The role of Copernicus Services in building the I-SEAMORE ecosystem

The I-SEAMORE project aims to develop an integrated ecosystem composed by an advanced platform solution to host and manage the operation of several innovative systems and technological solutions, that are meant to provide European Authorities with increased situational awareness and operational capabilities for maritime surveillance operations.

The core platform (infrastructure and software layers) of the ecosystem is conceptualized to be deployed and operated at MOCs (Maritime Operation Centers) with interfaces to the other systems including the UxVs Ground Control Stations (GCSs). The platform provides end-users with a holistic solution capable of handling several multipurpose tasks, including use-cases related to wide maritime border and coastal areas monitoring, analysis of potential threats, support to search and rescue operations, detection of illegal activities, among others.

Such tasks will be possible since, at the MOC, I-SEAMORE platform will have on-board its software layers that include a list of dedicated services and tools that will provide mission commanders with a complete set of functionalities and capabilities. This includes a common operational picture, activation and indirect tasking to multiple types of Unmanned Assets (including from multi-authorities) and receiving live feeds of payload data and inferred information (complemented with other sources of data, such as Copernicus Services or open-source data) for optimal decision making and successful execution of the desired missions.

In fact, the exploitation of heterogeneous data sources through innovative sensor payloads and open data sources including Copernicus-based Services, is one of the main pillars and key areas of this project.

One of I-SEAMORE main tasks is related to “Preliminary Copernicus’ data acquisition & pre-processing”, aiming to provide the necessary tools and methods for bringing into the project platform the Copernicus satellite data and perform all the required pre-processing operations.

In this task, our partners from TerraSigna (TS), alongside Atos/Eviden (the Project Coordinator), will develop the interface between Copernicus services and I-SEAMORE Ecosystem for the Copernicus satellite data.

I-SEAMORE will deal, on a first level, with the collection and pre-processing of Copernicus satellite data, including data from optical sensors and synthetic aperture radar (SAR), which is useful for Maritime Surveillance applications. Together with partner TS, satellite data retrieved from MWS will be pre-processed to provide Analysis Ready Data (ARD), specific for maritime border surveillance activities. This will allow I-SEAMORE partners and stakeholders to carry out immediate analysis on the data and to address specific border surveillance needs without the extra time and cost that is associated with the data pre-processing steps.

I-SEAMORE is also creating a Data Fusion Engine, a customizable engine utilizing Copernicus satellite data, allowing the combination of different processing outcomes, facilitating rules for notifications, alerts and reports on meaningful events defined in the project use cases.

In fact, one of this project’s final objectives is to provide end-users with a set of tailored services and tools with increased levels of interoperability, enabling advanced threat detection, tracking, classification and identification capabilities to respond to a variety of scenarios.

Overall, to achieve multi-authority, cross-border operations and information exchange, the project aims at developing an interoperability layer and defining a common data model for the Ecosystem utilizing the existing EU CISE data model. This approach will enable increased cooperation and information exchange between the Ecosystem, the partners’ systems and external systems operated by Member States Authorities. As a result, I-SEAMORE will have a set of optimized tools and services (Modernized C4I Platform, M&S Tool, UxVs’ Mission Planner & Mission Debrief Modules, Visual Analytics Tool), a complete Data Fusion Engine from Level 0 to Level 3, including dedicated service for Copernicus EO data exploitation, and a I-SEAMORE interoperability layer and data model.

As mentioned before, one of the objectives of I-SEAMORE is the exploitation of Copernicus satellite data by partner TS through the dedicated interface with the MWS platform. In this sense, integration and harmonization of Copernicus satellite data with other relevant border surveillance data (e.g., UxVs, fixed sensors, AIS tracks, EGNOS) will enrich the Data Fusion services already presented. In this way, end-users are provided with additional dedicated services that contribute to an increased situational awareness of European external borders by mapping, monitoring and providing risk assessments.

Finally, the I-SEAMORE consortium will also target the alignment with open-source project communities, such as the Copernicus Open Access Hub communities, and pursuing open-source licencing (when applicable), so that part of the developed solutions can be integrated in other initiatives and attract some of their main contributors and followers.

The use of Copernicus data for the I-SEAMORE ecosystem will contribute to:

  • monitoring of marine surface with regards to identification and quick reaction in case of oil spills, thus contributing to the prevention and containment of environmental damages.
  • preventing illegal activities such as drug trafficking;
  • facilitating rescue operations through enhanced monitoring of the marine surface shortening the response time in case of emergencies.