GMV to increase Europe’s maritime surveillance capabilities

Source: GMV

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has awarded GMV a contract to expand the capabilities of the MARSUR maritime surveillance network. This technological upgrade will improve coverage and information exchange in the maritime field, enhancing network interoperability. The new applications to be developed by GMV will be based on the company’s Socrates system.

At the end of 2005, European leaders agreed to launch a project devoted to maritime surveillance (MARSUR) through EDA, with the aim of creating a European network that would link together existing national systems. Common standards were needed to ensure maritime safety and security, as the European Union has more than 14,500,000 km2 of sea area under its remit, over which around 12,000 vessels sail every day.

Since its inception, MARSUR’s capacity has evolved through different phases to integrate various technological improvements. While the previous phase of the project (MARSUR II) focused on network maintenance and updating MEXS, the software that ensures the automatic exchange of maritime surveillance data between participating countries, MARSURIII will upgrade the MEXS and user interface (MUI) technology, enable the exchange of restricted information, and improve the system’s interoperability with other maritime security networks, mainly with the EU’s Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE).

The overall objective is to improve the operational use of MARSUR in maritime missions and operations carried out under the EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP), the policy framework through which Member States are developing a strategic security and defense culture in Europe to preserve and strengthen international security.

The new software applications to be developed by GMV for MARSURIII will be based on the company’s Socrates system. This system comprises a set of tools that provide solutions for maritime surveillance, enabling data exchange between all network users, especially between emergency response teams; inter-agency task allocation for surveillance missions, providing decision support to optimize resources; advanced image analysis and exploitation capabilities; video playback with the possibility for simulcast, metadata display, etc.; and lastly, a data repository capable of data mining, delivering advanced report generation capabilities.

GMV has an extensive track record in creating information systems and software applications for maritime surveillance. GMV has been involved in major EU projects such as EUCISE2020, OCEAN2020 and EUROSUR, and in EC R&D projects for maritime surveillance such as CLOSEYE, ANDROMEDA, MARISA and PROMENADE.

Transferring its experience to the Spanish level, GMV has also added new functions to the Spanish Navy’s SMACS-IT program, an adapter for the EU CISE that connects to MARSUR and has allowed GMV to gain experience in the project. The company also took part in drawing up the Interface Exchange Requirements (MARSUR IER) in a contract awarded by the EDA in 2010.

GMV is a pan-European company with facilities and technical staff in seven EU Member States, namely Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and Romania, enabling it to provide comprehensive operational support to the MARSUR network and its end users.

The enhanced capabilities will translate into better maritime surveillance coverage within the MARSUR network, which currently includes Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.

According to David Merino, manager of GMV’s Maritime Surveillance Division, “from an economic point of view, almost 90% of foreign trade and more than 35% of domestic trade is carried out by sea, so ensuring that this trade is carried out safely and securely is of great importance. Furthermore, the maritime environment is a tempting place for a wide range of illegal activities (including the trafficking of unauthorized goods, human trafficking, irregular immigration, piracy, poaching and the dumping of polluting substances), making it essential to create tools and agreements that encourage information exchange and collaboration between the institutions that protect this environment. GMV is honored to be able to use its technology to help Europe gain the necessary capabilities to deal with threats and criminal activities in the maritime domain”.




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