DARPA Awards Kitware a $13.8 Million Contract for Online Threat Detection and Forensic Analysis in Wide-Area Motion Imagery

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Kitware will develop algorithms and software to discover high-value intelligence embedded in video to identify and assess threats in complex battlefield environments.

Kitware, a company that builds open source platforms and develops advanced research solutions, has received a $13,883,314 contract from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a software system capable of automatically and interactively discovering actionable intelligence from wide area motion imagery (WAMI) of complex urban, suburban, and rural environments.

The primary information elements in WAMI data are moving entities in the context of roads, buildings, and other scene features. These entities, while exploitable, often yield fragmented tracks in complex urban environments due to occlusions, stops, and other factors. Kitware's software system will use algorithmic solutions to associate tracks and then identify and integrate local events to detect potential threats and perform forensic analysis.

The developed algorithms will form the basis of a software prototype called the Persistent Stare Exploitation and Analysis System (PerSEAS) that will significantly augment an end-user’s ability to discover novel intelligence using models of activities, normalcy, and context. Since the vast majority of events are normal and pose no threat, the models must cross-integrate singular events to discover relationships and anomalies that are indicative of suspicious behavior or match previously learned - or defined - threat activity.

The advanced PerSEAS system will markedly improve an analyst's ability to handle burgeoning WAMI data and reduce the time required to perform many current exploitation tasks, greatly enhancing the military's capability to analyze and utilize the data for forensic analysis and through the issuance of timely threat alerts with a minimal number of false alarms.

Due to the complex, multi-disciplinary nature of the research, Kitware will partner with academic experts in the fields of computer vision, probabilistic reasoning, machine learning and other related domains. Phase I of the research is expected to be completed in two years.

The awarded contract will expand Kitware's leadership in the field of computer vision, video analysis and advanced visualization software. The project will build upon our previous DARPA-sponsored research into content-based video retrieval on the VIRAT program; anomaly detection on the PANDA program; and the recognition of complex multi-agent activities in video.

To meet the PerSEAS program’s needs, Kitware has assembled a world-class team including four leading defense technology companies, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions Laboratories, Aptima, Inc., and Navia, Inc. As well as multiple internationally-renowned research institutions, including: the University of California, Berkeley; Computer Vision Laboratory, University of Maryland; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; the Computer Vision Lab at the University of Central Florida; the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech and its affiliated Center for Robotics & Intelligent Machines; and Columbia University.

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About Kitware

Kitware, Inc. is a leader in the creation and support of open- source software and state of the art technology, and is one of the fastest growing software companies in the country. Kitware leverages its open- source communities and diverse technical expertise, to provide advanced custom solutions for a host of complex technical problems.

Founded in 1998, Kitware’s team is widely recognized for their major contributions to a variety of open-source software systems including the Visualization Tookit (VTK), the Insight Segmentation and Registration Toolkit (ITK), CMake and ParaView.

Kitware has made an impact in areas such as visualization, data publishing, medical imaging, quality software process, computer vision, and informatics. Among Kitware’s global customers and collaborators are a variety of academic research facilities, government institutions and private corporations worldwide. Kitware's products and services include software support, consulting, custom application development, and training and productivity tools that leverage our open- source systems.


Nicole Messier
Portfolio PR Group for Kitware, Inc.
Office: 518.306.4029
Email: nicole.messier(at)kitware(dot)com

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