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Posted at: Mar 19, 2019, 6:50 AM; last updated: Mar 19, 2019, 12:00 PM (IST)

AI to help identify military targets in satellite photos

At present, those trained in imagery interpretation do it manually
AI to help identify military targets in satellite photos
File photo

Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18

Even as a debate rages over the availability of satellite imagery and other evidence in support of the IAF strike on terrorist targets in Pakistan a few days ago, the Armed Forces have initiated a project to adapt artificial intelligence for identifying and indexing military objects in aerial photographs or videos.

At present, identifying and locating military objects and potential targets in overhead surveillance pictures is done manually by intelligence personnel trained in imagery interpretation. While satellite imagery had played a crucial role in planning and executing the IAF’s mission to hit a terrorist training camp at Balakot, post-strike satellite images of the area and other details, though claimed to be in their possession, were not released by the government, giving rise to speculation and conjectures over the effectiveness of the mission.

Under the project, artificial intelligence and deep learning technology would be used to develop engines and algorithms to analyse satellite photographs as well as video feeds from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for detection, classification, pattern recognition and decision support in real time, sources said.

With the phasing out of the MiG-25 high altitude tri-sonic India reconnaissance aircraft that could overfly enemy territory, India now relies heavily on its own expansive fleet of satellites for strategic reconnaissance or surveying areas of interest.

How it will work

  • Artificial intelligence and deep learning technology would be used to develop engines and algorithms to analyse satellite photographs as well as video feeds from unmanned aerial vehicles for detection, classification, pattern recognition and decision support in real time

  • “Use of artificial intelligence and deep learning could be a powerful tool to enhance effectiveness and assist field commanders in decision making by providing imagery analysis in real time and suggesting suitable courses of action in a particular situation,” an officer said

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