Page 47: of Marine Technology Magazine (September 2019)

Autonomous Vehicle Operations

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Are you doing a lot with maritime domain Maybe they will eventually come here to work awareness and AIS? someday? Yes. We have a group that is gathering and fusing together The woman who’s leading this effort for the La Spe- huge amounts of AIS and radar data and doing a lot of predic- zia School System actually worked here. In fact her father tion, such where a ship might be going if it turned off its AIS. worked here.

We do maritime patterns of life to understand what’s happen- ing in and around the sea in a certain area. We’re also trying Your ultimate customer is the war? ghter. What to teach machines to think like humans. When it comes to would you want them to know about what you’re analyzing what a ship might be doing, even with con? icting doing here? information, a human is best at understanding what’s happen- I’ll go back to what I was saying in the very beginning ing. But a human can’t assimilate such huge amounts of data. – that it is so important for us to do these exercises. It’s not

We’re trying to teach our algorithms to think like a human, so just so we can do science. We can do that when we have the we do a lot of serious gaming. One of my priorities is to make right environment, the targets and communications links. But our network more robust, more resilient, and to improve and there’s more to it. For the war? ghters, and this new generation modernize it. of operators, we want them to be comfortable and con? dent working with autonomous systems. They need to have trust.

What kind of advice would you have to a stu- I want them to know about what we’re doing here – building resilient systems that they can trust. We want the sailors to dent or an academic? Are there opportunities for them to come here? trust them so that they will use them.

Absolutely. That’s what we’re here for. We have positions for local junior scientists. We collaborate with most of the na- val academies in the different countries, and they send their cadets here. Belgium had a student here this summer and they want to keep doing it every year.

You also have a very engaging STEM program.

We work with the schools in La Spezia. This is close to my heart, because we want to encourage young people, and young women especially, to get into STEM. When we look at maintaining our technological edge, one of the things we need are quali? ed people, and that starts with getting people edu- cated in STEM. In La Spezia, the school system is very inter- esting, and different from the U.S. You get to pick which high school you want to go to, and if you want to be in the technical ? eld, you get to pick the technical high school. In their junior and senior year, they have to work as interns, and we have worked with them to be one of those places where their high school students can come. You wouldn’t believe how techni- cally advanced they are. We’ve done some research here at

CMRE on the impact of acoustic energy on marine mammals.

We have done a long series of experiments and have accumu- lated a lot of data. This is of interest to our nations, because we want to avoid harming marine mammals. So we provided this acoustics data to the students and they were able to do a science project to analyze the data, and then they were able to present their ? ndings at this very large and prestigious confer- ence here in May with the European Cetacean Society. The students gave a series of presentations on the results of their analyses. It was a huge success, and we hope to continue that relationship. We hope to have students design their own ex- periments that they will be able to carry out here at CMRE.

Marine Technology Reporter 47

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Marine Technology

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