Border Security Report2020-02-04 11:07:27

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DroneSeastem-Protect Project: drones will protect the maritime access routes of the French Southern region 
 
DroneSeastem-Protect is the first project resulting from the DroneSeastem programme of the "maritime drone" sector in the French Southern Region - Region Sud. This programme brings together the main industrial players in the region's robotics industry around a set of actions aimed at developing this sector in the Region: Incubation, training, support for sea trials, R&D. 
 
On this last aspect, 7 major manufacturers in the robotics sector located in the Southern region have joined together around DroneSeastem-Protect. This research and industrialization project aims at better securing sensitive maritime sites, ranging from ports to offshore energy production sites, including bodies of water for sports competitions or marine protected areas.
 
To develop this system dedicated to maritime surveillance and security, ECA GROUP, Alseamar, CLS, IFREMER, IXblue, Naval Group and Subsea tech are combining their skills and capacity for innovation to jointly develop fundamental technological building blocks for the future of robotics, in particular with regard to the decision-making autonomy of drones, the collaboration of a team of heterogeneous robots, high-resolution sensors, data collection and processing, and cyber security.
 
The system resulting from DroneSeastem-Protect calls for the simultaneous use of a team of drones, under the supervision of a single command and control station. This first integrated, efficient and reliable system will give the operator easy access to information provided by a team of robots operating simultaneously on the water, underwater and in the air.
 
In concrete terms, it will significantly improve the surveillance of these sites by increasing the coverage area, density and persistence of traditional surveillance systems. When a suspicious object is detected, aerial drones will very quickly provide an accurate image. Once the threat has been identified, the surface drones will be able to intervene accordingly based on the operator's decision.
 
The system will also be more economical and environmentally friendly as it will reduce the use of heavy means such as surveillance ships or aircraft including helicopters. The use of drones will also allows to keep security teams away from danger. By optimizing the number of operators needed, it will reconcile cost reduction with increased efficiency.
 
From the outset, the programme has been supported by the Southern Region within the framework of the Regional Interest Operation "Sea Economy". The partners were also able to rely on the Mediterranean Sea Cluster (Pôle Mer Méditerranée) and its regional ecosystem. At the end of five years, more than a hundred jobs and tens of millions of euros in turnover will result directly from this project.
 
This will start in 2020 with a 36-month phase of development, system tuning and coordination of the various teams. A demonstration in real-life conditions will validate this work in the first half of 2023, which will make the system compatible with an implementation in the Marseille's harbor for the nautical events of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Financing for the project of almost €15 million is currently being finalized between private and public partners.
 
In recent months, the qualities of the DroneSeastem-Protect project have been recognized by leading institutional players. The CORIMER, (a French council for research and innovation in the sea industry) has thus selected it as part of the Call for Innovative Projects of the Sea Industry Sector for 2019. It has also been approved by the Strategic Committee of the Security Industry Sector in view of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
 
By making the most innovative technological advances easily accessible, DroneSeastem-Protect lays the foundations for tomorrow's maritime safety and paves the way for great technological and commercial prospects for the entire industry.

Image by Hans Braxmeier

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