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Spotlight on MIST

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

Used by the Canadian government and private sector organizations for enhanced operational efficiency, the MIST software was developed for both security and surveillance with the help of the University of British Columbia, Department of National Defense, aerospace industry and users (operators and analysts) to enhance ISR - intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (i.e., AI for surveillance).

What it does.

Using TerraSense Analytics' own synthetic data generation process, MIST is trained to detect, recognize, identify and locate (DRIL) objects. Once content is captured, MIST’s AI generates manageable volumes of metadata to quickly transmit to end users instead of streaming overwhelming amounts of raw data. It also stores metadata for post-mission analysis and future use by on-the-ground personnel. After AI object detection, multi sensor data fusion builds a common operating picture for explainable AI and real-time analysis, facilitating collaboration between teams worldwide.

The embedded tech replaces the need to have operators continuously monitoring live feeds and spending hours analyzing multiple AI sensor feeds, too, reducing both cognitive strain and the high cost overhead of data collection. By decreasing human error tied to cognitive strain, MIST helps with better decision-making for a safer world.

Why it matters.

When it comes to defense, prevention and protection are the best policies. With MIST’s sensor fusion system, operators can quickly detect, identify, classify, map and measure targets of interest in critical situations involving fishing and cargo vessel tracking, naval traffic, border security threats, search and rescue missions, whale monitoring, and pollution events like oil spills. The following stats confirm the need for such tech, not just globally, but at home in Canada as well:

  • ISR operators who face Increased stress, fatigue and/or cognitive strain have increased errors and mistakes that can lead to severe consequences. (Source 1, source 2)

  • Ongoing increased stress and cognitive strain are correlated with the higher than average burnout rate amongst operators. (Source 1, source 2)

  • The Canadian Armed Forces respond to some 1,000 search and rescue cases each year. (Source)

  • A record 17,651 litres of marine pollution spills – 95% of which were in coastal areas – were detected in 2021. (Source)

  • Commercial fishing vessels account for 95% of lost ships in marine accidents. Between 2011 and 2020, there were 104 fishing crew fatalities, with around 470 crew members seriously injured at sea. (Source)

  • Whales mitigate climate change by helping the ocean sequester carbon from the atmosphere, and yet there are very few measures taken to avoid harming these endangered mammals that are too often found far away from their natural habitats, seriously injured or dead as a result of vessel strikes or rope entanglements – the latter of which affect a whopping 85% of right whales alone at least once in their lifetime. (Source)

Key benefits.

Live tracking and alerting for enhanced decision-making and reduced human error

Low-cost data monitoring and cost-efficient target addition

Works without network connectivity using edge computing

Aggregated data from multiple sources processed securely and efficiently

While MIST is, first and foremost, a defence tool, it also has environmental monitoring and assessment applications, as demonstrated by ARCTIC MIST.

Introducing ARCTIC MIST.

Without the right equipment, even highly-trained operators are no match for the rigours of the Arctic. Luckily, there's ARCTIC MIST.

Funded by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) in partnership with Transport Canada, ARCTIC MIST aims to enhance the maritime and Arctic domain awareness role of the latter’s National Aerial Surveillance Program with a truly usable artificial intelligence system.

ARCTIC MIST is intended to support airborne sensor operators on missions in the remote and hostile Arctic. Having very low size, weight and power requirements will ensure maximum efficiency without taking up much space aboard its host UAV.

The advanced on the edge capabilities of ARCTIC MIST mean that all processing takes place on the aircraft without reliance on external servers. Plus, with its offline competence the team won’t be limited by the lack of wifi or SATCOM even in the most remote environments. We’re taking AI to a whole other level!

The time and effort saved thanks to ARCTIC MIST’s advanced features could make all the difference when it comes to emergency situations like climate change. This crisis, which is rapidly accelerating sea-level rise, is expected to further increase the need for enhanced maritime surveillance and require timely action.

More on the horizon.

MIST and ARCTIC MIST are just the beginning... Stay tuned for upcoming AI developments and live life on the (cutting) edge with us.

And if you’re interested in taking your career to our industry, learn all about life at TerraSense and find out what we’re looking for because we’re hiring!


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