Technology Transfer SSC Pacific
RAPIER® Full Motion Video (FMV)

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The U.S. Navy seeks to commercialize a tool that automatically detects, tracks, and identifies maritime surface targets from full motion video.


Full motion video (FMV) is increasingly being used for maritime surveillance. The immense amount of FMV data produced, lack of automation, and dependency on human analysis make processing and extracting intelligence from FMV challenging. Maritime characteristics such as sun glint, white caps, ship wakes, and ship size further complicate object detection and tracking in FMV. There is a need for an automated process that can quickly and efficiently analyze maritime FMV and extract meaningful information to assist analysts.

The Technology

RAPIER® FMV is a maritime target detection, tracking, and identification solution that quickly and automatically analyzes video, alerts analysts of important targets, and outputs target information. At the core of RAPIER® FMV is an object detection system that uses basic signal processing and machine learning approaches. The system maintains a high level of performance without making prior assumptions about foreground-background characteristics. It is robust to variations in illumination,ever-changing background characteristics, and video quality; as well as abrupt changes in the perspective, size, appearance, and number of targets. RAPIER® FMV also uses a unique horizon detection method that aids in improving processing times.

Key Features

  • Processes 1080p video in real-time, raw video streaming from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in real-time, and 640x480 video up to 2x faster
  • Supports real-time video feeds from manned and unmanned aircraft, satellite, ship-mounted, and shore-based sensors; supports recorded data
  • Acquires and tracks multiple maritime targets simultaneously
  • Processes color, black & white, electro-optical (EO), and infrared (IR) video
  • Provides simple and easy to read output formats for end users: HTML tip sheet, KML (Google Earth™), shape files, XML, OTH-G, RIT, etc.
  • Displays detected and recognized targets
  • Annotates video streams with metadata including sensor positioning, coordinates, and time and date
  • Development Status

  • U.S. Patents Applications filed: 14/040027 (9/27/13), 14/065469 (10/29/13)
  • Total R&D: $785K over three years
  • §TRL 5: Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment
  • Follow-on to the RAPIER® Ship Detection System for satellite and still imagery
  • For more information on technology transfer, please contact us at (619) 5535118 or email       
    SD 1241. June 2014. SSC Pacific, San Diego, CA 921525001. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

    SSC Pacific
    Updated: 1/8/2015 11:52 AM EST   Published