MSAW 2019 is delighted to confirm the following keynote talks from distinguished scientific experts in the fields of data fusion, surveillance and radar systems

  1. Dr. James Llinas, University at Buffalo (Biography)

  2. Dr. Felix Govaers, Fraunhofer FKIE  (Biography)

  3. Dr. Alfonso Farina, Leonardo, Ret.  ; Sergio Gallone, CTO Leonardo S.p.A. ;   Massimo Claudio Comparini, CEO, e-GEOs, CTO, Telespazio,Head of Line of Business Geoinformation 

  4. Mr. John Waterston, DARPA Strategic Technology Office

Please see the programme page for the keynote schedules.

 " pdf Reexamining information fusion - sensemaking - decision making inter-dependencies again (3.06 MB) "

Dr. James Llinas


Many decision-making process models show some level of interdependency between the decision-making (DM) process and its subfunctions and the information available to that decision-making process. One example is the well-known “OODA: Observe-Orient-Decide-Act” model of Boyd and another well-known example is Klein’s Naturalistic or Recognition-Primed Decision model. In the Information and Data Fusion (IDF) community, the point of view for process/system development is often centered about forming a least-uncertain estimate of a situational state as derived from multiple sources and sensors. However, there has been, unfortunately, relatively little interaction between the IDF, Sensemaking, and DM communities(1), and the critical examination of inter-process interdependencies needed to co-design these processes for optimum performance.
This presentation suggests that IDF, Sensemaking, and DM processes cannot be optimally designed without consideration of such interdependencies, and a variety of details of such interdependencies of these processes are discussed. Among the issues commented on are: little accounting for the “Dual-process Models” of decision-making (factors of which have in fact been addressed by Nobel Laureates), integration of Information Foraging operations and the link to Sensemaking processes supportive of DM, important temporal effects in inter-process design, metrics involved in measuring and evaluating process interdependencies, new factors on the input side such as unstructured and linguistic data, among other factors. The spirit of the paper is as a research challenge for the IDF, cognitive, and DM communities and an appeal for joint efforts to evolve optimal designs of these important interdependent processes.

(1) E.g., the International Information Fusion Conferences of the last 5 years collectively have fewer than a dozen papers on decision-making.


Dr James Llinas is an Emeritus Professor in the Departments of Industrial and Systems Engineering and dual-appointed in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo, in Buffalo, New York, USA. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Multisource Information Fusion, the only systems-oriented academic research center for Information Fusion in the United States; the Center has been in existence for some 20+ years and has conducted extensive and distinctive research for a wide variety of governmental and civilian clients. Dr. Llinas brings over 35 years of experience in multisource information processing and data fusion technology to his research, teaching, and business development activities. He is an internationally-recognized expert in sensor, data, and information fusion, co-authored the first integrated book on Multisensor Data Fusion, and has lectured internationally for over 30 years on this topic. He is a recipient of the Joe Mignona Award given to one person annually by the US Data Fusion Group for lifetime achievements in Data Fusion. In 1998, as the International Society for Information Fusion was being developed, he was voted as the First President of the Society. He has been a consultant and advisor to U.S., Canadian, Australian, Norwegian, Swedish, and Spanish Ministries of Defense. In addition to co-authoring the first integrated text on data fusion, Dr. Llinas is also the co-editor of the “Handbook of Multisensor Data Fusion” published in 2001, a second edition in 2009, and of a new Handbook of Distributed Multisensor Data Fusion published in 2012, as well as a recent text on Context-Enhanced Information Fusion published in 2016.


"Push and pull digitalization: technology drivers for sensor data fusion"

Dr.  Felix Govaers 


Comprehensive networking, ubiquitous sensor technology, robots, drones, artificial intelligence, machine learning, ... and many more of these buzzwords! Digitalization has long since dominated almost all areas of modern life. Defence & Security is no less affected by the “digital revolution” in all its branches. On the contrary – many fundamental technologies have their roots in this area.

For a wide range of applications, we consider trends and practical examples to shed some light on the impact of comprehensive digitalization on sensor data fusion, i.e. on surveillance, resources management and supporting smart decisions. Fusion technology is basic for acing successfully and responsibly in the increasingly complex technosphere that is surrounding us.

Cognitivity of communication and sensor systems, automation of platforms up to levels of autonomy, manned-unmanned teaming, and handling of big or sparse data are technologies enabled by sensor data fusion and intelligent resources management and will be discussed by considering examples. Some more visionary ideas of fusion algorithms that are exploiting quantum physics inspired mathematics will conclude the talk.


Dr Felix Govaers received his Diploma in Mathematics and his Ph.D. with the title “Advanced data fusion in distributed sensor applications” in Computer Science, both at the University of Bonn, Germany. Since 2009 he works at Fraunhofer FKIE in the department for Sensor Data Fusion and Information Processing where he now leads the research group “Distributed Systems”.

The research of Felix Govaers is focused on data fusion for state estimation in sensor networks. This includes track-extraction, processing of delayed measurements as well as the Distributed Kalman filter and track-to-track fusion. He is also interested in advances in state estimation such as particle flow and homotopy filters and the random finite set theory approaches. Felix Govaers is an active member of the ISIF community since 2008, he has been organizing the ISIF co–sponsored SDF Workshop in Germany for many years as the Technical Program Chair. For the upcoming FUSION in 2016 he supports the organization team as the Publication Chair. Since 2014 he also serves as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems journal.


" pdf Maritime surveillance: radar technologies and scenario characteristics (8.18 MB) "

A. Farina (Consultant), S. Gallone, Leonardo S.p.A., M. C. Comparini, e-GEOS Chief Executive Officer, Telespazio Head of Line of Business Geoinformation 


Since the beginning of the radar history Maritime Situational Awareness (MSA) has been identified as the first operational application for both commercial and defense areas. After the WW2 the first operational standards were defined for on board radar equipment, followed by the regulations for fixed radar installations. Vessel Traffic System (VTS) radars were the extension of the on board equipment, since they are the same apparatus equipped with larger antennas, to obtain longer detection ranges and better azimuth accuracy with medium-high altitude installations. In the last decade solid state VTS radars were developed replacing the use of magnetrons, obtaining lower costs for maintenance and logistics, and introducing the Doppler processing in the VTS radars. Modern radars still need to be improved, in term of performances, considering the complex environmental and operative scenario and the more stringent operational needs. Examples are the followings:

In the presentation some of the topics listed above are discussed together with several examples of live data.


Alfonso FARINA, LFIEEE, FIET, FREng, Fellow of EURASIP, received the doctor degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Rome (IT) in 1973. In 1974, he joined Selenia, then Selex ES, where he became Director of the Analysis of Integrated Systems Unit and subsequently Director of Engineering of the Large Business Systems Division. In 2012, he was Senior VP and Chief Technology Officer of the company, reporting directly to the President. From 2013 to 2014, he was senior advisor to the CTO. He retired in October 2014. From 1979 to 1985, he was also professor of “Radar Techniques” at the University of Naples (IT). He is the author of more than 800 peer-reviewed technical publications and of books and monographs (published worldwide), some of them also translated in to Russian and Chinese. Some of the most significant awards he’s received include: (2004) Leader of the team that won the First Prize of the first edition of the Finmeccanica Group (45,000 employees) Award for Innovation Technology, out of more than 330 submitted projects by the Companies of Finmeccanica Group; (2005) International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, U.K., and the fellowship was presented to him by HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh; (2010) IEEE Dennis J. Picard Medal for Radar Technologies and Applications for “Continuous, Innovative, Theoretical, and Practical Contributions to Radar Systems and Adaptive Signal Processing Techniques”; (2012) Oscar Masi award for the AULOS® “green” radar by the Italian Industrial Research Association (AIRI); (2014) IET Achievement Medal for “Outstanding contributions to radar system design, signal, data and image processing, and data fusion”. He is a Visiting Professor at University College London (UCL), Dept. Electronic and Electrical Engineering, CTIF (Center for TeleInFrastructures) Industry Advisory Chair, and a Distinguished Lecturer (DL) of IEEE AESS.

Sergio Gallone

Sergio Gallone graduated in Electronic Engineering with maximum grade, in the University of Roma “La Sapienza” on 1984. He joined Selenia S.p.A on 1985 and was involved as Project Manager/Project Leader of many innovative radar projects, for both military and civilian applications, in naval and ground domain, from UHF to X-bands, for the detection/recognition of aircraft, ships and personnel/ground vehicles. He obtained 2 patents on sea clutter reduction methods. He is now in the central CTO of Leonardo S.p.A.

Massimo Claudio Comparini

Massimo Claudio Comparini has a Master Degree in Electrical Engineering, Remote Sensing and Radar Systems, University of Rome “La Sapienza” (Italy), and a Master Degree in Strategy (MBA), Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, CA (USA).

He began his career in the space industry in 1983 at Selenia Spazio (later Alenia Spazio), holding positions of increasing responsibility, up to that of Chief Technology Officer.
After the establishment of the joint venture Thales Alenia Space (Thales 67%, Finmeccanica 33%), he took up the role of Deputy Chief Technical Officer, CTO of TAS Italia and Vice President for R&D, Technology, Product Policy and IPR. In 2013 he was appointed Chief Technical Officer at Telespazio, a joint venture between Finmeccanica (67%) and Thales (33%).

He is also the Chairman of Space Innovation in the Italian Technology Platform SPIN IT. Author of over 80 papers, he published works in the field of space and microwave technologies, innovation and technology management. He holds seats in several steering committees and boards of scientific associations and International conferences. He has had several Academic chairs in the Engineering and Management Departments of Italian Major Universities.
Comparini is Chairman of the Space Innovation technology platform in Italy, and is a National expert in the space configuration of the European Horizon 2020 programme.
In 2016, he has been appointed as CEO of e-GEOS, an ASI 20% / Telespazio 80% company, which has the mission to commercialize world-wide COSMO-SkyMed radar Constellation data, applications and services and to provide multimission Geospatial integrated solutions, based on innovative satellite data processing chain.


" pdf Ocean of things (2.61 MB) "

Mr.  John Waterston


DARPA's Ocean of Things (OoT) program enables persistent maritime situational awareness over large ocean areas by deploying thousands of low-cost, intelligent floats that drift as a distributed sensor network. Each float manages a suite of commercially available sensors to collect environmental data such as sea surface temperature, sea state, and location as well as activity data about vessels and marine mammals moving across the ocean. The floats periodically transmit processed data, or immediately report events based on internal prioritization schemes. Messages travel via commercial satellite to a government cloud for storage and real-time analysis. Cloud-based data analytics feature machine learning aimed at discovering emergent features and behaviors from sparse data. The multiple performers manufacturing floats and developing software are being led by a government management team to employ commercial design methodology and agile best practices. At-sea float deployments are planned in two phases over 2019 (1-month) and 2020 (3-month). Program benefits include ocean environmental products derived from high-density, in-situ measurements and analytical applications, which can simultaneously provide users a range of outputs to include ocean circulation prediction, vessel and marine mammal tracking, and dynamic ocean resource management.


Mr. John Waterston joined DARPA in January 2017 as a Program Manager in the Strategic Technology Office (STO). Mr. Waterston’s interests are in maritime autonomy, undersea warfare, and distributed sensing. He seeks disruptive concepts to transform the future defense enterprise.

Mr. Waterston currently manages a diverse portfolio of advanced projects. POSYDON has developed an acoustic positioning, navigation, and timing system to enable future undersea operations. TEAC investigates fundamental techniques to cohere acoustic energy transmissions in the ocean environment. Ocean of Things seeks to transform environmental and operational awareness of the ocean using low-cost, intelligent floats.

Prior to arriving at DARPA, Mr. Waterston was a Senior Program Manager within SRI International’s Advanced Technology and Systems Division. There he led defense research programs in various technical areas to include cyber warfare, arctic sensing, and unmanned vehicles. Outside of industry, Mr. Waterston serves as a Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserves, where he applies his submarine operational experience in support of warfare systems requirements development and platform integration.

A native of Dallas, TX., Mr. Waterston graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and entered the Submarine Warfare Community upon commissioning. He graduated from Stanford University with a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering.