This past Tuesday, 24 September, Indra worked with the Civil Guard to launch the first test at sea of the Perseus (Protection of European BoRders and Seas through the IntElligent Use of Surveillance) R&D project. This initiative is led by the technological multinational and is aimed at developing new maritime surveillance capabilities for all of Europe.
The goal is to develop and test a system that allows interconnecting the various maritime surveillance infrastructures that already exist in Europe and to incorporate the most innovative technologies.
Perseus is one of the most significant initiatives that have been launched by the European Commission through the Seventh Framework R&D Programme, and it is also the EU's flagship of security at sea. The project began in 2011 and has a four-year duration.
The exercise carried out today marks the start of the week-long tests that will take place in the Strait of Gibraltar, specifically in the Alboran Sea. Tuesday's test included detecting a vessel that departed from Melilla and simulated transporting immigrants illegally.
The operation for the vessel's detection, monitoring and subsequent detention was led and coordinated from the national coordination centre of the Civil Guard's Administrative Offices located in Madrid.
To do so, a CN-235 Civil Guard plane carried out an open water surveillance mission. The necessary orders were sent from the control centre, and the information was received in real time by the aircraft. The plane detected and identified the target and proceeded to monitor it.
The responsibility of the mission was then transferred to the MRI P2006T maritime surveillance light plane, and low cost solution developed by Indra. Equipped with radar, opto-electronic day/night vision, and AIS vessel identification systems, it operated between 20 and 45 nautical miles from the coast.
Once the vessel neared the coast, the SIVE El Sabinar station, located in Almeria, took over the monitoring tasks. Afterwards, the Rio Miño intervention vessel carried out an interception mission with support from Indra's MRI P2006T maritime surveillance plane.
This exercise tests the integration of a number of maritime surveillance technologies. Combining the information gathered by the SIVE and the sensors installed on various air and sea platforms makes it possible to control areas at high sea that cannot be reached by coastal surveillance systems. It also facilitates the detection of smaller vessels, intensifying the control of illegal human and drug trafficking, while improving rescue capabilities.
In addition, the information gathered by the Civil Guard's control centre in Madrid was shared with the Perseus system's nodes located in France, Italy and Portugal. The objective is for all the countries to have a complete vision of the routes and activities of vessels at sea.
A demanding test calendar
Through two large-scale validation campaigns, Perseus will demonstrate its viability and propose the standards for building the EU's future maritime surveillance system.
The first campaign will take place in the western area of the Mediterranean Sea. Following the first exercises that began today in the Alboran Sea, the second series of tests will take place near the Canary Islands and the African coast. The third series will include exercises that cover an area from southern Portugal to the south of France and Italy. This will show the system's effectiveness in different maritime and coastal environments, as well as its ability to coordinate operations involving multiple countries.
Lastly, the second campaign has been scheduled for 2014. It will take place in the Aegean Sea and in the channel of Samos Island, with the possibility of expanding to the Black Sea.
Indra is the European leader of coastal surveillance and more than 5,000 km of borders are protected by its systems. Directing Perseus strengthens its position as one of the top companies in the field of land and maritime surveillance, protection and border control systems in the world. The company has already implemented its systems in numerous countries, including Spain, Portugal, Romania, Latvia and Hong Kong.
Indra is the number one multinational consultancy and technology firm in Spain and a leader in Europe and Latin America. Innovation is the cornerstone of its business and sustainability. The company has allocated more than €550 million to R&D&i in the last three years, making it one of the top companies in Europe in its sector in terms of investment. With sales approaching €3,000 million, nearly 60% of its income is from the international market. The company employs 42,000 professionals and has customers in 128 countries.