SeaSpider: Automated information gathering on vessel movements in support of marine intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance
SeaSpider is an R&D tool to investigate the development of a software agent that would aid an operator in gathering information about marine vessels from public sources on the Internet. This information would supplement sensor information used for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) to enhance Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) and to complete the Recognized Maritime Picture (RMP). Specifically, SeaSpider is fine-tuned to search for, extract, integrate, and display information about locations (ports), dates and times, and activities (arrival, in berth, departure). One module manages World Wide Web (WWW) searches and retrieves the web pages; another module extracts relevant ship activities, integrates them and populates a database; a third module retrieves information from the database in response to user-generated queries. In this paper, the SeaSpider concept is introduced, the design details of the prototype are presented, and performance is analyzed, with a view towards future research.