Multispectral visible and infrared observations of various species of whales were made in the St. Lawrence Seaway near Quebec, Canada and Papawai Point in Maui, Hawaii. The Multi-mission Adaptable Narrowband Imaging System (MANTIS) was deployed in two configurations: airborne looking down, and bluff mounted looking at low-grazing angles. An Infrared (IR) sensor was also deployed in the bluff mounted configuration. Detections of marine mammals were made with these systems of submerged mammals and surface mammals at ranges up to 8 miles. Automatic detection algorithms are being explored to detect, track and monitor the behavior of individuals and pods of whales. This effort is part of a United States Navy effort to insure that marine mammals are not injured during the testing of the US Navy's acoustic Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) systems.
This note presents an airborne spectral imaging system and methodology used to detect, track and monitor marine
mammal populations. The system is a four band multispectral imaging system using spectral bands tailored for maritime
imaging. This low cost, low volume, imaging sensor can be deployed on either a small unmanned air vehicle (UAV) or
any other cost efficient aircraft. Results of recent multispectral data collects over marine mammals in St. Lawrence
Seaway are presented. Species present included beluga whales as well as various species of larger baleen whales.