Robust automatic ship tracking in harbours using active cameras

M.J.H. Loomans, R.G.J. Wijnhoven, P.H.N. With, de

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
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Radar is commonly used to detect and track ships in maritime surveillance. Unfortunately the systems are costly and do not provide any visual information about the object's type. To complement the ship identity information given by a radar system, we propose a supplementary system using active visual cameras that can robustly detect and track ships in harbours. By combining a high-quality, non real-time robust object detector with a feature point tracker with low computational complexity, it is possible to track ships in real time over long intervals and large distances. In addition to controlling pan and tilt, we dynamically control camera zoom to provide a high resolution image of the tracked object over a large range of distances. The tracking system is improved by a special motion estimation model for the feature points, which also incorporates zooming of the camera. The system is robust and sustains tracking even under challenging conditions, such as multiple viewpoints, a large variety of ships and various weather conditions. During experiments, various types of ships were successfully tracked for up to 18 minutes, and over a distance of almost 1.5km in the port of Rotterdam. The proposed system is generic and can be utilized in various tracking applications, by training the detector for a different object class.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP 2013), 15-18 September 2013, Maelbourne
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event20th IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP 2013) - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 15 Sept 201318 Sept 2013
Conference number: 20


Conference20th IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP 2013)
Abbreviated titleICIP 2013


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