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Press release archive: 2012

New solution to support a level playing field for maritime transportation

12.11.2012 8:35

A highly innovative European service is being implemented to ensure a level future playing field in the maritime transportation. With the maritime transportation facing huge pressures in the next few years, a reliable and cost-efficient compliance monitoring service is called for by the authorities and the industry.

Finnish Meteorological Institute, together with the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, are developing a new solution (SAMBA) to support a level playing field for the maritime transportation. SAMBA combines space-based, aerial and terrestrial technologies.
The technical feasibility as well as the economic viability of SAMBA is investigated by FMI and KNMI in collaboration with the Integrated Application Promotion (IAP) Programme of the European Space Agency (ESA)

There are multiple needs for SAMBA services. When future regulations for maritime emissions (e.g. the EU sulphur directive) enter into force, there will be a need for a level playing field for the industry, to ensure that all actors follow the same rules and hence no additional distortions to competition are introduced by non-compliance. The maritime authorities are interested in information that will help them monitor the compliance, linking it to existing compliance monitoring regimes. The environmental authorities and value-adding information providers are interested in reliable statistics of maritime emissions both offshore and in ports. Shipowners see possibilities in improving their operations and cutting costs through equivalence measures, which need reliable information.

In the first stage, the objective of SAMBA is to establish the feasibility of space-based services for maritime emission monitoring. SAMBA will achieve its objective by combining AIS/GPS-based maritime emissions with remote sensing-based atmospheric pollution monitoring into maritime emission compliance monitoring and information provision service.

To achieve these objectives, FMI has is developing a proof of concept based on a demonstration agreement with exactEarth, a provider of satellite Automatic Identification System (AIS). AIS provide automatically at regular intervals information on position, identification, course, speed, etc of the ships.

The results so far demonstrate the feasibility of a space-driven compliance monitoring for shipping lanes. In co-operation with authorities and value-adding information providers, the limitations of technology are being pushed to allow the detection of individual non-compliance cases.

Additional information:

Project leader Dr. Tapani Stipa, Finnish Meteorological Institute, tel. +358 40 505 8090
Dr. Folkert Boersma, Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute, +31 30 2206 618

ESA website: http://iap.esa.int/projects/maritime/samba

Photo 1. Scheme of the space-based observation of ship emissions.

Photo 2. Emissions of CO2 from ship traffic based on movements of individual ships.

Photo 3. Shipping lanes are clearly seen already in present satellite observations. Atmospheric NO2 concentration is shown.