Coastal States have defined the areas to be monitored by the CleanSeaNet service, together with the required number of satellite scenes. The basis of the definitions has been the knowledge of the national hot spots, i.e. areas where the illegal oil discharges are known to take place, areas of high traffic density etc.
The satellite acquisition planning is done directly by the CleanSeaNet service. Each plan covers a time period of one month. The planning is sent to the operational contact points in coastal States for confirmation, and is used accordingly when planning the aerial and/or vessel verification support to the satellite scenes. When a coastal State has confirmed the planning, EMSA issues an order for the scenes.
The satellite images are downloaded, and the data is processed and analysed to detect possible oil slicks. An alert report is produced for every planned image to inform the coastal States on the results of the analysis, i.e. whether possible oil slicks are detected or not. In case slicks are detected, the affected coastal State immediately receives an alert to enable the coastal State to take quick actions in order to verify and quantify the slick and to identify the potential source. The complete process, from satellite overpass to the alert, takes a maximum of 30 minutes.