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Bridging Innovative Downstream Earth Observation and Copernicus enabled Services for Integrated maritime environment, surveillance and security

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - MARINE-EO (Bridging Innovative Downstream Earth Observation and Copernicus enabled Services for Integrated maritime environment, surveillance and security)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2019-10-31

MARINE-EO project is a European Pre-Commercial Procurement project that started on the 1st of January 2017, with a total budget of 4,37M € supported by the European Union within the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016 - 2017 Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies – Space.

Maritime “Awareness” is currently a top priority for Europe. “Awareness” sought either in regards of marine environment and climate change while at the same time “awareness” sought in regards of the maritime security, border control against irregular immigration and safety of navigation.

MARINE-EO teams up a group of 5 maritime authorities (the buyers’ group) and a group of 4 scientific and technical organisations with significant experience in Earth Observation and maritime matters (the technical advisors) to achieve the following objectives:

Objective 1: Develop, test and validate two sets of EO-based services in the field of maritime awareness, leveraging existing Copernicus Services and other products from the Copernicus portfolio:

- Thematic Area 1 Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring and Climate Change: SATOCEAN service provides information about ocean parameters variability in time and space, fish farm monitoring and detection of fish farm threats. It also incorporates detection of vessels and icebergs in the Arctic areas.

- Thematic Area 2 Copernicus Security: SATSURVEILLANCE service contributes to the development of EUROSUR regulation and CISE by providing services in response to Europe’s security challenges, covering the unusual activity monitoring around Critical Infrastructures and enhanced change detection for irregular migration.

Objective 2: Propose a set of “support”/“envelop” services which will better integrate the EO and Copernicus-enabled services to the operational logic and code of conduct.

Objective 3: Strengthen transnational collaboration in maritime awareness sector by facilitating knowledge transfer and optimization of resources for the public authorities participating in the buyers group.
Since the project start in January 2017, Marine-EO activities have mainly focused on (i) the management of the Marine-EO project (WP1), (ii) the collection of the User Requirements (WP2), the preparation of the procurement (WP3), the finalization of the tender documents and specifications and the release of the tender (WP4), (iii) the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the results for phases 1 and 2 of the PCP (WP5), (iv) the identification of funding instruments for coupling with the Marine-EO (WP6), (v) the communication, exploitation and dissemination of the Marine-EO results (WP8) and (vi) the project’s ethics monitoring (WP9).

Also, within the same period, a number of significant milestones have been reached such as (i) the Tender publication and the receipt of the proposals, (ii) the evaluation of the proposals that led to the contracting of the awarded contractors and the launch of the 1st phase of the PCP (i.e. the Solution Design Phase), (iii) the revision and the evaluation of the design of the solutions that was performed by the awarded contractors during the 1st Phase, (v) the contracting of the awarded contractors and the launch of the 2nd Phase of the PCP (i.e. the Prototype Development Phase), (vi) the verification of the prototypes that were developed by the awarded contractors during the 2nd Phase of the PCP, (viii) the contracting of the awarded contractors and the launch of the 3rd phase of the PCP (i.e. the Operational Solution Development Phase).

During the current 3rd phase of the PCP, the awarded contractors will deploy their solutions on the premises of the organisations that belong in the Marine-EO Buyers’ Group and will train the personnel that will be responsible for the operation and the testing of the solutions in a real-life environment. Thereupon, the testing of solutions will be performed between June and August 2020. Following the end of the 3rd phase of the PCP in September 2020, the last stage of the Marine-EO PCP project will focus on the technical evaluation, the operational validation and cost analysis of the contractors’ solutions as well as on the evaluation of the Marine-EO PCP as a whole.
MARINE-EO procures the following innovations for the two addressed thematic areas:

a) Copernicus Marine Monitoring thematic area

Feature 1: Ocean biotic and abiotic parameters, climatological information and historical statistics. There is lack of a holistic approach, combining data from diverse sources in one single web platform, in order to serve the needs of Marine authorities at typical operating conditions. This first feature provides environmental status feedback, both on coastal and offshore marine protected areas, based on data gathered from various sources. Further analysis of these data can produce statistical results, as well as interpolated parameter maps. Furthermore, this service will be connected with the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD 56/2008 EC) and the environmental status assessment process.

Feature 2: Fish farm monitoring. The need for a dedicated service that will monitor Fish Farms, and enhance Fish Farmers awareness of relevant critical information, is considered of paramount importance for this fast-growing market. The feature will be applied in selected aquaculture sites, in order to prevent massive fish-killing events that would possibly result in the area’s destabilization and serious economic damages. The feature will provide end-users, on regular intervals, with access to information related to parameters of high interest.

Feature 3: Arctic based services. In order to ensure navigational safety and security at sea, vessels and icebergs detection is of great matter. Therefore, identification of vessel types, their navigational status, as well as icebergs in the vicinity, along with their dynamics, is crucial. This feature covers the monitoring of specified areas of interest, with respect to sea ice status, iceberg status and vessel recognition, combining information from advanced forecast models. This feature allows the competent on-shore authority to make good decisions in the implementation of contingency plans in future operations, where threats from ocean structure and icebergs could appear.

b) Copernicus Security thematic area

Feature 1: Unusual/Irregular activity monitoring around a Critical Infrastructure. A critical infrastructure is an asset or system essential for the maintenance of vital societal functions, whose damage may have significant negative impact for the security of EU and the well-being of the citizens. This feature aims to support the Maritime Security, by monitoring an area around a particular critical infrastructure, detecting abnormalities and identifying behavioral patterns in its surroundings, in order to foresee possible threats.

Feature 2: Change detection around coastal areas. Certain coastal areas surrounding Europe are labelled as possible sources of irregular migration, mainly due to their (strategic geographical) position and societal situation. This MARINE-EO platform feature aims to support the detection of irregular activity taking place in specific areas of interest, in order to minimize the appearance of unpleasant events/situations OR the number of future dinghies departing from these coasts, towards the EU.
MARINE-EO delivery chain infrastructure