CORDIS - EU research results

Coordination Of Maritime assets for Persistent And Systematic Surveillance

Project description

Technology for better maritime border surveillance

Beefing up the European Union’s external borders and combatting the trafficking of people and drugs are high on the agenda. Despite costly investments in the surveillance sector, maritime surveillance has not reached the desired levels of effectiveness. The EU-funded COMPASS2020 project aims to demonstrate that the coordinated use of manned and unmanned technologies and tools, both of aerial and underwater coverage, leads to better achievements regarding the range of operation, the collection of information and the quick reaction to maritime surveillance necessities. The project will offer cost-effective and reliable operational solutions to coast guards and maritime authorities for better situational awareness.


The external borders of the EU have historically been under great pressure, subject to a variety of threats, which include irregular migration and trafficking of narcotics. Within this context, authorities in charge of border and maritime patrol are faced with different challenges that include the heterogeneity of the traffic that undertakes illegal activities in European waters, limitations in the ability to collect and share timely available data among institutional organizations, as well as a lack of assets by the relevant authorities to cover the wide maritime areas under their mandate. Although there has been an expressive investment done in the domain of surveillance technologies and tools, the intake by the competent authorities has been slow, due to lack of uniformity in the integration of such systems with existing surveillance infrastructures. In order to address these challenges, project COMPASS2020 aims to demonstrate the combined use and seamless coordination of manned and unmanned assets to achieve greater coverage, better quality of information and shorter response times in maritime surveillance operations. The proposed solution will be based on an innovative CONOPS that makes use of multiple aerial and underwater unmanned vehicles with improved capabilities, deployed from OPVs or from land, and will be supported by a central, multi-domain and interoperable Mission System (MS) that enables the operation of these platforms from both locations. UxVs may act as deported ship sensors, providing critical mission data to the MS that can then be exploited through dedicated services to be developed in the scope of the project (e.g. Data Fusion and Threat Risk Analysis). The major goal of COMPASS2020 is to demonstrate an operational solution to ensure long range and persistent surveillance, increasing the situational awareness of coast guards and maritime authorities, and, thus, increasing the cost-effectiveness, availability and reliability of the operations.

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Net EU contribution
€ 606 750,00

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Continente Área Metropolitana de Lisboa Área Metropolitana de Lisboa
Activity type
Public bodies (excluding Research Organisations and Secondary or Higher Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 606 750,00

Participants (15)