ICWM for MED is a project funded by the European Space Agency within the Integrated Applications Promotion (IAP) ARTES 20 programme (Advanced Research in Telecommunication Systems).
The objective of ICWM for MED is to demonstrate the benefits of a service based on the integration of EO based products, Satellite Communication and Navigation solutions together with Terrestrial assets and crowdsourcing features, for the set-up of an improved coastal surveillance and water quality monitoring service in support to current practices on coastal areas for environmental monitoring and reporting, in particular to EU Directives. Targeted users are environmental agencies and coastguard authorities.
In particular the integrated solution provides access to real time information about the water status over the area of interest obtained combining EO mapping, Tracking Water Quality devices, other in situ measurements, modelling and crowdsourcing information. The resulting service intends to improve existing practices and solutions – both from EO and traditional at sea measurements – adding also a “time critical” component.
The pilot area is the central Tyrrhenian sea, interesting part of the Naples and the Salerno Gulfs. The area is subject to the requirements of the EU Directives and also includes a Protected National Park, part of the European network of areas of great environmental importance, adding several challenges related to the environmental protection and monitoring common to most of the Mediterranean coastal areas.
The users are:
- ARPA Puglia (Regional Agency for the Protection of the Environment)
- ARPA Campania
- Italian Coast Guard
- The Marine protected area of Punta Campanella
They see the system as a potential useful tool for their monitoring activities. The demonstration itself can be seen as a marketing action towards them.
If the project succeeds in demonstrating the benefits for ARPA Puglia, the customers’ base has a good chance to be extended to the whole ARPA network.
The information needs include:
- chlorophyll-a concentration
- identification of possible polluters (oil spill)
- detection of algal blooms
The integrated solution includes continuous water quality monitoring and coastal surveillance services based on Earth Observation (EO) data and improved through in-situ data from different sources, improved with respect to existing solutions by combining three different satellite assets together with Terrestrial (in situ) assets and crowdsourcing features.
The resulting integrated system allows to add a “time critical” component to provide information detailed and updated in short time (i.e. few hours) to the users and stakeholders.
In particular it provides access to real time information about the water status over the area of interest, including:
- Water Quality parameters
- Surface winds and waved
- Oil spill detection and forecast
- Position of anchored ships
It includes also:
- a Tracking Water Quality (TWQ) device able to provide real time measurements of the same water quality parameters
- a crowdsourcing component, allowing to citizens to send geo-localised alerts (eventually including a photo) concerning environmental issues.