The brain in DSO's video analytics tech

Actions
https://www.mindef.gov.sg/web/wcm/connect/pioneer/8e4fb7cd-ac03-46cc-bda7-c3d4e4a0033e/21jul22_photo1.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-8e4fb7cd-ac03-46cc-bda7-c3d4e4a0033e-o8ViVc. /web/wcm/connect/pioneer/8e4fb7cd-ac03-46cc-bda7-c3d4e4a0033e/21jul22_photo1.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-8e4fb7cd-ac03-46cc-bda7-c3d4e4a0033e-o8ViVc. /web/portal/pioneer/article/feature-article-detail/technology/2022-Q3/21jul22_news1
21jul22_news1 /web/portal/pioneer/article/feature-article-detail/technology/2022-Q3/21jul22_news1
21 Jul 2022 | TECHNOLOGY

The brain in DSO's video analytics tech

As part of our "DSO 50 Tech" series, find out how DSO's video analytics algorithms have helped the SAF to safeguard Singapore waters. This series dives into the cutting-edge technology that DSO provides the SAF, and marks DSO's 50th anniversary this year.

// Story by Thrina Tham

// Photos by Chua Soon Lye

Mr Lim (far left) with some members of the DSO team who designed and developed the UWT (green building in background). Mr Lim helped program its video analytics algorithm to ensure accurate target detection.

During surveillance operations, it is crucial to detect threats quickly and accurately.

That's exactly what DSO National Laboratories aimed to do through their video analytics algorithm. With this tech, Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) operators are able to identify potential threats at sea at further distances.

The analytics system can spot very small objects such as fishing boats or swimmers – which can appear as just a few pixels on-screen – much faster and more accurately than the human eye.

It also has a Closed Loop Tracking feature, which means that the system can continue to track an object even when it is momentarily hidden, by making intelligent calculations based on its trajectory.

The technology has been implemented at the Unmanned Watch Tower (UWT) on Jurong Island since 2018, where it has helped to reduce manpower by one-third.

Soldiers watching the waters remotely from the control centre on Jurong Island.
Thanks to technology like DSO's video analytics algorithm, manpower requirements for surveillance operations at the UWT were reduced by 30 per cent.

"Previously, troopers had to climb up towers to visually scan the surrounding waters for intrusions," said Senior Artificial Intelligence Engineer Clarence Lim, who has been involved in the project since 2017.

"Today, the UWT equipped with video analytics does the job, with fewer soldiers needed to perform the task. Being combat-fit also doesn't need to be a requirement (for the trooper) to conduct surveillance operations anymore."

Human-inspired computer vision

What makes the analytics so powerful is how its Artificial Intelligence (AI) uses contextual reasoning, which is inspired by the human brain.

"The Cognitive System Framework mimics the way humans look at things and understand them by integrating stored knowledge with contextual information," explained Mr Lim, 33.

For instance, if you opened your fridge and saw something red, your brain is able to quickly process that it is likely a tomato or an apple because it is in the fridge. That is contextual reasoning.

"Humans do it all the time, but for computer vision, it requires training," said Mr Lim.

Mr Lim runs checks on the algorithms inside the UWT, alongside DSO software engineer Jasmin Yew.

The tool has helped the video analytics system to make accurate decisions faster and to minimise false alarms.

A second key feature of the AI is its ability to maintain the tracking of targets even if they become temporarily obscured.

This Closed Loop Tracking feature is able to track small vessels that are momentarily hidden behind large ships, or even a swimmer's head as it goes underwater before resurfacing.

The AI is able to continue tracking small vessels even as they are momentarily obscured by large ships.

Even as the technology has been used to safeguard the waters around Jurong Island, the DSO team is further developing it for other domains.

In the future, it could also be used in the air, such as for the detection and tracking of intrusions like drones.

---

Watch how the video analytics works at the UWT here:

Suggested Reading
Neuromorphic tech: the next big thing? Feature
Neuromorphic tech: the next big thing?
TECHNOLOGY
26-Jul-22

In the last of our "DSO 50 Tech" series, we find out how DSO is looking to the future through their research into Neuromorphic Computing, the next realm of AI.

DSO remains indispensable to SAF, crucial to fourth Service: Dr Ng
DSO remains indispensable to SAF, crucial to fourth Service: Dr Ng
TECHNOLOGY
19-Jul-22

Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen viewed DSO's latest tech during his visit to the DSO50 Technology Showcase commemorating its 50th anniversary.

Inside the hive mind of DSO's drones Feature
Inside the hive mind of DSO's drones
TECHNOLOGY
12-Jul-22

The algorithms developed by this DSO team allow a swarm of drones to make its own decisions in a mission. Find out more in the second of our "DSO 50 Tech" series, which dives into the cutting-edge technology that DSO provides the SAF, and marks DSO's 50th anniversary this year.

DSO's Robot "Dogs" Lead the Way
Cover story
DSO's Robot "Dogs" Lead the Way
TECHNOLOGY
05-Jul-22

Meet the engineers who lead the teams behind the Foxhound and Harrier unmanned vehicles, in the first of our "DSO 50 Tech" series. This series dives into some of the cutting-edge technology that DSO provides the SAF, and marks DSO's 50th anniversary this year.

DSO drone engineer flies high
DSO drone engineer flies high
TECHNOLOGY
18-Feb-22

This defence engineer is probably the most serious drone enthusiast in Singapore.

Teamwork Is Their Secret Weapon in the Fight Against COVID-19
Teamwork Is Their Secret Weapon in the Fight Against COVID-19
TECHNOLOGY
26-Oct-21

When COVID-19 broke out in Singapore's migrant worker dormitories last year, the Defence Technology Community was tasked to help contain the outbreak.

DSTA director recognised among top S'pore women in tech
DSTA director recognised among top S'pore women in tech
PEOPLE
15-Oct-21

Ms Gayle Chan, DSTA's Deputy Chief Executive (Information), has earned a spot on the Singapore (SG) 100 Women in Tech 2021 list.

Meet the people of DSTA
Meet the people of DSTA
TECHNOLOGY
30-Oct-20

The Defence Science and Technology Agency turns 20 this year.

She's a leader in Spore's defence tech community
She's a leader in Spore's defence tech community
PEOPLE
04-Sep-20

Ms Ngiam Le Na makes it on the inaugural Singapore 100 Women In Tech list for her achievements in sharpening the SAF’s tech edge.