Kestrel Maritime


Kestrel Maritime is a software solution that automatically detects objects in electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IR) aerial full motion video (FMV) from manned aircraft and UAVs.

Optimised for the maritime environment – processing every pixel, every frame, hour after hour – Kestrel Maritime assists operators by:

  • Reliably detecting small objects such as fishing vessels, pirate boats and people overboard
  • Providing visual and audio cues to counter operator fatigue over long missions
  • Automatically transforming maritime FMV into actionable object data

Proven on a wide range of air platforms, Kestrel Maritime is an off-the-shelf application that complements radar to provide a reliable, all-encompassing maritime surveillance solution.



Small Object Detection
Automatic, real-time detection of small objects, including those with low electronic signature such as wooden boats and people overboard, on the surface of the ocean.

Search and Rescue
Detection of people in the water within a range of environmental conditions.

Visual and Audio Alerts
Provision of visual and audio alerts to reduce potential operator fatigue over long missions.

Actionable Data
Kestrel maritime processes full motion video that contains geo-location meta-data, compliant with STANAG 4609 and MISB 0601. It also inserts target detection data into output video streams for downstream applications.

Plug and Play
Kestrel Maritime runs in a standard Windows environment and can be easily added to a control station or networked from a separate PC. Simply send your existing control station video feed to Kestrel or for enhanced performance, install Kestrel onto the payload of your air platform. Kestrel Maritime is also available as an API for Windows or Linux that can be seamlessly inserted into ISR solutions.


Kestrel Maritime provides a cue to operators viewing imagery from airborne platforms to objects on the surface of the ocean – whether moving or stationary. Kestrel Maritime enhances a wide range of maritime surveillance missions including;

  • Counter Piracy Operations
  • Maritime Domain Awareness
  • Maritime Search & Rescue



Tier Description Typical Platforms

Tier 1


Optimized for small UAS with a typical operating altitude of 2,000ft or lower
and take-off weight 25lb or less

AeroVironment Wasp, Raven, Puma

Tier 2


Optimized for tactical UAS or small VTOL’s typically operating at an altitude
between 1,000 and 10,000ft.


Insitu ScanEagle;Textron Shadow and Aerosonde; Northrop Grumman BAT


Tier 3



Optimized for stable HALE/MALE UAS, manned aircraft or helicopters with a typical operating altitude of 5,000ft or greater.



P-3 Orion; IAI Heron; General Atomics Predator and Reaper


Piracy is increasingly threatening vital sea lines of communication and commerce. Many counter piracy operations are supported by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), providing maritime surveillance and detecting suspicious activity. Kestrel Maritime assists operators in detecting small objects in real time. By automating detection it ensures that the operator remains vigilant, making it harder for pirates to be missed. Kestrel Maritime greatly enhances the effectiveness of counter piracy operations.


Detect small objects against difficult sea conditions

Being aware of the maritime domain is key to force protection. Awareness demands both observational persistence and real time intelligence. Kestrel supports both by providing consistent, persistent detection over time and is not challenged by the fatigue that typically affects maritime surveillance. Additionally, Kestrel is able to provide autonomous cues to any object detected within the field of view – in real time. Kestrel significantly enhances the effectiveness of maritime domain awareness missions.

Detect people in distress or danger
Reducing detection time is critical in search and rescue operations. Airborne surveillance of vast expanses of ocean, looking for small objects, is time consuming and often must be done in very challenging sea conditions.

Kestrel Maritime automatically detects small objects helping search and rescue surveillance operators to find tough to find objects in the water. Kestrel’s automatic detection in high sea states ensures that objects that might otherwise be missed are more likely to be found.

Kestrel Kestrel Maritime greatly enhances maritime search and rescue operations.