Shipwreck Surveillance System gets Major Funding Boost

An underwater surveillance system designed to monitor an ancient Greek shipwreck has received a year's funding from Microsoft.

By Yiannis Elafros

A state-of-the-art surveillance system designed to guard an ancient shipwreck off the Aegean island of Alonnisos has received funding from US tech giant Microsoft.

The Peristera shipwreck, named after the uninhabited islet near where it was spotted in the early 1990s, is monitored by a network of underwater cameras. A combination of image processing and AI is used to ascertain whether the site – the remains of a cargo ship laden with thousands of amphoras when it sank in the late 5th century BC – is being disturbed.

Developed by Greek scientists, NOUS received a year’s funding from Microsoft, which provided tech support, computing power and storage space.

Microsoft is interested in the system’s ability to recognize and record marine species, said George Papalambrou, assistant professor at the National Technical University of Athens, potentially becoming a useful tool for monitoring and protecting ecosystems.

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