SyriUS - Synergetic surveys using Unmanned maritime systems and Satellites

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Objectives of the service

The SyriUS demonstration project follows on the SyriUS feasibility study, where Maritime Robotics AS and EOMAP GmbH & Co. KG investigated the feasibility of services that allows a more efficient and accurate solution to survey bathymetry (water depth), seafloor properties, and seafloor habitats. The feasibility study identified that these data currently are often outdated or not available for very shallow water areas. By using a combination of satellite-derived data products and in-situ UMS data, SyriUS will allow users to quickly and cost-effectively obtain these data.

In this demonstration project, EOMAP and Maritime Robotics work to develop previously identified technology gaps and demonstrate the services to potential customers or end users. By combining expertise in unmanned maritime systems (UMS) and earth observations (EO), we create a synergetic value-adding chain, which has the technological and economic potential to create a significant improvement on the user's current workflow.

Users and their needs

The SyriUS user communities include hydrographic offices, navies, offshore industries, port authorities, dredging and marine engineering firms, land and marine-based mapping institutes, environmental agencies, policy makers, marine nature management, fisheries, fresh-water reservoir management, and scientists.

The pilot users involved in this demonstration project include hydrographic offices, local authorities for environmental monitoring, institutes involved in environmental monitoring and mapping, companies in the survey sector and dredging sector, and national defence organisations. The pilot users are based in Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands, which are also the sites for the planned demonstrations within the project.

Their needs are broadly summarized with respect to two data products; bathymetric maps and benthic/habitat maps. Within the SyriUS feasibility study, 28 user needs were identified, related to:

  • spatial needs: high resolution mapping
  • temporal needs: low production times and ability to repeat surveys
  • high accuracy and low uncertainty on data products
  • ability to discriminate vegetation from sediment, and detect different vegetation
  • ability to store data locally, synchronize with servers when possible, and ability for end users to interface to data servers
  • final product: seamless maps

These user needs have been processed into user requirements and system requirements, which are being used in the process of preparing the system for the pilot demonstrations, as well as for the KPIs and system evaluation.

Service/ system concept

The SyriUS services combine data from UMS with EO derived data products. By doing so, the customer obtains large area coverage from EO observations, with an accuracy closer to what the UMS can provide through in-situ measurements. For the services provided by SyriUS, UMS systems are used that have low draft, can operate in shallow waters, around obstacles, and that carry sensors customizable to the application, for example a multi-beam sonar sensor for bathymetric and benthic mapping. The Sentinel-2 and WorldView satellites provide data at the spatial and temporal resolutions to match the users’ requirements. Data is transferred from the UMS to EOMAP, who calibrates and validates the satellite data and fuses the data into one single data product that is delivered to the user. Once the systems are deployed and services are in place, the end user may obtain data products over larger areas than currently possible, in a timely manner.

Space Added Value

The SyriUS project primarily utilizes earth observation (EO) data, for example from the Sentinel-2 satellites, and satellite navigation for the unmanned maritime systems (UMS). The EO data provides large area coverage faster than can be obtained from UMS. The UMS data can however be used to calibrate and validate the EO data. In doing so, we create data products, such as bathymetric maps, for larger areas and at higher resolution than can otherwise be obtained. Without the space assets, it is not possible to provide a cost- and time-effective solution for mapping large areas for any of the application areas, such as bathymetric mapping for hydrographic offices. Furthermore, combining the two technologies enables the creation of seamless maps that are otherwise hard to obtain.

Current Status

The SyriUS demonstration project (DP) was started in October 2020, following the successful conclusion of the SyriUS feasibility study in December 2019.

Within the first 3 months, the consortium has worked on consolidating user needs and requirements with the DP pilot users through user questionnaires. Furthermore, an investigation was made into secure methods of data sharing between project partners for future surveys, and a secure server was set up for the specific use of this project. Initial data was gathered that will be used in the next phase to further improve processing and data fusion methods, and this was shared via the new secure server. With the start of January, the project will start with further developing processing methods and designing sensor setups for the pilot demonstrations that are planned to start in Summer 2021.

Status Date

Updated: 15 January 2021 - Created: 15 January 2021