Sentinel VDS - Intelligent Shark Detection 

Sentinel VDS™ is a world leading automated shark detection system. Built on the back of class leading drone technology and highly sophisticated detection software, Sentinel VDS™ offers ocean users an unparalleled approach towards shark attack mitigation.


Sentinel VDS - intelligent shark detection


The System

Sentinel VDS™ is built on the convergent integration of two rapidly developing technologies – autonomous Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and image analysis and computer vision techniques. Sentinel VDS™ is designed to capture and process high definition video footage, triggering an alert and warning to ocean users on detection of a threat. By using state of the art technology to develop a flexible, mobile and low impact shark attack mitigation solution, Sentinel VDS™ is a world leader in intelligent shark detection.

The Aerial Platform

Whilst the camera technology can be embedded on virtually any aerial vehicle, we’ve designed everything to be integrated into a fixed wing autonomous UAS. Our prototype fixed wing platform ensures:

  • Coverage – the platform can cover a surveillance area of up to 2 km2 with up to three passes per 1.5 hour flight at an altitude of 100m.
  • Endurance – each surveillance mission has a flight time of up to two hours with potential to extend this time as propulsion technology rapidly advances.
  • Flexibility – having undertaken system design and hardware integration from the ground up, our platform is built to offer excellent payload capacity and flexible deployment options.
  • Mobility – the entire system can be easily transported to any location and deployed for any duration across a variety of ocean events.


The Software

The Sentinel VDS software uses a sequence of computer vision techniques to detect sharks as moving objects in the ocean. By using our ever increasing library of imagery to train the software, our development team continues to improve upon our rates of identification, offering further enhancement of our approach towards automated and intelligent shark detection.

Development Pathway

Having successfully completed initial concept testing, we are moving onto technical implementation. Our development pathway is spread across three stages, enabling commercialisation of a semi-automated shark detection system by 2017, with later iterations of more sophisticated automated systems due for progressive commercial release throughout 2017 and 2018.

Each successive stage of development will incorporate greater levels of detection and analysis, moving towards an end product whereby the software has optimum control of the decision and alert process.


Astron has been undertaking the Sentinel VDS™ development project in collaboration with C4D Intel. The company brings systems procurement, manufacture, integration and contracting experience together, offering complete turnkey and scalable autonomous systems.

Keen to know more?

If you’re interested in intelligent shark detection we’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us through our contact page and follow our developments via the Sentinel VDS website, Facebook or Instagram accounts.

For more information on any aspect of the Sentinel VDS™ project please contact the technical lead Julian Kruger on (08) 9421 9600.