EO-ALERT: a Satellite Architecture for Autonomous
Maritime Monitoring in Almost-Real-Time

Murray Kerr, Stefania Cornara, Stefania Tonetti, Stefan Wiehle, Otto Koudelka, Enrico Magli, Riccardo Freddi, Silvia Fraile, Cecilia Marcos


This paper presents an overview of the maritime monitoring satellite architecture and results achieved by the EO-ALERT H2020 project. EO-ALERT proposes the definition and development of the next-generation Earth Observation (EO) data processing chain, based on a novel flight segment architecture that moves EO data processing elements from the ground segment to on-board the satellite, with the aim of delivering the EO products directly to the end user with very low latency; in almost-real-time, e.g. within 1 minute. This paper presents the EO-ALERT architecture, its performance and hardware, with a focus on its application to maritime scenarios. Performances are presented for multiple reference user scenarios; autonomous ship detection, for a service similar to the EMSA VDS, and extreme weather monitoring, for wind and wave. The ground test results using EO data show that the proposed architecture can deliver maritime EO products to the end user with latency lower than one-point-five minutes, for both SAR and Optical Very High Resolution (VHR) missions, demonstrating the viability of the architecture for almost-real-time maritime monitoring.

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