Earth observation (EO) data are mandatory data allowing to implement the surveillance phase in order to better address further search and Rescue mission. Several European EO systems are currently available, in particular Sentinel, COSMO and Copernicus.
Among the priorities of the Security dimension of Copernicus, Maritime Surveillance is one of the most important.
The Copernicus Security service is based on a series of research projects developed within the Framework Programmes 6 and 7 (FP6/FP7), funded by the EC and on ESA projects. For example, the MARitime Security Service, MARISS. The objective of MARISS was the development of a Near Real Time Traffic Monitoring services to enhance capabilities to track vessels back and forward at sea borders and identify them as friends or suspects. The service was based on the combination of information derived from satellite based EO with conventional data streams such as AIS, coastal radar, maritime patrol aircraft and intelligence sources for maritime border control and maritime situation awareness. The service can be used to detect unknown vessels and to evaluate the main vessel routes.
The Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) provides the position and identification of fishing vessels longer than 10 to 15 m. Likewise, the Automatic Identification System (AIS) gives the position and enables the identification of large merchant vessels. Usually, the smallest vessels are not equipped with VMS or AIS.
This project has received funding from the European GNSS Agency (grant agreement No 776099), under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme GALILEO-3-2017.