About Us

About Us

KSAT as coordinator of this project will be the overall responsible for the technical and management coordination. The appointed manager is Mr. Tony Bauna, Director, Service Development Department, KSAT.

Dedicated managing institutions are proposed for the four different thematic areas, according to the following:

  • Atlantic Maritime Surveillance: National Space Centre Ltd (NSCL), Ireland
  • Northern Maritime Surveillance: KSAT, Norway
  • Enhanced Arctic Sea Ice Information: FMI, Finland
  • Arctic Information Centre – EO: Tromsø Centre for Remote technology (TCRT), Norway

Kongsberg Satellite Services

Kongsberg Satellite Services AS (KSAT) is a commercial Norwegian enterprise, providing services based on data from polar orbiting satellites. The company operates four ground stations; the Tromsø, Svalbard, Grimstad, (South Norway) and Antarctica. The Northern locations of Tromsø and SvalSat are ideal for data acquisition and TT&C services from polar orbiting satellites. SvalSat can access all 14 orbits per day of a polar orbiting satellite, while Tromsø can access 10 out of 14. With TrollSat this Southern location will enable KSAT to use the concept of Pole-to-Pole operations, with the ability to dump data on both poles. The KSAT oil and ship detection services are two of the core services within marine monitoring. The ship- and oil spill detection services operational today utilises RADARSAT-1, RADARSAT-2 SAR-data and ENVISAT ASAR. KSAT’s services are operating in waters all over the world. The KSAT processing facilities and distribution chain has been designed for fast deliveries of data to customers with operational needs. The objective is to provide information to the customer in near real-time, which in this context means in less than 30 minutes. The company has 123 employees.

KSAT history in EO business goes back to the 1960’s and operational services has been provided on a 24/7 basis 1997. The customers include national and international institutional as well as commercial users; pollution control authorities, defence and coast guards, offshore oil companies, shipping companies. During the recent 2-5 years KSAT has served the majority of the operational users in Europe having a need for operational oil spill detection.

KSAT has also been involved in various product, service and market development activities, including participation/management of EC FRP projects on oil spills (Oceanides), maritime security (LIMES), integrated maritime information (MARNIS), and ESA Market Development Project (EOMD) on Oil Spill and Ship detection, ESA GSE project on ice applications (ICEMON), ESA GSE project on oil spills, MARCOAST and ESA GSE project and maritime security (MARISS). The active participation has prepared KSAT for being the responsible for setting-up a pan-European oil spill detection service for EMSA. The EMSA CleanSeaNet oil service is delivered by KSAT in cooperation with E-Geos and EDISOFT. The service has been fully operational since April 2007.

National Space Centre

National Space Centre Ltd (NSC) is a provider of satellite and teleport communication services, located at Elfordstown Earth Station in County Cork. NSC took over the Elfordstown teleport facility in December 2009 and is currently upgrading and expanding the site to facilitate both commercial satcoms services and R&D partnership projects. NSC undertakes space and communications related consultancy and application development projects that exploit the reach of satellite telecommunications and provides leading commercial broadcast services. NSC has developed a broad client base of European third level education institutes and commercial companies.

National Space Centre has extensive experience in satellite ground segment operations and mission support. NSC hosts one of Eutelsat/Skylogic’s 8 gateway earthstations for its pan-European Tooway service. NSC was contracted to create the infrastructure required to host the gateway and is now maintaining & operating the first of two 9.1m Ka band antennas, RF and baseband equipment. NSC was previously contracted to provide GMS deployment engineering support services and expertise to Galileo GSS and GCC during the IOV C/D/E1 phases as an N-3 subcontractor to Vitrociset and Thales. NSC has recently completed the infrastructure to receive the first (DDS) of several Earth Observation satellite data downlinks for use in FP7 and other R&D project collaborations. For example, NSC is presently involved in the current FP7 call responding to the needs of FRONTEX (SPA.2012.1.1-01 Testing and validating the intelligence-driven and high time-critical CONOPS).

Tromsø Centre for Remote Technology

Tromsø Centre for Remote Technology was founded in 2008 as interface and access point to Norwegian space technology and Arctic competencies. Members of the centre include the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Tromsø, the High North Research Centre (NORUT), Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT), Kongsberg Spacetec and the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI). It is the principal objective of TCRT to establish and maintain a common long term strategy for commercial development, research and innovation for Arctic applications of space technologies. To this end, the centre supports its members in securing national and international funding opportunities for research, development and operational issues. TCRT supports national efforts within the centre’s field of competence, encourages increased research within the commercial sector and aids in the commercialization of space technologies. Through the establishment of effective linkages between policy, R&D and operational elements, TCRT facilitates the integration of research output into operational and commercial activities in the Arctic.

The centre is currently a partner in another relevant ESA study project, reference AO/1-6810/11/F/MOS Space and the Arctic - How can space-based systems support European policies? In this project TRCT is an affiliated partner with KSAT, and will contribute to the work on the Arctic Information Centre EO.

Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI)

The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) was established in 1946. FFI is the major defence R&D organisation in Norway. The FFI charter is to:

One of the main focus areas for FFI research is the High North. The High North includes Northern Norway, Svalbard and the vast surrounding ocean areas. FFI has therefore extensive experience in maritime mapping and monitoring, from the sea-bed to the air space above the northern oceans. Also, FFI has several decades of experience in research of the upper atmosphere and near space at high latitudes, among other things, investigating signal propagation in the atmosphere in the Arctic.

NORUT

Norut (Northern Research Institute) is an independent, non-profit, multidisciplinary research institute majority owned by the University of Tromsø, focusing on technology (earth observation, information and communication technology, biotechnology), social science research and innovation. Norut carries out research commissions for industry, business and the public sector. Its mission is to be a tool for refinement and further development of innovative ideas coming from the University, from our own researchers and from our contract partners. As one of Norway's leading research institutes for both ICT and Earth Observation we have built a unique expertise in the cross-section between these two disciplines. The Earth Observation group has about 15 scientists and its main focus is on synthetic aperture radar processing and applications. Norut is a leading institute in developing prototype operational SAR monitoring systems for snow cover, flood, sea ice, ocean and geohazard monitoring. Our results have made Norut attractive as a partner in international EU and ESA projects. In 2001, Norut was appointed as an ESA Expert Support Laboratory for the ENVISAT mission by the European Space Agency, and has lead and participated in many ESA and EU projects (see reference project list).

Norut has extensive experience from large scale application oriented projects. During the last decade, the institute has developed an extensive general purpose prototyping framework for SAR processing, called GSAR. Norut has long experience in fundamental SAR signal processing algorithm development, including SAR processors, interferometry, geocoding, data simulation, and many value added product prototypes. Norut has also developed Level 2 processors for SAR ocean applications tailored to ASAR and recently also to Sentinel-1 data.

Finnish Meteorological Institute

The Finnish Meteorological Institute (official name: Ilmatieteen laitos) has the mandate of producing reliable information on the state of the atmosphere and the sea, and their characteristics and phenomena, with the aim of promoting safety and serving various needs of the public, industry and commerce, as well as contributing to scientific ends. FMI makes observations of the physical state of the atmosphere and the sea, their chemical composition, and electromagnetic phenomena. FMI also develops and applies numerical models in order to analyse and forecast various atmospheric and marine physical and chemical processes. FMI employs more than 650 people, about 300 of which are involved in research. The modelling teams have extensive experience in developing and implementing various numerical systems, from urban pollution models up to global stratospheric ozone studies.

In Finland the operational Ice Service was founded in 1915, and in 2009 it become part of the FMI. The Service has organised to collect, combine, analyse and distribute the Baltic Sea ice information to support sea ice operations in Finland and Sweden.

FMI Commercial Services is part of FMI’s Weather and Safety division and produces high-quality weather services to Scandinavian and Finnish areas since several decades. It maintains and develops weather and ocean services to the great public (call centre, mobile services), media, traffic (road, rail, shipping, aviation), agriculture, industry and energy. One key focus is to produce tailor-made services to specific customers. The goal is to offer full-service packages which can benefit the clients on a long-term perspective. The chain of the information flow is internally covered from initial data, through data quality supervision, to end-user interfaces. In-house applications and software are developed for these purposes. The northern geographical location demands to develop skills in high latitude weather and ice forecasting.

Current activities include development of an ice thickness chart with the ice thickness derived from MODIS, SAR and our 1-D high-resolution thermodynamic snow/ice model HIGHTSI, and ice dynamics from SAR data.

Other related projects that FMI is involved in include:

  • GMES MyOcean (EC)
  • GMES Core Service - PU in Baltic MFC, PU in Sea-Ice TAC, PU in IS-TAC, PU in WP18 (2009-2012; MyOcean-2 2012-2014)
  • GSE Polar View (ESA) - Stage 2 - Service Consolidation Actions of the Earthwatch GMES Services Element, ESA ESRIN contract No. 19276-05-I-EC (2005-2008). FMI’s main contributions: Baltic Node Manager, operational high-resolution ice thickness charts and ice forecasts. (Stage 1 2005-2008; Stage 2 2008-10; Extension 2010-2012).
  • ESA STSE SMOS Sea Ice Retrieval Study (SMOSIce), 2010-2012. ESA sea ice ECV, 2011-2014.

Space Systems Finland

Space Systems Finland is one of Europe’s leading space applications software providers. The company has provided high-reliability software solutions for many of Europe’s most ambitious space missions since 1989. Space Systems Finland focuses on mission-critical solutions for demanding environments, such as onboard software, robotics, Software Verification Facilities, data processing facilities, and processing control environments. The mission of SSF is to provide his customers and partners with reliable and innovative solutions for their demanding applications and complex systems.

Space Systems Finland is a privately owned company. Located in Espoo, close to the Otaniemi Science Park, SSF is able to work closely with the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), and the Aalto University, which is the only institution in Finland that has a training programme for space engineers.

The company has entered both domestic and European markets and is active in the fields of on-board software, embedded Hard Real Time (HRT) SW, ground software, testing and validation, quality, augmented GPS navigation systems, system studies and consultation, and the creation of software development tools and standards.

Space Systems Finland has developed both hardware and software products for various applications. The main business focus in space sector is on the development of custom software applications for satellite systems and ground segment. Because of earlier hardware development experience, the company is capable of understanding and developing the software parts which are close to the hardware. In addition to the subsystem development Space Systems Finland has done a set of satellite, instrument and avionics studies to sustain our satellite system knowledge.

Together with SSF’s satellite software project business, the strategy points towards finding suitable new technologies that could be usable for our customers. European space software standards (ECSS) are used throughout SSF in full extent. The quality system is supplemented by the SSF quality handbook, which is developed according to the ISO 9001:2005 standard, guaranteeing the quality of the products. The employees of SSF are some of the country's most experienced space and software technologists. Before SSF, they have worked in similar tasks for the telecommunication or instrumentation industry, for research institutes or for universities.

Skytek

Skytek is a software development company located in Dublin, Ireland. The company has been in operation since 1997 and has participated in space related projects since 1999. Skytek core competence is in the development of innovative and novel solutions for business. Skytek is now a leading expert in the web application development in particular web services, process management and semantic web solutions. Skytek, over the past few years, has built a strong client base which includes leading European companies and institutions. Skytek has been involved in the complete design cycle for complex software application from analysis to design, development, through to final installation.

Skytek’s main areas of expertise are:

  • Web & Distributed application development
  • Advanced procedure and decision support applications
  • Sensor and external data source integration
  • Semantic web based applications

Skytek has the necessary skill-sets and expertise to successfully complete the proposed project on-time and within budget. Three projects will be presented which highlight Skytek’s technical expertise and considerable innovation in the development of web services, semantic web solutions and web interfaces.

The International Procedure Viewer is a product developed for manned space flight activities which provides advanced procedure and decision support to the end users being walked through a complex process. The system provides for data capture and use during decision support activities. This system can form the framework for extension where data can be automatically extracted from connected data feeds and decision support procedures can be automatically executed. Through the extension of the current underlying iPV schema the complex decision processes for identification of suspect vessels can be captured and integrated into the Next Generation RMP system.

The AROSATEC system provides for the creation of a Virtual Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility through the integration of multiple data feeds from hardware system involved in MRO processes. The feeds are captured from distributed data sources and integrated into a common framework for the monitoring, control and execution of complex processes, where the data feeds analysis provide the basis for the decision logic to identify the processes to perform.

Coastal and Marine Research Centre

The Coastal and Marine Research Centre (CMRC) in University College Cork was established in 1994 to undertake research into coastal and marine resource management. Research and consultancy in the CMRC is undertaken by staff with a range of specialist backgrounds including biologists, computer scientists, hydrographers, geographers and engineers, all of whom work collaboratively in a project orientated environment. The Centre’s expertise and skill sets are highly regarded both nationally and internationally. Fundamental and applied research in the CMRC is organised according to five specialist areas of interest: marine geomatics; applied remote sensing and GIS; marine and coastal governance; coastal processes and seabed mapping; and, marine ecology. The expertise within the Marine Geomatics and Applied Remote Sensing and GIS groups is of particular significance to this proposal. The CMRC currently has 40 employees and forms part of IMERC, the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster, of which the Irish Naval Service is also a partner, therefore fostering a strong link between research and operations in the maritime space.

The Geomatics team focuses on knowledge and information management including GIS and web-GIS for data management and geo-spatial analysis; Internet technologies and services; data integration; semantic interoperability; open source software, geomatics standards (e.g. ISO 19000 family, OGC and INSPIRE); data mining; data visualisation; data quality; metadata; high powered computing and data modelling (e.g. GeoSciML, ArcMarine Data Model).

The current focus of the Geomatics team is on innovative research relating to web-GIS and data management funded primarily from national and EU framework programmes. The success of the team is reflected in the fact that it takes a lead role in contributing research expertise in this field in four ongoing FP7 projects and two national projects funded under the Irish National Development Plan (NDP). The team has demonstrated an ability to work with a variety of data. For example, as part of the FP7 NETMAR project to develop a pilot European Marine Information System (EMIS) for searching, downloading and integrating satellite, in situ and model data from ocean and coastal areas, the CMRC is leading work concerning the specification of the NETMAR System Architecture and Semantic Framework. This follows on experience gained in the FP6 InterRisk project and the FP5 DISMAR project to provide interoperable access to data, where CMRC developed a prototype web-GIS.

The CMRC works with data from a wide range of satellite EO instruments including MERIS, MODIS, SAR and higher resolution optical datasets (e.g. Landsat, IRS, SPOT, IKONOS) for land, coastal and marine applications. These have included ship detection as part of the FP6 LIMES, sea state and oil pollution as part of the FP5 MARSAIS and inter-tidal monitoring as part of HIMOM (FP5). The Centre is currently a sub-contractor in the ESA DUE eSurge project with a focus on end-user engagement; web and web-GIS design and implementation; flood map generation and training elements. The Centre is also a partner in a new FP7-SPACE project ”Ocean Strategic Services beyond 2015” which will improve ocean biogeochemical products by the integration of remote sensing information. The CMRC is also a partner in a recently submitted ESA IAP proposal to integrate S-AIS information into the RMP for the Irish Naval Services.

Navielektro

Navielektro is a privately owned company that specializes in the delivery of situational awareness and tactical communications solutions. In addition, the company develops and manufactures a range of various radar and related sensors and communication equipment.

During the past 15 years, Navielektro has delivered a number of technical solutions with a significant scope of delivery. The deliveries range from integrated turnkey sensor and radio networks and related life-cycle maintenance services to large-scale national and international situational awareness solutions within the maritime, air and land domains.  The delivered systems range from safety, security and defense related projects.

The expertise of Navielektro has been instrumental in the creation of the following projects:

  • HELCOM (Helsinki Commission, First International AIS data-sharing tests in the late 90's)
  • GOFREP (Gulf of Finland Tri National Reporting System)
  • METO (Finnish Maritime Tri Lateral Co-Operation)
  • SUCFIS (Sweden-Finland, Military Sea Surveillance Co-Operation)
  • SUCBAS (Baltic Sea Surveillance Co-Operation)

Navielektro is also actively creating solutions for ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) and related information sharing requirements and needs.

The core competence of Navielektro is in creating solutions that enable information fusion, anomaly detection, situational awareness analysis as well as tools for visualization, dissemination and information processing – while fulfilling requirements for safe and secure information processing.

Navielektro has created a situational awareness software platform that is based on open-standards wherever possible. The software platform is structured as an SOA (Service Oriented Architecture), and the platform is based on an open component framework that may be extended by means of an SDK (Software Development Kit). The objective of the platform has been to provide a state-of-the-art user interface, to which various entities are able to add their own software functionality in the form of applications.