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Fundación Valenciaport participates in the SMAUG project for underwater threat detection in ports

  • SMAUG, which has a budget of nearly 6 million euros co-funded by the Horizon Europe Programme, will use technologies such as acoustic detection with hydrophones, high-resolution sonar inspection and autonomous underwater robots.

Valencia, 2 October 2023. – Between today and tomorrow, the kick-off meeting of the SMAUG – Smart Maritime and Underwater Guardian project, whose main objective is to improve the underwater detection of threats in ports and their entry routes, is being held in the Clock Building of the Port of Valencia.

SMAUG is a project coordinated by INDRA, in which the Fundación Valenciaport is actively participating, and which has a total budget of around 6 million euros co-financed by the Horizon Europe Programme.

To achieve its objective, SMAUG will implement an integrated system capable of providing threat analysis data on three main elements: port security infrastructure, advanced underwater detection systems and ship hull surveillance.

Specifically, underwater threat detection and localisation will be carried out using four main methods. The first method used will be acoustic detection, in which a series of hydrophones will listen to the sounds emitted by small underwater vehicles and will be processed by artificial intelligence methods. Secondly, a rapid scan of the hull and the bottom of the harbour will be carried out by sonar. The third method of underwater detection will be high-resolution sonar inspection, which is used to inspect objects in waters with poor visibility. Finally, collective autonomous localisation will be employed, where a coordinated set of autonomous underwater vehicles will act cooperatively.

This type of detection will take into account sources such as unmanned surface vehicle (USV) systems, remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs), drones (UAVs) and current port information sources.
All of these will provide the information to artificial intelligence modules that will improve the way in which detection of illicit and dangerous goods and/or threats hidden beneath the water surface is currently carried out. The combination of these tools will allow SMAUG to promote solutions capable of detecting possible threats to infrastructures or vessels, as well as identifying ships with hidden goods.

The Fundación Valenciaport will lead the tasks of the pilots and demonstrators. Among the scenarios to be simulated will be the detection of explosive objects submerged or attached to ships, as well as the detection of semi-submersible drug trafficking vessels, in collaboration with the Tax Agency (AEAT).

The SMAUG project involves the participation of 21 partners: INDRA Sistemas (Coordinator); INDRA Factoría Tecnológica; INDRA Sistemas de Seguridad; Universidad Politécnica de Madrid; Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezioit; FAV Innovation and Technologies; ELISTAIR; MTU Australo Alpha Lab; Lemvos GmbH de Partner; Fundación Valenciaport; SMARTEX SRL; Unsinkable Robotics OÜ; Information Technology for Market Leadership; Gendarmerie Maritime – Section de Recherche; Maritime Robotics AS; University of Piraeus Research Center; Universitetet I Sorost-Norge; Elefsina Port Authority S. A.; Heraklion Port Authority; Interaction Technologies Centre Foundation; and Norwegian Coastal Administration.

Sede APV - Edificio III, Avda. del Muelle del Turia, s/n
46024, Valencia (Spain)
Tel.: +34 96 393 94 00


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