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Portuguese project supported by European Space Agency (ESA) Space Solutions aims to "clean up" the Azores ports

Portos dos Açores, the port authority of the Azores, will be the first to test the environmental monitoring solutions developed within the scope of the PORT XXI - Space Enabled Sustainable Port Service project.

The PORT XXI - Space Enabled Sustainable Port Service project aims to develop and implement monitoring and environmental management solutions, in order to improve the management of complex activities and achieve zero pollution in the ports of Azores.

“This project comprehends two dimensions: the environmental aspect and the element related to port activities, thus providing several advantages. On the one hand, real-time monitoring solutions will ensure a wider coverage of water and air quality parameters. On the other hand, the forecasting tools will enable a better planning of the port activities, and automate tasks that were exclusively manual until quite recently”, explained Aníbal Matos, a researcher at the Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science (INESC TEC), and lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP). 

The study will resort to several sources of information, like Earth observation via satellite, and meteorological, oceanographic and CCTV data, while extracting knowledge from said data, through Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. It will rely on automated robotic solutions and resort to communication and satellite navigation infrastructures - under normal operating conditions, as well as during extreme weather events, thus assessing the impact of climate change. In environmental terms, this project addresses several issues related to water (oil and plastic spills) and air (COx, SOx, NOx, PM10, PM2.5) quality. 

INESC TEC is the entity leading this project, in charge of port management systems, Artificial Intelligence and autonomous marine robotics. The project also includes the Air Center, which will study the use of solutions based on Earth observation technology, for monitoring pollution in ports; IN +, in charge of the economic impact analysis; the Portos dos Açores, as end users, and MONIPORT and David Mendes/AMBERJACK SOLUTIONS, the providers of environmental monitoring and management services 

In addition, other relevant port authorities and entities were invited to participate in the User and Stakeholder Group (USG), with many already showing significant interest: the port of Huelva, ENAPOR – Ports of Cape Verde, and the ports of Aveiro, Lisbon, Setúbal and Sesimbra; the Portuguese Ports Association (APP); governmental entities (the Azores Government, FRCT - Regional Foundation for Science and Technology and SEMA - Bahia State Environment Secretariat); business entities (Maritime Cluster of the Canarias and EMERGE), as well as training entities (UTA - Technical University of Atlantic - Cape Verde).

ESA co- funds the project through Business Applications, part of ESA Space Solutions, allocating €200K to the PORT XXI.

About ESA Space Solutions

ESA Space Solutions is the go-to-place for great business ideas involving space in all areas of society and economy. The mission is to support entrepreneurs in Europe in the development of business using satellite applications and space technology to improve everyday life.  

Porto – February 02, 2021

For further inquiries:
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25 February 2021
Last updated at 04 March 2021 - 09:19