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High Resolution Copernicus-Based Information Services at Sea for Ports and Aquaculture

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HiSea (High Resolution Copernicus-Based Information Services at Sea for Ports and Aquaculture)

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

The Sentinel missions and Copernicus Services provide a global view of environmental parameters of prime importance for climate and environmental research. These measurements cover the atmosphere, the ocean, the cryosphere, the land surface and the solid Earth. The accuracy and high spatial resolution of the data play a crucial role in representing physical, chemical and biological processes. Models can develop precise parametrisations of these processes and of their complex interactions (Berger et al., 2012). For this reason, HiSea, combining measurements and models, has an enormous potential to improve the understanding of the coastal environment. With Sentinel data, systematic global information will be available at high spatial resolution (up to 10 m), while high temporal repetition of measurements will also allow monitoring changes at scales of days or weeks, with the opportunity of operating in all weather conditions. However, the users are sometimes hampered by the unavailability of products of broadly used formats that can directly be included in their own applications. Such data can be difficult to access, manipulate or process, particularly for people who have never used it before. For this reason one of the main objectives of the project will be the generation of high resolution added value products that will be a clear extension of three different core services dealing with the coastal areas: Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) and Copernicus Land Monitoring Service (CLMS) and the Climate Change Monitoring Service (CMS).

The HiSea project aims to offer a service co-designed with users that provides high resolution data of water quality at sea that is used to give focused answers to specific questions from the targeted port and the aquaculture sectors. HiSea is developing, testing and demonstrating, in operational mode, novel Copernicus-based downstream information services that will incorporate Copernicus Marine, Land and Climate Services Products, local monitoring data and advanced modelling in the service. This allows improving operation, planning and management of different marine activities in ports and aquaculture sectors. Such information services include among others:
• Early warning service regarding the identification of situations that may have potential risk for the daily activities (storm alerts, [harmful] algal blooms’ alerts, faecal contamination alerts, etc.);
• Real time crisis management regarding pollution accidents in order to identify the appropriate responses; harmful algal blooms to identify the timing and magnitude of threats on the activities; simulation of alternative actions to mitigate the adverse effects, among others;
• Key performance indicators regarding the fish growing rates, environmental conditions, or the level of vulnerability to storms for vessels;
• Information for planning operations including accurate and reliable meteorological, hydrodynamic and water quality forecasts;
• Knowledge data base built on cause-effect relations that may help to better understand and manage the operations in the future.

The main goal of the HiSea services is to deliver accurate and reliable information, readily available, easily understandable and with high resolution to fit seamlessly users’ operation, planning and management requirements. Despite all the complexity required to get data from different providers or produce daily forecasts, HiSea conveys derived relevant information in a simple and effective way, fulfilling daily basic needs for a wide spectrum of users.
The Stakeholder Advisory Board (SAB) has been established within the first three months of the project to ensure those project goals are consistent with the needs of beneficiaries suggesting where feasible, additional work to help realize social, environmental and economic benefits for the broadest possible range of stakeholders and public. Also, during the first project year, two user requirements workshops have been carried out, one for the Port sector and other for the Aquaculture sector and as a result an initial report on the user’s feedback has been drafted. The current status of the art has been performed and extensively details on existing initiatives and projects, data services and systems, remote sensing technologies and in situ measurements, data types and metadata have been provided as in D3.1. To meet user needs, user requirements identified through the workshops, have been translated first into technical requirements and later into platform requirements, as well as the use case scenarios that have been analysed and translated into platform requirements. These results are detailed in D3.6 and D3.8.
In order for the platform to be able to properly “communicate” with these different data sources, specific plugins for each data source are being setting up. New models and refining of existing models have been set up for the use cases according to user needs. Improved modelling for water quality parameters was achieved by calibrating models with existing data for the selected use cases. Several platform components, encapsulated in dockers, have been developed to deal with the external data importing process and a first test of the platform into DIAS facilities has been carried out.

A first demo of the platform has been shown during the first interim review meeting. Service mock-ups and trials (e.g. web and mobile clients) have been developed to collect feedback and ideas with different potential users. At the current status, the dashboard displays different warning alerts in cases specified thresholds are exceeded, charts and maps. Toward the goal of meeting user requirements, it was decided to implement a frontend based on self-customizable dashboards which would provide maximum flexibility. The result of the HiSea frontend drafting, at this stage, was summarized in Deliverable 4.2.

To ensure information about the project’s objectives, approaches and results are effectively disseminated to opinion leaders/regulators, port operators, aquaculture companies (including SMEs), the media, the scientific community and the general public several activities has been performed. An attractive, user-friendly project website has been developed and a project blog was set up https://hiseaproject.com/blog/ in which the project shares news about its progress. Moreover, the project is very active on social media and has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. In addition, two graphic posters have been prepared and presented at relevant events. The HiSea has been presented during the Malta winter school, EGU General Assembly, Aquaculture Europe19 conference, Copernicus Marine Service workshop and to several other events.
Based on the evolution of the user’s requirements, the frontend will be further developed and adapt to the different requirements of different users. The information provided will include estimates of uncertainty, which will assist in taking scientific-based decisions in the daily use of the service. The demand for such services is of increasing importance for the port and aquaculture sectors as moving towards a sustainable development of their activities at sea. Two demonstration workshops will be held to collect users feedback and the final HiSea platform will be presented during the final assembly.
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