In the conext of the G7 High Level Meeting on Maritime Security held in Rome the 20th of november, the e-GEOS CEO Massimo Comparini pointed out there's a correlation between safeguarding the marine environment and the marine security.
In the latest years it has become quite clear how the maritime surveillance and awarness domain is taking benefit of the Earth Observation space technologies. At the same time the EO can give an importan contribute to the safeguard and sustainability of the marine envirnoment.
Observing the Earth allows us to better understand the dynamics of the planet and the changes in place, their dimensional scale in space and their evolution in time. In order to accomplish to this challengin task we need a plurality of sensors in space and on Earth, delivering specific informations which we have to put togheter through massive computational capabilities.
In this field the Copernicus Program with its sentinels is already an incredible system of systems delivering a spectrum of different sensors with an ambitious plan to be completed in the coming years.
Italy's contribution is particularly relevant thanks to the capabilities of the radar constellation COSMO-SkyMed, a unique constellation, co-funded by the Italian Space Agency and the Italian MoD, of high performance Synthetic Aperture Radar to be continued with the launch of the second generation with two satellites late 2018 and late 2019.
Space based radar are particularly important to monitor the effects of climate change. Oceans level raise is a risk for a number of communities living in small islands and COSMO-SkyMed is undoubtedly the best available global instrument to monitor those effects, to define with unmatchable precision the land/water limit to understand the time dynamic of the climate change effects and to support local communities in understanding how they will be affected.
At the same time, space activities are essential to counter illegal activities at sea, such as human trafficking, illegal fishing and piracy. The threats are dynamic and evolve in a power vacuum where criminal oragnizations profit of the lack of coordination among states. That's why it's necessary to cooperate also in the space sector.
In this picture e-GEOS, a joint venture between Telespazio and ASI fully devoted to Earth Observation applications and valued added services, plays a key role in all the dimension of the value chain.
A specific application platform named SEONSE, Smart Eyes ON the SEa, collects all the services in this domain and is our suite for all Maritime Surveillance services. It can monitor oil spill in Near Real Time (NRT), or operate as ship detection, classification and tracking instrument. Satellite EO and in particular SAR instruments represent a reliable tool also for ice monitoring.
The maritime security is not affected only by the marine envirnoment. There are still fields in which the international community can make the difference:
• Researching and developing of best standard and practices.
• Enhancing Awareness in the Maritime Domain, on the basis of voluntary contributions provided within flexible and inclusive institutionalized structures. In such a contest cooperation at both international and regional level is crucial.
In conclusion, space technologies and services are key enabling factor to contribute to maritime security and the preservation of marine environment. A further example of how the so called space economy can contribute to a vast variety of activities on Earth, promoting relevant economic activities and a sustainable growth, respectful of preservation of our common environment, the Earth, and a prosperous maritime and marine environment.