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Wide maritime area airborne surveillance

Acronym: WIMAAS
Period: December 2008 till November 2011
Status: Completed

Institutes (3)  Top 
  • Eurosense Belfotop NV, more, partner
  • European Commission Joint Research Center (JRC), more
  • European Commission; Seventh Framework Programme, more, sponsor

WIMA²S addresses the Airborne building block of maritime surveillance with the potential for reduced cost of operation, more autonomous and improved efficiency through the introduction of air vehicles with reduced or zero onboard crew. Innovative concepts are required to support the integration of these new vehicles in a future European maritime surveillance system of systems. With 20 million km2, the surveillance of the European maritime domain has to be improved, according to the European Council, EC and Agencies such as FRONTEX. The urgent need is to control illegal immigration, but WIMA²S will also contribute to other missions.

You cannot control what you do not patrol. Even if cooperation is crucial, Air assets are a unique capability for wide area maritime surveillance because they provide situation awareness over extended areas (endurance, speed and long distance detection), re-direction to areas of interest (threat) and flexible reaction (inspection when needed). WiMA²S will develop concepts and technologies for better operational use at lower costs of: - Maritime Surveillance Manned Airborne Vehicle (MS MAV) including existing Mission Aircraft with zero or reduced onboard tactical crew - Maritime Surveillance Optionally Piloted Vehicles (MS OPV) because regulations will not allow UAVs to fly across European Airspace for years to come.

Intermediate solutions are required - Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Airborne Vehicle (MS UAV) because they will become a future key solution Supported by a User Group, WIMA²S consortium will provide tangible results:
- Simulation based on operational scenarios
- Innovative concepts and technologies held by simulation (algorithmic modelling, remote control, sensor data fusion)
- In flight experiment (remote control, crew concept)
- Cost benefit analysis
- Dissemination of results (workshops)
- Roadmap towards the introduction of reduced-crew platforms and UAVs including R&T priorities and future programs.

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