Special Meteorological Services for Maritime Search and Rescue

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  • ActivityFeasibility Study
  • Closing date10 May 2012

The objective of this IAP (ARTES element 20) Feasibility Study is to assess the technical feasibility and commercial viability of space based services improving Search and Rescue (SAR) operations at sea.

SAR operations at sea are highly weather dependant. To make the right choice of intervention means, to optimise the speed of operations, to secure maximum effectiveness without endangering the life of the rescue teams, a very accurate near-real-time meteorological service must be available at small scale (the few miles around the point of operations) and short notice (preferably no more than one hour).

The user community interested in such services are all actors involved in Maritime Search and Rescue, such as operation centres, operators of intervention vessels and helicopters, ship owners, civil authorities, etc.

Feasibility Study

The study aims at providing a service which collects, integrates and distributes efficiently the most accurate actual and forecast information on winds, currents, sea states, wave patterns, etc. which condition the success of operations and the life of both rescued and rescuers anywhere in European SAR zones.

Three space-based capabilities are relevant for the integration into the potential services: Earth Observation, Satellite Navigation, and Satellite Communications.

  • Earth Observation complementing the existing meteorological tools and weather predictions with data specific to the intervention area;
  • Satellite Navigation for geo-referencing the area of interest and the related weather information;
  • Satellite Communication providing the services in near-real-time to all engaged actors (ship masters, helicopter pilots, air control, centre of operations, etc.).

These space capabilities need to be integrated with existing capabilities of the relevant actors to provide usable and cost efficient support.

The study content will include as tasks: stakeholder / user consolidation, refinement of user requirements, state of the art analysis, service definition, system definition, proof of concept, viability analysis, and implementation roadmap.

For More Information

Information on the call for proposals has been published on ESA’s Electronic Mail Invitation to Tendering System, EMITS (http://emits.esa.int), under the reference AO 7089 (under “Open Invitations to Tender”). The applicable tender solicitation package can be downloaded by registered users under this 'Announcement of Opportunity' (AO). This specific call is open for applications until May 10, 2012.. 'Entity Registration' is possible on the same website.