CleanSeaNet is a European operational system for satellite detection of oil slicks. EDISOFT is part of the service providers consortium that will be responsible for the downloading, processing, analysis and dissemination of the images and derived information, including alerts, to participating coastal states and to the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The other members of the consortium are Kongsberg Satellite Services AS (Norway) and Telespazio s.p.A (Italy).
CleanSeaNet will provide EU Member States with processed satellite data for the monitoring and detection of illegal discharges and accidental oil spills at sea. The service will begin operating in mid-April 2007 and will provide analysed images from ENVISAT and RADARSAT satellites. A network of receiving stations in Norway, Italy and the Azores (the latter as of 2008) will receive the satellite data, which will then be relayed to control centres for rapid processing and analysis by trained operators. The operators will assess the images generated, together with external meteorological information, to determine the likelihood of the presence of oil on the sea surface and the source of the pollution. The processed and analysed information will then be sent simultaneously to the national authorities in the affected Member States and to EMSA. The time from data acquisition by the satellite to the receipt of processed information by pollution control authorities will be a maximum of 30 minutes.
EMSA has signed a contract with Eurimage SpA, which is the authorised commercial licence distributor for ASAR (Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar) images from the European Space Agency (ESA) ENVISAT satellite. For access to RADARSAT data, a contract has been signed with MDA, which is the holder of the distribution rights to Canada‘s RADARSAT-1 satellite and to the future RADARSAT-2 satellite, which is to be launched later this year.
The scope and aims of the service are to provide:
• a European satellite surveillance system for detecting oil slicks at sea, which will be operational from mid-April 2007, and which can respond to requests from all EU and EFTA coastal states and the European Commission.
• a system that is linked to national and regional response chains, and which strengthens operational pollution response when dealing with accidental and deliberate discharges from ships.
• coastal states with the ability to locate and identify polluters in areas under their jurisdiction. They will have access to satellite images and associated information over the web, and will receive alerts when potential slicks are identified.
• geographical coverage of the following sea regions:
- Baltic Sea.
- North Sea and areas around UK, Norway and Iceland.
- West European waters from English Channel to Gibraltar.
- Mediterranean Sea.
- Western Black Sea. – Canary Islands and Atlantic EEZ (from 2008).