ESA title


  • ACTIVITYFeasibility Study
  • STATUSCompleted
  • THEMATIC AREAMaritime and Aquatic

Objectives of the service

Using state of the art knowledge and technology the project will look at establishing a sustainable service to deliver the best possible data services to the SAR community.

  • Improved accuracy in METOCEAN data supply for all European sea areas offered at various resolutions appropriate to the vagaries of individual areas of interest;
  • Detailed content of datasets will be aligned to user requirements at Strategic, Tactical and Operational levels of SAR management;
  • Timely supply of data using terrestrial and satellite communications systems, appropriate to varying data uses such as; strategic risk assessment and planning; tactical risk planning and SAR operation events;
  • Drift modelling outputs appropriate to the needs of SAR and Counter Pollution operations, with potential to consider Search Area Determination (SAD) and Search Area Coverage (SAC) solutions;
  • On-line services for the delivery of SAC solutions offering automated electronic transfer of results from Rescue Coordination Centres (RCCs) to SAR response units (SRU);
  • Integration of AIS (Automatic Identification System) data with SAC results to
  • Provide web based SAR and Oil Spill risk assessment services;
  • Centralised data brokerage centre;
  • Provision and distribution of data from many data suppliers;
  • Centralised specialist staff such as meteorologists, oceanographers and SAR experts to process data;
  • Integrated drift modelling capabilities (incorporating SAD / SAC).

Users and their needs

The end users of the METSAR system are the Search and Rescue operators and their management in the European region. This includes the following:

  • Personnel and management of the RCCs.
  • SAR response assets such as lifeboats, Coast Guard vessels and aircraft.

Service/ system concept

The METSAR Service is aimed at providing a fully integrated online IMS to Coast Guard organisations to assist in SAR activities. The service will bring together search planning, AIS display, METOCEAN and EO data visualisation and a host of SAR support tools into one application. The service will have an interface for the RCC and also a simplified version for use on board the SRU. These parts of the service will be connected together by use of satellite communications technology. 

The service will consist of layers permitting the users to access the specific functions they require rather than having to install the complete system.  The chosen layers will integrate with the existing user systems to provide one single integrated system. 

The service will be backed up with integrated online training not only on the METSAR service but also for the traditional elements of generic SAR theory training.  The service will be built on an organisational research ethos intended to develop and improve SAR response.

Space Added Value

The METSAR service will have satellite derived technology as a core element: 

  • Satellite communications is the primary method of data communication between RCC and SRU. Search plan information, situational awareness data and SRU status tracking can be passed over the communications mechanism;
  • Satellite data such as satellite AIS (S-AIS), satellite METOCEAN and optical satellite imagery will be ingested into the service to assist with situational awareness and improving the quality of METOCEAN forecasts;
  • Global Positioning System data will be obtained from the SRU and passed back to the service to supplement AIS & S-AIS when out of range.

Current Status

The project has completed the Mid Term Review and is working on the Proof of Concept (POC) stage (Task 4). In addition the project has completed an initial Market Analysis and Cost Benefit Analysis which will be finished at the conclusion of the POC stage.

Prime Contractor(s)

Status Date

Updated: 09 September 2014