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Protection of European seas and borders through the intelligent use of surveillance

Final Report Summary - PERSEUS (Protection of European seas and borders through the intelligent use of surveillance)

Executive Summary:
PERSEUS contributes to Europe’s efforts to monitor illegal migration and combat related crime and goods smuggling by proposing a large scale demonstration of a EU Maritime surveillance System of Systems, on the basis of existing national systems and platforms, enhancing them with innovative capabilities and moving beyond EUROSUR’s 2013 expectations, addressing key challenges:
- Supporting the network created by National Contact Centres, Frontex and EMSA through increased capabilities, including transnational exchange of useful and available information, and associated procedures and mechanisms, thereby supporting the creation of a common information sharing environment

- Generation of a common situational picture

• improved detection and identification of non collaborative/suspicious small boats and low flying aircrafts

• enhanced and increasingly automated detection of abnormal vessel behaviours, identification of threats and tracking of reporting and non-reporting vessels

PERSEUS articulates this demonstration through 5 exercises grouped in 2 campaigns, implementing missions of drug trafficking and illegal migration control and delivering surveillance continuity from coastal areas to high seas.

PERSEUS delivers a comprehensive set of validated and demonstrated recommendations and proposes standards. PERSEUS has assembled major users and providers, ensuring privileged access to existing surveillance systems and assets for an optimised coverage of the area of interest. These users will define, assess and validate the alignment of PERSEUS’s recommendations to their needs. PERSEUS also includes an evolution mechanism to enlarge the user base and integrate emerging technologies during its lifetime.

PERSEUS will augment the effectiveness of operational capabilities of the existing systems – a relevant and coordinated contribution to the establishment of an integrated European-wide maritime border control system.

Project Context and Objectives:
PROJECT CONTEXT

Over the last decade, Europe has been dedicating increasingly large amount of efforts to define and progress in the implementation of an integrated European Border Management Strategy. To date, there are 1792 designated EU external border crossing points with controls, including 665 air borders, 246 land borders and 871 sea borders. Together, these control points constitute one of the front-ends of Europe's policy to combat illegal and criminal activities that endanger the citizens, the economy and the envitonment of the European Union. The sea front of Europe is further addressed by the European border surveillance system (EUROSUR), which focuses initially on the southern and eastern maritime borders of the EU and proposes a roadmap for setting up such a "System of Systems" over the next few years. It focuses on enhancing border surveillance in order to:
- Reduce the number of illegal migrants who enter the European Union undetected
- Reduce the number of deaths of illegal immigrants by saving more lives at sea
- Increase the internal security of the EU as a whole by contributing to the prevention of cross-border crime.

But while the European level of awareness and policies are moving ahead, the implementation still faces a number of challenges, including the need to improve the capability of Member States' authorities to detect, identify, track and intercept vessels, including small/fast boats, used for illegal migration and related cross-border crime, across the 90.000 km long European coastline.

The reality today is one in which the maritime borders are monitored by each Member State and the discrepancies that exist between surveillance strategies, tools, techniques and regulations at member state level hinder the establishment of a coherent European strategy embodied by the European agencies Frontex and EMSA. At European level, multiple initiatives coexist, including DG-HOME's EUROSUR, DG-MARE's pilot projects (Mediterranean and Baltic basins), the European Defence Agency's MARSUR and GlobMarSit, etc. These initiatives have different horizons and different scopes, but there is a strong overlap between them, that PERSEUS aims to explit and to leverage.

Also, PERSEUS is in line with the report of ESRAB (European Security Research Advisory Broad) and incarnates a flagship initiative of the FP7 Security Research theme. The PERSEUS scope is three-fold:
- Focused research on complex security missions (e.g. illegal migration and drug trafficking)
- Validation and demonstration of new solutions (integration of existing legacy systems within a trans-national network and implementation of innovative surveillance tools ensuring an uniform and high level surveillance and control of EU borders)
- Involvement of end users to warrant a realistic step by step approach to reach an efficient operational cooperation among the Member States while preserving the National prerogatives.

In this environment, the PERSEUS demonstration is the most ambitious project to date, embracing the widest possible list of needs and regulatory contexts and taking into account the pre-existing initiatives.

MAIN OBJECTIVES

PERSEUS addresses the context and challenges described above by delivering tested, demonstrated and validated recommendations for the European wide integrated maritime border control system, in line with the EUROSUR objectives and parallel advances, across all aspects:
- Transnational collaboration between users: To support common missions combating illegal migration and drugs trafficking
- Functional: To extend surveillance coverage beyond current monitoring capabilities, integrating sytems and platforms thereby building the continuity of surveillance from coastal waters to high-seas and Maritime borders of third countries.
- Organisational: To define and implement at transnational level the sharing of information in terms of content (what), users (who) and processes (how).
- Technological: To enhance the capabilities for carrying out control tasks (detection, identification, tracking and interception) and enable the exchange of information between users including local authorities, NCCs, Frontex, EMSA, etc...
- Legal: To ensure that the regulations applicable in the European Union are observed, meaning that sensitive data must be processed farily and lawfully, collected for specified, explicit and ligitimate purposes and not further processed in a way incopatible with those purposes.
- Economic: To estimate the apporximate costs for the continued development of national border surveillance systems and coordination centres, the communication network architecture, to perform a cost/benefit analyses of the innovetive solutions (airborne platforms and sensors) and to make an asessment of the needed surveillance infrastructure in selected neighbouring third countries.
- Procurement: To clearly identify procurement aspects, including funding schemes within the business case based on the operational PERSEUS prototype, to develop standards for joint acquisition and management of platform/sensors, and to help define the appropiate technology and an order of magnitude for the financial costs of cooperation and information sharing between sector maritime authorities, as well as the building blocks of the final system.

Project Results:
Major effort has been focused to achieve the successful performance of Perseus Campaigns. These actions have led to the developments of new Command and Control Centres, adaptations to legacy systems, integration of assets and platforms, integration between systems, integration of maritime related services, enhancement of existing platforms and training of End-User.

Perseus has analyzed and tested up to nearly 40 different technologies, products and services related to Maritime Surveillance.

PERSEUS Western Campaign took place during the second half of 2013. End-users organizations from five different member states took part from the validation process. Validators witnessed Perseus system capabilities in the areas of acquisition, exploitation and analysis, integrated C2 and coordination, communications and mobility and projection.

Five different command and control applications have deployed in Italy, France, Spain and Portugal to demonstrate the information sharing concept. These applications interact using the Perseus Data Model defined by the consortium. The Perseus Data Model will represent one of the major outcomes of Perseus regarding interoperability.

Additionally, country nodes were connected to maritime data service providers in the system. These services provide automatic alerts, weather forecast information and Satellite AIS.

PERSEUS Eastern Campaign took place during the second half of 2014. Two exercises were performed in the area of the Eastern Mediterranean. One of the biggest achievements of these exercises was the assembly of several joint “Research – Industrial - Operational” teams with a common view of targets and objectives. Through those teams, the main target of PERSEUS has been achieved, i.e. to real-time collect, process, fuse and exploit data coming from a variety of heterogeneous sensors, while “closing the operational loop” through tasking and efficient control of our border surveillance assets.

Demonstrations have been oriented to the two main missions of PERSEUS: to fight against the drug smuggling to tackle irregular immigration, also contributing to save lives at sea. For this purpose:

a. Outstanding results were achieved by the coast guards during the Western Mediterranean Campaign thanks to all systems involved, upgraded and deployed within PERSEUS specifically aimed at detecting small boats in high seas/pre frontier area.
b. Similar experience was elicited during the execution of the Eastern Campaign, where up to 13 different assets and technologies of maritime surveillance were brought to the operational demonstration exercises, together with six different software applications developed ad hoc for the campaign, which are currently being used integrally or in part in post project operations.

The PERSEUS concept of management of the whole set of assets, re-transmission of all information towards the National Contact Centres, has been implemented. The systems were tested under actual operational conditions, pushing them to their limits.

Also the participation of a wide number of patrol assets in the project´s context of real operational exercises has allowed to appreciate that surveillance at sea takes indeed a different dimension than on shore, and that combining mission purposes with the most appropriate asset deployment in cooperation between sectors (e.g. Navy and Coast Guard) is crucial not only for maritime surveillance and security aspects but is also essential for efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Also a great achievement of the period has been consisted of the seamless cooperation of “experimental” with real-life “operational” assets. At the same time, there was a continuous need to overcome “Confidentiality” issues, so as to “declassify” information coming from “classified” military assets and make them available to the project.

Potential Impact:
PERSEUS addresses the context and challenges described above by delivering tested, demonstrated and validated recommendations for the European wide integrated maritime border control system, in line with the EUROSUR objectives and parallel advances, across all aspects:

- Transnational collaboration between users – to support common missions combating illegal migration and drugs trafficking.
- Functional – to extend surveillance coverage beyond current monitoring capabilities, integrating systems and platforms thereby building the continuity of surveillance from coastal waters to high-seas and Maritime borders of third countries.
· Organisational – to define and implement at transnational level the sharing of information in terms of content (what), users (who) and processes (how).
· Technological – to enhance the capabilities for carrying out control tasks (detection, identification, tracking and interception) and enable the exchange of information between users including local authorities, NCCs, Frontex, etc.
- Legal: To ensure that the regulations applicable in the European Union are observed, meaning that sensitive data must be processed fairly and lawfully, collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a way incompatible with those purposes.
· Economic to estimate the approximate costs for the continued development of national border surveillance systems and coordination centres, the communication network architecture, to perform a cost/benefit analysis of the innovative solutions (airborne platforms and sensors) and to make an assessment of the needed surveillance infrastructure in selected neighbouring third countries.
- Procurement – to clearly identify procurement aspects, including funding schemes within the business case based on the operational PERSEUS prototype, to develop standards for joint acquisition and management of platform/sensors, and to help define the appropriate technology and an order of magnitude for the financial costs of cooperation and information sharing between sector maritime authorities, as well as the building blocks of the final system.
Through these objectives, PERSEUS directly contributes to the implementation of the phase 3 of EUROSUR and beyond, and implements a step by step approach further detailed in the Methodology and Work Plan.
Project PERSEUS is expected to have a major societal impact by demonstrating the European strategy for combating drugs trafficking and illegal migration through maritime borders. It will also foster the development of innovative technologies for maritime surveillance and their integration into a transnational maritime surveillance system.

PERSEUS has represented a unique experience of research in the area of maritime surveillance. A wide range of systems, assets and platforms have been taken to the real life exercises, including surveillance airplanes and drones of different size and coverage, coastal stations, mobile units, ad hoc communication networks developed for the purpose, software applications implementing new operational functionalities such as task orders, collection plans, event dispatching and reports. A new concept of specialised autonomous underwater vehicles have been applied to the surveillance of vessels for the first time. Definitely, it has been a remarkable step forward and nothing similar had been done in this domain so far.

The PERSEUS innovations are expected to increase the effectiveness of current systems, by creating the base for further developments of a common maritime information sharing environment, using and integrating a complex array of information provided by the European and national agencies. By means of its large scale demonstrations, PERSEUS has already set the standards and grounds for the future development of EU maritime surveillance systems, thus paving the way towards the achievement of a Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE). Indeed, a major success has been the commitment and joint involvement of civilian and military bodies. As a major technological and operational achievement, the project allowed the facilitation of cross-sector exchange of data.
This collaboration (joint feeding the PERSEUS system with information) is a significant example for the progress towards CISE.

PERSEUS has been a catalyser, already producing relevant results, in the area of knowledge building and definition of programmes in maritime surveillance. No such impact could have been achieved within other kind of initiatives of minor range.

In account of the claims and recommendations already formulated by some end users after the campaigns, PERSEUS has made the need to complement “Security R&D” with “Security Operational Programmes” very visible, potentially funded by other complementary EU financial instruments (i.e Structural Funds). Such Operational Programmes will encourage dual use procurements of high-technology assets developed through dual use research (i.e. H2020/Secure Societies and others) in the areas of border surveillance, external security and others. Security Operational Programmes (i.e. EU and national funds made readily available for the fulfilment of security related operational needs) would by closely interconnected with the H2020/Secure Societies funds, so as to create regional, initially, and then, as a result, pan-European prosperity and competitiveness in this very sensitive field of EU citizens security.

The Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) indicates that the impact of Perseus project could be very beneficial for society. It has been possible to identify which effects could occur due to Perseus, and it appears that with only small changes in these effects (1-2%) the benefits for society outweigh the costs of Perseus.

Together with the quantitative analysis contained in the CBA, the qualitative study carried out in Perseus has permitted to analyze the complex structure of the EU maritime security challenges. Particularly, the work studied the possible side effects of the European Union (EU) investments in this sector and aims at providing a better understanding of the structure of the overall current situational scenario, which in turn might enhance future policy-making effectiveness.

In terms of pure statistics, we can highlight that nearly 150 conclusions and recommendations have been gathered in the due documentation by the major practitioner in the field, to be used as guidelines for coming joint operations and initiatives in the field. Up to 15 specialised publications have been issued by the Consortium, and the Project has participated in more than 140 dissemination events

The PERSEUS project has constituted a major example for the necessity of initiatives lead by the European Commission in the area. These initiatives need to be extended in order to address the needs of strategic planning, foresight methodologies able to combine societal and technological aspects, definition of success, monitor and control of efficiency, and renewed devices for governance and responsibility.

List of Websites:
www.perseus-fp7.eu
PERSEUS project Consortium is composed of 29 partners including leading companies with an extensive know-how in the construction of maritime surveillance systems and innovative technologies.
The Consoritum also integrate final end-user which provide an excellent knowledge of their operative necessities.
final1-perseus_final_publishable_report.pdf