Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) is defined by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as the effective understanding of anything associated with the maritime domain that could affect the security, safety, economy, or environment. In the context of MDA activities, the complete understanding of the current maritime picture, as well as a deep knowledge of the maritime patterns of life as consolidated in the monitored area, are crucial for an efficient and effective capability to monitor the maritime activities.
In recent years, the need for improved capabilities for Maritime Domain Awareness has increased considerably. For instance, illegal immigration by sea represents the most visible of the problems affecting the European Union’s maritime sea borders, which also includes illegal activities of different kinds (drugs, weapons, pollution,etc.) and terroristic threats. In addition, an ever-increasing importance is given to the protection of coastal and off shore sensitive assets, for what concerns both human and natural threats.
A typical scenario for these activities is the maritime scenario, where this illegal traffic is added to the legal civil and/or military maritime traffic, both along the coasts and in open water, making the monitoring and surveillance of all such activities extremely necessary to the national and international security.
There is a strong need to integrate innovative technologies and solutions into the conventional maritime decision support systems, in order to increase the surveillance capabilities in the different areas of operation.The increasing number of space assets and recent advances in Information Extraction from satellite images, data fusion processing and Big Data technology provide a wide range of Maritime Analysis Tools and components that can fulfil requirements to produce actionable information in support of decision making and operations in the maritime intelligence domain.In this evolving context, the objective of this proposal is specifically the provision of a comprehensive solution to allow and complete assessment of :
This will be done through three project tasks: