French AI company to process drone footage for automatic threat detection

SINGAPORE — A French company developing artificial intelligence to monitor Chinese and Russian military activity says it is incorporating video collected by drones into its algorithms to detect adversaries’ military movements.

Founded in 2016, Paris-based Preligens offers two AI-based solutions, Robin, an image analysis software, and Xerus, a computer system for military terrain mapping.

The systems work with commercial or government-collected satellite imagery and can help analysts determine whether objects of interest are civilian or military.

“It is primarily designed for location tracking and features a customer-configurable alert system for pattern-of-life analysis to prompt analysts to key signals that can identify aircraft, ships, vehicles, surface-to-air missiles, and more,” Coralie Trigano, the company’s senior sales executive for the Asia-Pacific region, told Defense News. Singapore Air Show here.

The latest improvements made to the company’s algorithms include the addition of new detectable objects as well as additional categories of objects that the software can detect.

“We recently developed a helicopter detector, which can now classify and identify accurate models, and we also improved the vehicle detector, which is now capable of detecting and categorizing civilian, armored, military and electronic (radar) vehicles,” Sophie Hue. chief communications officer at Preligens, wrote in an email to Defense News.

In addition to adding full-motion video collected by drones to the mix of data sources, developers are also looking to implement analyzes of synthetic aperture radar images, Hue added.

The influx of drone demand and development, spurred in large part by the Ukraine war, has created a new era in cyber intelligence gathering.

To demonstrate the capabilities of their software, Preligens released their own images showing China carrying out major military infrastructure work at one of its naval bases in 2022.

The company’s ship tracker was also able to detect Russian landing craft that the country had stationed in the port of Baltiysk, Kaliningrad, in January 2022.

Elisabeth Gosselin-Malo is Defense News’ Europe correspondent. It covers a wide range of topics related to military procurement and international security, and specializes in aviation reporting. Its headquarters are in Milan, Italy.

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