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METIS (Dependable Cooperative Systems for Public Safety)


Every day thousands of vessels are active off the coast of Holland. Most of them are legitimate but a small group may be engaged in illegal or irresponsible activities. Unfortunately, the latter group often tries to hide their real intent. Metis explores ways to combine data from different sources to try and identify those vessels that might be a threat to public safety and security?

The ICT challenge can be summarized as the automatic collection, alignment, reasoning and visualization of information from a number of heterogeneous sources, some trusted and others not. The study case used is the management of large maritime areas. Here operators have the task to monitor and manage large numbers of vessels and to make informed decisions. These decisions primarily concern actions to take to ensure a safe and secure environment. Traditional and reliable sources of information such as radar are essential but if these can be enhanced with information gleaned from the internet and other sources then a whole new insight can be presented. Information and images from uncontrolled websites, social media sources and “semi-official” databases whilst being potentially valuable are not semantically aligned, complete or necessary reliable.

In the last decade marine and air traffic has increased 7 fold, energy & mineral exploitation has increased dramatically and terrorist and criminal activities have moved their activities to the sea. At the same time the maritime economic zones have been increased to 350 miles from the coast. All of these factors have put a major burden on the nations responsible for managing these large busy areas. To deal with this increase of responsibility combined with downward pressure on operation budgets, cost effective situational awareness systems need to be developed that can provide solutions. These systems must be able to monitor and analyze thousands of objects and highlight any that may present a risk. Incidents at sea can often result in loss of life and cost 100s of millions of euros.