Maritime security, including underwater security, is of vital importance to ensure the safe and secure transport of goods and people to and from EU ports, as well as to preserve the uninterrupted operations of critical coastal, river and maritime infrastructures.
For this reason, it is necessary to protect ships and maritime infrastructures against illegal acts through:
- continuous 24/7 underwater security surveillance against potential intruders, divers, hostile underwater vehicles and illicit/hazardous containers carried by ships.
- on-demand scanning/inspection of vessel hulls for the best possible detection/recognition/classification of concealed or lost illicit and hazardous materials
- underwater inspections of port entrances, seabed and berthing sites, as a basis for the best possible detection/recognition/classification of hazardous items such as CBRNE packages (of chemical, biological, radioactive, nuclear or explosive materials) at these sites, as well as for deterrence and response measures, in order to prevent/deter illicit acts and avoid unwanted escalation of security incidents.
To that end, the UNDERSEC project team will develop an underwater security solution to provide users with the ability to enhance their underwater security capabilities and their capabilities to conduct security operations and fulfil their mission effectively.
UUNDERSEC will develop a modular/holistic approach for Underwater Security Situational Awareness of ships, ports and maritime infrastructures (continuously updated security risk assessment, 24/7 underwater surveillance, early threat detection, recognition and classification of threats and suspicious objects), a prototype Decision Support System (what, where, when, what next and how) and Response (deterrent warnings to various intruders and illegal/dangerous objects to capture and move away).
Specifically, the Fundación Valenciaport will participate in the specification of the operational requirements of the users, taking into account the specific legislative, regulatory frameworks and security and safety policies, and in the detailed definition and implementation of the Use Case Demonstration Pilot, which will be carried out in the facilities of the Port of Valencia, allowing the testing, demonstration and evaluation of the systems developed in the project.
The UNDERSEC consortium consists of 22 partners representing 11 countries: Germany, Israel, Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Romania. This pool of partners brings diverse expertise to the project, encompassing universities, research centres, governmental organisations, including ministries from multiple nations, as well as technology companies.