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Coordination Of Maritime assets for Persistent And Systematic Surveillance

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - COMPASS2020 (Coordination Of Maritime assets for Persistent And Systematic Surveillance)

Berichtszeitraum: 2019-05-01 bis 2021-10-31

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. By combining innovative technologies and integrating them within the current operational procedures, COMPASS2020 solution ensures long range and persistent surveillance, increasing the situational awareness of Coast Guards and maritime authorities, thus increasing the cost-effectiveness, availability and reliability of the operations.

The ultimate goal of COMPASS2020 project is demonstration of the capabilities of unmanned vehicles deployed from Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) in the support of regular patrol
missions by:
- Enhancing the coverage of the existing OPVs by means of aerial and underwater unmanned vehicles;
- Increasing the cost effectiveness of maritime surveillance missions;
- Complementing the availability of satellite imagery with imagery taken from aerial platforms operating continuously for long periods of time; and
- Increasing the accuracy and autonomy of pattern/behaviour detection and threat risk analysis.
In practice, COMPASS2020 project is the system of systems. One of the elements composing the system is COMPASS2020 Mission System, being the key human-machine interface that provides the practitioner overall situational awareness and inteligence over the patrolled area. Operated by the end-user or technician, it receives receives inputs from various sources through a developed interoperability layer. Developments carried out within the COMPASS2020 project allowed fusion of data from heterogenous sensors for the purposes of detection of anomalies & threats and aiding the operators in decision-making. New services provided by COMPASS2020 include anomaly detection, classification, risk & predictive analysis and optimisation of operations with unmanned platforms, e.g. automatic tasking.

Important components of COMPASS2020 system of systems were unmanned assets carrying innovative payload for the purposes of target detection & identification deployed in maritime surveillance scenarios. Within this project, tangible improvements in the area launch and recovery of assets were achieved by delivery of capabilities of:
- full operation of fixed-wing UAV from on-board the Oceanic Patrol Vessel based on landing in the netcatcher,
- precise landing on-board the vessel for Vertical Take-Off and Landing UAV,
- simplified launch and recovery of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles,
- detection & localisation of suspicious fast boats or abandonded cargo by means of underwater acoustic sensing installed in the AUV,

In September 2021, COMPASS2020 delivered project final demonstration, which allowed to present the stakeholders technical capabilities of all systems and validation of this system of systems from the perspective of end-users.
COMPASS2020 the consortium delivered a solution that can improve the effectiveness of the maritime surveillance operations as whole through teaming of the unmanned assets with manned; and fusing different data streams coming from UxVs and conventional systems (AIS server, RADAR, and others) to produce complete situational maritime picture. Persistent surveillance assets such as UAVs or AUVs effectively extended the coverage of the area and allowed very quick detection & identification of the target. In case of aerial assets, time of detection varied from minutes to tens of minutes, and in any of the cases it is way more cost-efficient than conventional tasking of manned asset. By taking advantage of “flying eyes”, especially when they are characterised with small logistical footprint, medium endurance and possible to be deployed from on-board the vessel, Maritime Authorities would be provided with virtually continuous situational picture and more localised intervention, as proved in the COMPASS2020 demonstration. Innovative CONOPS presented during the COMPASS2020 demonstration enabled detection of greater number of threats by means of UxVs and Data Fusion algorithms running in the Anomaly Detection Module core. All anomalies injected in the scenarios were detected and even more, since the demonstration was executed among the traffic that was not behaving in accordance to the area’s usual pattern of life.

Employment of persistent surveillance assets as in COMPASS2020 reduces the End-User need to rely on satellite data, which are usually provided at limited rate due to the limitations related to satellites’ orbit and revisit time. The COMPASS2020 project showed how effective aerials assets are and that the capability of having multiple deployable assets on request (whenever required) instead of when available, allows faster assessment of situations, enables the possibility of planning suitable response actions to simultaneous events even in the case of not having enough manned resources available, and allows for continuous operations since operators’ swaps are performed on the control centre and do not have to come back to the harbour.