capella’s high-resolution SAR imagery, this system is capable of identifying and classifying maritime vessels into seven distinct categories. This includes three military types—surface warships, submarines, and aircraft carriers—as well as several commercial vessel types such as tankers.

Capella Space Vessel Classification identifies a variety of commercial and military vessels regardless of cloud cover in Dinghai, China.

What sets this technology apart is its operational proficiency under any weather conditions, leveraging the inherent advantages of SAR imagery to see through clouds and darkness. “This capability is crucial for maritime operations where visibility is often compromised by weather,” Hemphill noted. The system integrates seamlessly with Capella’s satellite tasking and imaging platforms, allowing users to order vessel classification alongside their satellite imagery requests through a secure web application or API.

This integration not only streamlines the tasking process but also ensures that users receive analysis-ready data promptly, enhancing operational efficiency in maritime surveillance. The automated nature of the Vessel Classification system significantly reduces the need for manual image analysis, allowing for faster and more accurate decision-making in maritime security, navigation, and environmental monitoring.

Strategic Partnership with Preligens

The advancement in SAR-based analytics is further amplified by Capella’s partnership with Preligens, a leader in AI-driven geospatial intelligence. Charles Ince, Head of Partnerships at Capella Space, highlighted this collaboration during the symposium. Preligens, known for its advanced optical imagery analytics, will now incorporate Capella’s SAR data to develop sophisticated AI models for detecting and classifying both aircraft and maritime vessels.

This partnership allows Preligens to leverage Capella’s extensive SAR imagery archive, enhancing its model accuracy with diverse, real-world data. “Integrating SAR with Preligens’ AI capabilities enables around-the-clock surveillance capabilities, crucial for modern defense and intelligence operations,” Ince explained.

EMSI’s Role in Enhancing Vessel Classification

Further strengthening its vessel detection capabilities, Capella has collaborated with EMSI, a company with deep roots in geospatial intelligence for the defense sector. EMSI’s expertise in SAR and its longstanding relationship with the US Department of Defense enrich Capella’s Vessel Classification technology with advanced AI and machine learning practices.

This collaboration focuses on refining the AI algorithms to enhance state-of-the-art vessel detection and classification. “EMSI’s contribution is vital for tailoring our technology to meet the stringent requirements of maritime security operations,” said Hemphill.

Future Enhancements and Market Expansion

Looking ahead, Capella Space is not resting on its laurels. The company plans to further enhance its maritime domain awareness capabilities and expand its geospatial intelligence services across other sectors. Capella encourages partners to leverage our vessel classification capabilities as part of their offerings by adding and integrating mission-specific data, such as AIS and RF signals, as well as additional downstream analytics.

Capella’s ongoing commitment to innovation, supported by strategic partnerships with companies like Preligens and EMSI, is setting new standards in the utilization of SAR data for real-world applications. As these technologies continue to evolve, Capella Space is poised to lead the transformation in how satellite imagery and geospatial data are used to solve complex global challenges.

As the industry watches, Capella Space continues to enhance its analytics capabilities, paving the way for new solutions that promise to revolutionize geospatial intelligence across multiple domains.

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Category: GEOINT

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