UCSD computer vision group wins homeland security grants
San Diego, Sept. 4, 2002 -- The Computer Vision and Robotics Research (CVRR) Laboratory at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has won federal funding for three separate research projects, including one of the first awards from the group that coordinates inter-agency U.S. counter-terrorism research. "Homeland security has become a major focus for our group," said Mohan Trivedi, CVRR director and professor of electrical and computer engineering at UCSD's Jacobs School of Engineering. "We are making great strides in the area of computer vision, and we expect all of these projects to yield real-world results in the next 12 to 18 months."
Trivedi and his research team are working on technologies that range from a handheld computer that lets the user customize views of a remote crisis site, to camera-network surveillance systems that are programmed to alert authorities in the event of suspicious activity.
The three projects announced today include:
· "Real-Time Face Detection, Localization and Correlation." Initial funding of $170,000 over 12 months comes from the Department of Defense's (DoD) Technical Support Working Group, which coordinates inter-agency counter-terrorism research. Trivedi is working on a system that automatically isolates all the faces in a crowd, adjusts for environmental conditions such as changes in lighting from day to night, and matches those faces against a database. The system could be used to monitor public spaces such as airports and embassies.
· "Distributed Interactive Video Arrays (DIVAs) for Surveillance and Security." A grant from the Office of Naval Research's Independent Applied Research program will fund the deployment of DIVAs--networks of inter-linked, omni-directional (360°) cameras--along a 3.5-mile stretch of San Diego coastline. The system will be programmed for constant surveillance of the coastline and offshore area, with human operators only entering the equation when the computer detects suspicious activity on land or water and alerts the appropriate authority.
· "Digital Tele-Viewer (DTV): Streaming Customized Video from Remote Crisis Sites." The DoD-funded Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology (CCAT) has approved a grant of $75,000 to fund fast-track commercialization of software that turns a handheld computer into a remote tele-viewer. The DTV can access video streams from camera networks, and allow multiple users simultaneously to customize their desired views of the site--panning, tilting and zooming within the feed, without moving the cameras. The DTV would allow federal, state, local and other security personnel a low-cost way to monitor vulnerable areas simultaneously without having to be located inside a command-and-control center.