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Coastal Waters Research Synergy Framework

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Co-ReSyF (Coastal Waters Research Synergy Framework)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2018-12-31

The coast is where land meets the sea or the ocean, and coastal waters form a natural boundary that is dynamic and changes due to various hydromorphological, climate- and weather-driven, and human-related processes. Depending on their location around the world, coastal waters can be affected and transformed by tides, waves, currents, storm surges, sediment transport and sea level rise, some of which can cause coastal flooding and erosion. Coastal defense engineering and shoreline management are often used to mediate these effects. The EU H2020 Coastal Waters Research Synergy Framework (Co-ReSyF) has delivered a platform to support and monitor economic and social coastal activities (e.g. fisheries, harbor operations, ship traffic monitoring, oil spill detection) in this changing world.
Until recently, scientists had to deal with the daunting task of mining large datasets for suitable data, and often downloading EO information from various different sources. In addition, as the datasets increased in volume, the processing has become slower and demanding of better computing facilities.The EU H2020 Coastal Waters Research Synergy Framework (Co-ReSyF) project tackled these issues, by developing a platform for data access, processing, visualization in one place. The platform is based on cloud computing to maximize processing effort and task orchestration. Co-ReSyF addressed the issues faced by inexperienced EO researchers, and also targets EO experts and downstream users, with main focus on enabling EO data access and processing for coastal and marine applications. In a collaborative research environment, the Co-ReSyF platform revolutionized the accessibility to Big EO Data, and help to create a new era of EO data processing and exploitation.

Co-ReSyF facilitates access to Earth Observation (EO) data and various processing tools for the coastal and oceanic research community, towards the provision of services based on EO data namely (but not restricted to) Coastal Water research. This was achieved by:
-Setting up a collaborative environment which facilitates the integration of EO data use into multi-disciplinary research activities, by guiding researchers towards easy to use and understand data analysis tools, designed to extract the information held within EO data
-Reaching out to a wide community of coastal and oceanic researchers who validated, tested, and suggested improvements to the framework, whilst using it to integrate EO data use into their research, based on new Sentinel-series satellites
-Providing a powerful framework with scalable capabilities and integrated tools for dedicated EO data access, processing, and process automation
-Creating a Knowledge base for the future users

Co-ReSyF created a cloud platform, which simplifies integration of EO data use into multi-disciplinary research activities. This platform is user friendly and accessible to inexperienced scientists as well as EO and coastal experts. A set of coastal Research Applications has been implemented within the Co-ReSyF platform during the project for open source use.The applications include the following:
-Bathymetry Determination from SAR Images
-Determination of bathymetry, benthic habitat classification and water quality from optical sensors
-Vessel and oil spill detection
-Time-series processing for hyper-temporal optical data analysis
-Ocean Coastal Altimetry
During the first year of the project (2016) the focus of the work was on establishing connections with the user communities and global programmed related to the Coastal areas monitoring, and building the requirements of the platform based on the needs of the users. Also the theoretical background of the core research applications was defined in order to start their implementation.The project has worked to connect to several global programs (e.g Future Earth Coasts, EurOcean, WCRP, CSIRO, NOAA STAR, ESA CCI, UNESCO IODE, MARINA Project and EuroGOOS) to increase its visibility and pool of stakeholders. A competitive call was also launched to receive ideas for research projects to be carried out by students in the Co-ReSyF platform and an online survey was setup to gather the users needs.The website and social media channels (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) were also setup and are active.

During the second year of the project (2017) the focus of the work was on the development of the first version of the platform (Co-ReSyF V1) as well as the development and integration of the core research applications into the platform. The winners of the competitive call were announce and a Summer School was organized in Lisbon (Portugal) to introduce the students to the Co-ReSyF platform where the platform was showed to all the attendants and feedback was gathered in order to feed the evolution of the platform for the 2nd version (V2). A Youtube channel, and an online discussion forum were also setup to support all the users of the platform. The Youtube channel provides videos explaining how to use the platform and the forum allows for discussions between the users and the developers in order to further iterate on the users needs and requests. At the end of the year the V1 of the platform was successfully accepted with already two core research applications integrated.

During the third year of the project (2018) the focus of the work was the implementation of the Catalogue, Geoportal and all associated support tools in order to have the Final version of Co-ReSyF. On the side of the research applications work was carried out to code the algorithms of the applications and integration into the Co-ReSyF platform.Another major activity of this period has been the Organization of the Third Advisory Board and User Board meetings , and the Final Workshop in Cork (Ireland). These meetings served to collect feedback on what was implemented from both organizations with supervision of Coastal Water Research activities (WMO, FEC, CSIRO, EurOcean, NOAA) and researchers from institutes from all over the world (JPL, CIMA, TUM, Ireland Marine Institute, NRC, etc.). In the Final Workshop the public release of the Co-ReSyF platform was made to the community .The Co-ReSyF partners presented a live demo of the Co-ReSyF platform.

The Co-ReSyF project has been able to address the current needs of the Coastal and oceanic community by facilitating access to various EO Data and tools to build applications .The platform provides services to the researchers at varying expertise level- Novice,Intermediate, and Expert to integrate Data Processing Algorithms into a cloud environment, construct a Data processing Workflow from a library of tools and trigger the processing from an User Interface.
The platform is now operational and with the usage of it we expect to evolve the platform to create a rich environment for EO data processing that will help novices to start working with EO data. The platform is user friendly and will increase the potential for students to use it and learn about using EO data for coastal research. It is also expected to help the researchers perform their analysis quicker by exploring the potential of the infrastructures on the cloud, increasing the processing power available to the researchers and decreasing the time they need to wait for obtaining their results.
Co-ReSyF Promo poster
Infographic for Co-ReSyF
Co-ReSyF News Letter