The AI Tracks challenge solicits software solutions to automatically generate georeferenced tracks of maritime vessel traffic based on data recorded from a single electro-optical camera imaging the traffic from a moving platform.
The Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (NIWC PAC) and the Naval Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Coordination Office, managed by the Office of Naval Research are conducting the Artificial Intelligence Tracks at Sea challenge. The goal of this challenge is to engage with the workforce of tomorrow on challenging and relevant Naval problems. The need here is to augment unmanned surface vehicles’ (USVs’) maritime contact tracking capability. Current traffic avoidance software relies on AIS and radar for tracking other craft and avoiding collisions. However, in a contested environment, emitting radar energy presents a vulnerability to detection by adversaries. Deactivating RF transmitting sources mitigates the threat of detection, but without additional sensing and sensor fusion, it would also degrade the USV’s ability to monitor shipping traffic in its vicinity. The technology developed for this prize challenge will solve this problem by developing a computer vision system that will plot the tracks of shipping traffic exclusively using the passive sensing capability of onboard cameras. This technology would also be applicable for the Navy to document vessels performing unsafe navigation on the high seas.
The Challenge winners will be notified via email. NIWC PAC will announce the winners on the Challenge.gov website and via appropriate channels.
NIWC PAC has established $200,000 as the total amount set aside for cash prizes under this Challenge. Prizes will be awarded for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th places in the amounts of $55,000, $45,000, $35,000, $30,000, $20,000, $10,000, and $5000 respectively. Prizes will be disbursed to the respective teams’ department, college, laboratory, or other eligible university component as specified by the consensus of the team.
In the event of a tie, NIWC PAC will determine an equitable method of distributing the cash prizes. This method will based on anything extra included in the output of the tool (e.g. graphical representation or video of output, classification of vessel being tracked, characterization of the vessel’s behavior, insights into how the algorithm is making decisions, track prediction, etc)
Tax treatment of prizes will be handled in accordance with U.S. Internal Revenue Service guidelines. The winner must provide a U.S. TIN (e.g., a TIN or EIN) to receive the cash prize.