The Perseus project (Protection of European BoRders and Seas through the IntElligent Use of Surveillance), led by the Spanish technology company Indra, has been launched, according to the Spanish company.
The aim of Perseus is to provide protection to the European seas and borders with smart use of technologies, according to Indra, which said the pilot, with a budget of € 43.7 M and an execution period of four years, is one of the most significant initiatives within the 7th Framework Programme of the EC and will be the flagship of R&D in the maritime security segment.
Perseus addresses the call for an integrated European system for maritime border control, according to Indra. Its purpose is to build and demonstrate an EU maritime surveillance system integrating existing national and communitarian installations and enhancing them with innovative technologies.
“By means of two large scale demonstrations Perseus will prove its feasibility and will set the standards and grounds for the future development of EU maritime surveillance systems,” Indra said, adding that it will undertake the coordination of the consortium comprising 29 partners from 12 member countries of the EU, almost all those states with Southern maritime borders.
Indra said the new maritime surveillance system is expected to increase the effectiveness of the current systems by creating a common maritime information sharing environment for the benefit of the network including National Coordination Centres, Frontex and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). This system-of-systems will use all the information provided by the European and national agencies. The data will be integrated and processed for better quality, thus obtaining filtered, reliable and more useful information, according to Indra.
The company said the project also envisages collaboration with non European countries and international agencies such as NATO or the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), among others.
The projct aims at providing a description of the situation from coastal areas to the open seas in real time. It will also improve and automate detection and identification of suspicious or non-colaborative vessels, facilitating decision-making and reducing the response time of authorities. Besides this, it will facilitate assistance and coordination of interception and rescue at sea and will improve efficiency, Indra said.
Non-stop avant-garde technology
Perseus will incorporate technological innovations regarding detection and analysis applied to maritime security, particularly for the detection of low flying targets and small vessels.
Multiple sensors and sources of information will be incorporated in the system. It will be adapted continuously to new technologies, so that solutions employed at national level-SIVE, SPATIONAV and others-and European initiatives of the Frontex Agency, Eurosur, DG Mare, etc, can be integrated. The system will also employ technologies and capabilities under development by other projects of the EU, including other segments such as Space.
Maritime security authorities such as the Guardia Civil Española, The French Ministry of Interior, the Hellenic Coast Guard and the Navy from Greece as well as other authorities from Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Finland, Romania and Morocco will also participate in the project. These agencies will be involved in two large-scale demonstrations regarding immigration and illegal trafficking control.
Indra said the first demonstration will take place in 2013 within the Western Mediterranean Basin from the Atlantic approach to Italy and North Western Africa. The second one is scheduled for 2014 and will be conducted in the area of the Aegean Sea and Samos Island channel, potentially including an extension up to the Black Sea.
Based on the results, Perseus will define the technical standards and recommendations for the future European integrated maritime border control system, emerging as its point of reference. A broad community of users, with different level of participation in the project will evaluate the system and validate that it complies with their requeriments.
Leadership in coastal surveillance systems in Europe
Indra is a leading company in the development and start up of coastal surveillance systems in Europe with references in Spain, Portugal, Latvia and Rumania; and Hong Kong outside Europe. The company is also at the forefront in the management of land borders and airport police control with solutions such as the cutting-edge system for quick access implemented in Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona-El Prat airports.