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ESABALT (Enhanced Situational Awareness to Improve Maritime Safety in the Baltic Sea) aims to develop a near real-time comprehensive maritime situational awareness (MSA) platform by fusing data from space-based remote sensing, aerial remote sensing, and user-driven maritime data crowdsourcing from vessels of all classes (cargo, ferry, authority or leisure) sailing in the Baltic Sea. MSA includes not only the position, heading, historical and projected routes of vessels but also their engine performance, surrounding sea, ice, and weather conditions, and information about instances of pollution or other environmental incidents along their route. This MSA platform will be maintained by a competent pan-Baltic authority and used for providing value-added services related to maritime safety, intelligent navigation, and environmental monitoring to demonstrate its significance and benefits to the wider maritime user community (vessel crew, leisure sailors, maritime authorities, and environmental researchers) in the Baltic Sea.

A’tuin received the support letters for the ESABALT 2.0 project from the following institutions:

-       Latvian Coast Guard;

-       Latvian Border Guard;

-       Latvian Maritime Administration.

The project has also received the support letters from following institutions from different countries:

-       Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications;

-       EU Strategy for Baltic Sea Region Policy Area on Maritime Safety and Security (PA SAFE);

-       Maritime Office in Szczecin;

-       Maritime Office in Gdynia;

Expected project outcomes:

1.   Improvement in the temporal and spatial resolution of the existing Baltic Sea situational awareness platform from DLR by fusion of new data from aerial remote sensing, vessel sensors, and user-driven crowdsourcing.

2.   Validation of this improvement through value-added services scenarios for diverse end-users:

   a.      Maritime safety – An improved anti-collision algorithm, anti-collision solution for leisure boats, beacon/geolocation display of leisure boats in distress.

   b.     Intelligent navigation – route pattern analysis and route risk assessment, identification of areas with high probability of near-collision, software solution for harbour guidance and for monitoring leisure boats & fishing vessels with the Latvian EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) as the initial demonstration area.

   c.      Environmental monitoring – A citizen reporting and citizen science toolkit, manuals, and user-guidelines for environmental data crowdsourcing from recreational boats, commercial vessels, and multi-approach airborne remote sensing.

3.   Improvement in the technology readiness level (TRL) of the ESABALT system from TRL 4 to TRL 7 – ‘System prototype validated in operational environment’.

4.   Handing over the ESABALT data server to a relevant pan-Baltic authority at project completion.

5.   Roadmap – for commercial exploitation of the data resource, and uptake into EU maritime policy.

6.   Transdisciplinary Scientific publications (approx. 3-5 peer-reviewed journal articles, and 3 conference publications), and a stakeholder Workshop on Solutions for Maritime Situational Awareness.

7.   Support for gender neutral workforce – the project encourages active participation of women in the research teams as well as leadership positions. Three out of the eight partner teams have women in leadership positions, while in total at least 6-9 women researchers will work in the project teams.

8.   Results of the ESABALT 2.0 project will be included into future revisions of PhD and Master’s degree courses (Modelling of Transport Processes, Transport and Logistics, Telematics systems, Automation of Navigation, Artificial Intelligence) at the faculty of Navigation of MUS in Poland.

9.   Three PhD students will base their Doctoral Thesis research on the work performed at MUS as part of ESABALT 2.0.

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