Intelligent Surveillance Trigger

This NSTIx Op-Tech Co-Creation Space (OCCS) challenge seeks to develop novel approaches to overcome the challenge of providing an intelligent surveillance trigger of a positive identification of a person of interest. The focus of the proposal should be on the unsupervised processing of surveillance information for a machine to intelligently provide a trigger or notification that a human in the loop or a UAV can act upon


Challenge opens


Challenge closes



This Challenge is seeking to collaboratively develop novel approaches of providing an intelligent surveillance trigger over a 12-week period. An expected start date for this 12-week activity is 08/01/2024 Indicative funding of ~£60k per funded proposal is available, with up to £180k for consortia. If this initial project shows the concept to be feasible, and the Co-Creation team agree, there is potential for follow-on project funding.


The National Security Technology and Innovation Exchange (NSTIx) is a government-led science, technology and innovation partnership that enables coherent and agile delivery of innovative national security outcomes through a co-ordinated and systematic approach to research and capability development.  

NSTIx has established a government-led network of themed Co-Creation Spaces (CCS). The CCS’ combine the respective power of specialist public and private sector partners in research, capability development and end user requirements. This supports the development of effective, user-driven technology at pace in areas that are critical to national security. For more information, please see the ‘NSTIx Leaflet’ in digital form.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) offer National Security organisations the capability to provide surveillance from a stand-off position. These are typically mounted with electro optic sensors to track a person’s movements. This requires an operator to pilot the UAV and a further person to process the live imagery ensuring full surveillance coverage.

There exist “follow me drones”, but this does not fulfil the use case in our complicated scenario where staying discreet is necessary, so altitudes may be high, and the angle of imagery is not always favourable so a person’s face may not always be in view. Coupled with use cases in city locations where buildings may obscure line of sight, movement from other people and vehicles increase complexity, and the person under surveillance may enter and exit buildings. Currently, processing the live imagery / information is resource intensive and is open to human error, therefore it is highly desirable to integrate a level of intelligence or machine learning into a system that can provide a trigger when a person of interest comes into view.

The resulting surveillance trigger might be used to notify a human in the loop to verify this information, enable the UAV to continue its own surveillance task or to inform other teams to initiate other activities.

You must be logged in to see the full information