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MIST - AI for Surveillance

Terrasense MIST (Multi-Source Intelligence Surveillance and Targeting) is an innovative product developed by the TerraSense team with the support of Defence Research and Development Canada’s Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program as well as UBC. The system was developed to address the growing challenge of analyzing and exploiting the increasing volume of sensor data collected by electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) imaging systems and other sensors’ onboard aircrafts. These aircrafts are tasked with intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) roles.


With the deployment of increasingly high-bitrate sensors on remotely piloted systems and the growing demand for deep learning in the real-time interpretation of EO/IR sensor data, the need for a solution that overcomes limitations and challenges has become paramount. Terrasense MIST answers this call to action by using photorealistic computer-generated imagery to initialize an ensemble of neural networks. Such networks are trained for multi-target object detection and classification in full-motion video, both electro-optical and infrared modalities. MIST technology detects and tracks multiple targets in real-time, including land vehicles in remote and urban environments and maritime vessels in various states of motion and sailing conditions.

The importance of Terrasense MIST cannot be overstated. Its ability to process massive amounts of data in real-time and its incredible accuracy in detecting and classifying targets makes it a valuable tool for defense and security organizations worldwide. With the rising threat of terrorism and asymmetric warfare, military and law enforcement agencies need reliable, fast, and accurate tools to detect and track potential threats. MIST provides these capabilities and can significantly enhance situational awareness in complex and dynamic environments.


One of the key advantages of Terrasense MIST is its ability to operate agnostically on all commercially available embedded computing boards, which reduces costs and increases flexibility. This makes it possible to deploy MIST on a wide range of platforms, from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to ground vehicles and maritime vessels. The technology's real-time capabilities also mean that sensor operators no longer need to suffer from cognitive fatigue, reducing the risk of human error and improving mission effectiveness.

Terrasense MIST offers a notable advantage of scalability due to its utilization of lightweight and high-performance methods for feature-level data fusion, which enable multi-target tracking and surveillance. This technology is coupled with highly accurate object detection and classifier models, which allows for expansion beyond the EO/IR domain to include multimodal sensor suites, such as synthetic aperture radar and wide-area imaging systems. Such a comprehensive and integrated approach provides a complete picture of the operational environment, enhancing ISR missions' effectiveness.

MIST has become an essential tool by combining multiple data sources, generating manageable volumes of metadata, and providing a comprehensive understanding of situations. It's advanced technology, and modular design makes it a game-changer, revolutionizing how organizations approach surveillance and security. With MIST, decision-makers can make informed and accurate decisions in critical situations. If you’re interested in what else MIST can do, check out our blog on Arctic Mist and subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with what else we’ve done.


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