Our world is constantly changing, and this has its effect on worldwide military operations. For example, there is a change
from conventional warfare into a domain that contains asymmetric threats as well. The availability of high-quality
imaging information from Electro-Optical (EO) sensors is of high importance, for instance for timely detection and
identification of small threatening vessels in an environment with a large amount of neutral vessels. Furthermore, Rules
of Engagement often require a visual identification before action is allowed. The challenge in these operations is to
detect, classify and identify a target at a reasonable range, while avoiding too many false alarms or missed detections.
Current sensor technology is not able to cope with the performance requirements under all circumstances. For example,
environmental conditions can reduce the sensor range in such a way that the operational task becomes challenging or
even impossible. Further, limitations in automatic detection algorithms occur, e.g. due to the effects of sun glints and
spray which are not yet well-modelled in the detection filters. For these reasons, Tactical Decision Aids will become an
important factor in future operations to select the best moment to act.
In this paper, we describe current research within The Netherlands on this topic. The Defence Research and
Development Programme “Multifunctional Electro-Optical Sensor Suite (MEOSS)” aims at the development of
knowledge necessary for optimal employment of Electro-Optical systems on board of current and future ships of the
Royal Netherlands Navy, in order to carry out present and future maritime operations in various environments and