Real-time change detection for countering improvised explosive devices

TitleReal-time change detection for countering improvised explosive devices
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
Authorsvan de Wouw, DWJM, van Rens, K, van Lint, H, Jaspers, EGT, de With, PHN

We explore an automatic real-time change detection system to assist military personnel during transport and surveillance, by detection changes in the environment with respect to a previous operation. Such changes may indicate the presence of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), which can then be bypassed. While driving, images of the scenes are acquired by the camera and stored with their GPS positions. At the same time, the best matching reference image (from a previous patrol) is retrieved and registered to the live image. Next a change mask is generated by differencing the reference and live image, followed by an adaptive thresholding technique. Post-processing steps such as Markov Random Fields, local texture comparisons and change tracking, further improve time- and space-consistency of changes and suppress noise. The resulting changes are visualized as an overlay on the live video content. The system has been extensively tested on 28 videos, containing over 10,000 manually annotated objects. The system is capable of detecting small test objects of 10 cm3 at a range of 40 meters. Although the system shows an acceptable performance in multiple cases, the performance degrades under certain circumstances for which extensions are discussed.